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Old 17 Nov 2023
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Shipping & storing a CDN bike in UK & other

Hi all, I am new here. I am hoping that some of you can help me out with pointing me in the right direction.

Here is the goal:
1. Ship my bike over to the UK in July 2024 (by air) - maybe mid to late July.
2. Ride around the UK in the summer.
3. Store the bike at family and friends in the UK for the next 11 months.
4. Return to the UK in July 2025 - pick up the bike and travel to Norway and Scandinavia and ride for 2 months.
5. Ship the bike back home to Canada in September 2025 - possibly from the UK but not necessarily.

1. What has to be done to ensure that the bike can be ridden (insurance, TIP, clearing customs etc.)?
2. How long can I store it? I read 6 -12 months but it is unclear.
3. As the UK is no longer in the European Union are there considerations I should address to ride in the EU and Scandinavia?
4. Do I need to continue to have my moto insured back home in Canada as well as in the destination?
4. Any glaring problems I am somewhat overlooking - all just tourism - no importation etc.

Thanks in advance to all responses, much appreciated.
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Old 18 Nov 2023
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Welcome to HU!

Most of your questions are much discussed here on the HUBB, so some searching will help a lot with many answers.
To give some basics:
1: Customs is easy, you are NOT importing it, you WILL be leaving with it. No TIP. Insurance is a problem but not insurmountable - LOTS of discussion on this. You have an ADDRESS so not too big a problem.

2: Storage - not likely anyone will notice or care
3: Europe - you just need to be insured, which is usually easy enough once you have UK insurance, you can get an addition to it to cover EU.
4: NO. Let it lapse, but your LICENCE for the bike must be kept current. BE sure you can simply renew it online. It used to be required that the bike was actually in the country to renew, but not anymore anywhere I know of - or should I say, they don't ask or check
5: That's about it! Looking good.

Grant Johnson
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Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 26 Nov 2023 at 02:38. Reason: corrected registration to licence
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Old 25 Nov 2023
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Based on my own experience of keeping my Canadian-plated moto in Europe for the past 15 years, here are my answers, which are a little bit different from what Grant has written above:

1) What is most important is that you have insurance that is valid in the countries that you plan to ride your moto. There is an entire sub-forum here on the HUBB dedicated to that topic, make a coffee then go spend an hour or so browsing the Trip Paperwork sub-forum.

Make sure your home (Canadian) driver licence is valid for the entire length of your trip, in other words, take a look at it now and see when it expires. You don't want to discover once you are overseas that it expires in a month, and you need to come back to Canada just to do a 2 minute eye test or get a new photo taken at your provincial licence office.

Don't bother getting an International Driving Permit (IDP), everyone will be able to read the English writing on your Canadian licence in the places you are going.

2) The UK is quite picky about import & export control of vehicles. In the past 20 years I have shipped my Canadian moto in and out of Europe numerous times, and the only time anyone ever recorded it going INTO Europe was when I shipped it from the USA into England.

In theory, a tourist vehicle is allowed entry free of duty as long as it is used only for tourist purposes by the tourist who imported it, and it is removed from the country when the tourist leaves the country. This means whatever you do, don't let the locals ride it, because if they are caught riding it, you will be in for a heck of a lot of duty and taxes to get it back. I made this mistake once (loaned it to a European friend for a weekend) and it cost me $2,000 in duty and taxes, and that was back in 2005!

In reality, you can leave the bike behind when you leave, but you will need to be quite discreet about it. Take the foreign (Canadian) plate off the back of it when you put it into storage.

You have less to worry about within the EC - where there is no control on vehicles crossing country borders - than in the UK, which is now an independent little place free to impose its own control and tracking on vehicles entering and leaving the country.

3) No special considerations at all for Scandinavia. If anything, you will have less to worry about there than in the UK. Just be sure to have insurance that covers you in the countries you plan to ride in. Be aware that you are only allowed to spend 90 days in the EC (the whole of the EC) in any 180 day period. The EC countries DO track this very carefully, so don't screw up and overstay your visa-free period.

4) Cancel your Canadian moto insurance the day after you ship the bike out of the country. Your Canadian insurance is useless to you (it offers no benefits at all) outside of Canada and the USA, so it is pointless to be paying for it when your moto is outside of Canada and the USA.

I respectfully disagree with Grant's comment that you need to keep your registration (licence plate) current when you are overseas. Your "registration" of the vehicle never expires. You continue to own the vehicle even if you don't renew the plates, and your registration proves this because it contains the VIN of your vehicle. When you pay your provincial government the annual renewal fee, you are paying a tax to use the roads in your province. If your moto is overseas, there is no point in paying a Canadian road tax.

In Europe, licence plates don't have renewal (validity) stickers on them. If your plate has a validity sticker on it and that sticker will expire while you are overseas, just take a hair dryer to the sticker, warm it up, peel it off and throw it away, and your licence plate will now look like a European plate with no sticker on it. Just be aware that you will need to get a current sticker before you can ride the bike home from the Canadian airport you ship it to at the end of your grand tour.

5) Plan to promptly pick up your moto from the European airport of arrival the same day it arrives. Airport storage fees for cargo are very high and are calculated based on the cubic space the object uses. For a motorcycle, daily storage rates will be in excess of $100 a day. You will probably get charged for one day of storage even if you pick it up an hour after the plane lands.

Have your proof of European insurance and your registration (ownership) document with you when you go to pick the bike up at the airport. Those are the only two documents that the customs people will want to see before they release the bike to you.
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Old 26 Nov 2023
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As always, PanEuropean makes great points and I agree 100% on all but the registration question, and clarify I should have been using the word "licence" not so much registration.

It also depends on what province you're in. My BC "Owner's certificate of insurance and Vehicle Licence" clearly says it expires on day x, one year - or less not more - from the date you paid. At the bottom of that page is the "Registration" which indeed does not have an expiry date. So far, so good, BUT what cop is going to differentiate between Licence and Registration? He sees Expiry date on a piece of paper tht says "Registration" and "Licence" on, and if it's past, you're done.

Remember that as a general rule everywhere your "papers must be valid in your home country" - and an expired "licence" means it's not legally on the road at home, therefore not "here" either.

Cancelling the insurance absolutely - but in BC you have to hand in the licence plate to do that! grrr... BUT in UK / Europe they get their plates made at the bike shop - show them your reg doc, and they make the plate for you. As long as the number matches you're okay. AND you look from a distance like a local - which can be good or bad, they tend to be more lenient with foreigners / tourists - generally!

Hope that helps a little!
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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