Feb 29, 2020

How to Sell a Motorcycle With a Lien

RumbleOn Road Captain

Just because you still owe money on your motorcycle doesn’t mean you can’t sell it.

It can be tough selling a used motorcycle, let alone selling a motorcycle with a lien still attached to it. If you do have a loan balance to pay off and need to sell your bike, hope is not lost. There are ready buyers, like RumbleOn, who will gladly work with you as you settle any outstanding dues—some may even settle those dues for you!

Take a look at the options available to sell a motorcycle if you still owe money on it.

What is a motorcycle lien?

When a third party, like a bank or credit union, owns the title to your bike, there’s a ‘lien’ on it. This party also has the power to repossess your motorcycle if you ever stop making payments on it.

Can you sell a motorcycle with a lien?

You can! You can even sell a motorcycle that has negative equity (otherwise known as an “upside down motorcycle loan,” or when you owe more on your loan than the bike is worth). The process is just a bit more involved than if you owned the bike outright. It’s totally worth pursuing, though, especially if you get a stellar offer on your ride (which RumbleOn guarantees) and some leftover equity after you wipe the slate clean.

Just be wary that, in most private sale situations, the buyer will not work with you while you’re in the process of removing the lien from your bike.

How do I remove the lien from my bike?

First, make sure you have enough liquidity to pay off the remaining balance before you even attempt to sell your bike. If you have the funds to pay the loan off in full, do so, because the last thing you want is to still owe money on a motorcycle that you no longer own. After you’ve paid off the lien, the lienholder will clear your bike’s title, enabling you to transfer it over to the buyer, hassle-free.  

However, if you don’t have the funds to remove the lien before the sale—and many people don’t—you have two options:

  1. If applicable, work with the co-signer of your loan to pay off the lien, or
  2. Get the buyer to pay you for your ride upfront, use the money to pay off the lien, and then hand over the keys and title afterwards.

An extension of Option 2 would be completing the sale at the bank or credit union that holds the lien, and having the lien transferred over instantaneously.

Fortunately, buyers like RumbleOn want to help you get your ride sold fast, which is why we’ll help you pay off your existing loan and finance a new one once you’ve found a replacement set of wheels.

How do you sell a motorcycle with a lien?

Contact the lienholder to figure out exactly how much you still owe on your vehicle; they’ll provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. From there you can either a) sell it to the dealership, where you can almost always expect to be paid less for a motorcycle with a lien than without, b) initiate a private sale with an exclusive buyer who’d be willing to negotiate sale terms given your lien status, or c) sell it to a ready online motorcycle marketplace like RumbleOn.

Even after your RumbleOn Cash Offer has been paid out, and it’s less than what you owe on the bike (i.e. negative equity), we can help. As long as you can pay RumbleOn the amount still owed on your lien after we’ve sent the cash offer to you, we’ll buy the motorcycle and pay off the existing lien. Afterwards, the lienholder will transfer the title over to us, and just like that, everything’s squared away!

When you get down to it, there’s a bit of foresight required to learning how to sell a motorcycle yourself, but as long as you’ve done your due diligence as a seller, the process should be a smooth one.

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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