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  #1  
Old 26 May 2006
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Question Buying bikes in Europe

We are traveling to Europe this summer and want to buy used bikes when we get there. We will probably purchase the bikes in Germany tour down through Eastern Europe and end up in Italy where we will sell the bikes or maybe just give them away depending on how much they cost and how complicated it is. Can anyone help us out with how to register and insure them? We are thinking we may buy them on line before we get there and register them here. Anyone been there done that? Thanks, Lisa
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Old 26 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsobieniak
...We will probably purchase the bikes in Germany tour down through Eastern Europe ....We are thinking we may buy them on line before we get there and register them here.
Its not as simple as you might expect.
If you have no fixed address in Germany (and elsewhere), you can only register them on export plates (Zoll plates). These have a limited life and are marked with the date. (the vehicle must leave the country by this date).
Insurance can be bought from the ADAC but last time I got it, you could only get it 24hrs before you need it. Passport is required for registration and insurance.

Buying online and taking plates with you from your country - where is that?
Would you really do that?!
Also, if the plates were not of EU origin I think you will have big problems selling the bike. It would need to be re-imported to whichever country and could be liable to import taxes plus vat.

Look at this site for used bikes in Germany... theres loads to choose from:
http://www.mobile.de/cgi-bin/searchP...l=GN&sprache=1

Best O' luck
John
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Old 27 May 2006
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Buying online and taking plates with you from your country - where is that?
Would you really do that?!

Sorry we are from Colorado in the US. We won't be taking the bikes back with us. The plan was to sell them or leave them with someone in Italy before we leave Europe. BUying on line takes a lot of trust and luck but we are really thinking of doing that so we can register the bikes here before we leave. What is the ADAC?
Lisa
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Old 27 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsobieniak
....but we are really thinking of doing that so we can register the bikes here before we leave. What is the ADAC?
Lisa
So the bikes would be registered in Colorado, yes?
Then I think you will have to source insurance in the US.

The ADAC is the german national car breakdown club/automobile agency, like the UK's AA or RAC.

I dont think the ADAC will insure a vehicle on foreign number plates.
A company called Helvetia (Swiss), used to do it but dont know if they still do.

What about trying some of the companys that the US Military personell use in Germany.
I could get you the name of one or two if you need.

Cheers,
John
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Old 27 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsobieniak
We are traveling to Europe this summer and want to buy used bikes when we get there. We will probably purchase the bikes in Germany tour down through Eastern Europe and end up in Italy where we will sell the bikes or maybe just give them away depending on how much they cost and how complicated it is. Can anyone help us out with how to register and insure them? We are thinking we may buy them on line before we get there and register them here. Anyone been there done that? Thanks, Lisa
Hi Lisa,

How long are you gonna use the bikes for?

I definitely wouldn't buy a bike online and jump onto it straight away touring around Europe, there are so MANY things that you have to do before start a trip (I'm going through that very experience right now)...

Why not hire the bikes? Ok, it might sound waste of money but at least you know the bike has been serviced (if you get a good company, and there're many around here), they probably will sort you out on the insurance (Believe me, it's NOT as easy as you're thinking), they probably will have a breakdown insurance for the bike, which helps a lot. And the best bit, when you finish your trip you just bring the bikes back and fly home.

Buying a bike online can be ok if you have time to find the teething problems, install the bits needed for the trip (panniers, comms etc...), but not otherwise.

That's just my 2p, I'm not trying to put you off on the original idea but just adding a few things that you probably haven't thought about yet.

Fernando
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Old 27 May 2006
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The ADAC will insure a bike with USA plates, ours is.

We landed in Frankfurt in early March and took the S-bahn (or U-bahn, I forget which) to the ADAC office downtown and got their insurance for 22 Euros per month. We had to show the original registration paper (which showed the plate number) from our home state of Washington in the USA and paid by credit card. We also had the title (ownership paper) and showed it, but I don't think they cared about the title, only the registration. Very simple and cheap.

Knopff Tours (advertises on this site) will do it for you in advance and send you the papers for an additional fee if you wish.

When we had the insurance papers we returned to the airport and went to the shipping company office, got more paperwork and went to customs where we paid a fee, got more papers and returned to the shipping office for our bike. Rode it away about 6 hours after landing. Most of that time was spent going from office to office. Very easy, most everyone we dealt with spoke some English and all were patient and helpful.

For insurance this is the way we would recommend to do it for a bike with US plates.
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Old 27 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkat
The ADAC will insure a bike with USA plates, ours is.

the ADAC office downtown and got their insurance for 22 Euros per month.
Is that just the 3rd party liability?

John
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Old 27 May 2006
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Yes, only third party, others are covered from your actions but you are not. If you wreck your own bike, you repair it yourself.
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Old 28 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots
If you have no fixed address in Germany (and elsewhere), you can only register them on export plates (Zoll plates). These have a limited life and are marked with the date. (the vehicle must leave the country by this date).
Almost: the bike has to leave Germany within a week or two, if I'm not wrong, but you can buy the plates for a period of up to one year. However, do a search on export plates here on HUBB, the subject has been discussed extensively. The ADAC advises that these plates are not valid in all countries. Italy, for one, doesn't recognise them. They are easy to obtain, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redboots
Insurance can be bought from the ADAC but last time I got it, you could only get it 24hrs before you need it.
I can put your mind to rest there: I just bought it for the second time almost a week in advance. It is a mere formality (for once...)

I've never been to the US, but I would imagine trying to register a foreign bike that isn't in the country could prove difficult. And then you would have to "re-export" it if you want to sell it.

How long do you want to travel for?

I don't believe selling a foreign bike in Italy is a viable option. I hear that their bureaucracy is a nightmare. Dumping it is OK, of course.

Cheaper bikes sold privately can be found on motoscout24.de and on Ebay.
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Old 28 May 2006
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by beddhist
... The ADAC advises that these plates are not valid in all countries. Italy, for one, doesn't recognise them.
So much for the EU and all that "everythings the same" crap.

The French make the rules up as they go along I think!

John
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  #11  
Old 31 May 2006
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Eastern Europe

We have looked into renting bikes but they are not covered for theft in Eastern Europe which is where we want to go. I hear theft is a real problem there. You can register a bike bought in Europe easily in the USA. You only need to get the paperwork translated and notorized. I wonder if the ADAC covers Eastern Europe? We will probably have to dump the bikes in Italy or find someone who wants to keep them for us until next summer.
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