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Old 30 May 2003
Registered Users
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Riyadh
Posts: 6
Ship vs. Buy?

Hallo All,

Sorry if this has been asked before...

Is it preferred/recommended to ship your bike in stead of buying and selling at the destination?

I'm not sure how to register a bike in your name when you are not a resident of the country where you buy the motorcycle.

Do you have to sell it in the country where you purchased it? I presume in the EU it does not matter?

I'm planning to tour for at least 6 months which during which I would probably rack up a lot of miles reducing the resale value.

Thank you

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Old 14 Jun 2003
Susan Johnson's Avatar
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canada
Posts: 710
Hi Paul

Unfortunately, your question cannot be answered definitively. It depends on how long your trip is planned for, how much you like to have your own bike with you, and the hassle factor in the country you are thinking of buying and selling in.

For less than 6 months, buying and re-selling may be a good choice, especially in countries like Australia or NZ where cost and logistics of shipping in both directions may be fairly onerous and purchasing and reselling in the country is not difficult. There are also countries in South America where purchasing and reselling is possible, notably Chile. See this post for details.

For a really long trip (6+ months), especially to less developed countries, and/or where you want to go off the beaten path and camp, it's probably worth shipping your own bike set up the way you want with lots of luggage capacity etc.

The costs you have to compare are the depreciation / loss of value of the purchased bike vs. the cost of shipping in both directions. If you ship by sea, there is also the cost of remaining in a location for potentially several months without transport while you wait for the bike. Also, keep in mind that if you ship your own bike and put the miles on it, that presumably reduces its resale value too.

As for registering the bike when you are not a resident, in some countries it is no problem, in other countries it is impossible, and in many countries it can be done if you know the right person who will allow you to use their address, possibly the dealer you buy the bike from.

If you can be more specific as to which countries you are planning to travel to, undoubtedly there will be someone on this board who can advise you.

Hope this helps a little!

Susan Johnson

"It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses."
Edgar Guest

'One world, two wheels'
Susan Johnson

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997
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Old 2 Apr 2004
ejhayes76's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 6
On a similar, but slightly different topic, I'm curious what are your thoughts on shipping vs. buying a bike for a one-way move. I'll be relocating from the northwest US to the south of France. I'm trying to figure out whether I should ship my bike or not. Any thoughts?

From the research I've done so far, I know I will no pay tax on it in France, since I've owned it more than 6 months. I also know that buying the same bike in Europe would be more expensive than what mine is worth in the US. However, that's not taking transport fees into account.

Has anybody moved with their bike from the US and tried to register it? Some of the information I read is favorable in that rigistering the bike will not be more than if I was registering a local bike I bought, but other information is different?

Thanks for any advice
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