Just a few tips for fellow bikers who might be considering a move to the UK from Victoria.

If you only have your L’s pass you test before you come so you can transfer your licence over. When you have a full licence (ie over 21 with a restricted motorcycle licence) this will be transferred to a full A licence in the UK meaning you can ride any capacity bike you like. However insurance is going to set you back…it is significantly more expensive here.

To help reduce this cost make sure you bring a no claims bonus confirmation letter from your Australian insurer with you. This must state your NCB in years, your name, your bike and a policy number. The company will probably want to see the original so make sure you make copies before sending it through the good old Royal Mail. The only insurer that would accept my foreign NCB was Bennetts – you may find others.

NCB ratings are not taken from your car like they are in Australia so make sure you transfer any car NCB over to your bike before you come. 5 years is maximum NCB and it will make a real difference to your quote.

Before sending anything into the DVLA ensure you make computer scans or at least photocopies of your licence (both sides) and any other documentation. It could get lost in the post, but much more likely the DVLA will neglect to add your motorbike licence to the licence they send out to you!

When you receive your new licence immediately check it lists the correct categories. Another little quirk about licences here is that they come in two parts – it’s ridiculous but the plastic one like the one you keep in your wallet in Australia is not your actual licence. There is an A4 sheet of paper that must accompany it to be an official licence so don’t toss it like I was tempted to. This annoyingly means that if you are out riding and get pulled you will have to go into a cop shop to flash both parts of your licence.

If you decide to do some advanced/safer riding courses then I can recommend the BikeSafe scheme where you ride out with a police observer who gives you tips on your riding. This I found was very helpful as riding here is completely different and more hectic I found. If you do decide to do this course take the ones organised for London rather than the surrounding counties as the London courses are subsidised by Transport for London and therefore cheaper for the same service! They run one from the Ace Café to the North West of London and one from the Police Academy in Bromley to the South East of London in Kent. I attended the Bromley one.

To help boost my confidence I am also an associate member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). I have only been to two observed runs so far but I can already feel I my riding improving and it is making riding more fun. They are very friendly. I am doing it through the London Advanced Motorcyclists (LAM) group who run sessions from Banstead and Bromley. Basically you attend a Potluck session and scope it all out and meet people. If you decide it’s for you then you join IAM and attend potluck sessions from there on in.

By the way you need to bring your bike (roadworthy condition of course), proper gear, your MOT certificate (if applicable), your insurance certificate and both parts of your licence to both BikeSafe and your first LAM potluck sessions. You should also bring an open mind and remember they are there to steer you in the correct direction – they are not going to force you to do something you don’t want to do. They are there to help you improve not attack your riding.