What Brexit means for UK Bikers

Published: October 11, 2019

With the 31st October looming over the whole of the UK, it’s best we start forward thinking about how Brexit will impact us bikers. Obviously, nothing is certain as of yet, and the news stories are changing daily but here’s a few things we know for sure will happen to the motorcycling world once Britain leaves the Europe Union, with or without a deal…


Well, we might as well start with what we know best. Your insurance will still be valid to travel in the EU (if this is part of your policy); however you will now need to apply for a Green Card to enter these countries. A Green Card, which is ironically printed on a green paper, is issued by your insurer to prove that your insurance is valid. The reason it’s printed on green paper so it can be internationally recognised wherever you’re heading.

If you’re planning on travelling after the 31st October then it’s worth getting in contact with your insurance company now so they can prepare your green card before you head off on your next big adventure.

Green card
Green card

You’ll also need to think about arranging health insurance for when you’re travelling to as your European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid. Make sure you read the small print carefully and it’s clear you’re covered for riding a motorcycle under your travel policy!

From Green Cards to International Driving Permits

You’ll also need to get yourself an International Driving Permit, or more commonly known as an IDP. You can get these from your local Post Office and they can cost around £5 – just remember to bring your driving licence with you! However, if your route is taking you through France and Spain then you’ll need to make sure you apply for the 1949 IDP and the 1968 IDP; these will cost a total of £11.


Of course, your passport will still be valid but you’ll be joining the ‘non-EU’ queues at the airport going forward. If you’ve got less than six months left on your passport then it is time to renew as you won’t be able to travel.

Passport Flickr Chris Fleming
Passport credit Flickr Chris Fleming

Import and export of motorcycles

Once we leave the EU we will be subject to trade tariffs just like other countries that aren’t part of the European Union. Currently the EU tax tariff on a motorcycle under 250cc is 8%, and a 6% duty tax on any motorcycles bigger than this. You’ll also see a 3.7% tax on parts and accessories, as well as the 4.5% import duty too. However, once we are free from the EU we will be able to set our own export taxes on British made motorcycles.

With extra taxes being put on top of European models, it could push bikes to shop more locally. Yet a lot of British manufacturers import parts from overseas to help build their bikes. We’re not entirely sure how this will go, but we could see price inflation for British made motorcycles.

All in all, this could change if we manage to secure a good deal by the 31st October.

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