July 24, 2024

 Is buying a secondhand Scooter bike or two-wheeler a good idea?

 Let me share my experience with buying a secondhand Scooter or two-wheeler. My stand on this topic would be a little clearer this way.

I wanted a two-wheeler for my daily commute to the office. This was going to be my first vehicle and I didn’t have much experience riding one (I had a license though. I used to ride my friend’s bike). I had around 20k as savings so I thought it’s better to buy a second-hand scooter and keep saving money to buy a nice bike after a year or so. The plan seemed rigid to me. I searched on Olx and found a decent Honda Activa 2020 model at 17k, but someone told me this price is too much for such an old model. They told me I could get a better price from a local second-hand bike market (The worst advice I ever got).

I went to the market and after searching for a day, I decided on a red color Suzuki Access 2022 model for Rs 27,500. This scooter was the best choice among all the vehicles that I rode. The indicator and speedometer were not working so the shopkeeper suggested I give the bike for a general service and then all would be fine. I bought it on 27th September 2023

This is how it looked before I sold it.

Following are all the expenses that I bore on Buying a Secondhand Scooter.

At least the ones that I remember.

September 2023

Got the speedometer and indicators fixed. ₹300. [Mechanic A]

October 2023

Got a puncture in the rear wheel. The guy told me it’s better to replace the Tyre. So I replaced it with a tubeless Tyre. ₹1700. I gave my scooter for general servicing to a local mechanic. He fixed some minor issues and changed the Engine oil. The front mudguard was making a sound. Total Cost was ₹700.

Mechanic A: I was about to leave for the office one morning and the rear wheel refused to move. It was jammed. Gave it to a different mechanic this time. He said something was wrong with the clutch and all. Cost me ₹1600 this time.

Mechanic B: In the last week of October, while returning from the office, I sensed that the engine was making too much of a jarring noise. Got it checked from a local repair shop. He told me there was no oil in the engine (Almost 5 days after the last service). He didn’t have fresh engine oil so for the time being he topped it up with used engine oil (Oil that is drained from other vehicles during oil change). Charged me ₹200 for it. I went back home to my known mechanic and asked him how come the engine oil was over in just 5 days. He checked the vehicle and told me the oil was getting burnt. Smoke was coming out from the exhaust. It would require a major fix(opening the engine). I had no money left to get it fixed. I also told him how the previous mechanic added used engine oil, so he changed the oil again. ₹280 for oil change this time. [Mechanic B]

November 2023

Got my salary. I gave my bike for the major work to him [Mechanic B]. He was supposed to give it back in 3 days. 3rd day he told me there were a lot of things wrong and he needed 2 more days. Finally, he returned my scooter on 8th November 2023 (Demonetization Day). He charged me 7000 rupees for it. I had just returned from the office and gave him a dozen of 500 rupee notes. He had no clue about demonetization, and neither did I.

A few days later, while I was returning from the office late (9 PM), the scooter stopped abruptly. I had just covered 1 km from the office. Tried to start it but it didn’t work. Some people passing by tried to kickstart the scooty but with no success. All shops were closed (also I had no cash. Demonetization Zindabad). Finally, I dragged the scooter back to the office and went home in a Cab. The next day I called that same mechanic [Mechanic B] and explained everything. He told me to bring the bike to him (Bring my dead bike from the office to his garage, 23 km). I told him to come to the office or send one of his mechanics but he said they could only come there in the evening. So I got it fixed from a local mechanic near my office. Cost me ₹300. It was an electrical problem. [Mechanic C]

December 2023

The sooty was far from fixed after that major engine work. After riding for 10 km, I could hear a noticeable sound of piston moving. It was crazy. But now I was tired of putting money into the scooter repairs. I just kept riding it. Sometimes it wouldn’t start after stopping at a signal (It is embarrassing). In December I made a few repairs regarding the same issue. He changed the spark plug. The speedometer cable broke again along with the buzzer that runs indicators. (I was starting to understand all these technical words now). Overall it cost me around 1500 rupees.[Back to Mechanic A]

January 2024

The front mudguard which used to make sound had broken off completely. It was now hitting the front wheel. I had to get it changed. Cost me ₹2400.

The sooty was again giving starting trouble. I told the mechanic to clear the carburetor and spark plug (₹100 work), but he told me the spark plug broke in two parts while taking it out. We will have to replace it. (₹400). [Mechanic A]

February 2024

The speedometer cable broke again, however, I had no intention of getting it fixed. The piston sound that usually came after riding 10 km had become really loud. It was very irritating. The mechanic said it would be a costly thing to fix. I kept riding it like that. [Mechanic A]

Finally bought a new bike. I had saved enough money to buy a new Bajaj Dominar 400. However, I had little confidence in riding such a heavy bike in full traffic. So I kept riding the scooter for the office commute.

March 2024

I was riding scooters throughout the month. The sound got unbearable. It again started giving trouble while starting. One day after returning home, It just didn’t start. I started using my bike since then.

Conclusion of Buying a Secondhand Scooter

In conclusion, I paid more than 23k on scooter repair. I have had a very bad experience with mechanics. It’s not that mechanics at Bajaj service centers are any good. Now I am more cautious about giving my bike to any mechanic. Will I suggest anyone buy a second-hand vehicle? Well, I will tell them to avoid it. Only buy from someone you know. Someone whom you trust. Stay away from brokers and middlemen. Do a thorough check of the vehicle. Take a mechanic or a knowledgeable friend if you don’t know much about second-hand vehicles. Don’t believe anything that the seller might say about any issue you observe.

In short, try to avoid buying a secondhand vehicle from unknown people. If you have to, be very very careful and check each and everything. A slightly higher price for a well-maintained vehicle is better than a cheap vehicle at a lower price.