Can you trade in a car for a motorcycle?

Yes, you can trade in a car for a motorcycle whether you deal with a private party or take your vehicle to a dealership as a trade-in. Trading in one type of vehicle for another is similar to trading in a vehicle of the same type. But before you make the switch, you should consider the pros and cons of changing vehicle types.

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Can you trade a motorcycle in at a car dealership?

Yes, some dealerships will accept a trade-in of a different type of vehicle than the one you're buying. Just as you can trade in a car when buying a motorcycle from a dealership, you can trade in a motorcycle when buying a car.

How does trading in a motorcycle work?

Trading in a motorcycle is similar to trading in a car or any other vehicle type. You're selling your motorcycle to the dealer and putting that money toward the purchase of another vehicle. Trading in a motorcycle or any other vehicle type starts before you take it to the dealership. Here are a couple of tips and what you can expect during the process:

  1. Vehicle prep

    Consider cleaning your motorcycle and taking care of any maintenance issues or repairs before selling or trading in your vehicle, as this will give you the best chance to maximize the value of your trade-in.

  2. Value assessment

    Once you've brought your motorcycle or vehicle in for trade, the dealer will assess the value of your bike based on a variety of factors, including its condition, market value, and the make and model. It's important to research these factors, so you can be prepared to negotiate.

    One potential complication with a dealer trade-in on a different vehicle type is that they might give you less than you'd expect for your old vehicle. Unless the dealership sells multiple types of vehicles, it will probably sell your trade-in to another dealer.

  3. Receive an offer

    The dealer will make an offer based on their value assessment. It's expected that you will negotiate the price, so consider looking up the value of your motorcycle according to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, or J.D. Power.

  4. Accept an offer

    Once the price is negotiated and accepted by both parties, the agreed-upon price will be put toward the purchase of your new vehicle.

Pro tip:

Consider getting an offer from the dealer and comparing it to what you'd get selling your car to a private party or a specialized dealer. You may still be better off selling the old vehicle separately and bringing the cash to the dealership where you intend to purchase. Learn more tips for trading in a car.

What to consider before trading in your car for a motorcycle

There are several compelling reasons to downsize your vehicle, but it may not suit everyone. Think about the following pros and cons before you make the switch.

Pros of trading a car for a motorcycle

  • Efficiency: Motorcycles get better mileage and pollute less than cars do. A motorcycle could be a good choice if you're concerned about ongoing costs or your vehicle's environmental impact.
  • Ease: Motorcycles can make it easier to get where you're going on time. For instance, some states allow bikes to ride between lanes or use carpool lanes even with a single rider.
  • Fun: Many riders choose a motorcycle for the joy of riding. A motorcycle is also less expensive than a car with similar performance, such as a convertible.
  • Parking: Motorcycles take less space to park and may have an easier time finding a place
  • Extra cash: Cars are generally more expensive than motorcycles on average, so trading in a car for a motorcycle may let you upgrade to a higher-end ride or walk out of the dealer with a bike and some pocket money

Learn about buying your first motorcycle.

Cons of trading a car for a motorcycle

  • Risk: Motorcycle crashes tend to be more dangerous for the rider than car crashes are for a driver. You won't have all the protections a modern car offers — like a seatbelt or airbags.
  • Special gear: While motorcycles often cost less than cars to fuel and insure, you should consider buying protective gear like a helmet, riding boots, and other safety equipment.
  • Weather: You can ride in bad weather, but it's not as pleasant or as safe as driving in bad weather. If you downsize to a motorcycle, you should figure out what you'll do when it's raining, or the road is covered in snow or sleet.

What should I think about before I trade my motorcycle for a car?

Owning a car differs from owning a motorcycle, and it has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Consider the following pros and cons before you decide to take the plunge:

Pros of trading a motorcycle for a car

  • Safety: Cars offer more protection for drivers and passengers than motorcycles. From seatbelts to airbags to technological features like steering assist, cars can give you more security than motorcycles.
  • Flexibility: If you need to carry more than one passenger or want to move luggage, furniture, or grocery shop, even the smallest car offers more storage and passenger capacity than a motorcycle.
  • Comfort: Driving a car for long periods is less tiring than driving a motorcycle. Inclement weather doesn't pose the same problems for a car as for a motorcycle.

Cons of trading a motorcycle for a car

  • Cost: Cars are more expensive than motorcycles across the board. Expect to pay more for insurance, repairs, and fuel than you would for a bike.
  • Parking: The bigger your vehicle, the harder it can be to find adequate parking, especially in bigger cities.
  • Less community: Many bikers enjoy the feeling of community they get from meeting other bikers, whether at a motorcycle rally, a rider's club, or a group of friends that cruise together.

Motorcycle insurance is required in most states, so be sure to check the minimum required coverage for your state before getting your bike on the road. Most states will not issue registration or a license plate without the minimum requirement. Learn about the available motorcycle insurance coverages, and see why nearly one in three insured motorcycle riders choose Progressive.


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