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  #1  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Picking up your bike in the UK

Hi,
My bike is en route from Australia to the UK (Tilbury port) after my overland trip. It is a UK bike, but the tax disc and MOT will have expired. The insurance will still be valid.
What is the process for a) getting through customs (do I need to book an appointment etc) and b) getting it released from a roadworthiness point of view. Am I given a week or so grace to get things sorted out or do I have to pick it up with a trailer?
Thanks,
Charles
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Old 22 Mar 2008
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I'm afraid the authorities don't care where you've been... There's no grace period on the MOT, or the tax. And strictly, if it's not MOT'd, it's not insured and they could refuse to pay out if they deemed that the bike was not roadworthy.

HOWEVER - it is legal to ride it untaxed and un-MOT'd (and you would be insured) if you're riding it to or from a pre-booked MOT test. So, you could cheekily pre-book an MOT test near your house and ride it from the port to the MOT test! Depends how far you live from the port as to whether you'd get in trouble for it - if you're riding from Tilbury to Edinburgh, you might struggle to justify it!

HTH,
dan.
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Old 22 Mar 2008
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Angry Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dotcaf View Post
Hi,
My bike is en route from Australia to the UK (Tilbury port) after my overland trip. It is a UK bike, but the tax disc and MOT will have expired.... Am I given a week or so grace to get things sorted out or do I have to pick it up with a trailer?
Shipped my bike from Bombay to Felixstow. You will only be able to get your bike cleared from customs by an agent.
I don't know if its since the Customs and Inland Revenue merged or what, but try trying to find a customs office that even knows what the procedure and what forms and what docs you will need. Not possible! They talk in a pleasant, polite, concerned voice and then do feck all except pass you on to some other no-nothing official.

The weeks "grace" is in fact the the period of time you will be given to get your bike from the container handler before they charge you exorbitant "storage" fees. It will take you more than a week to get customs sorted... They will "handle" this for you for about £50.
In all, it cost us £264 per bike to get them back in the UK. This is the cost of unloading the container (WTF!) and haulage charge of the company that handles the container and customs clearance and of course the cost of disposing of the crate for you - £25 - which we had to open... take a hammer/jemmy.

Our bikes were docked at Felixstow but the container was sent/taken to a depot in Southend for unpacking - part load of a container, see?

This is UNLESS you managed to get a deal at the point of shipping to cover all this... No? then they have you by the short and curlys

As Charles says, book an appointment with your local testing station and get an appointment slip.

John
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Old 22 Mar 2008
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pickup bike

Hi can you not pick it up in a trailer or pickup truck?surly you dont need tax insurance or mot if not riding it.
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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Absolutely you can, the only problem with that is the expense of the trailer or the pick up - it is however the MOST legal way of doing it.

Oh, and another warning for you - if you didn't manage to SORN the bike while you were away, then the DVLA will want an £80 penalty out of you for late relicensing! (There's a bike in my garage that's been SORN'd continuously for 6 years, but the latest one expired while I was away and I forgot about it - as a result I owe the DVLA £80 and they don't accept being out of the country as an excuse. Bitter? Just a little...)
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Old 23 Mar 2008
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Dan,
bit late for you but it is possible to SORN online now use the the Document Reference Nunber on the front of the log book.

Steve
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  #7  
Old 23 Mar 2008
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Indeed - but sadly I didn't have the V5 to that bike with me in Africa, only for the one I was riding. (and in fairness I also forgot it was going to expire!) Live and learn...
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