Hiring and Riding Motorcycles Abroad

Whether you are a seasoned rider or a complete novice, riding a motorbike abroad offers an unrivalled adventure. From the winding heights of the Stelvio pass in Italy to the Mediterranean coastal roads around Monaco, there is a world of beautiful destinations just waiting to be explored on two wheels.


Many riders who opt for a riding holiday will use their own bikes, but depending on your destination and planned routes, this may not always be the best option. Routes further afield or those not part of the continent will require your bike to be shipped to your chosen destination.

Not only can this be very expensive, but you also run the risk of potential damages and losses due to theft while in transit. Not to mention the added stress of dealing with multiple border crossings. As a result, more and more riders are deciding to hire or buy bikes abroad for their specific trip.

Hiring or Buying a Motorcycle

The type of bike you should look for depends entirely on your destination, your riding experience, how long you will be riding and what you will be carrying.

On a long trip, the difference between a sports bike and a large touring bike will be a huge factor, so to ensure you have an enjoyable ride take some time to make the right decision.

Depending on your destination, the selection of bikes available may be limited to you. Different countries have different laws regarding bike rentals and you should do your research before booking anything.

If you can afford the initial payment, often buying a bike outright when you reach your destination can be the most cost-effective option; riding the bike for the duration of your trip and selling it before you return home.

Understand your Environment

One of the most obvious differences when riding abroad is you will be on the “wrong” side of the road. This may not sound like a huge difference, but it can take everything you take for granted when riding and turn it on its head.

Riding on the opposite side of the road is not the only adjustment you will need to make to your riding. If you have never ridden abroad before you will quickly learn that every country has its own particular style and pace, this is very important to be conscious of when on the roads.

Roads in many countries can be much busier and more chaotic than roads in the UK. Take some time to adjust by sticking to simple roads with fewer junctions and crossroads until you feel confident enough to get underway.

Respecting Local Laws

Adjusting to the driving habits of other road users is an important step, but equally important is understanding and respecting the laws of your chosen destination.

Many motorists forget that when you cross a border you are governed by a completely different set of road laws. Understanding these laws will help you avoid any unnecessary trouble.

While most EU countries enforce laws on wearing safety helmets, some countries (including the US where these vary from state to state) have more relaxed laws.

Regardless of the laws where you are riding, it is always advised to protect yourself as much as possible. Safety helmets and protective clothing including leathers are always recommended.

Insurance cover

A big part of hiring any vehicle abroad is insurance cover. There are lots of providers, lots of comparison sites and more motorcycle hire companies that will all be offering full comprehensive motor insurance. When choosing an insurance provider make sure you read all the small print, you may be covered in most circumstances, but then charges extra for all scratches or wheel damage.

See our motorcycle travel insurance cover for more details call or email our team, we’re always happy to help.

*Please note, Holidaysafe's online prices automatically include a 15% discount against our Customer Service Centre prices. This code entitles you to an additional 5% off your policy, and is a discount from the base price, not including the additional cost of optional extensions or any additional medical premium.