The three levels of motorbike insurance
The level of cover you choose could impact what you’re covered for, as well as how much you pay.
As with car or van insurance there are 3 levels of cover available to you:
How much is motorbike insurance?
The average price of a comprehensive motorbike insurance policy in the UK is £2942.
Motorbike insurance tends to get cheaper as you get older. From an insurer’s point of view, older riders tend to be more careful riders and are less likely to have an accident. But age is just one of multiple factors that affect the price of your insurance.
2Vast: visibility data: Average price of a 12 month fully comprehensive premium in April 2022
Motorcycle classes of use
If you’re looking for a cheap motorbike insurance quote, it’s important that you choose the right class of use when you get your quote. You need to be honest about how, when and where you use your bike. If you aren’t, your insurance might be invalidated, and you could be hit with points and a fine.
There are four classes of use for bike insurance:
- Social, domestic and pleasure (SDP or SD&P)
- Social including commuting (SDPC or SDP inc. C)
- Class 1 business use
- Courier, delivery or dispatch insurance
Social, domestic and pleasure (SDP or SD&P) is the class for riders who only use their motorbike for social reasons, such as bank holiday ride-outs and motorbike tests. Many SDP riders only do a few thousand miles a year, and your MOT certificate should show you how many miles you covered last year.
Social and commuting (SDPC or SDP inc. C) includes anyone who uses their motorcycle to ride to and from a single place of work. It’s sometimes known as ‘scooter-commuter’ cover, but it’s required for any motorbike you use to commute with.
Remember, SDPC only covers you for riding your motorbike to and from a single work location. If you work in multiple locations, you might need Class 1 cover instead. If you use your motorbike to ride to the bus or train station and continue the commute using public transport, you should still select social and commuting.
Class 1 business use protects riders who use their motorbike to travel to different places for work, rather than just between their home and the office.
This class of use could be for you if you:
- Travel to multiple places of work
- Ride all over the country as part of your job
- Use your motorbike to meet clients, suppliers or customers
Courier, delivery or dispatch insurance. If you’re a food delivery rider or courier then you might want to consider courier cover. We don’t offer courier and delivery insurance at Confused.com – you need to go to a specialist insurer for this kind of policy.
What our motorbike insurance expert says
When comparing motorbike insurance, it’s important to remember that insuring your motorcycle is really just the start. When you add up the cost of your helmet and leathers, which aren’t normally covered by your motorbike insurance, you might see the value in helmet and leathers cover.
Personal accident can cover you if you’re injured in an accident, and breakdown cover might also be worthwhile as it’s no fun sitting in the rain on a conked-out motorbike.
Motorbike insurance product manager
Need more help?
Yes you can. Some motorbike insurance companies offer multi bike insurance policies. This lets you put multiple motorbikes under a single policy to reduce the admin headache. You could also get a discount on each motorbike you add to the policy.
Generally, yes. Most insurers should let you add another named rider to your policy. To add another rider, you need to provide the insurance company with some details about their riding history, such as claims and convictions.
Adding a rider to your policy could see your insurance costs go up, as the bike will be on the road for longer, there’s a greater risk of making a claim.
Normally you only get a brand-new replacement when your motorbike is written off if it was new or if you’ve recently bought it.
If your motorcycle is older, you’re likely to get a payout from your insurer that reflects its current value, minus your policy excess.
Yes you can. You don’t normally need to get a dedicated insurance policy for the sidecar, though. Get in touch with your insurance company and tell them that you’ve fitted a sidecar to your motorbike. Give them the make, model and value of the sidecar and it should be covered under your policy.
If you have a self-built sidecar, you might need to look for specialist cover for it. Have a chat with your insurance company and see what cover they offer.
Yes, with the right insurance policy. Before you go abroad with your bike you should check to see:
- If your existing policy covers you
- How long you’re covered for
- Which countries you’re insured to ride in
- If your level of cover is the same as when you’re abroad
If you’re travelling in the EU and have a photocard licence, you don’t need to get an international driving permit or a green card.
Some insurance companies allow you to carry your car's no-claims bonus over to your motorbike policy, but many won't. If in doubt, check with your insurer before you commit to buying a policy.
You can only use your car no-claims on one vehicle at a time. So, if your no-claims bonus is currently on your car, you can’t use it on your motorbike.
Yes, you can get temporary motorbike insurance for just 1 day. If you're borrowing a friend's motorbike, or taking one for a test ride, 1 day motorbike insurance could come in handy.
Temporary motorcycle insurance policies like these are flexible, letting you cover the motorbike for days or weeks at a time.
It could be a more cost-effective solution than paying for an annual policy if you aren't riding that often.
Yes, you can buy a motorbike without having insurance. But you need to make sure that you’ve got an insurance policy in place for your motorbike before you ride it for the first time. Many people choose to start their policy on the day that they collect their motorbike, to make sure they’re covered to ride it away safely and legally.
Yes you can, though not all motorbike insurance companies offer cover for imported models. Imported motorbikes come in two types - parallel and grey.
Parallel imports come from within the EU, so should already meet minimum UK standards. These imports tend to be relatively easy to insure.
Grey imports come from outside the EU. They might not meet UK vehicle standards, so you might need to pay to modify them before you can ride. Grey imports tend to be more expensive to insure due to the need for specialist, imported parts.
The easiest way to check if your motorcycle is insured is to put your registration into the askMID service. This service gives a clear yes or no as to whether your motorbike has a valid insurance policy.
Some comprehensive motorbike insurance policies cover you to ride other bikes – normally on a third-party-only basis. Make sure you check your insurance policy before riding someone else’s bike though.
If you need to borrow a friend’s bike for a short while, temporary motorbike insurance could be another solution. You can get comprehensive cover for a single day or a longer period.
Most insurance companies cover modifications that don’t affect performance under a standard policy.
If this is the case, your insurer should provide a list of modifications you don’t have to tell them about on their website. You must declare all other modifications to the insurer. This could make your insurance costs go up.
For more information, take a look at our guide on modified motorbike insurance.
Generally, no. Most standard motorcycle insurance policies don’t cover you for punctures or damage to your wheels.
To avoid being stuck at the side of the road, you can get motorbike breakdown cover, which offers roadside assistance.
This is often called pillion cover. Whether you’re covered to carry passengers depends on the policy you buy. Most motorbike insurance policies exclude pillion cover as standard, so check the terms and conditions of your policy before carrying any passengers. You might be able to buy pillion cover as an add-on to your policy.
You should also check that your motorcycle licence allows you to carry passengers.
If you’re involved in an accident you should report it to your insurance company. There should be a phone number for their claims department on your policy documents or on the company’s website.
Make sure to pass on all the details you took from the scene of the accident to your insurer within 24 hours. For more information, check out our guide on how to claim on your motorbike insurance.
Motorbike licence grades are similar to driving licence categories that let you drive different vehicles. For example, cars, buses and trucks have their own licence category.
Your motorbike licence entitles you to ride certain kinds of motorbikes and engine sizes. You’ll likely see restrictions based on:
- Your age
- Your riding experience
- The power of the bike
This depends on your insurer and how bad the write-off was. Write-offs are categorised in a similar way to cars and given a rating of A, B, S or N:
Categories A (scrap) and B (break) mean the motorcycle can't be put into circulation again. It’s unlikely the insurance company would let you buy it back, even for parts.
Categories S (structurally damaged, repairable) and N (non-structurally damaged, repairable) could be a bit more flexible. Insurers might let you buy back the whole motorbike, or just parts of it.
Get in touch with your insurance company and ask them about their policy regarding write-offs.
When you’re 16, you should be able to ride either a moped or a scooter with a maximum engine size of 50cc.
But before you can legally ride on the road, you need to have a provisional licence and complete a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course.
You’re legally required to display L-plates at all times when riding your scooter as long as you’ve got a provisional licence. If you’re caught riding without them, you risk getting points on your licence and a fine.
Normally, if your motorbike is declared a write-off, the payout you get should be at the motorbike’s current value, which takes depreciation into account.
Some motorbike insurance policies might offer an Agreed Value feature, particularly if you own a classic motorcycle. This means you’re not left out of pocket following an accident.
To get an agreed value, you might need to get an independent valuation of the motorbike, as well as provide photographs and receipts to the insurance company.
If your trike is a standard, manufactured model, we can quickly compare insurance quotes and get you covered.
But many trikes tend to be non-standard, custom builds. If this is the case, you can still compare prices with us, but you might need to call the insurer you choose and confirm all your vehicle details.
This helps make sure that your policy and price are correct, and you're getting the right level of cover. Mistakes made when you take out the policy could become expensive to fix later on.
New models and imported bikes can sometimes be difficult to find, and some models might be under a slightly different name. For example, if you’re looking for a Piaggio, look under ‘Vespa Piaggio’. If your details are correct and you still can’t find your bike, try our contact form - we’re happy to help.
You have to have motorbike insurance in place, unless your motorcycle has a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Being uninsured is illegal and could land you with a fine and points on your licence.
You could take out a policy just for the summer, and cancel in the autumn. But with cancellation fees and the relatively low cost of motorbike insurance, you’re unlikely to save much money doing things this way.
There are temporary motorbike insurance policies available, which lets you insure your motorbike for parts of the year. But you’d still need to give your motorbike a SORN every time the insurance policy expires.
Excess is a set amount of money that you need to put towards a claim. This amount is usually deducted from any potential payout you might get.
Let’s say you make a motorbike insurance claim to replace your bike after an accident, and the total payout is £1,000. If you’ve set your excess to, say, £250, that amount gets deducted from the £1,000. That leaves you with £750 to replace your motorbike.
Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is the minimum level of training all motorbike riders must complete before they’re allowed to ride on public roads.
There’s no pass or fail - it’s a course that teaches you the basics of motorcycle control before you start your lessons.
If you don’t have a car driving licence, you can leave this question blank and still carry on with getting your quote. A full UK licence allows you to drive a motorbike provisionally - if you have one, we need to know when you got your licence.
Yes, you can get a motorcycle insurance policy without having a licence. This could be useful if you're a collector, for example.
But you do need a valid licence before you can ride your motorbike. And it needs to be the right category of licence for the size and power of your motorbike.