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International Riding in Germany

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by mattizie, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Hi folks,

    I will be going to Germany/Europe for 7 months for an intern-ship. Anyway, I was just wondering what the process is for getting a bike up there, how much I'm looking at for registration etc.

    I'd be looking at getting a cheap early 2000, late 90's sports bike.

    If anyone has any advice/tips to offer in addition to the research I'm going through now before I leave, that would be awesome.

    Sorry if this is in the wrong thread.

  2. Congrats dude, you'll love it. Which part of Germany are you heading to?
  3. An internship in Germany - volunteering abroad. I hope you get a paid job one day.

    In Germany make the most of the autobahn with its open speed limit - also for the experience.

  4. I'll be going to Manching, working for Cassidian. I get paid but it's just enough to live off of, according to past interns.
  5. You can live on three fifths of fa in Germany once you get the hang of it but AFAIK the costs of car ownership can be quite painful (of course it will depend on who you ask). I am guessing bikes are the same. Second to thins, for that period of time you'll probably need to get a German license, you might find this harder than you think....

    I've not ridden a motorbike there yet, but I've done quite a bit of driving. You'll be okay. On the one hand Germans have a tendency to drive a "bit fast" whenever the chance arises and often they're quite confident in what they're doing (which can be intimidating).

    The flip side is they're generally good drivers, they're much more considerate than most over here and most importantly they are in general very aware of what is going on around them particularly in regards to bikes.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. I was told I could ride/drive with my license as long as I have my Passport and Aus Drivers license...was on holidays though so might be different. I rode around for a day without being pulled over so not sure what the police would say if they did check me. I drove a lot more but again, didn't get pulled over. Not hard to do either, just awkward entering round abouts.

    Depending what season, riding through winter can be dangerous. If it snows through your commute, you're in for a bad time. I've seen 2 riders stack it after light snow through slow turns. There was no snow forecast, but it was cold.

    Regarding cost, you can't register a vehicle without insurance. So make sure you have enough money for both before, AT least third party (property and injury). Fuel prices are also expensive, along the lines of EUR1.50/L (~$2/L), so fuel economic car will be good.

    I just found this website and it's quite in depth.

    Hope that helps.
  7. Hope you'll be there in summer, not winter! There's a reason why people generally get bike rego only during the riding season. Firstly it's much cheaper, and secondly it's not fun in winter: 4 degrees or less, expect snow/frost. Already that little thin layer of snow is SOOO slippery as the snowflakes turns into slush when hitting the warmer asphalt.
    But already in autumn you will learn to dislike European trees as most shed their leaves. Wet leaves on the road are not fun.
  8. Oooooooh nice! I just had a 3 day weekend in Germany (I'm in the UK). IMHO the riding in Europe in general is much better than Australia. For the bike and licence, your Aus licence will be valid but you would need to determine how to insure the bike. Insurance for non-EU licences can be expensive.

    If there is ice on the road, I'd leave the bike at home.
  9. Unfortunately, I'll be going in september, till mid feb, which is winter.

    Are you sure an AU licence is fine? I thought I needed an international one?
  10. Winter???? Forget it.
  11. Depending on which part of Germany you are in, there will be many times when there is a risk of snow or ice.

    There is no such thing as an international licence. There is an International Driving Permit but this is just a translation of your home country licence in a standard format. It is not required in most countries and is not valid without your home country licence anyway.

    The Australian licence is not the problem - finding cost effective insurance with a non-EU licence will be a bigger problem.
  12. I was told it was fine by my cousin's friend who is a driver instructor. Also that website I linked you to in post #6 also says it is fine.

    You could email the RTA equivalent in Germany and find out 100%.
  13. It'll depend on where you are. September will be good (always good weather around my birthday), but around mid November it will start getting cool-ish. Generally doesn't start snowing until Christmas time. But again, depends on where you are: there's parts where it doesn't snow at all and it's just 'Schietwetter' (miserable grey rainy cold days).

    Regarding licence, I would make a proper research if I were you because different people seem to have different experiences/opinions. Better be on the safe side and make some phone calls if you have to.
  14. Thanks for all the help,
    I will be going to Manching, which is towards the south of Germany. But I must say it looks like a lot of hard work organising all this.
  15. Without knowing the cost of insurance in Germany to make a reasoned suggestion, to instead make a guess assuming it is expensive, maybe take out travel insurance from Oz for the seven months you are away, and checking the policy includes motorcycle riding while overseas.
  16. I'll have to check it out. When I was looking for insurance to Thailand, I couldn't find anyone that would cover me for motorbikes over I think 150 or 250cc. Also, I need to get in contact with German RTA to see if that will even cover me.

  17. Nice username, Otto Cycle!

    It is not the medical insurance which I was referring to, although it is always a good idea to ensure you have adequate medical insurance when you travel.

    Third party motor insurance is compulsory in Germany. Third party in the EU means TP injury and property, it is all just "third-party" without the differentiation that exists in Australia. This type of compulsory TP cover is never provided by travel insurance. The only type of motor cover provided by travel insurance is injury to yourself as a result of a motor accident or excess when renting hire cars.

    The premium is based, among other things, on the type of licence you hold. A non-EU driving licence is likely to attract higher policy premiums than a German or EU licence.

    On to licences:

    Here is some info on entitlements to drive in Germany:

    Here is an idea for OP: Your Australian licence is exchangeable for a German licence without the need to sit either a theory or practical test (don't ask me why this is the case as the standard of driving in Germany, and the EU in general, craps on the Australian standard).

    You could exchange your Australian licence for a German licence. This would solve the insurance problem and also give you a German licence. You would need to surrender your Aus licence in the process - however when you return to Australia, you can obtain another Australian licence _without_ the need to surrender your German licence.

    So, after you eventually return to Oz, you would end up with a valid Australian licence and a valid German licence. If your Australian licence were ever to get suspended, then you could still drive anywhere in the world except Australia on your German licence.
  18. I think you have made the best suggestion creampuff, that the OP get the local documents and pay local prices for insurance.
  19. Hey Creampuff,

    Unless they changed back, the rules were changed some 20 years ago. Foreign licence holders now have to do a drive test to get their German licence.

    Given the time of year, my suggestion to the OP would have been to hire a bike on occasion, i.e. when the weather is nice. I've been over a couple of years back and did just that. Hiring a bike in Germany is not all that expensive, I think I paid around 60 - 70 Euro a day, depending on the bike. This can be done with an Australian licence, which is valid in Germany to drive with for up to 6 months I believe.