Sale of motorcycle between individuals: how to avoid theft?

Sale of motorcycle

Selling your motorcycle privately, generally through an advertisement posted on the Internet, requires a certain number of precautions to avoid disappointment. Accidents not covered by insurance, scams with false documents, risk of theft and assault: vigilance is essential!

In the majority of cases, the sale of a second-hand motorized 2 or 3-wheeler involves a test drive. Beforehand, check with your insurer that the loan of handlebars is authorized, in order to know the scope of the cover, in particular with regard to the compensation and the applicable deductibles.

At the Mutuelle des Motards, the loan of handlebars is automatically authorized, unless you have taken the “exclusive driving” option

With some insurers, the loan is either strictly prohibited, or accompanied by a high deductible, and possibly, the disregard of damage guarantees.

Publish your ad safely online

When placing an advertisement on the Internet accompanied by photos, remember to conceal the license plate of your motorcycle. Remember that with the registration number of a vehicle, it is possible to find the address of its owner.

Without counting on the crooks who are specialized in the “doublet”, this technique of usurpation of registration consisting in making up a stolen motorcycle identical to that put on sale by affixing a false plate with your number.

Also, avoid taking snaps in front of your home, which can help riffraff identify the garage location.

Do not respond to outlandish requests

The pseudo-buyer asks you for proof that the motorcycle belongs to you in order to protect himself from “scams that abound on the Internet”. Via e-mail exchanges, he asks you to send him a copy of the car registration document and sometimes the insurance certificate, supposedly to have quotes drawn up with other insurance companies. So much information about your profile and your bike that can be exploited fraudulently. Indeed, these documents can allow him to defraud other people by organizing a fictitious sale afterwards.

The ideal is to respond to these requests (not always malicious) by communicating only what is strictly necessary: ​​date of first entry into circulation, and type (field D.2 on the registration certificate), the only useful information for insurers .

If he wants to know the registration to be able to insure it, you can communicate it, but it is a risk that you take.

Find the right meeting place

Absolutely avoid setting the appointment at your home or in front of your garage (private box, collective parking). This negligence could give valuable information to a potential thief. Choose a busy public place, such as a large car park or that of your motorcycle dealer. Ideally, this place should be equipped with a video surveillance system, useful for identifying a possible attacker. To surely discourage scamps of all stripes, the ultimate parade is to arrange a meeting in the immediate vicinity of a police station or a gendarmerie. Deterrent effect guaranteed!

Perform pre-test checks

Before entrusting the handlebars to the prospective buyer so that he can test the motorcycle, ask him for his identity papers and driving license. Do not accept photocopies, which are too easy to falsify, and check that the information and photos on the documents match (risk of stolen wallet).

Also make sure that the person is the holder of the license corresponding to your motorcycle (pay attention to the constraints of the A2 license).

In the same way, if you have doubts about the physical condition of the tester, do not hesitate to suggest that he test his alcohol level beforehand, using a breathalyzer. If in doubt, postpone or cancel the vehicle test. Remember that the trial is an advantage for the sale but is absolutely not mandatory. Better to miss a sale than to end up in a conflicting situation.

Precautions during the test

Beware of theft by trickery, materialized when the thief comes to try your motorcycle and never returns.

This case will not be covered by the insurance since you have voluntarily given the keys of your vehicle to the thief and it will be impossible for you to prove to your insurer the materiality of the theft (the proof).

In any case, never entrust the gray card and the insurance certificate to the prospective buyer because your address is there and he does not need it during the test.

If he is accompanied, you must refuse to allow him to carry his sidekick for the test (and both disappear…). A person with a clear conscience will have no problem with you keeping proof of their identity while driving. Note, if your motorcycle is equipped with a “keyless” system, do not give the key/badge to the tester, he does not need it. Indeed, unless it stalls or cuts the engine, the ignition will remain on and the motorcycle will operate normally even if it is several kilometers away from you (to be checked all the same beforehand). This will not prevent the thief from not returning if such was his intention, but he will have stolen a motorcycle whose value will be less than if he had the key (the grail for the thief). In addition, you can always give the key to your insurer, thus proving that you had taken some precautions to avoid mishap. And if he insists on having the key, that should give you a hint, just like if he asks you “innocently” if the motorcycle is equipped with a GPS beacon.

Indeed, one of the best parades to fight against this kind of theft is to equip your motorcycle with a geolocation box, or to pretend that it has one. At the end of the test, switch off the ignition and remove the key from the ignition switch. Finally, make sure that the keyring of the motorcycle contains only one key, that of the ignition, and especially not those of your home or garage.

Check the validity of the payment method

Theft with a fake bank check is also an increasingly widespread practice. In this case, the sale always takes place in the evening, at the end of the week, on a Sunday or on a public holiday, when the bank branches are closed, which makes it impossible to check at the time of the bank check. If the transaction cannot take place outside of these sensitive hours, have a copy of the check sent to you beforehand in order to carry out checks on its authenticity during business hours. To do this, do not rely on the number on the check, which may ring at an accomplice, but look for the details of the issuing bank branch yourself. Then, place the check in front of a light to verify the presence of a watermark in its center with the mention “bank check” in capital letters,

There are other digital payment methods that offer a good alternative to bank checks ( Paycar  for example). Practical and secure because it requires the buyer to register on the platform before the transaction, leaving his identity. If he refuses this kind of procedure when it is free for him (paying for the seller, less than €30 if the sale is made), this gives you an idea of ​​his intentions.

Guaranteed situations at the Mutuelle des Motards

The Theft guarantee offered by the Mutual covers:

extortion of the vehicle following payment with a fake bank check

following the attack of the driver on the handlebars (bike-jacking)

following the theft committed at home (“home-jacking”)

by electronic intrusion (“mouse-jacking”).

These situations are included in the general conditions and give the right to compensation provided that the member provides the Mutual with the supporting documents requested.

Another advantage of the Mutuelle is that if your buyer encounters mechanical problems with your old motorcycle (less than 10 years old) and asks you to account, the service linked to the vehicle legal protection guarantee will be there to assist you, even if you no longer have a current contract. Reassuring!

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