Motorbike Insurance

  • Take out motorbike insurance from £339**
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**50% of people could achieve a quote of £338.18 per year for their bike insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2021.

Why compare motorbike insurance quotes with Compare the Market? 

There were just over 1.3 million motorcycles on the road in 2020. If yours is one of them, finding affordable, high-quality insurance will be among your top priorities. Just like car insurance, motorbike insurance is a legal requirement. 
  
Whether you’re buying your first bike or upgrading to your dream machine, comparing motorcycle insurance providers may help you save on your premiums. 

What does motorbike insurance cover?

What your motorbike insurance policy covers depends on the level of cover you choose. You can choose from three levels: 

Third party only 

Third-party cover is the minimum required by the law. It covers you for any damage you do to others and their property. However, it won’t cover you or your motorbike. 

Third party fire and theft (TPFT) 

This offers the same cover as third party, with added protection for your bike in case of fire or theft. 

Comprehensive insurance 

Comprehensive insurance covers all of that, as well as repairs to your motorbike. It could also cover injury to you, but check your policy wording. 

What doesn’t motorbike insurance cover?

Here are a few examples of things a standard motorbike insurance policy might not cover: 

Other passengers

If you’re planning on riding with a passenger on your bike, you’ll need to take out pillion cover.

Sidecar cover

If your bike has a sidecar attached, you’ll need to take out extra cover.

Modifications 

Any modifications to your bike need to be declared, whether they’re cosmetic or performance enhancing. Performance enhancements may need a specialist policy.

Punctures

These aren’t usually covered, even with a comprehensive policy, so you’ll need to get extra cover to protect yourself if you need it. 

There are plenty of extras you can add to a motorbike insurance policy to offer better protection for you and your bike.

 

What extras can I add to my motorbike insurance policy?  

As well as insuring your motorbike, you might want to look into some optional extras to cover yourself and the equipment you use, with possible options like: 

  • Motor legal protection - If you’re involved in a road accident and need to make a claim, or if a driver makes a claim against you, this could cover all or some of the legal costs. 
  • Helmet and leathers cover - Great if you damage your riding gear because of an accident. 
  • Breakdown cover - Breakdown cover could get you back on the road or taken home safely if anything goes wrong with your bike. 
  • Personal accident cover - If you’re in an accident, this will cover things like loss of limbs, permanent disability and accidental death. 
  • Pillion cover - This covers passengers for any injuries received while riding. If you’re regularly travelling with a passenger, this cover is well worth considering, but most standard policies don’t include it. 
  • Key cover - Can cover the cost of replacing lost or stolen keys. 
  • International cover - If you’re looking to take your bike abroad to ride, you need to consider the relevant cover. Some insurance providers may cover you for riding within the EU, but you should check for any limits to destinations or time spent travelling. If you need to, take out a separate policy. 

 Naturally, each of these extras can differ from one motorbike insurance provider to the next, and each policy can come with its own exclusions. Make sure you read the policy wording carefully to find the right insurance for you and your bike. 

How much does motorbike insurance cost?

According to Compare the Market data, the average cost of a motorbike insurance policy is £339**. This is, of course, an average. The cost of your own motorbike insurance will depend on several things, such as: 

The make and model of your motorbike, scooter or moped

More expensive models cost more to insure.

Its engine size

More powerful engines cost more to insure.

Any modifications

Modifications can affect the bike’s performance and value – this could make it cheaper or more expensive to insure.

Your age

Older drivers, with more experience, are usually cheaper to insure.

Your claims history

Building a no-claims bonus can offer you a discount.

Any previous driving convictions

Points on your licence, or other driving convictions, can make it more expensive.

Where you live

If you live in a statistically safe area, your insurance could be cheaper.

Where the bike is stored overnight

It’s safer to keep your bike in a locked garage, so this could bring the cost of your insurance down.

Security features

If your bike is fitted with better security features, or you’ve made improvements yourself, this can make your bike cheaper to insure.

The excess you’re willing to pay

If you’re willing to pay a higher excess, this can make your monthly premiums cheaper.

How you use it

Is it just for social use, or do you use it to commute, or even work? 

How can I get cheaper motorbike insurance?  

There are a couple of ways you could reduce the cost of your policy. 

Improve your driving skills  

Riders with advanced motorcycle qualifications could be eligible for lower premiums. Get in touch with your insurance provider before you sign up for a course, as they’re not all recognised by insurance providers. Consider qualifications such as: BikeSafe Certificate, Enhanced Rider Scheme, RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Training, Enhanced Rider Scheme .

Secure your motorbike 

Storing it in a garage or secure lock-up at night could get you cheaper premiums. Fitting an alarm or immobiliser could also help, provided it’s recognised by Thatcham, the security company that works with insurance providers to set rates. 

Classes of motorbike use  

Insurers and other insurance providers will want to know how you’ll be using your bike, so they understand the potential risk involved. It’s important that you declare how you’ll be using your bike during your application for insurance:  

  • Social, domestic and pleasure – if you’re only using your bike for leisure and social travel, this will cover you.  
  • Social, domestic, pleasure and commuting – if you’re also using your bike to drive to work, that counts as commuting and means you need some extra cover.  
  • Social, domestic, pleasure, commuting and business use – if you’re using it for all of the above, while also using it for business reasons (such as a delivery service), then you’ll need even more cover.  

Make sure you get the right cover, and read your policy carefully, so that you’re covered for your relevant needs.  

Motorbike insurance policies for your type of bike  

Here’s a quick look at the main types of motorbike and how they tend to measure up in costs for insurance providers. Different providers will have different guidelines on the types of bikes they will insure.

Moped and scooter

A moped or scooter  is usually cheap to buy and insure, but premiums will be more expensive if it’s a first bike for someone under 25, as insurance providers consider this a high-risk age group.

Sports bike

These high-performance bikes can be more expensive to insure. Make sure you compare insurance quotes to find a deal that suits you.

Supermoto

Increasingly popular with those who like to ride on and off the road. Costs vary, but lighter-weight models with smaller engines are usually cheaper to insure.

Classic

Classic bikes can be highly valuable, but they also tend to be well cared for and used sparingly which can take insurance costs down a bit. 

Touring

These bikes tend to cover a lot of distance, and they’re built for it, with lots of comfort and storage but less emphasis on speed. If you’re planning to take your touring bike abroad, your insurance may be more expensive

Off-road

If you’re into off-road riding, such as motocross or track racing, then it can be expensive to insure your bike – particularly if it’s modified.

Cruiser

Cruisers are large, heavy machines often sporting retro-styling. If you’ve customised it, then this can bump up the cost of your premiums.

Chopper

With a motorcycle that’s been ‘chopped’ or modified from its original design, you might have particular insurance needs because your bike has been custom-made.

Multi-bike insurance policies

If you own more than one motorbike, you could insure them all under one policy. Multi-bike policies could earn you a discount for using the same provider, but it could also be easier to manage multiple bikes with one policy, one renewal date and one insurance premium payment. 

Unfortunately, Compare the Market don’t currently compare multi-bike insurance, but we’re a great place to compare single motorbike insurance policies. 

Frequently asked questions

What information do I need to get an insurance quote for my motorbike?

Before starting your quote, make sure you have details of…

  • the make and model of your motorbike – and the registration number, if you know it 
  • the year it was manufactured. (We can compare quotes for any bike manufactured during or after 1970.) 
  • any modifications after manufacture 
  • the value of your motorcycle and the date you bought it, if applicable 
  • how long you’ve had your motorbike licence 
  • any claims or convictions 
  • any additional riders, including any claims and convictions they may have had 
  • any special security devices you carry or have had fitted to your motorbike 

What affects the cost of motorcycle insurance?

There are many things that can affect the cost of your motorbike insurance. Most of them are similar to car insurance, but there are one or two differences: 

  • Your age – with age comes experience, and your experience level can make a big difference to the price of your insurance. If you’re particularly young or old, you’ll likely find insurance is more expensive, as you’re perceived to be a greater risk. 
  • Your bike’s make, model and value – if your bike is an expensive, rare, or powerful model, your insurance will usually cost more to cover potential risk and expense of repairs. 
  • Driving record – if you have previous driving convictions, you’ll usually pay more. If you have built up a no-claims bonus, you’ll typically pay less. 
  • Your job – jobs fall into different categories, based on level of risk. If your job involves being out on the road more, you’ll normally find your insurance is more expensive. 
  • Where you live – if you live in a high-crime area, you can expect to pay more. 
  • Your mileage – simply put, the more you drive, there’s a higher chance of you having an accident, so you’ll be expected to pay more. 
  • Modifications – if you make any modifications, which increase performance, power or more, you will likely find the cost of insurance changes. While some modifications will see the price go up, some may in fact bring it down. 
  • Security – bikes can be at greater risk of theft, so any security features can help bring the cost of your insurance down. Examples include bike locks, ground anchors and immobilisers. 
  • Your voluntary excess – while most insurance policies require an excess, if you add a voluntary excess, it’ll usually bring the cost of your insurance down. Just be sure that you’re comfortable with paying the extra, in the event of an accident. 
  • The level of cover – the type of cover you get will usually impact the cost of your insurance, but don’t assume that the lowest level of cover is always the cheapest. 

Find more details on what affects the cost of your motorbike insurance. 

Can I ride someone else’s bike if I have motorbike insurance?

Some insurance providers offer policies which allow you to ride any bike, covering you if you were to rent or borrow another bike. You should read your policy carefully, though, as your level of cover may not be the same, while driving another motorbike. 

Will motorcycle insurance cover me for additional passengers?

Many insurance providers will allow you to include passengers as part of your policy. The terms may vary between providers, and you may find your insurance is more expensive, if you’re looking to include any passengers. 

Can I add other people to my motorbike insurance policy?

Just like insuring a car, many insurance providers will allow you to add an additional driver. Depending on their driving experience, this may raise or lower the cost of your premiums. 

Can I insure an imported motorcycle?

You can insure an imported motorbike, but you’ll probably find you have fewer options. That’s because not all motorbike insurance providers are willing to insure imports, because they were made to be sold outside of the UK. You can still find cover though, so it’s well worth comparing providers to find the right one for your imported bike. 

Can I insure a sidecar?

Yes, if you ride your motorbike with a sidecar, this is a common extra that’s available with motorbike insurance policies. When comparing quotes, make sure you list a sidecar in your application, or ask your provider to add it to your policy. 

What happens if my bike is written off?

It varies from one policy to the next. Some insurance providers will provide you with a new replacement, should your bike be written off, but this will increase the cost of your insurance.

The terms of this can be restrictive, and you may wish to consider a form of GAP insurance. GAP, which stands for guaranteed asset protection, covers the difference between the market value of your bike today and the amount you paid for it when you bought it. Gap insurance could, for example, be helpful if the model of car you purchased loses its value quickly. Unfortunately, Compare the Market don’t currently compare GAP insurance.

When you take out your policy, you’ll confirm the value of your bike, which is what will be used to calculate your payout if your bike is written off. You have to agree this amount with your insurance provider, which means you need to make sure you’re happy with it, as it may be difficult to challenge after you’ve had an accident. 

Does motorbike insurance cover wheel damage or punctures?

Most motorbike insurance policies won’t cover you for punctures or damage to your wheels. However, if you take out breakdown cover, you can at least get roadside recovery, to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

Can I insure a modified motorbike?

Bike modifications can range from small additions, such as stickers and decals, all the way up to changes to the engine and frame. 

Whether these modifications affect your motorbike insurance, depends on your provider. Motorcycle insurance providers classify modifications differently, which means it may affect your cover with one, but not another. When looking for cover, be sure to read the standard modifications list carefully, so you know exactly what will impact your insurance, and how much it could affect your premium. 

Some modifications won’t affect the cost of your insurance at all, and, while many will likely make it more expensive (such as a more powerful engine), additional security modifications may even bring the cost of your insurance down.

Can I insure my bike for only part of the year?

You may find that you only drive your motorbike during the summer months, when the weather is at its best and offers the best riding conditions. However, insurance policies are sold on an annual basis, providing you with cover for the full year. Cancelling your policy early will usually result in a cancellation fee, which will likely make any savings minimal, if any at all. 

While you could declare your bike SORN, taking it off the road altogether, which would mean you don’t need to insure it, you’ll likely lose out on any no-claims bonuses, because your cover has been interrupted. It also means you won’t be able to drive it at all, until you’re insured again. 
Overall, it’s probably best to keep your bike insured at all times. Your bike can be stolen or damaged at any time, so having the right level of cover will protect you. 

Find advice for storing your bike during the winter here.

Can I ride my bike abroad?

If you’re planning on driving your bike abroad, you’ll need to make sure that you’re fully covered. Some insurance providers include cover for riding abroad (usually within the EU), but you should always check this, along with any limits or exclusions in your policy wording. If you need to take out extra cover, a separate motorbike travel insurance policy should cover you for what you need. 

Can I transfer my no claims bonus from my car insurance?

This is unlikely, but you may be able to find an insurance provider who will take your no claims discount from your car insurance into account. It’s worth comparing providers and finding out more, before you agree on a bike insurance policy. 

What is CBT?

CBT stands for “Compulsory Basic Training”. This is a course that you need to take before you’re legally able to drive a motorbike, or even a moped, on the road. This is only the first level of qualification, so you’ll still need to pass a full motorbike or moped driving test, but it allows you to legally drive a moped or up to a 125cc motorbike, so long as the power output is no more than 11kW. 

Unlike the full test, the CBT is just a course you complete, rather than a test that you pass or fail. Once you’ve completed your CBT, you must pass your full test within two years, or face having to complete CBT again.

How do motorbike license grades work?

Unlike cars, motorbike drivers have lots of different licence categories and grades, which can require different levels of qualification and age limits. Here’s a breakdown of each type: 

Licence grade Type of vehicle Minimum age Qualifications required
AM

Mopeds
Small three-wheelers
Small quadbikes

16 CBT, theory test and practical test
Q Two and three-wheeler mopeds (top speed 25kmph 16 AM Licence
A1 Light motorbikes (up to 11kW and 125cc)
Motor tricycles (up to 15kW)
17 CBT, theory test and practical test
A2 Motorbike (up to 35kW) 19

Direct access route (theory and practical test)

Progressive access route (two years’ experience on A1 motorbike and additional practical test)

A Unrestricted motorbikes 21 (progressive access route)
or 24 (direct access route)
Direct access route (CBT, theory and practical test)

Progressive access route (two years’ experience on A1 motorbike and additional practical test)


Generally speaking, the more qualified you are as a driver, the lower the risk you pose to your insurance provider, which may lead to getting a cheaper insurance.