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Hi Guys,

I'm new to MV and I'm looking into buying my first Vespa but I'm a total novice! I don't drive and I've never looked at a bike never mind driven one.

I've found a Vespa I like the look of but to me it's just pretty and red. What questions do I need to ask and what am I looking for?

The information I have is:

It's a GTS 125cc, 2008 plate, done approx 11,000 miles, serviced 3 weeks ago, MOT due in February. Comes with a top box, tall windscreen and a front rack. Petrol, automatic.

Any help is most appreciated!
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Hey Emily,

Do you drive a car? Have you bought a car before?

With the Modern Vespas I've found that the whole buying experience and process you go through is very similar. So look for obvious things, look for the service history, old MOT's etc.

Ask when it had it's belt changed last, as thats something that should be done around the 11k mark.

Tax will be cheap at £16 per year.

Some of the modern vespas can suffer from rust on the floor or behind the front wheel, so check there for rust.

The normal stuff really, GT's are good reliable bikes with decent power.

Good luck and post up some photos of the bike, also, what price is it?

You'll look to pay around £900-£1200 for a GT.
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No I don't drive, I was looking into getting a car but was quoted £11,000 a year to insure due to my age. A vespa insurance was only £500.

I'll definately ask about the belt change and check for rust! Thanks

Due to the power being below 125cc it doesn't require tax.


It's priced at £1700 ono but it does come with all the extras shown in the image! Is it over priced? I was going to offer £1500.
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It will need to be taxed, Emily. Below 125 doesnt make a difference, historic vehicles qualify for zero tax but this modern bike will need to be taxed.

£1700 is probably a bit rich, £1500 with the accessories isn't bad and I'd go for that.
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Obviously make sure all the electrics work ok, all the lights, high and low beam, brake light and find out the age of the battery.

Make sure it starts and idles ok. Make sure it idles ok when it's cold too.

If you need any specific questions about the GT's ask here, there are a lot of owners here.
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There is another advantage of the gt over the likes of the lx, with the gt if you sit your bike test with it before mid january you will then be able to get a bigger scoot later. If it was the lx you wouldent.
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Bit more power in the GT too (right?). I just prefer them over the LX's.
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Oh OK, I was told no tax but £20 is nothing really

I'm asking all these questions as I live really up north and the bike is down near London so I can really only look at it once and then decide on the day whether or not I would like to purchase. So I need to know what to look for.

My boyfriend drives so I'll get him to check the starting and idling.

I'll be doing my test probably November but not the full test just the CBT to get me on the road for the time being, I may not like being on a bike?
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The freedom it will give you is unreal, especially since you don't drive at the moment.

I'd say £1500 is decent for the accessories etc, but I'd be hesitent to spend any more than that. You can pick up GT's for 1k nowadays, but they won't come with the racks, the box etc.

So assuming it's in good condition i'd pay that. Always worth finding a bit about the people that owned it before too, it'll give you an indication about how it's been driven.

Tax will be £16 per year. Tyres are cheap, £30~ depending on what you go for. Fuel will be about £9-£11 for a full tank.

Also I know of Lancs, I have a client there, I work with people in Chorley, Preston, Burnley etc.
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The guy says he only used it to commute to uni and things as he didn't have to pay congestion charges and now he just wants to pay off his fee's.

I'm in Blackburn near to Preston. I'll prob just be using it for short journeys to get me out and about.
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Emilym100 wrote:
The guy says he only used it to commute to uni and things as he didn't have to pay congestion charges and now he just wants to pay off his fee's.

I'm in Blackburn near to Preston. I'll prob just be using it for short journeys to get me out and about.
Being a London bike you'll need to check for scratches, and possible repairs. It's common in London for Scooters to be a bit beat up.

Whilst thats a generalisation it's worth checking.

Not much to say really, make sure the electrics work as they should, make sure the acceleration is smooth (if its not it indicates possible issues with the variator, belt and/or rollers).

Check for rust and that everything mechanically is solid.

They're good bikes, it'll last you years if maintained.

I've got a modern Vespa with over 40,000 miles on it, I drive it daily to and from work and it's never let me down.
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Well it's more oxford, was just giving an idea of distance.

Thanks for all your help, rather excited now!
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Emilym100 wrote:
Oh OK, I was told no tax but £20 is nothing really

I'm asking all these questions as I live really up north and the bike is down near London so I can really only look at it once and then decide on the day whether or not I would like to purchase. So I need to know what to look for.

My boyfriend drives so I'll get him to check the starting and idling.

I'll be doing my test probably November but not the full test just the CBT to get me on the road for the time being, I may not like being on a bike?
CBT is a great day out, learn a lot quickly!! quite scary. but fun.

mmmmmm my mrs thought she might not like being on a scoot.....do I ever get near it at the weekend if its sunny ?????????
I only get to ride it when the weather is bad!!!!
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ooo I can't wait haha. What does the CBT entail? I go on the road? Oh no! Razz emoticon
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Emily

The CBT last for a full day. They explain the controls of the bike and you practice away from the road. Then you do some classroom stuff before being taken out on the road for 60 - 90 minutes.

By the way I have just traded in my 2008 GTV 125 bought new and now with 18000 kms (11000 miles). Fowlers of Bristol gave me £1500 px on a new GTS 125 Super Sport in orange for it and sold it a week later for £1995.

Good luck and enjoy.

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somerset wrote:
Emily

The CBT last for a full day. They explain the controls of the bike and you practice away from the road. Then you do some classroom stuff before being taken out on the road for 60 - 90 minutes.

By the way I have just traded in my 2008 GTV 125 bought new and now with 18000 kms (11000 miles). Fowlers of Bristol gave me £1500 px on a new GTS 125 Super Sport in orange for it and sold it a week later for £1995.

Good luck and enjoy.

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GTV > GT though.

The leather seats on those things fetch £300~!
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Looks like I may be in for a bargain with the Vespa I'm looking at.

Thanks for the CBT breakdown, at least I now know what to expect
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@ AKP

Fair comment.

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Emilym100 wrote:
I was looking into getting a car but was quoted £11,000 a year to insure due to my age. A vespa insurance was only £500.
Wow, is it really £11,000/yr. ($17,800/yr.) to insure a young adult to drive a car in England? That's incredible. How in the world can families afford that?

That aside, there's nothing better than enjoying morning coffee and reading posts from our friends across the pond.
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Yes it's £11,000 for me as I'm 20 and live in a "crash for cash" postcode , people tend to get put as a 'named driver' on their parents insurance which drops to about £3-4000 a year.

But then they risk their parents no claims! No winning!
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Emilym100 wrote:
Yes it's £11,000 for me as I'm 20 and live in a "crash for cash" postcode , people tend to get put as a 'named driver' on their parents insurance which drops to about £3-4000 a year.

But then they risk their parents no claims! No winning!
Emily, you have to be joking.

Seriously.

11k?

Who quoted you for that?

When I was 18 I paid 2.5k for insurance, that was expensive, but 11k is ridiculous.
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ToppiSF wrote:
Emilym100 wrote:
I was looking into getting a car but was quoted £11,000 a year to insure due to my age. A vespa insurance was only £500.
Wow, is it really £11,000/yr. ($17,800/yr.) to insure a young adult to drive a car in England? That's incredible. How in the world can families afford that?
£11,000? that's an outrageous quote. who the heck gave you that quote? they are taking the piss. have a look at this article to get a more realistic estimate of your insurance costs. Depending on the car you drive, you should be able to get TPFT insurance for less than £2000.

I don't want to put you off getting a Vespa, but I'm concerned that you didn't get proper information about car insurance before making your decision
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To be fair I was looking at a mazda mx5 - my dream car. But the postcode I live in is full of idiot drivers who use phones, no belts, insurance jobs for claims so premiums are high anyway. Throw in my age and new driver and it's sky high.

To be honest though I've really thought about it and LOVE the idea of a bike. More so a Vespa
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genie wrote:
ToppiSF wrote:
Emilym100 wrote:
I was looking into getting a car but was quoted £11,000 a year to insure due to my age. A vespa insurance was only £500.
Wow, is it really £11,000/yr. ($17,800/yr.) to insure a young adult to drive a car in England? That's incredible. How in the world can families afford that?
£11,000? that's an outrageous quote. who the heck gave you that quote? they are taking the piss. have a look at this article to get a more realistic estimate of your insurance costs. Depending on the car you drive, you should be able to get TPFT insurance for less than £2000.

I don't want to put you off getting a Vespa, but I'm concerned that you didn't get proper information about car insurance before making your decision
This.

Even living in central London for a while I didnt get quoted anything like this when I was that young.

This is all on the assumption of course that the car you werent being quotes for was an Aston Martin.
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do bear in mind that if you're depending upon the Vespa for transport to work or college every day, there are going to be days when you won't be able to use it. Snow or ice on the road or in the forecast? leave the Vespa at home. Even riding in the rain takes some getting used to. You'll need to make sure that you have viable alternative transportation available on the days that you won't be able to use the scooter. You also have to factor in the proper gear - and if you plan on riding year-round, that can mount up: helmet, boots, jacket and overtrousers, gloves ... especially as a new rider, it's a really bad idea to ride without proper gear.
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I only go to university once a week and it's within walking distance. I run a business from home so would only use it for deliveries and if the weather was bad my boyfriend can drive me in the car.

I want one more to visit family and just get out every now and again. It's not essential for me so if the weathers bad it won't matter as I won't be held back

I'll be investing in a good helmet, jacket and gloves.
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Re: Looking into buying my first Vespa, what do I need to kn
Emilym100 wrote:
I don't drive and I've never looked at a bike never mind driven one.
First lesson: You drive a car. You ride a scooter. Good luck with your purchase. I think you are going to love riding.
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Also Emily don't take mine or genies comments as us being negetive, a lot of people fall in love with the 'idea' of having a vespa, the italian style, the freedom, but few realise what riding bikes really means.
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I'm not taking them as negative, I'm thankful for the comments. But I've already had all these chats with my family and I've covered all bases
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You won't regret it.

Have fun.

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I would advise you to get all the protective gear. Sooner or later you will take a tumble, scratch the scooter, bit o' road rash, etc. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back on the horse.

Wait, am I mixing my phetamors here?
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Emily, there is one very important thing to not overlook in your choice of two wheeled transportation. Does it fit you? If you can't put at least one foot down at a stop and hold the bike up, you may be too short legged to comfortably and safely ride the bike. You could wear platform boots and even have the seat shaved slightly if you are borderline, but it may not be enough.

There have been posters here who bought a scooter only to find out it is too big/tall for them and they have had to sell it at a loss or relegate it to the garage. Make sure it fits before you open your wallet. Good luck with your choice!
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I'm 5ft8 and all leg! But thanks for the thought!
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Emilym100 wrote:
I'm 5ft8 and all leg! But thanks for the thought!
One other thing, we love pictures here.

So as soon as you get the scooter....
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Definitely! Hopefully end up buying next weekend!

Then I'll buy some leathers and get some photos!
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Raputtak wrote:
Emilym100 wrote:
I'm 5ft8 and all leg! But thanks for the thought!
One other thing, we love pictures here.

So as soon as you get the scooter....
And we will need photographic evidence of the "5ft8 and all leg" claim. Got any pictures of you standing next to a giant ruler? Razz emoticon
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Who owns a ruler that big?! hahaha

Just measured, I'm 5'8 and my legs are 3'04. No idea how tall a bike is but I should be ok haha.
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Yeah no problems there.
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AKP wrote:
Also Emily don't take mine or genies comments as us being negetive, a lot of people fall in love with the 'idea' of having a vespa, the italian style, the freedom, but few realise what riding bikes really means.
yes it does sound as though you've put a lot of thought into it, so fingers crossed the purchase works out! don't be too gutted if it doesn't, though - there are plenty of used Vespas available and another one will come along before you know it. Listen to your gut. If anything feels dodgy about the vendor, or if he/she seems too eager to sell it, then walk away.

And finally - make sure you invest in a good lock and chain! If you can park the scooter on private property or in a garage overnight, do it - it'll make a big difference in your insurance costs.

You're going to love riding I bought my first scooter simply because I decided i hated the London Underground (it's like a big plastic tube full of smelly people and deadly viruses Bleh emoticon) and the first few weeks were a bit bum-clenching - riding in traffic took a bit of getting used to. now I can't imagine getting to work any other way.
OP
@emilym100 avatar
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Black Vespa ET4 125cc - 2000: 'Sergio' (Retired), Red Vespa GTS Super 125cc - 2013: 'No name yet' (current)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 135
Location: Lancashire, UK.
 
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@emilym100 avatar
Black Vespa ET4 125cc - 2000: 'Sergio' (Retired), Red Vespa GTS Super 125cc - 2013: 'No name yet' (current)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 135
Location: Lancashire, UK.
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behind my house we have private parking that is gated. However I'll probably keep it in the back garden too so it's two gates to get past.

And a good lock and chain for when I leave it at uni
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