Spending your money on a secondhand Vespa can be a tempting proposition- and it is. Vespa is a brand unto itself, with a larger than life legacy to boot. However, your dream of owning a Vespa can turn into a nightmare if you make the mistake of picking the wrong deal and paying more for a used scooter than what you get.
Let’s start off with the basics first. There are some general tips you should go by before buying any secondhand scooter. The exterior appearance plays a pivotal role in this regard. Although Vespas can withstand a lot of ‘abuse’, avoid the ones that have significant dents, cracks, or signs of oil seepage. Used scooters must also be taken for a test drive is possible, preferably on a route that has a variety of driving conditions so you can gauge whether the scooter is in a good enough condition to be bought.
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The other two factors to be taken into consideration are the seller and the engine sound. Ask the seller many questions, especially this one- “why are you selling your scooter?” Steer clear if the answer is an indication of there being a problem with the vehicle, or if he/she seems dissatisfied with the scooter.
When it comes to the engine, listen carefully and note if there is any sign of ‘choking’ or excessive chugging. A healthy engine should sound smooth and ‘clean’.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to the three tips for buying a secondhand Vespa:
- Try and find out about the service history if possible- that is, if it had several owners before the one who will be handing over the vehicle to you. Has it been well looked after and regularly serviced?
- Make sure the seller has both a spare key and a Red Master Key
- Check the tires for cracks, and make sure the Vespa has no traces of rust
Last but not least, make sure that the transaction will be complete and legal!