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Importing a bike from the UK. My experience.


Bugsy

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This is my story of the purchase of a UK bike and re-registration in France. I’ve posted it in the hope that it will help others thinking of doing the same.

I decided to sell my 2008 Sprint ST and get a cruiser (more relaxed and less temptation to blat). Some would say also more appropriate to my age. [:P]

I wanted to stick with Triumph and eventually decided on a Triumph America (the Thunderbird is just too expensive).

A new America, in France is 9,000.00 euros, £6,700.00 in the UK, crazy or what.

I found a 2009 bike in the UK, totally as new, with a grands worth of extras and 1,500 miles on it (never been wet) and decided to buy it.

I organised some insurance, then flew over from Poitiers to Stansted, the owner picked me up, fed me and gave me a bed for the night. (thanks Doug).

The following morning saw us down at the bank transferring the dosh and me wobbling (initially) my way down to the ferry for the night crossing (you have no idea how many times I found myself searching for the footpegs when pulling away).

Caught the night boat, with a hoard of other bikers (Le Mans 24 weekend) and finally arrived home in the early afternoon. 500 miles added to the bike and, apart from a ‘numb-bum’ on the last bit of the journey, no problems whatsoever.

I visited my local Impots to get a Quittus Fiscal to show that the taxes

on the bike had been paid. Very nice lady did it for me with no problem

and didn’t even look at the carefully prepared invoice I had produced

in both English and French for the original owner to sign.

(note as some confusion exists on this) I was informed by the impots that the

proviso to pay no tax on the import is that it must be over 6 months old

OR over 6000 kilometres (not AND).

There is no charge for this service.

In order to comply with French homologation I needed to change the headlight and speedo.

French dealer price: 520 euros, UK price: (used parts but off a new bike) £167. Absolutely, no contest.

I fitted them myself (very easy job) then took the bike to my local Triumph dealer who checked it over and gave me an written Attestation to say the work had been done (again, no charge).

 

I then sent the log book, invoice for the parts and attestation together with a cheque for 119.60 euros, to Triumph France requesting a CoC.

This is Triumphs actual wording from their website.

Importing a motorcycle into France


The procedure for importing a motorcycle into France is as follows:


1) Change your bike to French specifications, at any Triumph dealer.


2) Send a copy of the invoice for labour and parts, plus your vehicle registration document (V55) to:

Dominique Rivain
Triumph SA
19, Boulevard Georges Bidault BT G1
Croissy Beaubourg
77437 Marne-la-Vallée
Cedex 2
France


3) Triumph France will then send you an "Attestation d'Identification". This document is the confirmation from Triumph that your bike conforms to French homologation rules. Take this document to your local "Prefecture" to register your bike.


If you require any further information about this procedure, please contact Dominique RIVAIN at Triumph France, tel: (+33) 1 64 62 38 38.


http://www.triumph.co.uk/france/

My "Attestation D'identification pour Vehiculaires Importes Conformes a un Type Communautaire" arrived today four days after posting it.

Thank you Triumph France.

Finally off to the Prefecture, armed with,

Demande de Certificate Immatriculation, check.  Note: you can download the form from HERE

V5C, check.

CoC, check.

Quittus Fiscal, check.

Passport, check.

Utility bill, check.

Debit card, check.

Something to read for two hours, check.

Result, one Certificat Provisoire D'immatriculation and 137 euros lighter.   

Note: Carte Gris are no longer issued on the day. A change since the new numbering system came into being. I think they are all now issued from Paris.

Call into the bike shop on the way home for a new Plaque d'Immatriculation and its all done. Actually ignoring the legalities for a minute, it was worth doing this just to get rid of that 'barn-door' of a number plate that the UK insists on for one of a size much more in scale with the bike.[:)]

Was it worth it, well I now have a nearly new bike with a load of extras for around 1,200 euros less than an equivalent model here.

Sorted.

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I have a BMW R1200RT that is NATO registered in Italy.  Had the headlight changed plus CoC from BMW UK.  It has miles/kilometers, at night only miles are visible - not a problem for me cos BMWII  GPS is set to kilometers.

Ques: Do I have to change my Speedo module?  I can see my BMW dealer in France, who commented on this, lightening my wallet!

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If you have the UK issued CofC then you don't have to change anything to register the bike. I put new speedo dials in both of the R1100S's, but no one told me to.

Once you have the French plates who is going to check how your speedo reads at night?

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[quote user="Chezstevens"]Bob,

My BMW dealer, during the last service, insisted that it was required ..... I felt it was an excellent way for them to generate additional revenue!!

[/quote]

I bet he did! But as the importation of the bike is nothing to do with him, I would think that he is just after work.

If you had to get a CofC from BMW France (which you don't as you have one) then they might involve a dealer.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I had to think long and hard about this thread and have just clicked.....3 years ago i imported a Suzuki Intruder from the USA (that's when i got £1 = $2 !!) and took it through the VOSA people.

"Just had to" add a side light in the main beam (a visit to the local scrappy and a drill in the main headlight did the job) run it through a thorough MOT, un-plug a couple connectors that gave a constant feed to the indicators and i was done.

I am a bit confused on their request to have a new headlight fitted as for me, all motorcycle headlights shine a straight beam of light (otherwise you can bet your last €uro that VOSA would have had it changed).

I was told at the time that any bike made in EU would automatically be approved for driving anywhere within EU countries (just a matter of getting a new number plate).
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Any bike made in the Eu will not be automatically approved for driving in the EU. It all depends on which market specification it was built for. If it was built for an EU country then you should get a European Certificate of Conformity for it, but that would not be the case if it was built for the US or far eastern markets.

All bikes do not have a flat dip beam. None of the BMWs that I have owned have had a flat dip, they dip to the right or the left.

The rules that VOSA have for importing a bike into the UK are very different to the rules for importing a bike into France. For example, there are many Japanese grey imports in the UK which would be very difficult to import into France.

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[quote user="ericd"]

I was told at the time that any bike made in EU would automatically be approved for driving anywhere within EU countries.[/quote]

That's called mis-information eric. [:)]

As regards headlights, as Bob has said, all bikes using the large round single headlight units dip to either right or left. Only the 'projector' type units emit a flattish beam and even they, in the case of some manufacturers have to be changed to get a French CoC.

.

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Well if it is mis-information it comes straight from VOSA UK. They checked my beam and there was no need to have it changed for UK use (mind, my beam can be fine-tuned on two axis via 2 x small screws access inside main head.
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[quote user="ericd"]Well if it is mis-information it comes straight from VOSA UK. They checked my beam and there was no need to have it changed for UK use (mind, my beam can be fine-tuned on two axis via 2 x small screws access inside main head.[/quote]

The title of this thread is importing a bike FROM the UK, not TO the UK. VOSA has no jurisdiction in France.

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[quote user="ericd"]Well if it is mis-information it comes straight from VOSA UK. They checked my beam and there was no need to have it changed for UK use (mind, my beam can be fine-tuned on two axis via 2 x small screws access inside main head.[/quote]

Please read what I actually said in response to what you said (its in quotes if you don't understand).

[quote user="ericd"]

I was told at the time that any bike made in EU would automatically be

approved for driving anywhere within EU countries .[/quote]

As regards your headlight, assuming its the one on the bike you imported, no amount of fiddling with screws will make any difference whatsoever. The fresnel lens, together with the bulb angle are what direct the beam pattern.

This can clearly be seen in this photo showing left and right-hand headlight units.

[IMG]http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p211/Bugbear2/P1000228.jpg[/IMG]

.

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[quote user="ericd"]................................. i don't care ..............................[/quote]

Neither do I, so that's that sorted then. [:D] Now, perhaps, we can get this thread back on track, namely, importing a UK bike into France.

Have a Nice Day .......................

.

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This all seems a bit complicated...

I had a UK 2003 BMW R1150R which I brought with me when I arrived in 2007.

BMW UK gave me a free certificate of conformity (in German with French and English translations) which I took to the Sub Prefecture with the relevant (free) Quitus Fiscal, the V5, an EDF facture, my passport and my debit card and they gave me a Carte Grise (OK, they send it by post now). No question about lights (I have a stick-on converter which is fine for my use until CTs for bikes are introduced whatever the pundits may say) or the speedo (which has virtually unreadable kph figures. How difficult is it to remember that 50kph is 32mph and 90kph is 56mph?)

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[quote user="Beemer1150"]This all seems a bit complicated...

I had a UK 2003 BMW R1150R which I brought with me when I arrived in 2007.

BMW UK gave me a free certificate of conformity (in German with French and English translations) which I took to the Sub Prefecture with the relevant (free) Quitus Fiscal, the V5, an EDF facture, my passport and my debit card and they gave me a Carte Grise (OK, they send it by post now). No question about lights (I have a stick-on converter which is fine for my use until CTs for bikes are introduced whatever the pundits may say) or the speedo (which has virtually unreadable kph figures. How difficult is it to remember that 50kph is 32mph and 90kph is 56mph?)

[/quote]

If your bike was built in 2003 it should have a 'E' mark stamped on the lights (my bike has) which makes it compatible with the european market therefore no need to change them.

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[quote user="elamessa"][quote user="Beemer1150"]This all seems a bit complicated...

I had a UK 2003 BMW R1150R which I brought with me when I arrived in 2007.

BMW UK gave me a free certificate of conformity (in German with French and English translations) which I took to the Sub Prefecture with the relevant (free) Quitus Fiscal, the V5, an EDF facture, my passport and my debit card and they gave me a Carte Grise (OK, they send it by post now). No question about lights (I have a stick-on converter which is fine for my use until CTs for bikes are introduced whatever the pundits may say) or the speedo (which has virtually unreadable kph figures. How difficult is it to remember that 50kph is 32mph and 90kph is 56mph?)

[/quote]

If your bike was built in 2003 it should have a 'E' mark stamped on the lights (my bike has) which makes it compatible with the european market therefore no need to change them.

[/quote]

Mine had E marks, but it still dipped the wrong way for France!

Would be interested in where the information that an E mark makes it OK for France comes from.

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[quote user="Bob T"][quote user="elamessa"][quote user="Beemer1150"]This all seems a bit complicated...

I had a UK 2003 BMW R1150R which I brought with me when I arrived in 2007.

BMW UK gave me a free certificate of conformity (in German with French and English translations) which I took to the Sub Prefecture with the relevant (free) Quitus Fiscal, the V5, an EDF facture, my passport and my debit card and they gave me a Carte Grise (OK, they send it by post now). No question about lights (I have a stick-on converter which is fine for my use until CTs for bikes are introduced whatever the pundits may say) or the speedo (which has virtually unreadable kph figures. How difficult is it to remember that 50kph is 32mph and 90kph is 56mph?)

[/quote]

If your bike was built in 2003 it should have a 'E' mark stamped on the lights (my bike has) which makes it compatible with the european market therefore no need to change them.

[/quote]

Mine had E marks, but it still dipped the wrong way for France!

Would be interested in where the information that an E mark makes it OK for France comes from.

[/quote]

Going through the process of registering my bike (pan) and because my lights are 'E' marked then they do not have to be changed according to the paperwork I have had signed by the dealer, only the power output needs changing.

My beam is more flat than angled...

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So they do not need changing because they have a flat dip and an an E mark rather than just an E mark. All cars supplied to the UK market will have E marked headlights, but they will need changing as they dip the wrong way for France.

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[quote user="Bob T"]So they do not need changing because they have a flat dip and an an E mark rather than just an E mark. All cars supplied to the UK market will have E marked headlights, but they will need changing as they dip the wrong way for France.

[/quote]

Not really the case as when my French dealer who was doing the work didn't even check the beam pattern just made sure that the lights had an 'E' mark..

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[quote user="Bob T"]So they do not need changing because they have a flat dip and an an E mark rather than just an E mark. All cars supplied to the UK market will have E marked headlights, but they will need changing as they dip the wrong way for France.

[/quote]

Further to this, I have checked the lights on my 2007 uk purchased car and yes all the lights are 'E' marked except the headlights....

Also a friend who also has a moto had to change the headlight on his UK bike as it was not 'E' marked.

Go figure.

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