If you need to ship a bike to France (or around France), here are a few options.
When looking to ship your bike or your bike box, it's worth weighing up prices and options as there are many companies out there these days.
Here are some options
Our bespoke bespoke service.
We work with a number of dedicated bike shippers, as well as with tour companies that run regular van services between the UK and France. Prices generally start at around £60 to send a bike to France, but it can vary depending on the pickup/drop off destinations, bike box size, and insurance cover.
If you email at [email protected], I can put you in touch with a suitable service.
- your dates
- number of bikes
- bike box size if you have it (or let me know if you need a box/packaging)
- bike box weight if you have it
For a service that's more geared towards cyclists, you have the following options.
BagSOLO have now branched out from shipping golf and ski bags to bikes. They work with FEDEX and will collect your bike from your home or work and deliver to your holiday or race destination. All shipments are tracked so you can follow the delivery throughout the process. There's also phone and email support which we think is a big positive, especially if you don't speak French. They cover major international routes, including UK-France and US-France. They do not cover shipping from one French destination to another (use our bespoke service above for that).
Send My Bag send bikes to and from Australia and South Africa (and to other destinations worldwide) in conjunction with DHL. Sending bikes to Australia and South Africa can be problematic as not all companies will do it owing to the tight quarantine and customs regulations in those countries. Just check ahead to confirm all costs and any excess duties when you book.
CycleSent, as the name suggests, specialises in sending bikes. Rates start at around £60 UK-France but change depending on the destination and insurance cover. They use mainly road-based services, but they have a premium air freight option if you're in a rush. Mention Freewheeling France when you get in touch and they should look after you.
There's also Luggage Mule. You just use their website to pick how many bikes you want to send, where they need to go and by when, and you get a quote. The company offers a Monday-Friday pick-up service from anywhere in the UK or France (we have had reports from one reader who found this troublesome as he said there was no weekend support at all when he had problems). We tested this service in summer 2016 - read our review here. We had no problems but, as stated above, we have had reports of problems with the service. You can see one complaint in the comments below.
Parcel Hero was recommended to us by cyclists, and we now use it regularly to ship things to France. We've never needed to use it for our own bikes, but we have used it for a surfboard and we use it to send a big box of the kids' presents home to France after Christmas with the grandparents in the UK every year. There's no dedicated bike option on the site – you just box your bike up securely and ship it like you would any other package. I priced a few bike-sized packages for shipping from the UK to France (and back again) and the numbers stacked up (from around £40 + VAT for a bike-size box from the British Midlands to south-west France, for example).
Quotes are done by box size and weight, so if you have a heavier bike box rather than cardboard or soft cover, it will cost more. Don't forget to get insurance (either via the shipper or your own) as Parcel Hero uses a range of mainstream shippers. Also make sure the B&B/hotel or wherever you're shipping to in France is expecting the delivery in case the bike makes it there before you do.
Still not sure?
If you need help with shipping, email me at [email protected] and I'll match a good service to your needs (including seeing if there is a dedicated van service coming to France on your dates).
For non-EU cyclists
I think the Luggage Mule and Parcel Hero are most affordable for UK-France shipping. I haven't priced Parcel Hero from the States or Australia (it's probably worth doing), but I did price Luggage Mule and found the Australia-France prices unaffordable, which suggests it may be best used for sending bikes over shorter European distances.
For those coming to France from farther afield, use my bespoke service mentioned at the start of this page.
Shipping bikes and bike boxes within France
If you need your bike or bike box sent WITHIN FRANCE, I work with a French shipper who can arrange this for you.
Email at [email protected] with the following details and I'll hook you up:
- departure date and address (ideally a fixed address/your first hotel)
- end of route destination and date (ideally a fixed address/your last hotel)
- number of bike boxes
- bike box dimensions
- bike box weight