[]   Your account

Travelling abroad with your motorbike

Travelling abroad with your motorbike

Not much compares to hitting the open road on your bike, and an adventure abroad takes it to a whole new level. Before you head for the ferry port, there are a few things to consider to make sure your trip’s a roaring success.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 10 OCTOBER 2019

Make sure your bike’s fit to travel

It’s always worth giving your bike a top-to-bottom check before any significant journey. If you’re heading abroad, consider having your bike professionally serviced before you go. Not only will this flag up any issues before you leave, but it will make sure your bike is running nice and smoothly with all its oil and fluid levels topped up.

You should also check your MOT and tax due dates, and make sure neither of them will expire while you’re away on your travels.

Check your breakdown cover

Even with the best preparation, it’s possible your bike will have mechanical problems while you’re away. Breaking down somewhere unfamiliar is likely to be stressful, especially if you don’t speak the language. So to give yourself some peace of mind, make sure you have a motorbike breakdown policy that covers European travel. 

If you’ve already got UK cover you can usually extend it by talking to your breakdown company.

Read our guide to comparing motorbike breakdown cover.

It might also be a good idea to pack a few spares if you can carry them. Bulbs, for example, don’t take up much space and will come in very handy if one fails on a dark road at night.

Prepare your paperwork

Check you’ve got all your important documents in order, including…

  • Your passport
    It’s a good idea to keep it with you at all times while you’re away. You may need it if you cross any borders and some hotels and campsites might also require it when you check in.
  • Your driving license
    If you get stopped by the police for any reason, you may need to produce this on request.
  • Your V5 (owner’s logbook)
    All EU countries require you to have your original V5 registration document with you. This provides proof that your bike is registered to you. In France for example, the police have the power to detain you if you can’t prove the bike is yours – not a great way to spend your holiday!
  • Vehicle insurance documents
    Make sure that you’ve got motorcycle insurance that allows you to ride in other countries. (Not all policies do.) If it doesn’t, you can usually contact your insurance provider to arrange temporary cover the duration of the trip. While talking to them, it’s a good idea to ask what you should do in case of an accident or for that matter, if your bike gets stolen.
  • Travel insurance
    A must-have for any trip abroad, travel insurance helps make sure you get any medical care you might need. It could also provide protection for any items that get damaged, lost or stolen. 

See how we can help you find travel insurance.

Read up on the road rules in your destination

Every country’s highway code is slightly different, so before you go, take a look at the rules of the road in whichever region you’re heading to. 

Crucially, you’ll need to know the standard speed limits for your destination. In many countries, these are given in km/h rather than mph, so if your bike’s speedometer only shows mph, make sure you know the kilometre equivalent. For example, Germany’s 130km/h limit translates as 80mph.

You might need to prepare a few things in advance, like attaching a GB sticker if you don’t have an EU marking on your number plate, or stowing a high-visibility jacket in case of breakdowns. (Both mandatory in France, and several other places too.) 

Finally, have fun! With the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’ve taken all these precautions, the open road beckons.

Ready to hit the road?

Compare prices now

Get a quote
Ready to hit the road? Compare prices now Get a quote

comparethemarket.com uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By continuing to use our website, you agree to the use of cookies. If you would like to know more about cookies and how to manage them please view our privacy & cookie policy.