Can I Get Motorbike Insurance With a Foreign Licence?
No matter where you or your licence are from, vehicle insurance is a legal obligation on UK roads. If you’ve recently moved to the UK or you’re studying at a UK university and you want to explore on your motorcycle, the last thing you need is to be held back by any concerns regarding your cover.
It’s only natural that you’re likely to have questions about taking out motorbike insurance as well as riding or driving in the UK on a foreign licence. We’re here to take you through your options and hopefully shed some light on the subject.
Do I need insurance for riding or driving in the UK on a foreign licence?
Yes. If you’re planning to ride or drive in the UK with an international licence you will still need to take out an insurance policy as a legal requirement. Even if you are only visiting for a few days, your motorbike must have the appropriate level of cover. It’s important to note that insurance for anyone riding or driving on a foreign licence in the UK is likely to prove more expensive. This is because insurers see them as higher risk due to their lack of familiarity with UK roads.
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 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. You can use this government tool to see if you qualify for riding or driving in the UK* on a foreign licence.
*Excludes Northern Ireland
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 here, getting motorbike insurance is likely to be much more difficult. With little insurance history available, most insurance underwriters are reluctant to offer cover 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 a UK resident for the three 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.
Can you get insurance for EU drivers and riders in the UK?
Yes. Even though the UK is no longer part of the European Union, EU riders can still get motorbike insurance for the UK, although it may prove more expensive. Usually, your existing policy will provide third-party cover on these shores, but you should always check with your insurance company if that is the case.
Can you ride and drive in the UK with a European licence?
There are slightly different criteria on using an EU licence in the UK, depending on whether you’re a resident, visitor or student.
- If you have a licence issued from a driving test within the EU or European Economic Area, this will allow you to ride in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) as long as your licence remains valid.
- Alternatively, you can exchange your licence for a British licence.
- 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.
- You can ride any type of vehicle listed on your full and valid licence.
- You can ride in Great Britain as long as your licence is valid, or until you’re 70.
- You can choose to exchange your licence for a British one if you wish.
Can I still use my EU licence in the UK after Brexit?
Yes. Even though the UK is no longer part of the European Union, EU riders can take to the UK’s roads with their full, valid licences.
Can you get insurance for international riders in the UK?
Yes, riders from outside the EU can get motorbike insurance to cover them here in the UK. It can prove more expensive, however, as insurance providers may see international riders as higher risk due to their lack of experience on UK roads.
Your existing policy may offer third-party protection, but be sure to check with your insurers first. You may also want to speak to them about getting a Green Card, which are used in 48 countries and provide proof that you are legally covered to ride in those locations.
Can I ride and drive in the UK with an international licence?
If you want to ride in the UK but your licence was issued outside the EU, there are slightly different rules that apply to residents, visitors and students.
For licences issued in Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man or ‘designated countries’**:
- In Great Britain, you can drive any category of small vehicle shown in your licence for up to 12 months after you became a resident, providing your licence is still valid.
- After this, you will have to exchange your licence for a British one.
** Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Zimbabwe.
For licences issued in any other country:
- You can ride or drive in Great Britain on your licence for 12 months from becoming a resident.
- After this, you’ll have to apply for a provisional licence and pass both the theory and practical tests.
- You can ride anything listed on your full and valid licence for 12 months from when you last entered Great Britain.
- You can ride in Great Britain for 12 months with a non-EU licence or an international driving permit.
- If your licence is from a ‘designated country’ you can then exchange it for a British licence up to five years after becoming a British resident.
- If your licence was issued in another country, you’ll then have to apply for a provisional British licence, take a test and apply for a full licence after you’ve been in Great Britain for six months.
Do I need an international driving permit for my motorcycle in the UK?
You don’t need an international driving permit for your motorcycle in the UK. However, it may be a good idea to still get one if your licence does not feature an English translation. This will help to prove your licence is valid.
Speak to Carole Nash today
Want to ride in the UK on a foreign licence? Speak to Carole Nash, the specialists in all things motorbike insurance. Whether you’re becoming a resident, visiting or studying here, we can arrange cover for you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch or call 0333 005 3355. A member of our expert, friendly team will be on hand to help in any way they can.