How to Trade a Motorcycle for a Car

by Shanan Miller
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You can trade your motorcycle for a car. Many people find that their needs change and need to trade one equitable machine for another. You can trade privately or even with a dealer. To trade a motorcycle for a car you only need to search in the right places and advertise properly. Make sure you have all of your information in order and know your motorcycle's worth and the worth of the car you're trading for.

Gather Information

Step 1

Find your motorcycle's title, or order a replacement from the Department of Motor Vehicles if you cannot find it. You want to have your paperwork in order. Make sure there is no lien listed on the title. You must own your motorcycle free and clear for a trade. Find the lien release or get another from the originating bank, if necessary.

Step 2

Research values of your motorcycle online. You should know accurate values to make an even trade. Use sources like Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides. Both offer motorcycle appraisals. Check your MSRP sticker, if you can find it, to identify any extra options that might increase the motorcycle's value.

Enter in all necessary information on the appraisal site. Enter your ZIP code, since values change by area. Input the mileage and all motorcycle options where prompted. Print out your results or write the numbers down. The numbers from different appraisal sites will be different so try to figure out the worth based on median values.

Advertise and Research

Step 1

Advertise your motorcycle for trade in as many places as you see fit. Use Craigslist and post an ad in your local car section with a title that reads "For Trade." Keep an eye out for other potential traders in the motorcycle section. The term "FT" is commonly used to suggest a trade.

Step 2

Check any local classified websites that you can find in your area. Check Hogs4sale, a website for motorcycles that has a trade section. Put an ad in your local newspaper and list your motorcycle for trade.

Step 3

Go to vehicle-specific forums, which often have classified sections, if you know what kind of vehicle you want to trade for. Check into Vwvortex for Volkswagens, ClubRoadster for Miata's, BimmerForums for BMW or HondaClub for Hondas. Take advantage of forums to find the specific car you want by searching the websites and adding a classified ad.

Call local dealers and find out who takes motorcycle trades if you want to trade with a dealer. Be careful with pricing. Dealer vehicles are often more expensive, so ask dealers what their inventory price range is before making an appointment.


Step 1

Make sure your motorcycle is clean and looks good. Show potential buyers your motorcycle and take a look at the potential trade vehicle. Research values on the same websites you searched to find your own motorcycle value---both have auto sections---and make sure your trade is fair.

Step 2

Sign the back of your title once you found the person or dealer you want to trade with. Have the other person do the same with his title, and make sure you fill out the portion of the title for buyer on your new car title to finalize paperwork before going to the DMV.

Call your insurance company to add your new car and obtain proof of insurance. Take your title, license and insurance to the DMV to complete your paperwork. Give the motorcycle plates back to the DMV, as most states require.

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