Temporary motorcycle insurance

We don’t compare short-term motorbike insurance, but you can find the right cover with a standard policy.

Alice Morgan
Updated 2 September 2019 | 2 min read

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What is temporary motorbike insurance?

Short-term motorbike insurance only covers you for a limited period, for instance if you’re borrowing someone else’s bike.

You can get cover for a day, a week, a month or a few months, depending on which insurer you choose.

Key points

  • Short-term motorcycle insurance policies are rare, but there are specialist providers
  • If you’re borrowing a motorbike from a friend, you could ask to be a named driver on their policy instead
  • Taking out an annual policy and cancelling it when you don’t need it is another option

You don’t have to be the registered owner of the bike - you can get short term cover to take a bike out for a test ride.

There might be age restrictions on policies, so check the terms carefully.

Do I need it?

Since Continuous Insurance Enforcement came into force in 2011 it’s been against the law to keep a bike that’s uninsured, unless you’ve filled out a statutory off-road notification (SORN).

That means even if you only want to ride your bike through the summer, you’ll need to have it insured all year round or insure it for the months you’re riding it and then declare it as off road.

Taking out short-term bike cover could be a cheaper option than changing your existing policy and, if you need to make a claim on a temporary policy, it won’t affect your no claims bonus.

You might also need short-term bike cover if you’ve bought a new bike and want to ride it home from the showroom, or you’re hiring a bike from someone else.

Is short-term bike insurance cheaper?

Not necessarily.

Short-term bike insurance is specialist cover and insurers still have to cover the cost of things like setting up the policy, so it can seem disproportionately expensive.

Your quotes will be based on your age, experience, no-claims bonus, bike features and more. You should get prices for short term cover as well as standard annual policies to work out which would be cheaper for you.

If you choose an annual policy that you’ll cancel after a few months, you might have to pay a cancellation fee, so make sure you factor that cost in.

Out of 45 comprehensive motorcycle policies listed on Defaqto, 84% charged a cancellation fee and 53% charged over £50.[1]

If you cancel your motorbike policy before the full year is up, you won’t get your no-claims bonus.

Will I need to SORN my bike? 

Once your short-term bike insurance runs out, you’ll need to either take out another policy or make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) for it.

You can make a SORN by filling out this form.

You’ll need either the reference number from your tax renewal letter, or the one from your bike’s logbook.

Once your SORN form has been processed, you’ll be refunded for any full months of tax you’re still yet to pay.

If you want to take the bike back on the road after you've declared it as off-road, you’ll need to tax it again.

While your car is stored away, you can still protect it from things like fire and theft with laid up bike insurance.

Motorbike insurance guides and tools

[1]Last checked 5 July 2019

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