50cc motorbike insurance

  • Buy 50cc bike insurance from £363/year**
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**51% of people could achieve a quote of up to £363.27 per year for their 50cc bike insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.

50cc motorcycle insurance

A 50cc motorcycle is a smart choice, particularly for young people who are looking for a bike that’s cheap to run – with low fuel, tax and insurance costs. From retro scooters to modern motorbikes, make sure you keep your costs down by comparing 50cc insurance deals.

There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom you get from life on two wheels. Let us help you find the insurance you need to make the most of it.

What is a 50cc bike?

50cc bikes have the smallest engines and are the first option for 16-year-old newbie riders looking for their own wheels. They come in motorbike, moped and scooter styles, so you can choose the riding position you prefer. Most 50cc bikes have a restricited top speed of around 45kmh, so they’re incredibly economical. This also means that their insurance premiums could be lower than faster bikes with bigger engines.

How old do I have to be to ride a 50cc bike?

You’ll need to be at least 16 years old to ride a 50cc motorcycle.

To ride legally on public roads, you’ll also need:

  • A provisional motorcycle licence and L plates (D plates in Wales)
  • A valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate
  • Tax and insurance for your bike

You’ll then need to pass your full moped or motorcycle test within two years or take the CBT again.

You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to six penalty points on your licence for riding without a valid CBT certificate – not a great way to start your life on the road. A fine and penalty points will also make it much harder for you to find insurance for your bike.

What insurance do I need for a 50cc moped or scooter?

Just like car insurance, there are three types of cover level to choose from:

  1. Third party only – this is the minimum you need to ride legally on UK roads. It covers you for any damage you cause to a third party while you’re riding your bike.
  2. Third party, fire and theft – as well as third-party cover, this also provides cover for fire damage, the theft of your bike or damage caused by the attempted theft of your bike.
  3. Comprehensive cover is the widest form of protection as it covers you for third party, fire and theft, and for any damage to your bike resulting from an accident.

Standard policies and the level of cover they provide can vary between insurance providers, so be sure to check what’s included when comparing quotes.

Read more helpful info in our guide to finding the right type of motorbike insurance for you.

What extras can I get for my 50cc bike?

When you get your insurance, you can typically add on extra cover to your policy. Some insurance providers may even include extras as standard, so it’s always a good idea to check when looking at different quotes. Common add-ons include:

  • Breakdown cover – you’ll be able to call for roadside assistance as a minimum if your bike breaks down and leaves you stranded.
  • Legal expenses insurance – 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 some or all of the legal costs.
  • No-claims discount protection – you can choose to protect the number of years you’ve had no claims. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there won’t be an increase in the price of your insurance policy following an accident, even if you’re not at fault.
  • Personal accident cover – you could get a lump sum if you’re seriously injured in an accident. The lump sum is paid based on the extent of the injury. Cover levels vary by provider, so think carefully about the level you need.
  • Helmet and leathers cover – this can insure your essential biker’s gear if items are damaged in an accident and you need to repair or replace them.

Frequently asked questions

What is CBT?

Compulsory basic training (CBT) is a course that allows you to legally ride a bike up to 125cc on the road (depending on your age and licence).

Unlike a full licence test, you can’t pass or fail a CBT. Essentially, it’s a safety and awareness course to prepare you for riding on public roads in the UK.

The CBT course has five main elements you need to complete in order to get the certificate. This usually takes around six to eight hours.

Costs for CBT can vary but you should typically expect to pay around £90-£150 for a one-day course.

If you hold a provisional licence, you’ll need to retake your CBT every two years until you pass the full test.

You can find your nearest CBT training centre on the GOV.UK website.

Why take a moped test?

Once you pass your full test, you can take off the L plates and carry a passenger if your moped is equipped for this. You’ll need to check whether pillion cover is included in your insurance policy, otherwise you’ll need to add it on.

As you’re no longer a learner, the costs of your insurance premiums might come down. Just remember to let your insurance provider know you’ve passed your test.

If you’re an older, experienced rider with a full moped licence, 50cc insurance will typically be much cheaper.

Can I ride a 50cc moped or scooter if I have a car driving licence?

Yes, you can ride a 50cc bike if you have a car driving licence. However, whether you’ll need to take a CBT depends on when you passed your driving test:

  • Before 1 February 2001 – you can ride a moped up to 50cc without L plates, and you won’t need to take a CBT course or full moped test.
  • On or after 1 February 2001 – you can ride a 50cc once you’ve completed a CBT course. You can then ride a moped without L plates for as long as your car driving licence lasts.

Can I take a passenger on a 50cc moped?

If you have a provisional licence, it’s against the law to take any passengers on a 50cc bike, moped or scooter.

Once you have a full licence you can take a passenger, as long as your bike, moped or scooter is equipped to take them.

Just be aware that riding with passengers could affect your insurance. They might not be covered under a standard policy. Check whether your policy covers passengers. If not, you may need to pay extra for pillion cover (even if it’s a one-off occasion).

Can I ride a 50cc moped on the motorway?

No, you can’t ride a 50cc moped on the motorway, even if you have a full licence.

If you have a full licence and you want to ride on the motorway, you’ll need to upgrade to at least a 125cc motorbike or scooter.

Is 50cc motorcycle insurance cheaper on a provisional licence?

Not necessarily. Because you’re still classed as a learner, insurance providers will see you as a bigger risk on the road and you’ll probably find that your insurance costs are higher.

If you don’t pass your full theory and practical tests, or decide to stay on a provisional licence, you’ll also have to retake the CBT every two years. Do that and you can still carry on riding (with L plates) and even rack up years of no-claims discount if you don’t need to make a claim. This could help bring the cost of your premium down, but in the long run it might make better financial sense to get a full licence and throw away those L plates.

How can I keep 50cc insurance costs down?

There's several ways to help keep your 50cc insurance costs down. These could include:

  • Anti-theft equipment: some insurance providers may offer you a lower premium if you’ve invested in security features like a bike lock, alarm and ground anchor bolts (to chain your bike to permanent fixed objects).
  • Secure parking: you could lower your premium by storing your bike in a locked garage overnight or in your back garden – providing it’s secure.
  • Realistic annual mileage: most people who ride 50cc bikes don’t travel very far in a year. Your insurance could be more expensive if you overestimate your yearly mileage, so be realistic when stating your annual mileage.
  • Add a higher voluntary excess – this is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim alongside any compulsory excess. Generally, the higher it is, the lower your insurance policy premium could be. But you need to make sure you can afford this if you do end up in an accident and have to claim.