Guide to 50cc motorbike insurance
- Motorbike insurance is a legal requirement for every rider on the road
- 50cc bikes are seen as low risk and typically fall into the lowest and cheapest insurance groups
- Compare policies to find the right cover at the right price
A 50cc bike will be the starter machine for many riders on the road, so make sure you have the right motorbike insurance for your needs.
Remember that you'll need this cover whether you've passed your moped test or not.
Many riders choose not to take the moped test (the AM test), instead riding indefinitely with L plates and renewing their CBT certificate every two years.
Even if you fall into this category, motorcycle insurance is still a legal requirement.
50cc moped and scooter insurance
50cc mopeds and scooters are immensely popular with riders from the age of 16 upwards because they're very cheap to run.
They're thrifty with fuel, inexpensive to tax, and even insuring them is pretty cost effective.
Moped insurance is likely to be more costly for younger or newer riders who haven't taken a moped test as compared to older and more experienced bikers.
But the low power of 50cc bikes means insurers view them as fairly low risk and they fall into some of the lowest insurance groups available for motorbikes.
If you do decide to take your moped or motorbike test, once you have your full licence you need to inform your insurer to make them aware of the change in circumstance.
You may even see a reduction in your insurance premiums when you come to renew, reflecting your new qualification.
50cc insurance on a provisional licence
The first step to becoming a biker is completing your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), but not everyone then goes on to take their motorbike test.†
Did you know...?
- If you pass your test you may get cheaper premiums and a more extensive number of insurers to choose from
Many riders will find it cheaper and more practical to keep the L plates on and instead ride their 50cc scooter on a provisional motorbike licence.
It's perfectly legal to do this, so long as you have a valid CBT certificate.
As you'd expect, insuring a motorbike on a provisional licence is likely to be a little more expensive than if you've taken a moped or motorcycle test.
A moped rider who's completed training and a test will be regarded as a more competent rider by insurers than one who has had a single day of compulsory basic training and is still classed as a learner - even if they've been riding on L plates for the same length of time as the rider who's passed their test.
Other factors like your age and the area in which you live will affect your premium in the way they would any other rider.
Moped inexperience excesses
Whether or not a rider has passed a motorcycle test, insurers may well charge increased excesses for inexperience.
On 16 October, 2014, Gocompare.com analysed 32 motorcycle insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto. It was found that 23 of the 32 charged an additional excess for inexperienced riders.
Check your policy wording carefully to find out if there's an additional excess for an inexperienced rider. Also, check what your insurer classes as 'inexperienced', as definitions will vary from one provider to another.
Keeping insurance costs down on a 50cc bike
Motorbike and moped licence
Passing your test might mean insurers view you as less likely to have an accident than an unqualified rider - you may get slightly cheaper premiums and a wider selection of quotes with a full moped licence.
You can ride indefinitely on a provisional bike licence, providing you have a valid CBT certificate and you display L plates on your bike
As suggested, though, the years of no-claims bonus and experience you've accumulated are likely to be considered more important by insurers.
If you don't need to carry passengers and you're happy to display L plates, it shouldn't make a huge difference to your insurance premiums whether you've passed a test or not.
Remember that getting qualified on a moped can prove to be a costly business.
Compare 50cc motorbike insurance
As ever, shopping around and comparing multiple providers is our top tip for finding the right deal at the right price.
When you use Gocompare.com's motorbike insurance comparison service you'll be asked to declare whether you're riding on a CBT certificate and provisional licence or a full moped or motorbike licence.
You'll also be asked to give your number of years of riding experience.
It's common for bikers to overestimate their annual mileage and moped riders are no exception, but stating more miles than you'll actually cover can cost you when it comes to insurance premiums.
Although most bikers average around 3,000 miles a year, on a 50cc scooter your mileage could well be a lot lower.
Mopeds are small, light and easy to carry into the back of a van, so they're rich pickings for bike thieves.
Effective security in the shape of ground anchors, chains, alarms and Datatags will deter thieves and protect your scooter.
Security can be costly to fit to bikes and the initial outlay might not be outweighed by insurance discounts, but it could help to avoid the sinking feeling of realising that your moped isn't where you last left it.
You may get a discount on your insurance if you've got somewhere secure to park your 50cc machine overnight.
If there's space in your garage or on your drive, it's a good idea to make use of it and let your insurer know.
Why ride a 50cc bike on a provisional licence?
It can be really cheap, fast and simple to get out on the road on your moped with a provisional licence.
All you need to do is apply for your provisional licence, get a bike, get it insured, take your CBT test and you're away.
At the time of writing (October 2014), CBT costs in the region of £70-120, but to get a full moped licence you have to add the cost of a theory test, two practical tests and riding lessons to this, which can easily push the total cost into the hundreds.
How long can you ride your 50cc bike on a provisional licence?
You can ride indefinitely on a provisional bike licence, providing you have a valid CBT certificate and you display L plates on your bike.
Once you've take your CBT, you can ride your 50cc scooter or moped for two years before you have to attend CBT again.
There's nothing to stop riders renewing their CBT year after year and riding indefinitely with L plates - it's a popular choice with commuters in cities who never need anything more than a 50cc scooter and have no desire to carry a passenger.
Getting a full moped or motorcycle licence
There are a few drawbacks to riding on a provisional licence and CBT certificate.
If you only have a provisional licence, you're not allowed to carry pillion passengers and you'll also need to display L plates at all times.
Once you pass your test, you can ditch the L plates and carry a pillion passenger, but only if your bike is suitable.
For example, it must have foot pegs and a pillion seat - many mopeds lack this.
Be aware that passing the moped test will still only allow you to ride a bike up to 50cc.
For anything larger you can ride a 125cc bike on a provisional licence if you're 17 or over, or you'll have to pass a motorcycle test for anything with more power.
By Derri Dunn