Buying a bike in the UK?

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by GregX999, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    I asked this question in another thread, but thought I should start a new thread instead of hijacking one. :D

    Does anyone know what is required when buying a used bike in the UK (as an American) - I mean as far as the registration process and cost? I have a friend in London that would most likely let me use her address for registration purposes - if that can be done.

    And can it be done just fine with a USA drivers license?

    With a UK registered bike, can you go all over the Schengin countries without needing a carnet or any special paperwork? Is anything special needed to travel through the Baltic countries?

    If all that's possible, what is required to keep the bike's registration current if it's not in the UK when it needs to be renewed (if I'm traveling in another country or if it's in storage somewhere)?

    My intention would be to eventually sell the bike (back in the UK) when I was done riding it around.

    Thanks!
    Greg
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  2. Banjax

    Banjax Been here awhile

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    I have looked into doing this,but the other way round,ie Brit buying bike in the US.As long as you have an address in the UK where paperwork can be sent,buying a bike and registering (title equivalent) it in your name is no problem.Once it is registered in your name,you do not have renew the title but you do have pay "vehicle licence duty" or "road tax" as its more commonly known.For a 600cc plus bike its £66 (about $100) for a year.If the bike is more than 3 years old,it also needs to taken to a garage annualy for an MOT test (£25).Getting insurance for a UK registered bike without a UK driving licence may be more of an issue.Someone else will have to answer that one.
    Not sure about the Baltic countries,but you should be able to travel around Europe (EU) without carnets.Best check with the US embassy websites for that.
    edit:I see you have a GS;from what i have seen on here,UK and US prices are pretty similar for BMs.
    Take a look at WWW.UKGSER.COM.You should get more info there.
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  3. europe_ads

    europe_ads Adventurer

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    +1

    I have been doing similar research (I am coming from Australia) and have been advised by the authorities (DLVA) over there that really all you need is proof of identity and a local address for delivery of paperwork etc. You do not need to prove this is your address. PM me if you're interested, and I can forward you copies of the correspondence I have had with the DVLA - they have been most helpful, and very reassuring.
    #3
  4. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    Hey, thanks for the info.

    Banjax - Ok, those registration fees aren't too bad. Do you know if you need to have the MOT test in order to register it each year? Or can it be re-registered even if it's not in the UK at the time?

    europe_ads - Yes, I'd be very interested in seeing the correspondence.

    As far as insurance, does anyone know a company (website) that offers the required insurance to non-Europeans? I've heard it referred to as "Green Card" insurance - but I understand that the "Green Card" is just used to prove you have insurance, it isn't insurance itself. Am I confused?

    Greg
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  5. mrturbozxj

    mrturbozxj Adventurer

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    As someone who jumped through all the hoops and then had to bail out sick on a trip to the UK here's my experience.

    1. You can register a bike in the UK not being a citizen, just need an address to send the paperwork to.
    2. You can go anywhere in the EU with a UK plated bike. Get a little "UK" or "GB" sticker so you don't get any trouble outside the british isles. (plates must show country)
    3. MOT and road tax are not a big deal, you can renew road tax outside the UK as long as MOT is valid. It is not like US registration where it expires end of the month and you have to renew and get new paperwork.
    4. Insurance in the UK is a total pain in the ass for someone without a UK license. You can either get "green card" insurance from someone like stefan knopf www.knopftours.com (top guy, works quickly) or look around to find comprehensive insurance www.motorcycleexpress.com used to offer this, i got nerfed not being 25.

    5. Also forgot to mention, be able to pay in cash or with a bank transfer. The UK is a very cash based economy, a lot of places don't take credit/debit
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  6. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    Oh, so MOT is just a one-time thing? Not needed each year?

    Yeah, I totally plan on paying cash - I want no debt! I'm in "saving mode" right now. :)
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  7. mrturbozxj

    mrturbozxj Adventurer

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    Sorry wasn't clear on that. MOT is a yearly requirement, but it isn't the same as the tax disc. You could have an MOT expire at a different date than your tax disc, unlike most US state registrations.

    Say your MOT is good until 12 months from now, and the tax disc expires in 6, you could get the road tax re-upped without another MOT. Hope that clears things up.

    I've done all the requisite junk to do this, and ended up sick a week in, let me know if you have more questions.
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  8. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    http://www.quinn-direct.com/ireland/motorcycle/

    Answer all the questions truthfully and you can print off your proof of insurance.
    One question asks if the policyholder holds a license or international license, answer yes.

    Give an Irish address. If you need one, I can supply you with one.
    #8
  9. GregX999

    GregX999 Nomad

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    Thanks for the link WheatWhacker! That will cover someone for all of Europe (green card ins.) right?
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