Learner and new riders’ motorbike insurance

Compare motorbike insurance quotes for learners and bikers who’ve just passed their test[1]

Insurance for learner riders

Unlike learning to drive a car, it’s perfectly legal to get out on the road unsupervised while you’re learning to ride a motorbike.

You’ll have to stick to certain sizes of bikes, display L-plates, take Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and you’ll still need motorbike insurance as a learner

You’ll be able to compare and buy a standard motorcycle insurance policy - you'll just have to state you’re a learner when you take it out.

Your premiums will be more expensive than someone with riding experience who has passed a test, because insurers view you as more of a risk on the road.

Sixteen year olds can only ride mopeds and scooters up to 50cc. If you’re aged 17+ you can ride a moped, scooter or small motorcycle up to 125cc on the road as a learner, with a provisional licence and a CBT certificate.

Insurance for learner riders

Insurance for motorcycle training

While you’re training to ride a bigger motorbike, you can’t practice out on the road unaccompanied.

If you’re being taught to ride at a motorbike school by a professional instructor, you’ll have the option of using their training motorbikes. The school’s insurance will cover you to ride them.

If you choose to use your own motorcycle at a riding school you’ll need to take out your own cover.

The same goes for taking your CBT course - if you use the training school’s bikes you’ll be covered by the school’s insurance. If you use your own bike you’ll need your own policy.

One important thing to check with your insurer is whether you’re covered to ride to the training centre to take your CBT or training.

If you’re not, you’ll have to arrange transport for your bike or have the instructor accompany you.

Insurance for new riders

Your insurance will hopefully get a bit cheaper once you’ve passed your test, but until you build up your insurance and no-claims bonus, you’ll still pay more than those who have been riding longer.

Just as with learner riders, you’ll have three levels of cover to choose from:

  • Comprehensive - covers damage to you, your bike, other vehicles and injuries to others
  • Third party, fire and theft - covers damages to others, fire damage and theft
  • Third party only - only covers damage and injury to others

How learner and new riders’ premiums are calculated

As well as the type of bike, its value and how powerful it is, your premiums will also be based on things like:

  1. Your age

    The younger you are, the more expensive your insurance

  2. Your location

    If you live in an area with a high level of bike theft, you’ll pay more

  3. Your occupation

    If you’ll be commuting at night, or you use your motorbike for work, your insurer will see you as more of a risk and charge you more for your insurance

  4. Where you keep your bike overnight

    Locking it in a secure garage will mean cheaper premiums

  5. Your security measures

    Using secure locks or having an insurer-approved alarm fitted can bring your premiums down

  6. Modifications

    Any major changes to your bike will push your premiums up 

  7. Who else rides your bike

    Your premiums will be affected by other named riders and their claims history. Cover for carrying pillions can also be more costly

How to get cheaper bike insurance

There are a few ways you can get your premiums down.

If you already have a full car licence and/or have driving experience, you’ll get cheaper premiums when you take out motorbike insurance.

You might also be able to use the no claims bonus (NCB) that you’ve built up on your car to get a discount - although check with insurers as very few allow you to transfer NCB from bike to car or vice versa.

Choosing a smaller motorbike will also cut the cost of your premiums.

That’s because insurers deem them less of a risk on the road as their engines are not as powerful as more sporty models.

New/young rider excesses

If you’re a young rider or you’re inexperienced, your insurer might charge you an additional excess on your policy.

It's fairly common: 38% of the 49 comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies on Defaqto charge an inexperienced rider excess. This excess was £50 or more on 12% of policies.[2]

Check your documents to see what extra excesses apply to you.

Find the right motorbike insurance to get out on the road for the first time

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Other basic requirements for learners and new riders

Once you’ve completed your CBT course and passed your theory and practical test, you’ll be fully qualified to ride.

Which licence you’ll hold will depend on your age, experience and the power of bike you want to ride:

  • AM: Mopeds up to 50cc/30mph (for age 16+)
  • A1: Small motorbikes with a power output of no more than 11kW/125cc (for age 17+)
  • A2: Medium motorbikes with a power output of no more than 35kW and a power-to-weight ratio of 0.2kW, or around 600cc (for age 19+)
  • A: A full motorcycle licence, allowing you to ride any motorcycle unlimited in size and power. You can take this test from age 21 if you’ve held an A2 licence for two years, or from age 24 if not, via direct access

To carry a pillion passenger on your bike, you must have a full licence for the type of bike you’re riding.

You also need to let your insurer know that you want to carry passengers to make sure you’re covered. There might be an extra cost for pillion cover.

If you had a full car licence before February 2001, you can ride a moped up to 50cc without passing a motorbike or moped test and without L-plates.

[1]Gocompare.com introduces customers to Vast Visibility Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Gocompare.com's relationship with Vast Visibility Limited is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links stated to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites.

[2]Last checked 27 February 2023