As a US citizen with a student Visa, can I get motorbike insurance?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:50

Vanessa Chance from LV= answers the question:-

Erik Farrell asks:-

I am a US citizen, moving to the UK in September 2012 on a Tier 4 Student Visa for a 2-year course. Because of the length of time I will be resident in the UK, I am planning to buy a motorcycle for use during my time in the UK. I have a US drivers license (have had for approximately 6 years) and a US motorcycle license (have had less than 1 year). I am a 23 year old male.

I know the steps for obtaining a UK license and will be able to do so without issue. Looking online, however, I cannot figure out how to obtain motorcycle (or even car) insurance.

All of the carriers I can find require at that I will have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years at the time of application, which simply is not possible for me. I can find ways to insure a US registered bike in the UK for a short period, but that would require me to buy a bike here and ship it across the Atlantic. Is there a way for a US citizen legally residing in the UK to obtain insurance for a UK-registered motorcycle without 3 years prior residency?

Presuming I can find a carrier, I have a few other questions:

What carriers might offer insurance for someone in my situation?

Since I have never been insured in the UK, do I apply as 'not previously insured', or do I use my insurance history from the US?

Related to the previous question, do I report US traffic offenses? Is my no-claims time transferable? Or is my US driving record irrelevant for the purposes of UK insurance?

Vanessa answers:-

It is quite difficult to get any type of motor insurance in the UK without a UK/EU licence and having been a resident here for at least three years.

The best advice is to speak to a specialist motor bike insurer such as Carole Nash to see if they will consider a driver with an international licence.

The alternative is to look at hiring a bike over here where he will be covered under the company’s insurance or to bring his bike over with him under his US insurance.

If you have a question for Vanessa go to the's Ask the Insurance Expert section

Or for more information on your insurance options go to LV='s website


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