I have booked a Euro trackday at Assen, Holland, and I’m going with a group of mates. No one is riding; rather, we have hired some vans and loading our bikes into the back. We have heard horror stories of bikes being stopped at the port and fines being handed out. Apparently, because of Brexit, we aren’t allowed to do this anymore? Is this correct?


You can still do this. It is now about how much this will cost (post-Brexit). For example, if you have a race bike (no V5, no registration number etc.), then the European Union considers that you may be ‘importing’ a bike from a third country (which the UK now is), so you must pay import/customs duty or get a carnet.

A carnet is a temporary admission document and allows you to clear goods through customs. You get multiple bikes on a single carnet (as long as they are travelling together) and they can last up to 12 months, so it isn’t as expensive as you might first think.

If you have a road-registered UK bike with V5, insurance and MoT etc., then you don’t need this as long as your motorcycle is being used on a road and not a racetrack. It isn’t clear if this still applies if you are riding on a track, but do a five-minute road journey in addition. There would be practical difficulties in proving this, in any event.

Upon further research into this topic, it became clear all of the ‘problems’ bikers have reported have been identified as occurring at the Eurotunnel, Folkestone. It is quite astounding that no other ports – i.e., ferry ports such as Dover or Harwich – have bikers reporting problems with entry into Europe with bikes or getting a fine issued. I am not blaming Eurotunnel; I’m simply relaying what my findings have been. I don’t know the reason for this, either.

What is likely to change across all ports of exit/entry is the introduction of ETIAS. From 2024 onwards, UK travellers will need an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) for any travel in Europe. The system isn’t live but yet expect to pay €7 per trip when it goes live. This system isn’t a result of Brexit; it was coming into play in any event and just so happens that it applies to the UK as we are no longer a member state.

You can currently enjoy up to 90 days visa-free travel in every six-month period. If you want to stay longer, you will need a visa.

So go to Europe and enjoy the trackdays. It just means it costs a bit more money and needs you to get your paperwork in order before you go. This advice is correct as of September 2023, as I expect things to change periodically.

Gavin Grewal

Fast Bikes November 2023