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  1. Default UK To USA Roadtrip

    Hello all,

    I have just started planning a roadtrip fro myself and a buddy. We live in the UK and are planning to visit the USA for a period of 3 months. Initially without looking into anything we thought that we could travel over, buy a bike or a car, drive or ride it and then sell it before departing back to the UK, wrong.

    So am I right in thinking that...

    1) Buying a vehicle is out of the question, because we don't have a permanent address and so can't get a title for it?

    2) Renting is going to set us back silly amounts of money if we have the vehicle/s for 3 months? (The places I looked at cost a fortune for bike hire).

    3) The most viable option is to, fly over and transport our own bikes? Flights £400 ish Return to JFK. Bikes at about £1500 return to New York.

    I can't see anyway cheaper than bringing our own bikes, but if anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate it.

    All the Best


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    1. Correct.
    2. Correct. However, check rates with a UK consolidator such as A "loop trip" will definitely be cheaper than a one-way rental, and the rates can vary widely between cities - and even between different locations in and around the same city.
    3. I'm not familiar with the legal requirements for the "temporary import" and operation of a "foreign" motor vehicle.

  3. Default

    Thanks glc!

    I'll be having a look into that loop trip idea this evening.

    Another thing we considered was, bringing the bikes over and saving the return cost of the bike by selling it in the US. Filling in our V5 for export and job done. If anyone knows if that is a possibility that would be a great help also.

  4. Default

    To add a bit more info,

    We will be trying to either rent or transport two motorcycles, and a car would be a last resort.

    So far the lowest rental for bikes from a company in the USA is around $100 per day, to bring that down to car rental money it needs to be about $35 per day, but that's still $3000 odd for the trip and we would need insurance on top of that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A minefield.

    Foreign visitors and purchasing vehicles is a real minefield and importing bikes to sell at the end could well be the same. There just seems to be so much legislation and it alters State by State making it even more difficult to overcome. Car rental may be $3000 but if shipping your bikes is almost $2500 with no guarantees of how much you might get at the end of your trip for them, it doesn't seem too bad !

    As far as I know there simply isn't a cheap way of renting a motorbike. One way to purchase a car [and possibly a bike] would be through an agent who has done so for others, but it's not without it's own risks. You can get some info from this thread. With no guarantees of what you will get back for it at the end of the trip, [if anything] plus the risk of mechanical failure costs, that are not a concern with a rental, will it actually save you money ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Based only on what I recall from others, you can legally drive any vehicle you import into the US for up to a year, so if you can get the shipping done reasonably, that might be a good option.

    However, I don't think selling it will work for you. There is the potential customs/tarriffs issue, which could be quite costly, but the bigger issue is that it may be tough to find a buyer. Cars in the US and Europe are designed quite differently because of the significantly different rules for safety, environmental, and other regulations, and it could be very difficult for someone to make a european car street legal in the US. I would think there would be similar issues with a motorcycle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    In addition to the "permanent" import issue, I do know there's quite a bit of retrofitting required to update a UK motorcycle to US standards, and it's not cheap. If you do bring your bikes over, you will most likely have to take them back with you.

    One big downside to riding a UK bike here is the headlights "dip" the wrong direction. Your low beams will be illuminating the opposing traffic lane!

    I'm afraid your only economical way to tour the US is in a rental car. You also won't have anywhere near the weather issues, and in comparison to the UK our petrol is relatively cheap.


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