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Old 17 Dec 2007
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Buying in London and driving to Itay, Spain ad Denmark

Hi all,

I am going to London in early March 2008 to meet my girlfriend who is working there.

I plan to get a bike and drive around Europe for a few weeks or months depending on how long my money lasts.

I am an Australian citizen and have and Australian motorcycle licence. I want to buy a bike in London, what do I require to ride it around legally and what are the costs involved for a 23 y.o. to do this. How much will insurance cost and putting the bike in my name cost once i buy a bike, What does MOT mean?

I am looking at buying a 10-15 y.o. bike with hard luggage in good mechanical condition but fair cosmetic condition. How much can I expect to pay? I have been looking at older bmw fg650s they seem to be between 1000-2000 pounds depending on condition and accessories, does this sound about right?
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Old 18 Dec 2007
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Hey there,

Sounds like you have a great trip planned and hope it all works out for you.

To ride a bike in the UK you need insurance, tax and MOT. For insurance try eBike Insurance - Bike and Classic Bike Insurance from eBike Insurance , they do monthly policies which should be good for a short trip like yours, and are valid throughout the EU. I paid 30gbp per month on my XR400, i'm 25. I guess you have to phone them and check if they'd cover you with an Aussie licence. Insuring a bike in London tends to cost 2-3 times as much as an rural England, so if you have any friends out in the sticks it would be a good idea to register and insure the bike there.

The MOT is the annual roadworthiness test for the bike, buy one with at least a few months left on the certificate and you won't have to worry about it. Tax also has to be paid each year, i think it's 30gbp/year for my 400. you need to have insurance and MOT to be able to buy the tax, and if you don't have tax you get in trouble. make sense?

when you buy a bike there's no charge to put it in your name. Send off a form and you get the certificate back in 3 weeks. If you don't have 3 weeks between buying the bike and leaving the country (you need to carry the registration certificate if travelling in Europe), you can get a temporary certificate in a couple of hours by going to a DVLA office - see dvla.gov.uk

i'm not sure how much an old BMW should cost, but looking at biketrader.co.uk and ebay should give you a good idea. March is around peak buying time as people get new bikes for the summer, so prices may be a bit higher and bikes sell quickly. Also prices tend to be a little higher in London than the rest of the UK, and/or the bikes tend to be in worse cosmetic condition - it's a hard life for them commuting through london traffic everyday!

HTH,
Nick
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Old 19 Dec 2007
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Location: Nantes, France
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Arrow

That's good information above.

Just to make clear; the way it is done in UK is different to Australia. The bike insurance is NOT included with the plate in the UK. You have to go to a private company, not the state. The state does however, ask for a road tax - you can get this at a post office. Different also is the system of roadworthyness testing - here again, it is not done by the state but by private authorised garages.

This system is much more expensive and inefficient than yours. But it makes lots of money for finance capital!

Simon
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Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
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