Learner motorbike insurance

Find out what motorbike insurance for learner riders includes, what affects the cost of premiums and how you can save moeny.

Unlike with learning to drive a car, you can learn to ride a motorbike on your own and unsupervised. While this has its benefits, it also has its risks, which is why getting a good level of insurance cover is important. What’s more, even as a learner, you are legally required to have at least third party only cover to ride on UK roads. We’ve looked at how you can get learner motorcycle insurance and how to keep costs down.

What is learner motorbike insurance?

When learning to ride a bike, you are free to take out standard motorbike insurance, as long as you declare you’re a learner when getting a quote.

However, there are also specialist policies designed for learner riders that offer more flexible cover to fit around your learning schedule.

Do I need insurance for motorcycle training?

If you are planning to ride the motorcycle on public roads, then you’ll need at least third party only insurance, as this is the legal minimum requirement in the UK.

You don’t need insurance to ride your bike on private roads, but it’s recommended to have cover anyway, as otherwise you will have to fork out for a repair or even a new bike if you have an accident.

How long should my learner motorcycle insurance last for?

Your learner motorbike insurance should last until you pass your practical and theory tests. When you get your full licence, you will have to take out a new young rider motorbike insurance policy.

What affects the cost of my premium for learner riders?

Various personal factors affect the cost of your motorbike learner insurance, including:

  • Your age
  • Where you live
  • Your job (if you have one)
  • How often you take your bike out
  • Who else has access to your bike
  • The make, model and engine size of your bike
  • How much your bike is worth
  • Where you store or park your bike when it’s not in use
  • Any modifications you’ve made to your bike
  • Any security features your bike has

What are the benefits of learner motorbike insurance?

The exact cover will vary by insurer, but some policies offer extra benefits tailored specifically to learner riders. These can include:

  • Flexible cover. Many learner rider policies will offer short term cover, usually from a few hours up to a month at a time. You can take out an annual policy if you wish, but bear in mind that it might become invalid if your circumstances change.
  • No claim discount protection. If you’re borrowing a bike to learn on from a friend or family member, look for a policy that offers a no claim discount protection. This means the bike’s owner won’t have to worry about how their no claim bonus would be affected if you had an accident.
  • Instant cover. If you’re getting temporary cover, it’s usually available straight away. Some standard policies don’t kick in until a few days or even weeks from the date you take them out.

How to get cheaper bike insurance for learner riders

The cost of your learner insurance will vary according to a number of different elements (see above), some of which you’ll have no control over. For example, if you’re older and already have a driver’s licence and some driving experience, you’re likely to pay less. That said, there are several ways you can keep the cost of your premium down:

  • Choose a cheaper bike. Rare and expensive bikes cost more to insure, as they cost more to repair and replace. Additionally, fast, light motorbikes, like small sports bikes, also mean higher premiums. Making modifications to your bike or getting a bike with a larger engine can up your insurance costs as well.
  • Add an experienced rider to your policy. Adding a parent, guardian or other older relation to your policy as a named rider can reduce the cost of your insurance. However, make sure you are still named as the main rider, as failing to do this is called fronting and is classed as insurance fraud.
  • Increase your excess. Increasing the amount of voluntary excess on your policy can reduce the cost of your premium. However, you will need to pay this if you make a claim, so make sure it’s an amount you can afford.
  • Store your bike safely. Where you keep your bike overnight or when it’s not in use will affect the cost of your cover. If you have the option to park your bike on a driveway or in a garage, this can reduce your premium. Adding extra security features to your bike can also help.
  • Shop around. Finally, make sure you get quotes from as many different providers as you can. Each will have its own policy and different prices, so shopping around will help you find the best cover for you at the best price.

What other requirements are there for learner riders?

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

You’ll need a full licence in order to carry a pillion passenger on your bike. You’ll need to let your insurer know if you want to do this, and there might be an extra cost involved.

The type of licence you need will depend on your age, experience and the power of bike you want to ride:

  • AM licence. For mopeds up to 50cc/30mph (for age 16+).
  • A1 licence. For small motorbikes with a power output of no more than 11kW/125cc (for age 17+).
  • A2 licence. For 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 licence. This is a full motorcycle licence, which allows you to ride any motorcycle unlimited in size and power. You can take the test for this from the age of 21 if you’ve held an A2 licence for two years, or from the age of 24 if not.

Bottom line

Being a learner rider doesn’t absolve you from taking out an insurance policy. Having at least third party cover is a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to drive or ride a bike on UK roads.

You’re free to take out standard insurance, but getting motorcycle insurance for learner riders can be a better option, as it tends to be more flexible. Some policies also come with a no claim discount protection, which is good if you’re borrowing a bike to learn on from a friend or family member. It means the no claim bonus of the bike’s owner won’t be affected if you have an accident.

Make sure you shop around to find the best policy for you, as different insurers will offer different benefits and prices.

Frequently asked questions

Ronny Lavie's headshot
Written by


Ronny Lavie was a deputy editor at Finder, specialising in insurance content. She has almost a decade of experience writing about financial topics, including five months spent as the interim managing editor for the Fintech Times newspaper. Ronny has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from London Middlesex University. See full bio

More guides on Finder

Go to site