Riding abroad

Here are some things you need to know

Documents

 Even though your UK driving licence would have been valid in all European Union countries, once Britain’s not in the EU you will need to have an International Driving Licence (IDP). You can get one from any major Post Office — it costs £5.50 and lasts for a year. When you go to get it, you’ll need to take a passport-sized photo as well as your driving licence and another form of ID (we’d take the actual passport). However, you will need to carry your UK licence with you when you’re in Europe as well as the IDP.

You will need a copy of your V5 to use the Bikeshuttle service. Currently we ask for this with your bike at check-in, (we may need some of the contents of it before travel next year. If we do we will let you know as soon as possible.) You should travel with this in the pouch we provide with your transit details. Firstly for the journey with us home: and to use if stopped while traveling.  We would also recommend that you travel with your bike insurance documents in the same pouch.

A read of the “Ride” magazine  “Guide to Europe” is a must and much of the information outlined here, came from this publication

https://www.ride.co.uk/routes-1/ride-guide-to-europe-third-edition

Insurance

All UK insurance used to automatically cover you for the legal minimum in any EU country (usually Third Party only) before Brexit and insurers were saying this should remain the same after it, Even so, we would still recommend checking your policy or contacting your insurer before setting out. Most would require you to inform them of the dates when you’ll be travelling and the countries you’re visiting anyway.

You will also need to get travel insurance and specifically health insurance — to cover your trip. This may be more difficult, as you’ll need to find a policy that will cover you for riding a large-capacity motorcycle. Many basic holiday insurance policies will include cover for riding up to 125cc machines (as presumably underwriters believe the only riding anyone would do on holiday would be on a hired scooter on a Greek island). However, after Brexit the UK will not be part of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) scheme, so you won’t have free access to public health services in other EU countries. Whenever you’re looking for health insurance make sure that, as well as covering the cost of any medical treatment, your policy includes cover for repatriation to the UK, if it’s necessary,

Legal

There are often speed traps near the services on motorways, where there’s a cash point so you can stump-up the on-the-spot fine. The standard fine for out-of-town speeding is still €90, but the law allows fines of up to €1500 for faster offences and €3750 for repeat offenders. If you’re doing more than 40kph over the limit, you can be banned on the spot (unfortunately, their attitude is that if you have to walk home, that’s your problem).

In most countries, anyone caught doing more than 50kph over the speed limit is likely to have their bike impounded, with no guarantee you’ll get it back – it can be crushed or auctioned off. France and Spain have been cracking down on speeding in the past few years — especially on motorways, and especially foreign vehicles. Our advice: big speed’s just not worth it.

Speed Cameras

Well, we’re still waiting to see how this works, post-Brexit. There’s a chance that you’ll never hear anything about it, but there’s an equally good chance that you’ll find the speeding ticket follows you home. The good news is that you won’t get points on your licence, but the bad news is that you’ll have a fine to pay… and while we don’t know what’ll happen if you try ignoring it, we can predict it would be very bad if you returned to the country that issued the ticket and had another brush with the law.

Be careful too if you have your exhaust baffles out….last year we had riders fined heavily in France

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Endless motorbike talk can and does bore me

Barry Sheene

I saw a dead bird in the road, a feathered kind not one in a skirt

Guy Martin

Being an F1 driver is boring

Charley Boorman