Brexit and motorbikes: the facts

Riding in Europe after Brexit
Riding in Europe after Brexit

It seems these days you only need to publish the word ‘Brexit’ for an instant way to whip your audience into a frenzy.

Here at MCN we’re keen not to politicise our news, instead reporting solely on the real effects on bikers.

With that in mind we don’t have a lot of concrete information. There have been rumours all over the internet and a lot of misleading, misinterpreted and misused stories out there, but what do you really need to know? Here MCN lays out the facts as we see them.

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No deal scenario: International Driving Permits required in the Europe from 29 March 2019

In the event that we reach a no-deal Brexit, riders crossing the Channel and hoping to tour Europe will find they need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for driving in any EU or EEA country.

Confusingly, all countries within Europe can decide between three types of IDP – dated 1926, 1949 and 1968 – so you may well need multiple types to complete the trip you’re planning.

Riders in Lichenstein will require a 1926 IDP, while those travelling in Cyprus, Malta, Iceland and Spain will need a 1949 one.

The following countries will require a 1968 IDP:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden

They cost £5.50 each and are available from 2500 UK Post Offices.

No deal scenario: motor insurance Green Cards

Some insurance companies are beginning to send communications to customers explaining they’ll need a ‘Green Card’ to ride in the EU, EEA, Switzerland, Andorra or Serbia if we don’t reach a deal by 29 March.

What this means in practice is that we’ll need to contact our insurance providers and let them know our plans for travelling abroad. Frankly, that’s something we’d have advised regardless of Brexit, but it’s worth reinforcing the point that it’s necessary whenever you plan to take your bike abroad. You’ll either be able to get a Green Card by calling, or by filling in an online form in most situations.

What if we reach a Brexit deal?

While negotiations are still on-going it’s impossible to say what exactly will be required should the UK leave the EU with a deal. Motoring lobbyists will no doubt be pushing for the minimum impact – both financially and administratively – for bikers, but at this point we simply don’t know how that situation will play out.

In fact, back in November 2018, BMW Motorad’s Director told us “there will be no impact”, regardless of whether a deal is struck or not.

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Gareth Evans

By Gareth Evans

New rider, engineering enthusiast, old car racer, runner of websites