There are three levels of motorcycle insurance cover. Third party only, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. They each offer varying levels of protection at different prices.
The type of motorcycle insurance you need depends on the level of cover you need.
The most extensive type of cover you can get. This option covers damages to your bike and any third party, should you cause an accident.
Your policy will include cover for fire damage, theft and the cost of a replacement bike if yours is written off.
Just because comprehensive insurance offers the most cover, that doesn’t mean it’s the most expensive. Data from vast:visibility indicates that third partly only cover is as much as 92% more.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) will cover you for damages caused to other people, vehicles or property should you cause an accident.
You’ll also be covered if your bike is stolen, damaged due to an attempted theft or damaged by fire.
If you’re responsible for an accident, TPFT won’t cover the costs of repairing or replacing your bike. You’d need comprehensive cover for this.
The most basic level of cover you can get. And the minimum level of cover required by law.
It’ll only cover damage and injury you cause to others.
It won’t cover the costs of repairing or replacing your own motorbike if it gets damaged or stolen.
We just need a few details to get your bike insurance quotes:
For social, commuting or business purposes
Name, address, reg number and where you keep your bike
How far do you ride in a year? Remember to account for more riding in summer if you’re a fair-weather biker
Including any past claims or convictions they may have had
How much is it currently worth?
The price of your bike insurance will depend partly on the level of cover you choose. Things like your age, where you live, the size of your bikes engine and your claim history will all affect the price of your own premiums too though.
Don't just assume that comprehensive cover will be the most expensive, just because it's the highest level of cover. According to vast:visibility, the average cost of a comprehensive policy is £137 a year.* That's less than either third party fire and theft or third party only cover.
Third party, fire and theft cover costs more at around £345, while third party only cover is the most expensive, costing an average £263 year.
Most motorbike insurance policies will cost you a few hundred pounds. But there are ways you can potentially reduce the cost of your premium before you buy. Try these tips to lower the cost of your premium:
Motor insurance consumers who stay with their existing insurer at renewal, almost always pay a higher premium than those who choose to switch to a new provider.
Reduce the risk of your bike being stolen by fitting a Thatcham-approved alarm or lock and storing your bike in a locked garage overnight.
Adding optional extras to your policy, such as protected no claims or leathers cover, can increase the cost of your premium.
Advanced riding courses can help you gain experience and further your skills, but not all insurers offer a discount for the extra experience. You'll need to weigh up the cost of the course versus the reduction you get.
The less time you spend on the road, the less likely you are to need to make a claim. But always be honest with your insurer about your annual mileage.
Smaller motorbikes tend to have less powerful engines, which means your insurance might be less expensive. They're usually cheaper to repair or replace too.
A riding history without claims can get you a no-claims discount (NCD). But it'll usually have to be earned on a bike, not a car or other vehicle.
Having a motorbike with lots of modifications will make you premiums more expensive. They make your bike more expensive to repair, or replace, and more attractive to thieves.
You can upgrade your cover with policy extras if you need them, but you'll have to pay extra for them. Learn more about the extras you can get to supplement your policy.
Breakdown cover can assist you if your bike breaks down at home or on the roadside. A mechanic will come out to fix your bike or tow you to a garage if it can’t be repaired immediately. Basic breakdown cover might not include breaking down at home, abroad or because of misfuelling.
Comprehensive bike insurance policies may only offer third party cover when riding in EU countries. And there might be restrictions to how many days you can travel abroad on your bike too. You’ll need to add travel cover to your policy to get the same level of cover as your UK policy.
Bike gear’s expensive. Luckily, you can insure your protective clothing for extra peace of mind. This’ll cover damage to things like your helmets, boots, gloves and other protective riding gear. But not theft. Most policies offer around £1,500 cover. Check policy details before you buy.
Legal protection covers the cost of pursuing at-fault parties for things like loss of earnings and travel expenses following an accident. Your policy will only cover you up to a limited amount - usually between £50,000 to £100,000. Also, they'll likely only take legal proceedings if there’s a reasonable chance of success.
Personal accident cover offers compensation for serious injury or death after a motorbike accident when you can’t claim from a third party.
You’ll need pillion cover to carry passengers, even if you only do it occasionally. You must have a full motorbike or moped licence for the class of bike you’re riding to legally carry a passenger. Provisional licence holders can’t carry passengers under any circumstances.
If you have a no claims discount, you can pay extra to protect it. That way, if you need to claim on your insurance you won’t lose all of the years of no claims you’ve built up. The number of years bonus you can keep, and the amount of claims you can make while protecting your discount vary between insurers.
When you compare quotes, you’ll be asked how you intend to use your motorbike. There are four options: social, social including commuting, business use and delivery use.
For riders who use their bike for social, domestic and pleasure (SD&P) purposes. Things like leisurely rides, or trips to the shops. It excludes use of a motorbike for business purposes or commuting to and from a place of work.
This covers social use of your motorbike, as well as commuting to and from a single place of work. If you regularly travel to more than one place of work, you’ll need business use cover instead.
For riding to multiple places of work. You’ll need it if you regularly travel to meet with clients, visit multiple offices, or travel for training purposes. It’ll also include cover for social use.
This class covers you for the carriage and delivery of low costs goods such as food or parcels. It may also include cover for occupations such as door-to-door salesmen.
If you’re looking for something more specific than standard motorcycle insurance, there are other policies available for many types of riders and bikes.
If your bike is over 20 years old, it may qualify for classic or vintage bike insurance. Cover may include discounts for low mileage, and an agreed value of the amount you’ll be paid in the event of a total loss claim.
It’s perfectly legal to get out on the road unsupervised while you’re learning to ride a motorbike. You’ll still need to have adequate insurance and a provisional license, however.
Standard motorbike insurance won’t cover a quad bike - you’ll need specialist cover instead. Quad bike insurance can cover your quad for theft, fire or damage on and off the road.
Protection for smaller engine two-wheeled vehicles. Due to their low speeds, they’re suitable for learners and are often cheaper to insure than more powerful motorbikes.
Temporarily covers your motorcycle for a day, a week, a month or several months. You may need it if you're borrowing someone else’s bike, or riding a replacement bike.
Trikes aren’t usually covered by standard bike insurance. But some providers may cover standard production models from recognised manufacturers.
Insurance can be costly if you’re a new or young rider. Lack of experience and perceived risk all contribute towards your premium. However, you could find the cover you need for less when you compare quotes with us.
If you’re an experienced rider with comprehensive insurance, you might have cover to ride other bikes. It’ll be third party only, and there for emergencies rather than to ride another bike all the time.
Not all insurers off cover. Check policy docs before you think about getting on someone else’s bike to be sure.
If not, short-term motorbike insurance is a solution. You can get cover from days to months. And the cover is almost always comprehensive.
There are different licence categories that allow you to ride bikes ranging from low-speed mopeds to motorcycles of any size or power.
There are two ways of getting the licence category you want: the direct access route, which is based on age-group; or the progressive route, which allows you to gain experience and get the desired licence type at a potentially younger age.
For more information on motorbikes and licences, gov.uk has a list of the different licence types and requirements.
Your policy terms and conditions should state whether you can ride abroad.
If you do so frequently, it might be worth looking into European cover as a separate policy, and it’s always worth being aware of issues such as the countries you're insured for, the number of days of continuous cover, and whether you have the same protection as when you're in the UK.
It depends. The majority of insurance providers will not allow this. But you might be able to find few providers that’ll allow transferring your no-claims bonus over from your car to your motorbike policy.
Usually no, but a few insurers might allow it. Make sure you check with your insurer before committing to a policy.
Yes, you can. Depending on the provider, sidecar insurance may be included as standard on your policy, or you might be able to add it as an optional extra.
CBT stands for Compulsory Basic Training. This is a course that all learner motorbike and moped riders must undertake. If you passed your car driving test before February 2001, you can ride a 50cc moped without taking it, but it’s still recommended.
If you're aged 16 and want to ride a moped or scooter on the road you'll need to hold a provisional licence, have completed a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course, and you'll need to display L plates (D plates in Wales). You can’t carry a passenger or ride on a motorway.
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) defines a scooter as having an engine that's an integral part of the rear suspension, or a chassis that's a step-through type. This is regardless of engine capacity or wheel size.
A moped is defined as a motorised two-wheel vehicle with an engine capacity of less than 50cc and a top speed of approximately 31mph.
Yes, you can. Just like any other vehicle, you need to insure an imported motorbike before you head out on the road. Parallel imports are relatively simple to insure compared to grey imports, but both can be covered in the UK. We can help you find insurers who can cover your imported motorbike.
Crash cans, touring windshields, or lowering kits - if it’s not factory standard, you’ll need to declare it as a modification to your insurer.
This is the amount of money you pay to make a claim. Compulsory excess is what you have to pay, and voluntary excess is what you can opt to pay, which might bring down the price of your premiums.
50% of customers paid £169.33 or less on average through vast:visibility motorbike insurance in May 2021. Based on average premiums paid in the month of May 2021, excluding cancellations.
As of April 2021, there are 42 active motorbike insurers on the panel at vast:visibility.
Between 1 July-31 Dec 2020, the average cost of a third party only motorbike insurance policy at vast:visibility was £263. The average cost of a third party, fire & theft motorbike insurance policy was £345. The average cost of fully comprehensive motorbike insurance policy was £137.
Sector Views 2020. Financial Conduct Authority.
Page last reviewed: 15 September 2021
Next review due: 15 December 2021