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Old 30 Apr 2008
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Question Register bike in Belgium?

I have been offered an XT600 by a nice guy from Belgium. I am a Kiwi/Pome starting the trip from UK, how easy will it be for me to buy and register a bike in Belgium? And do they have any WOF/MOT tests that I'll need to put the bike through? What about UK green card insurance for an overseas registered bike?

Sorry so many questions, the bike looks ideal for me, but the paperwork involved may be too much for a bear of little brain like me!

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Old 1 May 2008
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No MOT for bikes in Belgium

There's no MOT for Bikes in Belgium. Not sure whether you can register and insure without a residence in Belgium (or maybe the EC?).

Buying a bike privatly is just a matter of agreeing on a price and handing over the money.

If you can get insureance, it will be valid in most european countries (not Russia, Bellarus, Ukraine, Albania, Moldavia) and Morocco.
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Old 1 May 2008
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Every country in the EU will have its' own rules

You need to tread carefully IMO.

I don't know of any country that lets you register a vehicle there without having an address for that country; get the guy who is selling the bike to let you use his address as part of the deal. So far as the UK is concerned, this has the effect that official mail of any type, including any fines, traffic infringement notices etc that you might incur, would go to that address in your name.
I don't know how it would work out in Belgium, but it is probably similar.

After that, the bike would be registered in BE of course, and you could look for insurance for it via BE or other EU based insurance brokers.

To transfer that registration to the UK, you would need to bring the bike into this country, get it MOTed and checked that it meets the UK regulations for construction of bikes (Single vehicle approval - SVA regs - I think it is called) and pay fees, including for a tax disc (road fund licence - RFL).
To meet the construction rules the bike would need a headlight that dips to the left OR you might get away with a cover strip over part of the headlight.

All of this will be somewhere online (try DVLA), as is the way in the UK nowadays!

The analogy is with the USA, where every State has its' own rules about vehicles.
For instance, BE used to have a tax disc for pedal cycles that was supposed to be renewed annually and displayed on the bike, and you were supposed to pay an extra tax if there was a radio fitted in your car.
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Old 2 May 2008
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You can obtain temporary number plates as a non resident in Belgium. These are normally valid for 30 days and will cost you about Euro 250 which includes one month 3rd party insurance.
You will need to take the registration papers from the previous owner, certificate of conformity and an invoice (bill of sale) along with your passport.

There's lots of companies that offer this service and will take you through the process. It takes about half a day to sort out.

Contact : Top Communications sprl/bvba
Customs Agency - Insurance - Transit Plates.
Rue Picardstraat 38-40
B-1080 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 420.66.77

In the same street there are several other companies offering this service so don't feel obliged to use these guys . I know someone who did use them recently for a 4x4 he was buying and it worked OK.

If you Google transit plates Belgium you'll find a load of info explaining how the system works.
Let me know if you need any help.
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Old 2 May 2008
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Thanks folks, once I've got Belgian transit plates do I then need to do to get normal plates so I can ride around for a year and then re-sell the bike? Although I'm not used to the systems in UK or Europe I do have connections in UK so would it be easier to take the bike there and register/insure it with a UK company? Also is insurance cheaper on the continent than in UK (I've heard it can be very expensive!)?

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Old 3 May 2008
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See post number 12 here:-

It might work for you.
I've no idea what insurance costs on the continent, but ebike were the cheapest of 3 quotes for me!

Yes, you will need a permanent registration to ride about for longer than the 30 days: in my last post about registering, I had sort of forgotten about temporary export plates - they are not too common in the UK, being an island!
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Old 3 May 2008
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Belgian registration

My experience is with the Netherlands ' setup only but I imagine the Belgian rules will be fairly close as they are signatory to the Schengen convention etc.etc.
In NL it is impossible for a foreigner to get a bike registered in his name ( source :RDW) unless he has a t least six months of established residency in NL.
For a tourist to get a temporary registration in his name it would require him to get the temporary EXPORT plates and regs. and he would have to take the bike out of the country .
The only way around this, and I have an e-mail from the RDW the Dutch organ in charge of licensing suggesting this , is the practice I have used with success on a number of trips to Europe.
Namely you need a contact person who lives in the country you want to buy the bike (Belgium) either the seller, a friend or a relative who already owns and insures a bike. You simply buy the bike and leave /change the ownership of the bike to the name of the friend/relative.This may entail a small fee for a compulsory inspection. Then for insurance you may be able to have yourself written into the friend/relative's policy as a second rider or you can buy a separate policy under your own name. You can in the former case work out the pro-rated monthly cost of your bike insurance with your friend/relative who then terminates the double rider cover when you are done with the bike.. This gets you a green card that will cover all of Europe and north Africa and more.Either way it will be less trouble and cheaper than going the route of export plate rego and its fees.
Do take photocopies of the friend/relative's driver license and your own and the insurance document and both of you sign each as proof that you are using the bike with permission.I do but have never run into any problems with police asking for such-simply by avoiding getting stopped by them.
Any infractions such as photoradar fines will be sent to the address of the legal owner i.e. your friend/ relative and they may bring him unwanted demerit points against his license, so do be extra cautious (good) and do repay all the fines.Try as you will there will probably be one or two such fines,just keep the sped down $$$$$ in cities and watch the limit signs.
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