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Can You Use an Auto Loan on a Motorcycle?

last updated November 27, 2013 by

Auto loans are valid for a wide variety of non-commercial vehicles, but lenders each have their own policy about financing a motorcycle.  Motorcycles have a number of different factors that set them apart from other vehicles and make it difficult to finance them, but Complete Auto Loans will help connect motorcycle buyers with lenders that understand the motorcycle riding culture and know how important it is to get a great deal on a motorcycle loan.

Fast Depreciation

Motorcycles depreciate extremely fast when they are purchased new, mostly because of the myriad of accidents that can occur and damage motorcycles beyond the point of repair.  When someone buys a used motorcycle, it is hard to tell if the bike has been dropped or not, and it is difficult to diagnose initial mechanical problems without an extended ride of the bike.  Motorcycles are also often seasonal purchases, and the used market is so saturated that bikes tend to hold their value very poorly as compared with budget sedans and hatchbacks.  Sport bikes depreciate faster than cruisers, as a general rule, and are even more difficult to finance.


Motorcycle riding is all about individualism, and the customization of bikes supports this culture.  Every Harley dealership is packed with custom ornaments and performance parks, and other manufacturers support their product lines with a variety of dealer and third-party additions.  All of this customization makes it hard to value a bike, and lenders are reluctant to include the price of the custom additions when they calculate the price for the car.

Resale Difficulties

When a lender evaluates a loan application, they are looking at two major aspects to determine whether or not the loan will be a good addition to their portfolio.  For one, they want to make sure that the borrower is qualified, with a steady income and a good credit score.  Second, the lender wants to ensure that the vehicle can be sold if it must be repossessed after late payments or the death/disability of the buyer.  Motorcycles are tricky for lenders to sell on the used market, because the market for used motorcycles is so much smaller than the market for used cars.  Instead of being able to sell the vehicle to a dealer network or to an auction (like they would for cars) lenders end up getting stuck trying to individually sell each motorcycle to specialty stores or to private buyers.

Complete Auto Loans

Complete Auto Loans is motorcycle-friendly, attempting to pair every loan applicant with a lender that will give a fair evaluation of their motorcycle and fair terms on their loan.  Expect to pay a slightly higher interest rate on motorcycles than you might on a car, and be prepared to pay a higher down payment to make up for the rapid motorcycle depreciation.  That being said, online lenders still offer MUCH lower interest rates and better terms than most motorcycle dealerships.