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Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Motomochila, Jan 2, 2013.
Some good info that Jenny!
Thx Jenny. I guess shipping is going to be the answer. Everyone has quoted me over a grand plus an additional 200 for insurance. Looks like its $2500 or more, no matter what. No time to ride to New York and still take the month to ride Europe so it's shipping my GSA from LA to the UK and back again. The bright side; I get to ride my own bike.
Stay tuned, I'll be posting my progress as I limp along with the details.
Dumb and dumber in Los Angeles. -Jerry
No problem, glad to help!
To be honest, if you are getting a quote of around $1200 USD each way, that is good value - as it is pretty much the same in Stirling going the other way! (by air that is).
for info. I've shipped bikes across the Atlantic (from the west coast/Las Vegas to London) three times now - each time by air*
The first time was bringing my US bike back to Europe in 2007, when the cost was around $1000 USD.
I then shipped a UK bike to the States (I was going for six months, and in addition the bike I wanted wasn't available in the US at the time) the following year, and the cost then was around $1600 USD, or £1000 GBP.
However, by the time I wanted to bring that bike back in spring 2009, the prices for air-freight had increased even more - something to do with the TSA changing the rules on 'dangerous goods', and the result being far fewer shipping agents would handle vehicles, meaning those few remaining essentially had a captive market (cynical? moi?!).
Anyway, these days it is closer to $2000 USD to ship a bike to the US from the UK (using a UK agent), so if you can sort a deal at your end that includes return shipping, I'd do it!
ps. *Although air-freight can seem more expensive initially (compared to sea freight), it really is the most straightforward way - all the paperwork is taken care of by the shipping agent/handler, and you have pretty much a guarantee when your bike will be ready for collection, unlike sea transport which can be delayed due to weather etc.
June 10th-Departure day for my bike. Destination; London via air cargo. How much? $4750.00 round trip. Yep, it's steep but renting a bike that I wanted to ride for six weeks would have cost more. All the bike rental sites quoted me at least $1,000 per week and only 100 miles per day. Some charges as much as $1.00 per kilometer over the allowed daily. Shipping was the only alternative. By boat was an option but I needed to deliver my bike by April to be included in a container going to London for a late may delivery. That price was $1500 and change each way including insurance and transfers. $3,000 plus and the possible damage while sitting in a 40 foot container for six weeks didn't make sense so I opted for the air cargo. I am packing the bike myself; Reusable pallet mount with plywood box. Total cost here; $75.00.
Bike arrives at a BMW dealer in London by the 13th and I arrive on the 15th to begin my six week solo Euro tour. Anybody riding Europe during this time interested in joining along for a few days, PM me or post.
Please update ALL of us when your bike arrives in London.
Did the shipment go as planned? Any surprises?
LPOL...jealous in CO
See this, buy a bike in Ireland use it, store it, whatever...
motomo, please tell us where the flight to london is originating. My understanding is that we can't ship from the US. Perhaps a euro airline can do it from the states?
Crap, best part of $5000!
You could buy a bike there for $5000 and GIVE it away and still be ahead, or sell it for half cost and bring money home.
This year already I have had three travelers from Europe.
One from Sweden who I bought a used KTM 990A for and he JUST headed out to Baja.
A married couple from UK who I bought 2 used Yamaha 650 VStars for and they JUST headed out for the Western States of USA.
I took care of everything for them, they just arrived like movie stars and rode off.
Yep, I throughout that one too. Had the cash in hand for a KTM 990 Adventure from London. $7500 and change. Figured to sell it for a $3-4000 loss and I'd be ahead of the game. Anything upward of that and I figured it would be a great deal. NOBODY, and I mean nobody would sell me insurance unless I had a local address. No problem, go on horizons Unltd and find a mate that would allow the use of his address to register my bike. Oops, new problem. Now I had to have a license issued in the country of the purchase. I would then have to take classes in that country and pass a 50cc test and in about 4 years I could move up to the 990. UK out. Next country; Germany. Found a R 1200GS for 9,000 euros. 'Bout $10,300 US out the door. Now need the insurance and an address. I thought the UK was difficult. I'm not a resident, so only way is to ship out of country. Kinda defeats the purpose. Italy; I may as well buy a new bike there, but at least I could register it with a temporary address. So... Italy it was. "Oh, you are an American? Do you have a license? I can't sell you a motorbike and let you take delivery in Italy without a license and insurance. We can surely ship you motorbike back to America" OK I'm thinking my idea sucked. Next, rental companies. Finally found a company with either a BMW 1200GS or a KTM 950 adventure. With insurance, theirs; $1200 per week and 150 kilometers per day allowed. .83 euros for each km thereafter. Figuring at least 150 miles per day and six weeks on the trip, I'm now spending $7,200.00 in base rental plus average of 75 euros per day in overage miles. Wow another $500.00 per week in rental costs. Now my trip is costing me over $10,000.00 for a bike without putting one litre of fuel or one meal. Shipping my own bike now looked far better.
The cheaper way would be via sea container but I didn't want to go that route. I will consider it on all other legs of my RTW journey in six week segments.
I'll post pics and shipping details as I go forward. The trip..will be a new thread with gazillions of pics. I'm going solo so there won't be other riders telling me to hurry up and get back on my bike and ride.
They won't sell you insurance with an International license?
I wonder what happens with a rental insurance?
I wonder what will happen with insurance for your own bike, you still don't have an address or license now do you? So taking your own bike doesn't get around that hiccup.
Progressive sold my guys insurance here in the USA over the internet. The INT. LIC. was same number as the Brit LIC and nothing was said.
Jerry explains the situation for US visitors very well (above), I've been dealing with something similar this week myself...
It's not so much the drivers license - you are allowed to drive in the UK for up to a year (and who's really counting?) on a foreign license... rather you have to be a RESIDENT in the UK to obtain insurance from a UK provider. It is an anomaly specific to the UK insurance industry - don't ask me why, but that is the way they do it...
Presumably it's because the UK insurers will only insure vehicles that are registered in the UK, and since it has to be the OWNER of the vehicle that has the insurance policy, they presume that if you own a vehicle here, then you are/must be a resident... (and technically the name on the registration document should also be that of a resident).
Unfortunately, there is no allowance for someone from abroad who, lets say buys a UK registered vehicle and keeps it at a friends address in the UK, and wants to use it when they visit (yes, this is a situation very close to home for me x), as the residency issue comes up again. And of course to complicate things further, if the name on the registration document is not that of the person in the UK that is storing the bike, then they cannot insure it either (against theft for example) while the actual owner is not here. Catch 22.
You could of course lie and say you are a resident (as I understand it they currently have no way of checking), and register the bike in your name at a friends UK address, and obtain insurance that way (although they will almost certainly query why you don't have a UK license if you are professing to being a resident? and indeed they won't actually insure you as the primary policy holder if you don't have a full UK license, so you'll have to get one of those as well... Yes you can do that in a week, but then the insurance company will ask how long you've held your UK licence, and either they may refuse to insure you as a 'new rider', or else it will be at odds with you claiming residency... they are not total chumps you know!). However, even if you did mange to convince them, ultimately the problem comes in the event of a claim - They are going to look at any way to avoid paying out (especially if god forbid it is an expensive injury/third party claim), and you really don't want to find yourself in that situation!!!
Therefore the only LEGAL solution is to have a UK friend register and insure the UK vehicle in their name, and have the visitor as a named driver/rider on the insurance policy**.
Regardless of who paid for the bike, in effect they are the owner and insurer, and you find yourself in the same circumstances as a foreign visitor wanting to 'borrow' a vehicle owned by a UK resident. However, you are then back to the same issue of the 2nd/named driver not actually being a resident, and therefore can't be covered... yep, it is tedious.
There IS a way to do it, however, you will need to go to a specialist broker (who actually knows what they are doing, not just punching buttons), and fundamentally, it is not a realistic option unless you are genuinely very good/long term/partnered friends - especially as the primary policy is in the UK residents name, and they take the primary responsibility in the event of any claim.
Any other way and you are opening yourself up to a lot of legal trouble (huge fines, and potential jail time) in the event of claim.
**Unlike in the US where all drivers are automatically covered if there is a valid insurance policy on the vehicle, the UK typically has three levels of cover - 'owner only', 'owner and named driver/s', and 'all drivers' - which is typically very expensive, and also only applicable to cars... I have never found an insurance company that will offer private bike insurance for 'all riders', it doesn't happen - unless it is a commercial rental bike policy (see below).
Rental company vehicle insurance is different because it is a commercial (business) policy, not a private (personal) insurance policy. The rental companies pay a lot more for a policy that allows any named driver to use a particular vehicle, and the risk is assessed differently.
While you cannot buy insurance cover from a UK agent, there are companies based in Europe that sell you '3rd party' cover (that is personal liability - the minimum cover required) that is valid for the whole of Europe, including the UK. Knopf Tours in Germany are someone who can arrange this for anyone traveling into Europe from outside the EU (although it is very expensive - typically €153 Euros a month), and similarly the US shipping agent Motorcycle Express can arrange similar cover. Google their websites, or check out the Horizons Unlimited forum for more info about obtaining cover for your own vehicle in Europe - there is loads of info there).
Yep, the situation in the US is far simpler and clearer - I've used Progressive twice now - once when I bought a bike in the US, and again when I brought my own UK registered bike over... a simple phone call is all it takes and you are covered while you are still in the dealership!
You'd think the UK system would be overhauled to accommodate foreign drivers/riders - after all, the UK is one of the main air and sea transport hubs for Europe, and it seems crazy to have to buy your insurance from a German company (at a very high price) just so you can use your US bike in the UK?!
The UK industry bangs on about wanting to crack down on uninsured drivers - but then they don't have in place the facility for someone who actually WANTS to buy insurance to do so!
That is a fantastic option - well worth considering!
Ireland - Eire (as opposed to Northern Ireland, which is under UK insurance rules) has a far more realistic approach to registering and insuring vehicles... excellent facility Martin!
While you cannot buy insurance cover from a UK agent, there are companies based in Europe that sell you '3rd party' cover (that is personal liability - the minimum cover required) that is valid for the whole of Europe, including the UK. Knopf Tours in Germany are someone who can arrange this for anyone traveling into Europe from outside the EU (although it is very expensive - typically 153 Euros a month), and similarly the US shipping agent Motorcycle Express can arrange similar cover. Google their websites, or check out the Horizons Unlimited forum for more info about obtaining cover for your own vehicle in Europe - there is loads of info there).
So buy a bike in UK and insure it. What's the problem?
If insurance is too expensive then renting IS the answer, what's the difference?
I have lived in California since 1981, before that I was born and raised in the UK and lived there.
I will get to the bottom of this and sort it out.
I'm afraid I just don't understand.
You can't get insurance but you can get insurance.
So will the OP get his insurance from mainland Europe at 135 Euros per month? Add that to his shipping and then does it make more sense to rent?
I'm lost here help me.
Why not leave it alone? He wants his own bike in europe. I've shipped mine over 3 times now and enjoyed having my bike with me. Fully packed when shipped and just serviced. Cost a bit more, big deal. By the way Stephan didn't charge me that much last year for the Green Card/perhaps it's gone up.
If you want to pay less for Green Card ins., PM RTWDoug.
It's a forum for discussion. We are discussing various ways and means.
HE started it He asked many questions to be discussed by the forum. He was unsure of his choice.
We are all just trying to learn something and help others if we can.
Hey Marty....how have you been???
I considered shipping a BMW over to Europe myself, but in the end found that buying a bike over there was easier because I had many friends willing to help me. Not being a resident is truly an issue, but I found a nice bike on the internet using motoscout24.de, I had a friend negotiate the deal and pick up the bike after I paypal'd the money to him, 2200 Euros. My friend registered and insured the bike for me and legally it is his, but I have known him all my adult life and it is not a problem. I found luggage on Ebay and had it delivered to the house where the bike was. Now I have had the bike for a few years and used it many times without issue once or twice a year when I can fly over for a week or two.....or like in a couple of weeks, a month. When I sell it I expect it will sell for about what I paid for it.
Seasonal license plates and liability insurance is about 80 USD a year.
There you go, that's what I'm talking about.
I buy bikes in California for travelers, they send me the money. It works out well.
Hi Tuckers - to clarify, UK insurance companies will only sell insurance for UK registered bikes, to UK residents.
Regarding the 3rd part liability insurance offered by mainland European agents like Knopf Tours - I'm not sure if it is applicable to machines registered in a European country (as they would expect you to have obtained 'regular' insurance in your home country), rather it is specifically designed for people/machines coming from outside the EU - so you'd need to check with Knopf Tours/Motorcycle Express/Motosapiens if their insurance is valid for machines registered inside the EU too.
If it is, then yes, 'technically' you could buy a secondhand bike in the UK - one that already has a current annual tax disc* (see below), and ride it in the UK...
However, you would still need to have your name on the UK V5 registration document, and again the issue of residency comes up - in the UK, you have to be a resident to be named as the owner on the V5 registration document of a UK vehicle (that is to be 100% legal, although as I said in my previous post, I'm not sure if they actually have the facility to check your residency status).
*There is also another problem comes with it being a UK registered bike...
A UK registered bike needs to be taxed each year (the US equivalent is renewing your registration/tags) - in the UK when the bike is registered initially it is issued with a permanent licence plate number, and you then pay an annual fee to continue using the machine on the road which is commonly known as 'road tax' or more accurate 'Road Fund Licence' - despite the money not actually going to fund or maintain the actual roads anymore!
To renew your road tax (or buy an initial tax disc if its a brand new bike), the vehicle has to be insured, and typically show up on the UK insurance database.
The 3rd Party liability insurance issued by Knopf Tours will almost certainly not show up on the UK database, and indeed they may well not even accept it as proof of insurance - as it was issued and underwritten by a foreign agent, and not a UK insurer. NOTE. This does not mean it is not a valid policy in the eyes of the police/the law, only that the UK bureaucratic system will not accept it if you wish to renew your tax - they will want it to be a UK insurer, and on ‘their system’.
Obviously if you buy a secondhand bike, that already has a current tax disc, and sell it before the tax runs out, there is no problem - but should you wish to keep the bike for more than a year, then this is yet another issue to contend with... And of course this being the UK, if you don’t renew your tax within a month of it running out, they will fine you £80 GBP.
There is the facility to avoid this once the tax runs out by declaring the machine as 'off the road' (called SORN), but this would mean you'd genuinely have to keep the bike off the road (with no way of re-taxing it unless you transfer the V5 ownership/registration document to a UK resident, get them to insure and tax it, then transfer the V5 back to you - and each time it will show this change of ownership on the document).
Alternatively you could take it out of the UK and keep it out of the UK indefinitely, and just renew the SORN annually, which is an option (particularly for RTW travelers)... even if it is frowned upon by the UK authorities, they really have no jurisdiction once the vehicle is abroad - although technically they are always at liberty to revoke your UK registration... (but its never happened so far).
Oh, and just to make you love the UK even more, the police/government now have ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras up and down our motorway network, that will digitally photograph your licence plate and instantly check it against the UK database of insured and taxed vehicles - and if they catch you driving/riding without tax or insurance, will fine you (without insurance, they may even jail you!) Gotta love Big Brother!
As I said in the post above, the only realistic (and 100% legal way) to do it that I have found, after extensive research, is to have a UK resident buy/register and insure the bike in their name, and have you as a named rider on their insurance policy - much as JMead11 has done above too...
However, I think Wheat Whackers option of buying a bike in Eire and having him store it and handle the insurance etc for you is an excellent alternative, as it is not bound by the same draconian system that we have in the UK.
ps. As you say, this info is not so much for the OP, as anyone else reading this thread and looking at what options are available...
All good, flying to portland, or. next thursday then riding down the coast for 2 weeks.