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Old 1 Nov 2009
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Location: NSW
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UK registration and insurance being a foreigner


I was hoping someone might be able to help me with the process of buying a secondhand bike and registering it in the UK.
I looked into all this a few months back with some posts on this forum but never really got any answers. I had to delay my trip but now its back on, only the questions still remain.

To register i need insurance. None of the insurance companies will insure an Aussie in the UK. Can any non-UK, non-EU people who have done this recently please advise of any insurance companies who might.

The Arissa EU 'green card' requires registration info before issuing it. That's quite a stalemate. Will this insurance satisfy the registration requirements anyway.

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Old 2 Nov 2009
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Location: South Africa
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Im South African , and I had no problems getting insured.

But, then again, I had been living in the UK for about 2 years already dont know if that makes a difference.

I really would be surprised if you would have issues. It would just be more expensive surely. ( I was quoted £2000 a year for fully comp ins on a SCOOTER crazy the scoot only cost me £1k)

I remember being concerned about getting insured cause the policies say they will only insure a "British Resident" which I took to mean someone with "permanent residency". But they did not seem to care. I think they merely mean someone who is living in the UK.

So long as you have a UK address, and tell them you are a 'British Resident' . They wanted 3 years worth of addresses if i remember correctly. I think I had to give them an SA address.

Also, if you need a UK license, its fairly straightforward to exchange your Aussie one for a UK one. You living in the UK at the moment?

To change your license you complete form D1 from the post office...free of charge i think too.

There is a company that deals specifically with bikes: bennetts.co.uk . I use them for my bike insurance, and generally are quite good (bar one major hiccup).

Good luck
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Old 5 Nov 2009
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Location: Perth, Aus
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Mate, I was looking into the same thing. From what I can understand, yes, an Aussie can buy/register/insure a bike on their australian drivers license, but it might be a bit of a hassle.

I'm in Aus at the moment, but have a few friends living in London and I'm hoping to use their mailing address. I'm going to have them post me the license transfer form, transfer my license to the UK address before I even get there. Hopefully it will make the process of buying a bike in the UK quick and smooth (I hope).
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Old 6 Nov 2009
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Location: NSW
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Its good to hear you didn't have a problem DrKev. That gives me some hope at least.
No, i'm not in the UK yet. I actually won't be able to get there til April next year after a bit of time traveling in Europe beforehand. I am just trying to get the low down and organise things because i'll only be stopping briefly in the UK to get the bike, then tour more of Europe.
From all the info i've come across so far (forums etc), alot of others doing the same thing seem to be having great trouble getting the insurance. And every insurance company i've contacted (including bennets) also say they don't insure foreign license holders.
So it doesn't appear to be straight forward and simple as it should be.

As far as the 'British Resident' definition goes, i'm not sure how far that stretches. I'm sure they wouldn't care too much to take your money, but i bet they would never pay a claim. At any rate, i'll only be in the UK for a few weeks at most so don't have any residential history. I do have a London address to use so thats some consolation.
It might just come down to telling a few white lies just to get all the paperwork but knowing i'm not actually "insured".

I have thought about getting a UK license too Sebbu. If it's just a case of filling out some forms and not sitting tests etc then i guess its an option.

Just a quick thought-Would having a UK license before arriving create any issues through customs? If your on a data base as aready living there and then rocking up as a tourist.?

Anyway, if you could let me know if you come across some useful info or how things go for you it would be appreciated.

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Old 13 Nov 2009
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From what I understand it is just a case of filling out the paperwork, sending it back with Australia license, and then they will send your new license to the posting address in the UK. I'm leaving Australia on a semi-permenant basis, so I'm not concerned about surrendering my license but (you could) send it in and then ring the licensing department for state and have it replaced (as stolen or something).

I haven't actually tried this, but the theory seems to be sound, and it is going to be what I do next year.

I doubt immigration would know (or care) if you had a UK drivers license when entering the country (I don't think it would be linked to your passport in any way, but I might be wrong). Even if they did know, I'm sure a quick explanation of 'buying a bike and leaving immediately' would be ok. And just make sure you've got 10 pound Ryan Air ticket to amsterdamn or something to show them thatm, if your other plans do fall through, you're leaving anyway.
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