Everything you need to know about imported motorbike insurance in Thailand

Know what your options are when buying imported motorbikes in Thailand.

What Is Imported Motorbike Insurance?

As its name suggests, imported motorbike insurance covers any bikes that weren’t produced for registration and sale in Thailand.

Buying a motorcycle from abroad can be exciting, especially if you are a bike enthusiast or collector who wants a specific model that’s not available in Thailand. However, insuring an imported motorbike is not always the easiest in the Kingdom, and it may require specialist insurance.

Key Points

  • Imported motorbike insurance protects any bikes that weren’t produced for registration and sale in Thailand.
  • There are three main types of imported motorbike insurance. These are parallel imported motorbike insurance, grey import motorbike insurance, and Q-plate motorbike insurance.
  • Shopping around and comparing quotes is the best way to find a creasonably priced policy for your imported motorbike.

What Are the Main Types of Imported Motorbike Insurance?

There are several different types of imported motorbike. Some types are easier to insure than others. The three main types of imported motorbike are grey imports, parallel imports, and Q-plated. It is important that you state which yours is before purchasing motorbike insurance.

Parallel import motorbike insurance

A parallel import is a vehicle that comes from a country and is brought into another country without the manufacturer’s consent. The motorbikes are legal and genuine, but the seller is not an authorised dealer of the brand.

In most cases, parallel imported bikes have an identical equivalent available in the Thai market, and there will only be minor specification differences. So, in theory, they pose the same risk to insurers as their local equivalent. However, some insurers still charge more for these types of bikes. Other insurers may even refuse to cover for it.

Imported motorbikes are more expensive to insure because most insurers see them as high risk.

Grey import motorbike insurance

Grey imported motorbikes are new or used motorbikes that have been legally imported from a country other than the manufacturer’s official distribution system. Motorbikes would need to be modified to conform to the laws of the receiving country. For example, the indicator lens colour may need to be changed.

Grey import motorbike insurance is more costly than parallel import motorbike insurance because insurers view them as a greater risk, similar to modified motorbikes. If they are damaged in an accident, the repair costs can be very high because replacement parts are hard to find.

Shopping around is important when it comes to purchasing imported motorbike insurance.

Q-plate motorbike insurance

A vehicle whose age or identification is in question receives a Q plate from the authorities. They’re usually older, classic motorcycles. After the bike has been approved, the paperwork will be examined. A Q plate will be applied to the bike if there are any gaps in the documentation. Insurers can have difficulty with Q plates because the vehicle’s history is uncertain. However, there are specialist insurers that deal with Q plates, so it’s worth shopping around.

Tips For Buying an Imported Motorbike

Purchasing an imported motorbike is easier than buying an imported car because steering wheels on the wrong side of the road and radios that can’t transmit a signal aren’t a major consideration. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These include:

  • Suitability – Think about why a bike was never made to be sold in the country. Think of its ability to withstand the country’s temperature, climate, and roads.
  • Cost – You will be required to pay VAT as well as shipping costs, which can be substantial. From the moment the bike is first licensed, you’ll have to pay vehicle tax. Insurance is more expensive, especially for grey imports, and servicing and maintenance can be costly as well.
  • Imported motorbike warranties – On parallel imports, dealers should honor the manufacturer’s warranty periods. Since each country’s warranty periods are different, the duration of coverage can be shorter than for a non-imported bike.
  • Requirement – Stop paying for a bike that hasn’t arrived in the country yet. If you can’t see it, it’s likely that the finish, specification, and condition aren’t what you’re looking for. Tyr to use a reliable exporter or distributor as much as possible.

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