Over 40% of Scooters and Mopeds Sold Second Hand Should Not Be Bought; Advice Offered by Tower Scooters

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Tower Scooters have been buying second hand scooters and mopeds for a decade and we have found thatover 40% of Scooters and Mopeds sold as second hand should not be bought.

Over 40% of Scooters and Mopeds sold as second hand should not be bought. Tower Scooters offers prospective buyers valuable information that could save consumers a fortune.

Tower Scooters has been in the Scooter and Moped business for a long time. They have looked at more second hand scooters than most and know how to spot the bad ones. Here’s their advice to any member of the public looking to buy a second hand scooter.

Chassis Numbers

Always check chassis numbers these can normally be found either under the scooter, on the headstock or under the seat, check they have not been tampered with and that they match up with the logbook (v5)

Never buy a scooter without the log book (v5)

Make sure that the scooter your considering to buy has a valid v5 document, this provides detailed information about the scooter, plus the current and previous keepers.

Is there any outstanding finance on the scooter?!

If the scooter was bought with a bank loan the owner can sell it, but if you buy a scooter with hp (hire purchase) payments outstanding, the finance company could take the scooter from you.

Scooter spare key?

Try and make sure the spare key is available; replacements can be expensive on certain models.

Tax and MOT?

Ask if the scooter has tax and MOT, and how long for because it is illegal to ride it without these.

Service history and warranty?

Ask if the scooter has service history, this helps to validate the mileage and to ensure the scooter hasn’t been clocked, also find out if there is any manufactures warranty left on the scooter, and if it is transferable to the new keeper.

Bike Mileage

The average mileage should around 3000 to 5000 miles per year

Our 15 minute Scooter Check that is essential is you are serious about buying a used scooter privately or from a garage

Head bearings

You can’t check the head bearings with the front wheel on the ground, therefore place the scooter on the centre stand with the front wheel in the air, slowly move the handle bars side to side feeling for any stiffness or notching, it should feel smooth with no resistance.

Front suspension

You can check this by taking the scooter off of the stand, holding the front brake on and pushing down on the suspension, check that the forks move up and down freely and that there is no oil leaking from the seals also check for signs pitting, rust to wear.

Rear suspension

You can check this by taking the scooter off of the stand and pushing down on the rear of the scooter it should compress easily but return to normal more slowly and with a smooth action, also check for any signs of oil leakage.

Wheels and tyres

Check that rims are not buckled or dented, check that the tyres do not show any visible signs of damage or punctures, and that the tread is visible on the whole tyre.


Examine disks for scoring and try and look inside the callipers and make sure that the pads have at least 3mm of material left on them. Also check for any fluid leakage’s around the callipers and levers.

Lights and controls

Check that all of the lights and controls function properly

Engine mounts

This can be checked by pulling upwards on the exhaust (make sure it is not too hot!), there should be a tiny bit of play if there is a lot of movement, the bushes or bearings will probably need replacing.


If the scooter is a four stroke then check the oil level before starting it, this can be normally be found on the side of the engine. If it is a two stroke then check there is oil in the oil tank, this would normally be found under the seat. Next start the scooter and look at the exhaust, if it is a 2-stroke it should smoke but if it is a four stroke it shouldn’t. Leave the engine running until it gets hot, make sure there is no coolant or oil leaking from the engine if there is this could be very expensive to repair, and check that the temperature gauge does not go above ¾.


Finally take 5 minutes to have a good look over the body work look for any signs of damage. If there are new panels or paint work it could mean that the scooter has been involved in an accident. You should also check that the seat locks securely.

We also recommend that if you buy a scooter privately you should get it check over by a qualified scooter mechanic as soon as possible.


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Peter Vowles
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