$100 to write a single line in an official document, wow

Hello again my dear reader,

I just came back to work from helping a friend with his riding test at TCD. He hadn’t bought his own bike yet so he wanted to use mine to do his test. But, this lad has ridden for many years in India so the test was a breeze for him, even on someone else’s bike. Congrats to the man, well done.

Since I was at the TCD, I thought I should find out about tranferring my bike to my name. The system here is (like so many other things) geared around making money. And, it’s very successful at that. When you buy a second-hand bike (same applies to brand new with few changes), either the previous owner or the new owner has to have it transfer tested. This is a pretty basic test where they check the lights, indicators, brakes etc and then charge you something like $70 for the 5-minute job.Note, this is a $840 per hour charge, just in case you’re wondering. Then, you have one month to transfer the bike to your name. In order to do this, you first need to get insurance on the bike. Usually, the previous owner passes on their remainder of the insurance to the new owner but sometimes not. Anyway, if you’re getting only third-party insurance, you’re looking to pay about $150-$200 per year, obviously a lot more if the bike if worth more and you insure it comprehensively or third-party, fire and theft. My bike is an old rubbish bike so third party only is enough.

Then, the bike needs to be transferred to your name. You go to TCD, you show them the ownership papers, licence papers and transfer test certificate and they go to their archive (paper archive, mind) and retrieve the paper that has the names of the previous owners. To this, they add your name and address at the bottom and then charge you just under $100. This job takes maybe 15 minutes and costs $100 i.e. you’ve just been charged $400 per hour for the ability to add a line of text on a piece of paper.

Oh, and the license part? The charge for the test and issuance of the licence is $125. All in all, as a new rider with a crappy second-hand bike worth a measly $600, I paid:

  • $70 for transfer test
  • $120 for the license
  • $75 for the remainder of the insurance with Colonial for the year
  • $100 for the transfer of owner

In short, the bike was only $600 to buy and the admin costs around it were $365 i.e. 61% of the bike’s value. You know that tax is only 5.75% on all income, right? Well yes, but you pay the price on rent and ancillary administrative costs. Still, it’s nice and sunny today and on days like this, I can see why people love Bermuda so much. I just hope that we get some weekends too, I feel like diving this month.

Jitka is off to New York City today so my wallet is starting to feel quite light. Looks like we’ll have to live on ramen noodles like when I was a student. Ah well…

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