I'll be going to Germany (Munich) next week and my plan is to buy a motorbike and then drive it back to Sweden (where I intend to keep it, register at the local DMV etc.).

I'm unclear how such a travel can be arranged in terms of the insurance. Swedish companies are unable to provide me with anything useful as long as the machine isn't registered here, which will take a couple of weeks.

My German is close to zero, so I can't even write to any German insurance company (even if I'd known any, which I don't) to ask them for a quote. And since it's a bit unusual matter, I want it to be handled right, in case something happens.

How should I proceed here?

  • Just a suggestion - if you have coverage for riding motorbikes that are not yours, arrange with the seller it so that technically you don't take possession of the bike until you get it registered in Sweden? May 27, 2016 at 19:26
  • @DJClayworth It's a decent suggestion. Could you kindly address the issue me not speaking German, risking misunderstanding or delay in case it takes a few days to arrange? Also, I'd feel more comfortable if it'd be my name on the insurance etc. May 27, 2016 at 19:36
  • I'm not sure that German speaking is much of an issue here. Most Germans (as most Swedes) speak decent English.
    – Hilmar
    May 27, 2016 at 20:28
  • @Hilmar Ahem... I beg to question if Swedes are that fluent in English as people (ourselves included) believe. And Germans have even less reason to learn English (after all, less than 10 millions post-Vikings vs over 100 million German speakers). I'm not in any way trying to diminish the linguistic fluency of any nation - I simply worry that "sure, sure, you are insured.." will end up in "oh, you mean like that?" so I'm poking at what-ifs because I don't want to land in oh-nos. Having said that, do you know of any good German insurance company for motorbikes? May 27, 2016 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


There is a specific kind of registration (and insurance) in Germany for vehicles that will leave the country soon; you get a specific registration tag ('Zollkennzeichen'), with the last date allowed in the country on it.

Basically, you buy normal insurance (like everyone in Germany would need), for pretty much the normal price, and it ends the day you want to leave (tip: give yourself some extra days), and you get a registration for that period. All insurances should offer that.

I recommend calling any big German insurance; they will speak English on the phone. Explain them that you want insurance form the day you buy until the day you leave the country, and they will work with you and the dealer.

You can also try to start with ordering the export plates directly (see for example http://www.export-plate.com/); I did not read the whole text, but it works with international insurance that you bring as well as with German insurances.

  • Could you suggest a name or two of a well-known insurance company in Germany, please? I fear that I'll pick a shady one with a great web page. May 28, 2016 at 9:46
  • R+V, Allianz (considered expensive but good), AXA, VHV. You can check their ratings on check24.de/kfz-versicherung if you want (in German, but google translates). The industry is well supervised, your chances of finding a shady one are tiny.
    – Aganju
    May 28, 2016 at 13:39
  • Also, if you buy from a dealer they may offer this as a service.
    – averell
    Jan 1, 2020 at 20:39

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