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Guide to advanced motorcycle training

Advanced riding courses can cut the cost of your motorbike insurance - but there are other benefits too. Read our guide to learn more.

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths
Updated 13 November 2019  | 4 min read

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What are advanced riding courses?

Advanced motorbike courses help you to build your skills and confidence after you’ve passed your motorbike test, but getting extra qualifications can also reduce your motorbike insurance premiums.

They include the police-run BikeSafe and the government's Enhanced Rider Scheme.


How do advanced rider qualifications save you money?

If you’ve gained an advanced rider qualification, some insurers will give you a discount on your premiums because it proves to them that you’re a safer rider.

For some riders, it will be a more significant cost reduction than for others.

For example, if you’re a young or new biker your premium will be particularly expensive because you have no evidence of claim-free driving, so an advanced rider course could make a big discount to your insurance costs.

Try to weigh up the cost of the course versus the insurance savings you’ll make.

Other benefits

An insurance discount isn’t the only reason to take an advanced rider course.

Your control, handling and abilities on the bike will improve and you’ll learn to deal better with all kinds of weather, traffic and unexpected road conditions.


How do I get an advanced rider qualification?

Do your research and sign yourself up for a course – just make sure you meet the requirements first, for example having a full motorbike licence, your own suitable bike and riding gear.

Once you’re enrolled you’ll be given your training and there’s likely to be a test at the end before you gain your qualification.


What advanced motorcycle training courses exist?

Not all advanced riding courses are recognised by insurers - if cheaper insurance is your primary reason for signing up, contact your insurer beforehand to see if it’s worth it.

Courses vary significantly - some last for a day, others will take months of training.

All should be conducted by skilled trainers - often serving or retired police riders - who'll teach you to understand your bike, the road and other road users.

A few of the courses currently available include:

DVSA enhanced rider scheme

This government-led scheme is suitable for new riders and there’s no test at the end.

It’s also recommended if you’re upgrading to a more powerful bike.

You’ll go out with an expert trainer for an assessment where you’ll be judged under different road conditions and be awarded a certificate of competence straight away if you don’t need the training.

Otherwise, the course is personalised to you and the cost depends on how much training you need.

Find your local DVSA enhanced rider course.

IAM Motorcycle Test

The IAM Advanced Rider Course is taken on your own bike with a local group.

You’ll be trained by approved volunteers who take you on several rides lasting a couple of hours before you take the assessment.

RoSPA

The RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (ROADAR) groups provide training to get your skills up to par and to prepare for its advanced test. You can join one of 50 local training groups for a fee.

RoSPA ask you to re-take the test every three years, but the cost is covered by the annual subscription fees.

British Motorcyclists Federation Blue Riband

The BMF Blue Riband training is one-to-one with you and fully trained and qualified instructor over a day and a half. It includes theory, demonstrations and practical exercises.

You’ll take the test at the end of the training, or as soon as the instructor thinks you’re ready to go. A different instructor will assess you on machine control, judgement and roadcraft.

BikeSafe

BikeSafe’s motorbike training is a police-led safety initiative, offered by 34 forces in the UK.

It holds workshops that include an observed ride with feedback from officers, but it’s not a test.


Older courses

There are other courses and riding certificates that no longer exist but that might still be recognised by some insurers.

These include the Edge initiative, Vision Advanced Gold, National Motorcycle Training Award and MAC Rider Training.

Riders on the Post Test Training Register and all police riders could also see benefits in the form of reduced premiums too.


How do advanced rider qualifications improve your riding?

You’ll be taught how to improve your everyday riding techniques and how to spot potential hazards.

Your trainer will help you develop your awareness of your bike and surroundings and how to make safer decisions.

This will minimise the risks you’ll take and allow you to relax and be more confident while riding your bike.