2

I need to get from the UK to Dortmund, Germany without flying so I'm planning on riding a motorbike there and getting the ferry from either Hull or Harwich to Hook of Holland.

I'll be on a a motorbike that has driving in the EU included in the insurance. I have a full motorcycle licence (Cat A). I am planning on making sure I take my drivers licence, ID, copy of insurance.

What laws or regulations I should be aware of when planning this journey? I'm assuming if I make the journey before the end of 2019, Brexit isn't likely to affect me due to the transition period.

  • You will need to install beam deflectors on your headlights as they will be pointing slightly leftwards and may blind incoming traffic when you are of the right side of the road. Also, if your plate doesn't have a EU blue band with the ring of yellow stars you'll need a GB sticker. – Diego Sánchez Dec 24 '19 at 20:30
  • 1
    @DiegoSánchez The blinders are not required for a visit (it is highly recommended though as a curtesy to other road-users). If you want to import the bike to any left-hand drive country it is a requirement because the bike needs that adjustment to be road-legal by the national law of that country (wont pass MOT without it). Either install blinders or replace the headlight(s) altogether with left-hand drive spec ones. (Replacement is recommended, blinders reduce light efficiency.) I have imported several UK bikes and cars to the Netherlands in the last 20 years so I had reason to look this up. – Tonny Dec 27 '19 at 14:13
  • For NLD: I am planning on making sure I take my drivers licence, ID, copy of insurance -> all 3 are required. A drivers licence is no longer a valid form of ID in all instances where identification is required (would suffice for a "I'm me", but not anything official). Info here (Dutch). You're required to have a copy of your insurance when/if something happens. – rkeet Dec 30 '19 at 11:23
7

In terms of law there isn't much really. Most traffic/vehicle laws have been normalized across the EU specifically to make this easy. So in general, if comply with rules in the UK you comply with the rules across the EU.

A UK license is valid in the whole of the EU, insurance of your vehicle is legally required to cover at least third-party damage across the whole of the EU. (You may want to check your policy to see if there is any additional coverage which is limited to the just the UK). Your vehicle needs to be safe and road worthy, if it passed UK MOT that should be fine but you might want to take the along the papers to prove that. Noise regulations are the same throughout the EU as well.

What is left is abiding by the local traffic laws, so get a grip on dealing with speed limits and distance in kilometers instead of miles and remember to drive on the correct side of the road. Otherwise, if you pay attention to the road signs and apply common sense you will be fine.

Some things that might be relevant:

  • It is allowed to pass between lanes in standing or slow moving traffic but only at a low speed difference (max 10KM/h) and never using the hard shoulder.
  • Speeds indicated on electronic signs above the road are limits, even when there isn't a red border around them.
  • A green arrow or red cross on overhead signs trumps the lines on the road. You'll come a cross places where this is relevant. (See How should you drive on rush-hour lanes ("Spitsstrook") in the Netherlands if they are open?)

The 'Going Abroad' Site/App also provides a nice overview of basic traffic rules in all EU countries.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Thanks, I know I’m France you’re required to carry a host of extras like high vis, wasn’t sure what other EU countries required. – Notts90 supports Monica Dec 19 '19 at 11:44
  • As I got the laws explained you do not need to carry more than you need in your home country but it is sensible to carry at least a high viz and a warning triangle if not standard in your country. – Willeke Dec 19 '19 at 17:02
  • 2
    It is allowed to pass between lanes in standing or slow moving traffic but only at a low speed difference (max 10KM/h) and never using the hard shoulder. That's not allowed in Germany. – gdir Dec 21 '19 at 13:53
  • Speeds indicated on electronic signs above the road are limits, even when there isn't a red border around them - learned that today (weer wat geleerd vandaag). Small video from the government about these signs (Dutch) youtube.com/watch?v=lu0iueEfQfc – rkeet Dec 30 '19 at 11:21
  • You could also mention the "priority to the right" rule which applies in a lot of continental Europe and confuses a lot of people coming from the UK. – jason.kaisersmith Jan 23 at 8:13
3

For Germany:

  • We drive on the opposite side of the road, as you hopefully already know.
  • The default speed limits are 50 km/h in built up areas, and 100 km/h outside of built up areas. There is no speed limit on the Autobahn unless indicated.
  • The speed cameras look are either a metal box on a pole, or a thick grey pole filled with cameras. Not all of them seem to catch motorcycles as they have no front plates (the poles are more likely to take a picture from the front and the back). If you see a bright red flash, you've been caught speeding, but that doesn't mean you'll get a fine.
  • The Autobahn is the least interesting way to ride through the country. I highly suggest turning off highways and enjoying the nice country roads. Use a relief map to find pleasant mountain roads.
|improve this answer|||||
  • Ah, that's because I misread the title and only saw "Germany". I'll add a clarification to my reply. – Nicolas Bouliane Dec 24 '19 at 0:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.