While motorbike insurance is a legal requirement to ride on the road, mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) in the form of a motorcycle warranty is completely optional.
With a bike warranty you pay a monthly premium and in return your repair bills will be covered for a specified list of mechanical and electrical problems.
Premium prices and cover options vary between policies, depending on factors including your motorbike’s age, make and model.
The majority of warranties will need you to pay an excess to make a claim, which will be a percentage of the labour and/or parts cost.
Most bike warranties last between one and five years, but you might have the option to extend this. Some warranties might be based on the motorcycle’s mileage, rather than how old it is.
This will depend on your individual circumstances and mechanical luck - you might end up paying more for the warranty than you claim back, but the reverse could also be true.
If you do want one, it’s important to shop around to find the right policy for a price that suits you.
Certain terms and conditions will likely need to be met to keep the warranty valid, and there will probably be a few exclusions too, such as keeping within a set mileage limit or using only approved parts and fuel.
You’ll still be expected to keep your bike in good condition
Having a warranty isn’t an alternative to regular maintenance. Neglecting the upkeep of your bike could have safety and financial consequences.
There are a few types of warranty to choose from for your bike:
New bikes come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but this doesn’t mean you can’t buy an additional warranty for yourself if it offers better value for money.
If you buy a bike second hand, don’t assume it’s still covered by the warranty, even if it’s within the contract period as the previous owner might not have kept to the terms.
Motorbike bought from a dealer or a garage often have a warranty from the seller.
This could be for a short time - perhaps three months - but some dealers offer longer terms or extensions for an extra fee.
Look carefully at the warranty you’re being offered to check whether it covers what you’d like it to.
An extended bike warranty - also known as an after-market motorcycle warranty - is a policy you can take out yourself, whether or not the bike already has an existing manufacturer or independent warranty in place.
You’ll probably need to provide proof that your bike has been serviced by a VAT-registered garage and for older bikes you’ll need a current MOT certificate.
As with all warranties, you’ll need to stick to the terms and conditions of the policy and you might want to see whether you can transfer the policy to another vehicle, just in case you want to change your bike during the term.
The mechanical problems covered by a bike warranty vary between policies, so make sure you check the terms and conditions.
Common areas covered by a motorbike warranty include the:
Be aware of any exclusions on your policy and find out the reputation of the warranty company - the interpretation of policy clauses can be crucial.
Some common exclusions are:
Wear and tear
While you might think wear and tear just applies to tyres and bodywork, some warranty companies also apply it to major mechanical problems.
Some warranties will cover the cost of replacing the leaking part, but won’t cover the damage caused by the leaking oil.
This means you might not be covered for damage to an insured part if it was caused by an uninsured.
Exclusions can also apply if you fail to stick to the terms of your policy.
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