If you're buying your first bike or are upgrading to a bigger and better model, it's important to get the best possible finance deal in place. Here is a look at the three most popular options so you can make the best choice.   Do Your Homework   It's important that you spend nearly as much time researching your financial options as you do choosing the perfect motorbike. Raising the cash for a new bike is a little like securing the money for a car – buy you may find it slightly more difficult. Motorbikes are still considered 'high risk' by many lenders, despite their popularity, so you will have to shop around to get the best deal. A good place to start is to visit the Money Advice Service's website. It offers free, unbiased, independent advice on all aspects of finance, including establishing your credit rating.   A Personal Loan   This is probably the most popular method of buying a bike. It's ideal if you don't have the cash for an up-front deposit. Apply to your bank or building society to borrow a set amount – they'll perform a credit check and establish how much they are willing to lend. The loan will be repayable over a set period from one to five years with monthly repayments. Ask about the APR, which is the amount of interest you will repay. Investigate which bank will offer you the lowest rate.   Hire Purchase   If you're buying your bike from a dealer, you may be offered a hire-purchase agreement. This involves the dealer arranging finance on the bike from a third-party finance company. Look for deals with as low an interest rate as possible. You will need to put down a substantial deposit but, with a little negotiation on your part, you can usually reduce this figure. A hire-purchase deal is called a secured loan because the lender retains ownership of the bike until you have finished paying the entire amount off. And if you miss payments, they may repossess it. If you're buying a second-hand bike privately, perhaps because you've already made to decision to sell yours through a company which tells you that we buy any bike, make sure you check that the seller does not owe any money to a hire-purchase company. A simple hire-purchase information check which costs less than 20 GBP will show you the status of the bike. This way it won't be repossessed from you because of money owed by the previous owner.   Credit Unions   Credit Unions have been in the news recently, as an alternative to pay-day loan companies. They are usually small, not-for-profit financial organisations which are run by and on behalf of the members. They offer loans and operate on an ethical basis and do not charge extortionate interest rates. You'll need to join a credit union and open an account with them before you'll be able to borrow money from them. With a little careful research and planning, you'll be sure to find the perfect finance for your bike.