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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 11 Nov 2003
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Selling my bike in uk

Hi guys,
Am in England now, and wanted to know whats the best way of advertising my bike for sale. I posted it on the correct forum, but no reply, so i thought maybe on some other website or something. Still looking for causal work, and now seriously considering selling my dommie for the right price. Its got more than 70k km, just done about 24k on this ride from singapore. Any ideas?
Cheers
Dalbir
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2003
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As it's not an EU bike & therefore not so easy to register it in the UK, you may not get what it's really worth. The paperwork involved may put some people off. I'm not sure of the tax situation that may need to be paid on such a bike either? Perhaps someone else can answer this?

This is not to say you won't sell it but it's a lot easier to register an EU bike in the UK. It may be worth your while trying to sell it to one of the specialised grey importers who deal mainly in bikes from the States & Japan, they will at least be familiar with the paperwork issues.

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  #3  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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One way to solve the paperwork problem - sort of - is to register it yourself in the UK - then it's easy to sell on to someone in the UK at the best possible price. Of course it's also winter, so not the best time to sell a bike anyway.



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  #4  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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You might try talking to your local VRO (Vehicle Registry Office) - all addresses in Yellow pages, they will tell you exactly what you must do register the bike yourself. You might find that it will carry a 'Q' prefix on your number plate (a lot of insurance companies will only offer 3rd Party Insurance for Q plated vehicles) but at least you wont be losing as much on the value as if you'd gone to some 'grey importers' - who consider their services to be similar to a lawyers, cost wise. Hope this helps. You might also have a chat with the AA or RAC, they are good source of up to date information.
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  #5  
Old 12 Nov 2003
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The bike has to registered in the UK before it's sold. I think you still have to contact Customs and Excise who will charge you the V.A.T (tax, charged at 17.5%) on the current value of the bike.

Once thats been done you will need to contact the local D.V.L.A. office who will give the bike a UK registration number. Presumably you have ducumentation to prove when the bike was manufactered. If you do they will give the bike a registration number that would have been issued to the bike had it been registered in the UK during that year.

Apparently, according to a friend that done it, it's not difficult to do.

I agree with 'Oltimer' that the best course of ation would be to contact the AA or RAC first.

[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 12 November 2003).]
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  #6  
Old 1 Dec 2003
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Along those same lines, I have a somewhat similar question.

I'm planning to go from the US to Europe in a few years, hopefully stay at least 2 months. I have some idea of what shipping wil cost, I wonder if it would be better to just buy a motorcycle in London, or whereever, ride it however many miles and then sell it back to the dealer.

I'm also interested in hearing about other folks experience in touring Europe, especially the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic - where to stay, etc.

Would much appreciate any info!

Thanks, and adios,
Chris
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  #7  
Old 1 Dec 2003
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I'd go for buying a bike in Europe, UK would be the best bet if English is also your only language.

Another benefit of buying in the UK has slightly less red tape i.e not restricted to certain tyres as in Germany.

If you buy wisely & at the right time of year i.e. late autumn or Winter, you'll stand a good chance of paying less for the bike.

You'll have a good time anywhere in Europe, it can be crowded but Spain, Portugal & many parts of France are easy to access & not crowded. I believe that Italy (& possibly France?) close down in August & everyone goes on holiday, can be very crowded at this time.

It would be worthwhile checking out insurance as part of your planning. If buying in the UK, then check out the following:

www.bennetts.co.uk
www.mitch.co.uk
www.carolenash.com
www.insuremce.com

or www.motorcyclenews.com for a greater listing.

Good luck

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  #8  
Old 2 Dec 2003
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Steve,
Thanks for your response. I was also wondering, if you buy a bike in, say, the UK, what kind of problem that would present as far as titles, licenses and the like. Also, how would that be looked upon in other European countries (that is, a US citizen riding an English titled motorcycle.)

If I were to do that I'd likely want to sell it at the end of the trip. How much hassle would that be?

And as far as the insurance, I know I'll need it anyway, wouldn't it be about the same for insurance for an imported (from the US) motorcycle?

Thanks again,

CHris
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  #9  
Old 2 Dec 2003
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I don't think there will be much of a problem registering a UK bike in a US citizens name. As I mentioned in the previous posting, red tape is not too much of a problem here.

The reason I mentioned Insurance was that an Australian friend had a problem a couple of years ago getting insurance for an Australian registered bike - I imagine you would be confronted with the same problem.

Re: buying the bike in the UK. Once your journey is over & you decide to sell the bike, you may get offered less for a US registered bike than for a similar UK or european machine, as someone will then have to re-register it in the UK. This is not that difficult if you have the original paperwork but is still off putting to some.
It's probably easier to re-register an EU registered bike in the UK than a US machine. Once an EU bike is over 6 months & has covered over 6,000km, therec are no taxes to pay when re-registering in another EU country. Please bear in mind the expansion of the EU early next year.

I will try to find out more on your behalf re: insurance for US bikes & citizens.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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Quote:
Also, how would that be looked upon in other European countries (that is, a US citizen riding an English titled motorcycle.)
I can put your mind to rest on that one: we Europeans are a mobile lot. It's quite normal for somebody to live in a country of which s/he is not a citizen and therefor to have a vehicle registered there.

Little anecdote: I got pulled over in Spain for crossing the double line. I was on a battered CX500 with a home-built one-wheel trailer. I handed over a German drivers licence, NZ rego papers and a Turkish green card. The cop couldn't read any of it and sent us on our way.



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  #11  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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Hey Peter that's a great story! Actually that tells me quite a bit. Can I assume that vehicle licences and the like are that easy everywhere, or just certain countries, or do they have to be in the EU? I've read where you have to have an international license (which I don't currently hold) any truth to that?

Steve, thanks again for the info, let me know if you find out anything on insurance.
Any idea how much taxes would be on such a purchase?

I just got back a couple of weeks ago from a ride down Rte 7 in Arkansas. Great ride, nice scenery, roads were in great shape and had more twists than a bucketfull of snakes.

-Chris
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  #12  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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Chris, an international drivers licence isn't worth much, but it doesn't hurt - the more offical looking documents you have always the better. And they're no big deal to get - your local DMV or MVB or whatever you have that hands out licences can usually do them, or the autombile association, usually in the neighbourhood of $25, and sign here and that's it. Dead easy, so get it.

All countries I've ever been in have been happy with my national drivers licence - and I use a colour photocopy of mine, and they're happy with THAT, so don't worry.

Getting insurance is usually no big deal - but you do need an address. The dealer will usually do...

I rode in the UK on my Canadian licence for two years, no problem. Technically illegal if you're resident though, you have to get a local licence within 6 months.

Taxes - they are what they are, no choice, so don't sweat it! Part of the price of the bike.

The EU is generally pretty good to get things done, (so long as you comply with the regs - e.g. Germany's TUV is pretty sticky on what mods you can do to the bike - I wouldn't try to sell one there,) the UK is easy to buy and sell a bike in.

In essence, just go, find a bike at a helpful dealer, and deal with the paperwork. It's not all that hard, it's all doable, and it's part of the adventure!



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  #13  
Old 3 Dec 2003
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TexRider

For more info on buying a bike in the UK & riding it on either a US or Int'l Driving Licence, go to www.dvla.gov.uk

I tried phoning on your behalf but encountered a hateful automated answering & options service that left me back where I started...

If you buy privately or from a Dealer in the UK, I don't think you'll be paying taxes but DVLA should be able to clarify this? Check out www.motorcyclenews.com for a huge selection of bikes for sale (weekly).

Re: Insurance. If you buy a bike from a Dealer & he allows you to use his address for insurance purposes, please note that in the UK, the postcode for that address can have a huge bearing on the cost of your insurance. You'll pay significantly more for an inner city address i.e London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds etc than you will for a rural one. To help overcome this, you can use my address in Oxford. The postcode is OX3 8HF, just quote it if obtaining quotes for UK Insurance.

As Peter mentioned, we Europeans are mobile. In the last two years, I've moved a friend from the UK to Italy, then drove to Hamburg to move my (German) girlfriend to Oxford and also moved Swiss friends back to Geneva. All without any grief, including re-registering & insuring a German GS in the UK.

Steve
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  #14  
Old 4 Dec 2003
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Grant,
Thanks for the info. I know that at some point there will be some tax liability.

Here in beautiful SE Texas, our sales tax (depending upon which county) runs something along the order of around 7%. I've heard that the minimum VAT in the EU is 15%, and also heard that somewhere in Scandanavia there is a vehicle tax, like 140% or so.
Sounds outlandish, maybe, but since I don't really know I thought I'd ask.

Thanks again,
Chris
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  #15  
Old 4 Dec 2003
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Chris,

Combining what Grant and others have said with my own limited experience (Germany & France) and assuming you don't speak any other European languages fluently, I suggest you do it in Britain. In the 2 above countries it's either impossible or very expensive to register & insure a vehicle as a non-resident. As a non-EU citizen you don't normally have the right of residence.

The international driver's licence is merely a translation of your national one. I don't think you'll need it anywhere in Western Europe.

One thing to bear in mind: biking in Northern Europe is a seasonal thing. If you go with the flow you'll be looking for a bike when everybody else is (spring) and trying to sell it when nobody wants it (fall). Try to get a guranteed buy-back deal if you can. That way you don't risk the situation where your plane leaves tomorrow and you still have a bike.

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Peter.
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