Shipping a bike: What it costs in the UK
This article is for anyone currently wondering what bike shipping costs are in the UK. Whether you want to ship a bike within the UK, or from the UK to an overseas destination, read on this article is for you. If you are not shipping from the UK we have a list of other guides available which you can select from here. Shipping costs vary between countries and we have decided the best way to present information on costs is to treat it on a country by country basis. This information is current as of February 2022. We will check back on the shipping rates periodically throughout the year and update this as necessary.
The size of the bike case had the biggest single impact on the cost of shipping a bike within the UK. The price to ship a larger 147 x 22 x 90 bike box between London and Glasgow ranged from £28 to £179 for delivery within 1 working day. The price to ship a smaller 132 x 18 x 73 bike case between London and Glasgow ranged from £28 to £122. There were no options for cheaper delivery over a longer time period as is the case in other markets.
Bike-specific shipping companies offered the best price. This is because they focus only on bikes and are able to negotiate much better deals with the larger shipping companies than we could individually. We were unable to check courier companies such as FedEx and DHL as we are not located in the UK and their systems did not allow us to get a quote. Our research for other countries shows they will be significantly more expensive than the options tested.
Who ships bikes in the UK?
The first step in our research was to find out which companies ship bikes within the UK. Here is the list of shipping companies we discovered that specifically advertise bikes. Our article about shipping bikes explains the difference between the shipping company types. While there may be other courier companies that could take your bike, the companies we researched specifically mention bikes.
Bike shipping within the UK
We undertook some of our own research on what it would cost to ship a bike from various locations within the UK. The routes we included are London to Glasgow, London to Liverpool, and London to Belfast. We looked at the cost to ship 2 different sizes of bike boxes. The first measured (cm) 147 x 22 x 90 and the second measured (cm) 132 x 18 x 73. The sizes are based on boxes that are available for purchase. In both instances, we set the weight at 20kg and estimated the value of the contents at £2,500. This is what we discovered.
- Box size can impact the cost significantly, although there are companies where the cost differential is not significant. The cost for the larger box ranged from £28 to £179 while the cost for the smaller box ranged from £28 to £122.
- The shipping destination has little to no impact on price. There is generally a flat rate regardless of where you are sending your bike within the UK.
- Weight is not a significant factor in the price of shipping and most shipping companies allow up to 30kg.
- All companies offered a one-day delivery as a standard. In fact, there was no option to book a longer delivery for a lower price as is the case in other markets.
- The prices quoted include door-to-door service but do not include insurance
- Insurance for a bike valued at £2,500 averaged £45 where available. It was noted that some shipping companies capped the level of insurance you are able to purchase at £1,500 which may not be enough for your bike. As an alternative, you may need to look at other options from third parties for insurance.
International bike shipping from the UK
We also looked at the cost to ship a bike from the UK to France from London and Glasgow. Again we used the 2 box sizes outlined above, a weight of 20kg and a value of £2,500. This is what we found.
- Box size impacts the price to a greater degree once you are shipping internationally. For example, the cost to ship a large box between London and New York ranged from £236 to £341 while the smaller box ranged from £168 to £215.
- Prices are typically the same regardless of where in the UK the bike is picked up from. Exceptions are the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland. These two locations get charged extra by some companies.
- Prices differ significantly depending on where in the world you are sending the bike. For the larger box prices ranged from £236 to £341 to send it to New York while only £116 to £179 to send it to France.
- Most shipping companies offered a set delivery time between 3 and 5 days regardless of destination.
- Depending on the reason for sending the bike you could be up for significant import duties. Generally speaking, if you are sending the bike because you are relocating or going on holiday you will not be charged import duties. However, if you are sending your bike because you have sold it, or gifted it import duties will be charged.
- Duties charged vary based on the country you are sending the bike.
- Head to our article about bike shipping if you have not already done so for lots more information about the process of shipping a bike.
- If you are wondering how much airlines charge to take your bike as luggage our handy table sets out rules for over 100 airlines.
- Never used a cardboard bike box before? See our handy tips on using a cardboard bike box for air travel or shipping.