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  #1  
Old 6 May 2009
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Exclamation HELP PLEASE! License obstacles with Euro motorcycle travel

Hi

Guys, BADLY need some advice. Anyone who helps me has a place to crash and a bike to ride at Bondi Beach, Sydney forever!! I plan to arrive in London in July09 to buy a bike and ride across continental Europe with a mate. Everything is good to go....but...

FACTS: I am an Australian aged 27 with a provisional motorcycle license and full motorcar license. I also have an international driving permit (IDP). I have friends in London whose address I can use to register and insure the bike.

PROBLEM: My mate and I only have a provisional motorcycle license!!! I have spoken with DVLA in England tonight. They state that I can only ride upto 50cc without doing the UK test and upto 125cc for 2 years as a provisional Australian rider under the UK provisional rider laws. THis will not do, I obviously need a bigger bike to do the job.

SOLUTION???: How can I get around this? Is the DVLA correct? I have always hired and ridden bikes (Italy, Asia, Africa) which are bigger than provisional with just an IDP/Australian motorcar license. I wasnt aware you had to have a full motorcycle license to buy/register/insure/tour on a bike in Europe originating from the UK???
-As a last resort, could fake documents work?
-Any other regions of the world where we can get away with provisional motorbike license & still buy/register/insure a bike locally and legally?

Anyone reading this understands the passion - the moto adventure dream. If anyone can help you will have a friend for life!!

Best regards

Chris

Last edited by Chris Ball; 6 May 2009 at 13:40.
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  #2  
Old 6 May 2009
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change in the rules

This is topical and comes at a time when they've just changed the rules for getting a motorcycle license in the UK.

I don't really know what a provisional australian entitlement is equivalent to anyway but it's unlikely to be equivalent to the strict rules we have in the UK for riding motorbikes. Insurance companies will only let you insure a bike if you have a recognised, equivalent license from your home country. Even being put on there as a named driver will be difficult if you don't have the right license.
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  #3  
Old 6 May 2009
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You don't need a licence to buy and register a bike in the UK (or you didn't in 2002 when I bought my bike). You will to insure it and therefore tax it. I reckon, unless you want to ride uninsured, you'll need to do a test. You can do a 'Direct Access' test in the UK that takes about a week and allows you to go straight to riding big bikes.* It is expensive though. In 2002 it was circa £500 including hire of bike for the week. Probably more expensive now, what with the test changing.

The alternative that UK riders do is sit their CBT or learner test, which allows you to ride up to a 125 for up to two years. At the end of that two years you have to do your full test. This is no good to you though.

I believe you need a CBT even to ride a 50cc in the UK now.

No chance of doing the test before you leave Oz?

Matt

* This should be easy enough if ride bikes already though.
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Old 6 May 2009
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Uk license test

Thanks for your quick responses guys. Matt, Do you know who I need to contact to do this test? I will pay for it and could definately do from oz if they let me. Any leads on who I need to contact would be great. Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 6 May 2009
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Matt said - "No chance of doing the test before you leave Oz?"
You said - " I will pay for it and could definately do from oz if they let me."

I think what Matt means is for you to do your normal test for motorcycles in Australia, not do the British one in Aus.
Or have I interpreted that wrong?

The question is though, if you fake something to be able to get a bike in the UK, and insure it, in effect you wont be insured. So heaven help you if you do have an accident, and whoever else is involved.
The bike test in the UK wont be any easier than at home, so you are best taking it at home before you go.

Or - get a 125.
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  #6  
Old 6 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ball View Post
Thanks for your quick responses guys. Matt, Do you know who I need to contact to do this test? I will pay for it and could definately do from oz if they let me. Any leads on who I need to contact would be great. Thanks again
Hi Chris,

Yes, sorry, I meant that you could either do the Aussie test before coming out or book into doing a direct access course in the UK when you arrive. All motorcycle schools will have a direct access option. Just google ' UK Motorcycle test direct access london' or something and there will be no shortage of options. Not sure what documentation you'd need, you'll have to check with the DVLA, but it will probably just be photo ID.

Matt
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Old 6 May 2009
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Hello Chris,

I'd suggest doing the test in Australia for the following reasons:

1. They'll find it harder to cock up the paperwork. DVLA are having a drive against visitors and new citizens who get someone else to sit their test. Any ID issues and they cancel your test (and keep your money).

2. We have a multi part test which goes written test-CBT-full test. DVLA are garbage at getting their appointments to line up, you can wait weeks for a series that falls in the right order. A company selling you a course have slots booked but it only takes a DVLA guy to go sick and the whole thing fails try as the company might to sort them out.

3. There are elements of the test that are pot luck. Any driver can fail on out of date procedures that are still in the highway code but simply don't function anymore. Get a 9.00 test in London on a Friday and you are quite likely to meet these circumstances, at which point passing depends on if the DVLA bloke got his leg over the night before. For example I failed my HGV class 2 the first time for failing to make progress. I needed the full space in a box junction to get round a corner but the traffic was queueing across the keep clear box. They were in the wrong, but any gaps are filled by traffic entering the queue, so you can see why they do it. The DVLA guy said the only choices were fail for that or fail for being agressive and forcing the cars out of the box or fail for stopping in the box or to get out ask the cars to leave a gap and fail for stopping on a junction!

IMHO take your test in Australia and keep the DVLA option as a back up.

Andy
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  #8  
Old 6 May 2009
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Hi, passing your test here in the UK may be harder than you think, they are very strict and small mistake may cause you to fail. The DVLA site gives the pass rate for each test centre and these can vary dramatically, so pick your training / test area with care. Test dates can be booked quite quickly normally. I have just been through all this with my son and it took him 3 attempts, good luck. Andy B
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Old 7 May 2009
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Hi Chris,

I'm from the UK but living in Oz, don't have a bike licence just car, but I think the term 'provisional' has a different meaning when talking about licences in UK and Oz.

When I was learning in the UK a provisional licence was what you had before you pass the test. After you pass the test you get a full licence.

My understaning of things here in Oz is that after you pass the test the licence you get is called provisional, you have that for 3(?) years then if you behave yourself get the full licence.

I've not been in the UK for a few years, so things may have changed, but I'm pretty sure if you tell anyone in the UK you've got a provisional licence they'll think you've not passed a test yet.

Hope this helps,

P
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Old 7 May 2009
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It is very unlikely you will be able to get a test date with only a couple of days notice. Unless you get a cancellation, you can wait 6-10 weeks for a practical test, especially in cities. Unless you want to hang around in the Uk for 6-8 weeks to get your test ??

The Motorcycle practical test situation in the UK has been F**KED up by the EU. Now there are only a few MC test centres and the waiting list is long.

Plus, without some serious swotting up, you are unlikely to pass a UK theory test and going into a practical test without knowing our road signs, laws and road system will be more difficult.

I think the best thing to do is to get your full license in Australia ASAP !!

Either that or you buy a bike here and "risk it" until you get to France. A huge amount of UK drivers are uninsured and unlicensed anyway with all the immigration.

When you buy a bike in a dealer, the dealer "should" ask to see you license. I had to when I was selling bikes. Privately it doesn't matter though.
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  #11  
Old 7 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterpaul View Post
Hi Chris,

I'm from the UK but living in Oz, don't have a bike licence just car, but I think the term 'provisional' has a different meaning when talking about licences in UK and Oz.

When I was learning in the UK a provisional licence was what you had before you pass the test. After you pass the test you get a full licence.

My understaning of things here in Oz is that after you pass the test the licence you get is called provisional, you have that for 3(?) years then if you behave yourself get the full licence.

I've not been in the UK for a few years, so things may have changed, but I'm pretty sure if you tell anyone in the UK you've got a provisional licence they'll think you've not passed a test yet.

Hope this helps,

P
Intertesting, hadn't thought there could be any difference in terminology. UK versions are:

Provisional license: allows you to start learning to ride a 125 under instruction.
CBT Compulsory Basic Training: allows you to ride a 125 alone with Learner markings (L plates), or a bigger bike if an instructor is with you.
Restricted license: Two years with a power to weight restriction if your age or training doesn't let you do direct access to the full license. No L-plates.
Full license: Ride anything.

If you are required to show L-plates you can't carry a passenger or go on a motorway.

If the Australian provisional is like a UK restricted you are sorted. No one worldwide recognises these minor points, so just show your International license and you are away. Any complaints and you have the Australian ticket that says you've passed the test. DVLA won't tell you this, they want your money and no comeback. You Australian/IDP is only good in the UK for 2 years and the police know this, so plan accordingly.

Andy
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Old 7 May 2009
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provisional/restricted license and insurance

Yeah, Andy/Paul you're spot on. THis may be a bit of miscommunication in terms. A provisional license in oz is equivalent to a restricted license in UK - by your defination. (in Oz I can ride with a P plate, some bikes up to 650cc depending on power to weight ratio). This journey may still have a pulse!! I have an IDP and the oz equivalent of a UK restricted license so the key here really is: am I insurable for basic third party coverage (minimum) in the UK on a bike that is within the Australian/UK power to weight ratio limitations for my australian provisional (uk equivalnt to restricted) licence. If I satisfy both these restrictions why would they not insure me??? Is there anything Im missing?

Tomorrow I will call my local oz based inurer, my provider of IDP and some UK insurers. ANy other ideas on who I might be able to call/email to help uncover what bikes I could legaly register/insure out of London and travel across Euro on?

Thanks so much guys. If any of you are in London or along the way in Europe I'd love to buy you a and swap war stories.

Chris
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  #13  
Old 7 May 2009
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Chris, just show them your IDP in the UK. The IDP doesn't identify that your a P plater. The locals in the UK will figure you must have a full licence and Bob's yer uncle.

It worked for me, albeit a few years ago, and I can't see why it won't work for you.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 7 May 2009
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
Chris, just show them your IDP in the UK. The IDP doesn't identify that your a P plater. The locals in the UK will figure you must have a full licence and Bob's yer uncle.

It worked for me, albeit a few years ago, and I can't see why it won't work for you.

Garry from Oz.
That's what I'd do.

Get your insurance online or via a call centre (Carole Nash, Bennetts, Hastings direct they are all just as useless). Answer the questions that are asked, don't confuse them with additional info. If you have a UK address and are looking at TPO all they'll be interested in is your credit card details.

Answer truthfully and stick to what your Australian license says and no one can argue.

Andy
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Old 8 May 2009
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Hi Chris, just had a quick look at the RTA web site, there may be a way around your problem. If you have held a provisional motorcycle license for more than 12 months and have an unrestricted car license and you are over 25 you can apply for an open bike licence and not have to wait the full 2 years. You will have to be quick though they are changing the rules yet again on the first of June of July not sure which.
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