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Old 05-10-2013, 02:49 AM   #31
JMo (& piglet)
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Jerry explains the situation for US visitors very well (above), I've been dealing with something similar this week myself...


Quote:
Originally Posted by TUCKERS View Post
They won't sell you insurance with an International license?
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).



Quote:
I wonder what happens with a rental insurance?
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.

Quote:
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.
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).



Quote:
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.
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!

Jx

JMo (& piglet) screwed with this post 05-10-2013 at 02:58 AM
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:20 AM   #32
JMo (& piglet)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
See this, buy a bike in Ireland use it, store it, whatever...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=868979
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!

Jx
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:43 AM   #33
TUCKERS
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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).

THIS.

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.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #34
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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.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #35
TUCKERS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty hill View Post
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.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty hill View Post
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.
Hey Marty....how have you been???
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:09 PM   #37
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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.



http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=federweisser

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=federweisser
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #38
TUCKERS
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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.
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:34 AM   #39
JMo (& piglet)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUCKERS View Post
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).

THIS.

So buy a bike in UK and insure it. What's the problem?
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.

Jx

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...
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:53 AM   #40
marty hill
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Originally Posted by ghostryder View Post
Hey Marty....how have you been???
All good, flying to portland, or. next thursday then riding down the coast for 2 weeks.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:09 AM   #41
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Just noticed a local BMW dealer is offering bike hire rates. Dont know how these compare to others. May always be worth seeing if there is a deal to be had for a long term rental.

http://blog.bahnstormer.co.uk/?page_id=90
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #42
TUCKERS
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I WAS familiar with the UK system as I was car dealer there from 1967-1980. Before cameras and computers you could use a Guinness label for a tax disc! I was an Auto Dealer in California from 1981-2004.

Hence these things interest and often rankle me!

So...OP will have what? Third party insurance on his own shipped bike? At what cost? Can he ride it in UK on the Euro third party? Will he be happy with third party only and no crash coverage?

If he gets in a nastydent of his own doing and wrecks his bike (like I did in Baja,,see 'hit a cow in baja' in faceplant). What then? Mine was a total loss to me.

Just considering the options as I too will visit UK and Euro some time soon I hope. I do have a daughter in UK so that may help with logistics.

If I'm to ship a $10,000 bike for $5000 shipping cost and have a nastydent I'm out $15,000. Not including insurance cost that I paid but cannot take advantage of.

Therefore my Accountant says RENT.

My HEART says take your own bike.

Compromise is buy and sell.

Oh well. Motorcycle travel is not inexpensive like it used to be. When I was in my 20's we used to ride motorcycles around the Greek Islands and considered just one step above a Backpacker! I think Ewan and Charley F'd it all up for us.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #43
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A couple of years ago I tried buying a bike in Ireland and I ran into the same insurance problem that JMo did for the UK. I have a personal friend who owns a BMW dealership and they explained that they could sell me a bike, and I could register it, but that as a non-resident of Ireland I could not get insurance. And having an Irish passport was no help.

I know that Wheatwhacker has registered bikes for other inmates in Ireland, and that he is a reliable and trust worthy fellow. He has shown those that use his services how to get Green Card insurance, but I have my doubts that the insurance is valid in Ireland itself. It may pass muster if you are stopped by the Gardai and show your non Irish driver's license and leave them scratching their heads, but if you have a claim it might be another story. But it may work for claims outside of Ireland, which would reduce the risk considerably if you just drive to the ferry and back.

I may do a ride from Dublin to Morocco next year. If I do I will buy a bike in the US, register it in Cali, then ship it to Ireland. Green card insurance will then be valid in Ireland and Europe. I will store the bike with relatives in Ireland as I visit there once or twice a year. The bike registration can be renewed each year by mail in Cali, as there is no inspection or smog required. The draw back is that to sell the bike in Ireland it would need to be imported, unless I sell it to another Cali resident who wanted it for similar purposes.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #44
TUCKERS
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Dang, I used to have a car and motorcycle license for UK and my daughter and mother still live there. I let my UK passport and DL slide.

I may just put something together if it's possible.

(1) You buy a bike. No problem, you offers your money you get a bike.

(2) You need insurance?

(3) To get insurance you need an address, If I 'live' there I am a resident, I've had people live at my house for two days then change their mind.

(4) Thing is can you get insurance without a UK license? We shall see about that.

If I figure this out you lot will be the first to know.

I offer this service now in California and it's been working well.

How about a 'rent to own' ? That way you may be able to offer insurance.

It's just hard to comprehend that this has not been dealt with and overcome.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:05 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Warrior View Post
...... how to get Green Card insurance, but I have my doubts that the insurance is valid in Ireland itself.......
Why wouldn't Green Card Third party Insurance be valid in Ireland? I buy this type of insurance each year in Germany (through Knopf>ADAC). It is valid all over Europe, the green card form itself lists all the countries it is valid over including Ireland, all of the EU, etc. Excludes some of eastern europe, where you buy bullshit insurance at the border (good luck collecting on that).

Regarding damage to my own bike, I am content to pay for damage to my own machine. Makes me drive safer....usually. I'm not interested in paying a FORTUNE to have an insurance company pay my collision/theft damage in Europe.

My advice:

1. ship your own bike, get green card insurance and put aside a repair fund so you are "self insured". Ride carefully, watch where you park, worry a lot, enjoy the ride a bit.
2. Buy a cheap bike in Ireland using Wheatwacker or the like, green card, ride the piss out of it. Store it for next year. Sell it for most of what you paid. Smile a lot.
3. Rent. Pay a ton. Don't damage the bike or ride it too far. Worry a lot. Pay too much. At least you should rent a bike you always wanted to ride/test.
4. Stay home. Read about other people going to Europe. Be sad.
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