Bike back from UK

I’m in a bit of a quandry, as I still have a very good mountain bike back in the UK, that I left there when I made my permanent move to France. I should have taken it with me at the time, but didn’t as I have another one here.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I would like to get it over here, but just wondering how, and also what the situation would be regarding customs i.e. would I somehow be liable for any costs???

I’d be very interested to hear about anyone else’s experience and suggestiions :grinning:

Fly over on a one-way easyjet ticket, ride back on your bike via Dover… Job done :grin:

In all seriousness, importing it via a courier will be painful. I follow a courier driver on Twitter (the guy called Ciaran who’s often on James O’Brien’s show), and he frequently complains about the amount of paperwork required now when delivering single items to the continent. So perhaps avoid going down that route.

Do you ever drive back to the UK? Could you stick it on a bike rack for your return journey? As long as it’s clear it’s your personal bike and you’re not attempting to sell it in the EU then you should be fine with customs. There was a story a while back about someone getting charged €400 for traveling to Spain with 3 electric bikes but it’s thought the customs officials mistakenly thought they were being sold on and weren’t for personal use whilst on holiday.


I doubt they would give it a second look if you are brining it, drugs and firearms is all they really care about and no doubt the bike will have signs of use so you are not importing to sell and the value would be under any limits anyway.


There are hundreds of cars who go through the tunnel every days with bikes on the back, without any issue. Why not give details on SF of where the bike is in UK and where you are in France? You never know, there could be someone…


Well, the riding it back idea did in fact cross my mind actually, but hesitated as would have to kit it out with yet even more gear etc etc, as it’s more of a lightweight mtb. I do have a bike rack for the car, but nowadays I always fly back to the UK if visiting as alot quicker and easier.

That’s a great idea!

In case there is anyone travelling back to anywhere near where the bike is in the UK and where I am in France, would obviously greatly appreciate anyone’s help.

The bike will be in Henley, but I could drop it off to someone within a reasonable distance between say 19/6 and 6/7 and I could collect it anywhere within say 100-200km radius of Pezenas in France. Any offers gratefully received :+1:

Probably worth driving across instead of flying next time - I’m sure that if you pop the wheels off and chuck it in the back of the car no-one will bat an eyelid.

We are over in about 4 weeks time, but will be fully loaded and only be half the distance in France, down to 71.

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It’s a bit of a drive from where I am right in the South, so haven’t made the journey for some time, as flying allows me to take sufficient ‘stuff’ for my trip. If all else fails, the ride could be good training for the mountain hike in Sept :grin:

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You should be ok if you bring it back on/in a car. If it is obviously not new, no one will know that you did not bring it from France.

Technically, yes, you are liable to duty and TVA.

I have been ‘chancing’ it a couple of times bringing back new items for a car - culminating in a windscreen and a steering rack. The customs were not even on duty! I want to bring in a complete new chassis and in a quandry whether to import it through a courier or chance it on a trailer behind my car next time…

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Come back by train……I think for eurostar it has to be in a bag. But then change at Lille and sncf trains take bikes


Interesting, and I think it reinforces my opinion that, as long as you’re not silly and bringing obvious ‘loads of stuff’, the customs folks have better things to do and bigger fish to fry!

Another great idea - the other thought I had was to bring it back on the plane, but felt a bit jittery about the customs, plus potential damage to the bike + cost.

FWIW our son flies around the world with bikes in a bike bag - he’s in Sardinia right now, flew back from New Zealand last November with 2 bikes in the carrier. No-one seems to ask him for customs duty or import fees, though I suspect if he did it once per week it would be more obvious.

Blimey, it’s not as expensive to fly back with it as I’d have thought… I just picked a random date flying my usual route with easyjet. It’s only £45 extra!

And here are their rules…


Oh wow :flushed::flushed: think I’ll be looking into that! Thanks alot :+1::+1:

You will however need to pack it very well so it doesn’t get smashed up by baggage handlers! That either means buying a purpose-made bike transport bag (not cheap for good ones, and probably a waste of money unless you plan to fly with it often), or else having a local bike shop disassemble and re-box it for you. That’s what I did when I took my Marin out to Turks & Caicos - IIRC the local bike shop charged me about £50-£60 to package it up securely.

If you bring it back on Eurostar/SNCF you’ll probably only need a soft bag as you will be “baggage-handling” it yourself!


I came back home last week via Dieppe in a French registered car towing a French registered caravan. No problems at all. Just got waived through and headed back to the PO.

However as we were sitting in the queue at Newhaven waiting to board, Border Security were still releasing UK registered Camping Cars until just before we drove on to the ferry.

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Yes typical of the UK lot to actually do their job, not like those foreigners :joy:

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In case anyone else is interested to do something similar in future, I did finally sort out shipping of the bike back to France via online service Shiply. Essentially you post details of the item, together with any timing requirements, and movers then bid to transport your item(s). Total cost was £135.