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  #1  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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Bought bike in France - HELP

Hi,

I'm an Australian bike enthusiast who thought it would be good to ride a bike from France to and around UK. After all equiires, it seemed it would be relatively easy - WRONG!! They now tell me they can't insure me because i have no French licence and they can't register in my name because I am not a permenant resident.

I seem to be able to get insurance thru Alessie (has anyone dealt with them, seem a bit dodgey???) but only for EU countries excluding France. I am happy to ride to UK without insurance and get there (i have UK residency) but don't know if i can cross the border without papers or a green card?

I am staying with someone in Paris and have their address details, but will have to see if it works. I have thought about registering/insuring in someone elses name, but seems insurance wouldn't cover me and thought i may have problems crossing borders if its all in someone elses name?

Any body have any experience/ideas? U wouldn't think it needs to be this difficult!!
Jake
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  #2  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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There aren't really any borders between France & the UK or any other part of the EU for that matter - apart from the Channel. I have never been stopped coming or going to mainland Europe apart from passport checks in the UK, and have never been asked for proof of ownership / insurance etc.

Maybe you could prearrange UK insurance before you arrive, although there may be problems if the bike is French registered
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  #3  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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I have crossed over a few times on my bike and have never been asked for paperwork relating to the bike , it has always been a check of the passport and through you go.

I would suggest you have more chance to register here in the UK being you have residency.

It is quite simply to transfer the registration however you will need all the french paperwork in order to do it . Have a look at the DVLA website.


http://www.dvla.gov.uk/vehicles/exptimpt.htm

Cheers

Jim
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Old 14 Aug 2006
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I am a bit confused about this. It is probably another case of someone different interpreting the rules.
I am ex uk now living in France. If I were you I would just go to teh prefecture and register the bike in your name giving your friends address. with the carte gris you can get insurance. I have never been asked for my licence. with french insurance you are covered for all the eec. Also with a french registered bike you wont need any MOT ( roadworthy test). if you want to go further afield you will need extra insurance. butt then you would be in uk driving legally, until you re-registerthe bike there.
they will ask if you have any no claims bonus.. I pay 86 euros a year for my bmw r80rt third party only, plus medical care.
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  #5  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylover
Hi,

I'm an Australian bike enthusiast who thought it would be good to ride a bike from France to and around UK. After all equiires, it seemed it would be relatively easy - WRONG!! They now tell me they can't insure me because i have no French licence and they can't register in my name because I am not a permenant resident.

I seem to be able to get insurance thru Alessie (has anyone dealt with them, seem a bit dodgey???) but only for EU countries excluding France. I am happy to ride to UK without insurance and get there (i have UK residency) but don't know if i can cross the border without papers or a green card?

I am staying with someone in Paris and have their address details, but will have to see if it works. I have thought about registering/insuring in someone elses name, but seems insurance wouldn't cover me and thought i may have problems crossing borders if its all in someone elses name?

Any body have any experience/ideas? U wouldn't think it needs to be this difficult!!
Jake
I don't want to appear like a "fuddy duddy", but I would not recommend riding without insurance to get to the UK.
If anything happens, can you afford to pay for the 3rd parties vehicle ?
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  #6  
Old 14 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw
I am a bit confused about this. It is probably another case of someone different interpreting the rules.
I am ex uk now living in France. If I were you I would just go to teh prefecture and register the bike in your name giving your friends address. with the carte gris you can get insurance. I have never been asked for my licence. with french insurance you are covered for all the eec. Also with a french registered bike you wont need any MOT ( roadworthy test). if you want to go further afield you will need extra insurance. butt then you would be in uk driving legally, until you re-registerthe bike there.
they will ask if you have any no claims bonus.. I pay 86 euros a year for my bmw r80rt third party only, plus medical care.
I have made many crossings, and have been searched three times, but have never been asked for any vehicle documentation.
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Old 14 Aug 2006
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don´t know if it is any help, but I see lots and lots of french registered vehicles with export/tourist number plates, i.e. the ones with a RED background and white or silver letters & numbers.
As a UK resident you´re always entitled to buy a vehicle in France or anywhere in the EU, get french temporary export number plates and insurance, and drive it anywhere, including UK, until the registration expires.
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Old 14 Aug 2006
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Thanks for all the great advice!

Oldbmw, the french insurance companies (about 20 of them) have all informed me they will not insure anyone that doesn't have a french licence. Do u have a french licence, or are u still on the uk one? Who did u get your insurance thru?

Thanks again for the help
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Old 15 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylover
Thanks for all the great advice!

Oldbmw, the french insurance companies (about 20 of them) have all informed me they will not insure anyone that doesn't have a french licence. Do u have a french licence, or are u still on the uk one? Who did u get your insurance thru?

Thanks again for the help
I have a UK paper licence, have never been asked for it by any insurance company. I am currently insured with MAF, I have had to 'import/matriculate' 3 uk cars, the procedure was different every time, it depends who you speak to at the time. Your situation may ( most likely) be a little more dificult because you are not EEC citizen...

My next step is to get a eec plastic licence.

you can swap a uk licence for a french one but do not know if the same is true for oz licence. if so, maybe if you were to 'lose' your oz licence you could get a replacement before swapping it.
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Old 16 Aug 2006
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Arrow

"Oldbmw, the french insurance companies (about 20 of them) have all informed me they will not insure anyone that doesn't have a french licence."

I have had this experience in France too. It is illegal for them to refuse - they are in the wrong. EU rules clearly say that anyone with an EU licence can be insured. But they ignore this rule.

In the end I went to the prefecture and applied for a French licence. This takes months. But meantime, they give you a letter saying that your case is opened (very Kafka).

Combined with evidence of British insurance, this was enough for them to insure me. But they still weren't keen I have to say.

Simon
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  #11  
Old 18 Aug 2006
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Talking WOW, this HUBB thing is great!!!!



Just an FYI, I now have the bike registered in my and my friends name. Wonderful Western bureaucracy meant that after my 3rd trip in person and numerous phone calls over one week, I managed to get it resolved having EXACTLY the same paperwork as the very first time i went It came down to 'As long as a French person (insert friend) signs here, there is no problem.'

Anyway.... on the insurance front, again many frustrating calls and visits; but the answer: ADAC in Germany. So I have been in contact with Knopf tours and am currently arranging.

This whole process has taken longer than I would have hoped, but my best assistance came from the HUBB!! What a fantastic way to access people that actually WANT to find a solution. Thanks again to all. If there is anyone having similar problems, i hope ths info can help

Hope to see ya on the road, soon............
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  #12  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylover
Thanks for all the great advice!

Oldbmw, the french insurance companies (about 20 of them) have all informed me they will not insure anyone that doesn't have a french licence.
I have been here in France for 5 years and still have a UK license - its better for the points -
Try my broker Stephane Jally on 0553 56 41 46. (next week)

John
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  #13  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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It seems you have it sorted now, but a little extra information.
To change your Oz license to a UK is simply a matter of sending it to the DVLA and I think for a minimal fee (£38 according the DVLA website) they re-issue you with a UK license which is rather handy if you plan on being here for a while as they are valid for 10 years rather than the 5 years you get from the QLD or NSW Transport departments (don't know about other states).

Also, if your bike is under 10 years old or built before 1999, I wouldn't import it into the UK. I'd leave it under the French registration. It's just taken me 3 months and a lot of frustration to import a '98 KLR from Germany into the UK.

First step is the insurance and becasue you won't have a UK registration number there are limited companies that will insure you, so they have you over a barrel. I ended up paying over a 1/4 of the cost of the bike for TPFT.
Secondly you need an MOT. Easy enough.
Next is a dating letter from the UK Dealership. I initially rang Kawasaki Europe Germany (where the bike was originally sold) who, for no charge, wrote me and posted to me, the dating letter. The DVLA wouldn't accept this as it wasn't from a UK Dealer, so Kawasaki Europe UK then charged £47.50 to post to me the exact same letter - but with their own branch address on the letterhead.
Then you have to have either a MSVA or if its manufacuted after 1999, EU Manufacture Type Approval (Not sure how easy this is to get a hold of as my bike is a '98). The MSVA costs £70 and there was a 4 week wait to get a test appointment.
£38 fee for registration.
Then the licence fee.
It would have been a lot easier to keep it on German plates and use a German friend's address.

Anyway, have fun on your travels through France and the UK.
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  #14  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleS
... It's just taken me 3 months and a lot of frustration to import a '98 KLR from Germany into the UK.
It would seem you have been given the run-around! the process is simple - just done it.

Insure your bike on the VIN - most companys will do that.
Get a Certificate of Conformity from the importer in the UK - they must have imported this model into the UK. If not then you have to go down the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) route which can be a pain.
MOT you will need if more than 3 years old - you may, or may not get away without changing the headlamp and speedo (kph?). The MOT can be done by your local (friendly) bike MOT station.

Piece of piss on a 1995 R100GS PD Classic.

John
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  #15  
Old 19 Aug 2006
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I imported a 1990 R100GS from Germany last September. No worries there, either. You can get the insurance and the MOT on the VIN number. Go to your local DVLA office and you don't need to bother with any extra paperwork (obviously you need the old European registration papers and proof of ownership, in my case a copy of the sales contract).

European law prescribes that if a vehicle was registered or had type approval anywhere in the EU it is valid in Britain. So, type approval is only necessary if the bike originates outside the EU or has been 'substantially' modified.

My recommendation would be to ask your local DVLA office what they want. It seems to differ from what Swansea wnats...

Jens
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