Whether you’ve recently moved to the United Kingdom or you’re studying at a UK university, you may be wondering whether you can buy a motorbike and insure it using a foreign licence.

Let’s take a look at your options:


Will motorbike insurers accept a foreign licence?

At Carole Nash, we can insure you on a foreign licence as long as you adhere to the rules set by the DVLA. Use this tool to see if you qualify – https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence 


Driving in Great Britain (GB) on a licence issued in a European Community/European Economic Area (EC/EEA) country
  • If you have a valid community licence issued on the strength of a driving test within the EU/EEA, this will allow you to drive in GB for a set period. Alternatively, you can exchange your licence for a British licence.
  • You can ride in GB providing your licence remains valid.
  • Motorcycle licence holders may ride in Great Britain until the age of 70 or for three years after becoming resident, whichever is the longer period.
  • In order to continue riding after this, you must get a British licence.


Driving in the UK on an international licence issued outside the EU:
  • If you hold a driving licence (for car, moped, or motorcycle) obtained outside the EU, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown in your licence for up to 12 months after you became resident, providing your licence is still valid.
  • To ensure you’re still entitled to drive after this, you must obtain a provisional GB licence and pass a driving test before the 12-month time period elapses.
  • If you obtain your provisional licence before the year is up, you do not need to abide by provisional licence conditions such as displaying ‘L’ plates, needing supervision from a qualified driver, or being excluded from motorways.


What about visitors/students from Designated Countries?

However, if you don’t pass the driving test within this 12-month period, you won’t be allowed to drive independently and full provisional licence conditions will apply.


Can I get motorbike insurance if I’m not a UK resident?

If you’re a non-UK resident and you’re spending a short amount of time in the United Kingdom, getting motorbike insurance is likely to be much more difficult.

With little insurance history available, most insurance underwriters are reluctant to offer insurance to those who aren’t considered to be a resident of the UK.


When am I classed as a UK resident?

You’re automatically a UK resident if either:

  • You’ve spent 183 days or more of the tax year in the UK
  • Your only home was in the UK – you must have owned, rented or lived in it for at least 91 days and you must have spent at least 30 of those days in this tax year


You’re automatically non-resident if either:

  • You’ve spent fewer than 16 days in the UK (or 46 days if you haven’t been classed as UK resident for the 3 previous tax years)
  • You work abroad full-time (averaging at least 35 hours a week) and spent fewer than 91 days in the UK. of which no more than 30 were spent working