4 Ways to Finance Buying a Motorcycle

Buying a motorcycle is a big deal both personally and financially. Finding that perfect bike is thrilling, and in an ideal world, we would all just pay the seller in full and ride off into the sunset. Of course, paying the full price up front is not always a viable option. This is especially true when buying a newer or more expensive custom model. Fortunately, there are other methods to pay for your motorcycle without completely breaking the bank. When paying in cash is out of the question, finding out the best way to finance your purchase is the next logical step. Read on for our list of 4 ways to finance buying a motorcycle.

Financing Through a Dealership

If you’re purchasing through a dealership, odds are they are going to have programs set up for different financing options. Almost all dealerships offer some kind of payment plans for qualified buyers. Getting the ideal financing plan is most likely going to hinge on one thing: your credit score. The best financing plans made available by most dealerships are going to require decent credit, as well as a deposit upfront. If your credit score isn’t ideal, don’t abandon hope. There are quite a few dealerships that will offer plans to those with less than stellar credit. Of course, there are always trade-offs and these plans are probably going to charge you a higher interest rate to compensate for the “risk” they are taking by lending you money. Some dealers will be more than happy to sit down and discuss financing options, regardless of your current credit history. The key to a smooth transaction with the dealership is to come in with a solid knowledge of your financial situation and credit history.

Financing Through a Manufacturer

Similar to financing through a dealership, it’s also possible to finance through the motorcycle’s manufacturer. Some manufacturers will offer special financing on certain models in an effort to promote sales for that particular bike. When looking through a dealership, ask if there are any original equipment manufacturer loans currently available. This option obviously only applies to buying a new motorcycle.

If you’re looking to buy used, some manufacturers do offer financing options for third-party transactions. Harley-Davidson is one of the most well-known examples of this type of program. Their “Rider to Rider” financing program offers qualified individuals financing options when they’re buying a pre-owned motorcycle from a private seller.

Financing Through a Bank or Credit Union

Maybe you’d rather go through a trusted financial institution when it comes to dealing with your money. Your personal bank or credit union is where you’re most likely to find the best interest rates. Many institutions will have motorcycle loans are available to those who qualify. Again, your credit score is going to be the key to this whole exchange. Also important to remember, you can shop around for loans to look for the best interest rates available, you don’t have to jump at the first option presented to you. Taking the time to search for the best interest rates can help you walk away with the lowest interest rate possible.  

Financing Through a Credit Card

This one is by far the riskiest option, so if you’re thinking about putting your bike on credit, there are a couple very important points that you need to think about first. If you have a high enough credit line, the temptation to put that motorcycle on your card can be pretty substantial.Most dealerships will take a credit card without even running a credit check. However, if you don’t have the funds to pay off the monthly statements in full, you’re going to quickly rack up interest at a very steep rate. The interest rates on credit cards are almost exclusively going to be much higher than the rates from a bank or credit union would be.

Credit card interest rates can be unforgiving, and putting such a large amount onto a card is not recommended for the average buyer. There are of course exceptions to this. If you have a card that offers rewards points for every dollar that is put on the card, a large purchase like a motorcycle could be a way to rack up a bunch of points. As long as you’re able to pay off the balance in full, this could be an option for you. If you know that you’re not going to be able to pay off the card’s balance in full or close to it, then resist the temptation and keep your credit card in your wallet.

Ways to Finance Buying a Motorcycle

Financing is a great option for many people, and if you decide to go this route there are multiple avenues available to you. It should be noted however, that financing should not be taken lightly. As with any major life purchase, you should always take the time to study your own financial situation before agreeing to any kind of loan or payment plan. Be realistic about your ability to make the monthly payments. A motorcycle is a great way to bring excitement and joy into your life, but it’s going to be tough to enjoy your new purchase if you’re constantly stressing about how you’re going to pay it off. So when considering financing a motorcycle, be sure to research your options, be realistic about your situation, and ultimately make the decision that is right for you.

If you or anyone you know has had experience in financing a motorcycle, please feel free to share your experiences and opinions below. Is there anything you would do differently in hindsight? Let us know in the comments.

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