Is classic motorbike insurance different to standard motorcycle cover?
Insuring a classic bike is similar to insuring a standard motorbike. You’ll still be able to find cover that’ll offer protection from theft, damage and whatever else you need to be protected against.
Where it might be a little different is in the cost. Classic motorbikes can be more expensive to insure because they’re older and might need a specialist mechanic with access to discontinued parts to fix them.
Classic motorbikes can also be more desirable, which often makes them a target for thieves.
But, aside from the cost, classic motorcycle insurance is similar to standard bike cover.
There are some key things to consider when you’re comparing classic bike insurance quotes though:
Agreed values are an important part of classic motorcycle insurance. Most classic bike insurance policies allow you to set and agree a value for your bike when the policy starts. Since vintage and classic bike values vary depending on model, rarity and condition, this is an important figure to agree on before the policy starts.
Limited mileage discounts could be worth considering. Many classic bikes are kept on display or as projects for much of the year. If you don’t ride your bike often, you might find some insurers are willing to offer discounted insurance. You just need to make sure you don’t exceed any mileage limits you agree to as this could lead to extra costs later on.
Consider comprehensive cover Many bikers consider comprehensive cover to be the default level of insurance for a classic motorbike. This is because the cost of repairing a classic bike after an accident could be quite high.
What types of classic motorbike insurance are there?
There are three levels of cover when it comes to classic motorbike insurance:
What add-ons are available with classic bike insurance?
When it comes to your classic bike, buying the cheapest policy might not be your main priority. The quality and features of the cover might be far more important when protecting your motorcycle.
Check what add-ons the insurance provider offers on top of the standard policy. These usually come at an added cost, so think about what you really need. Some common extras you might consider include:
- Breakdown cover
- Helmet and leathers cover
- Pillion cover
- European cover
Motorcycle breakdown cover could help you if you’re stranded at the side of the road. There are several levels of motorbike breakdown cover, offering national roadside assistance or home start recovery.
Helmet and leathers cover protects your motorcycle gear if it’s stolen or needs replacing after an accident.
Pillion cover adds extra protection for your passenger if they’re injured in an accident. You still have to make sure they’re wearing protective clothing and a helmet.
European cover could be an option if you’re planning on riding your bike through Europe. You could have basic European cover on your standard policy, but the level of cover might be limited. This add-on could offer additional protections when driving on the continent.
Need more help?
Since 2018, classic bikes over 40 years old are exempt from needing an annual MOT. That’s £30 a year saved.
But you still must make sure that your bike is road-legal. That means it must be in a roadworthy state and in good enough condition to pass a motorbike MOT. If you’re caught riding a bike that’s not roadworthy - even if it’s MOT-exempt - you could face a fine and points on your licence.
Your classic motorcycle insurance policy might also include a condition that all vehicles driven on the road must be kept in a roadworthy condition. If you have an accident and it turns out that the motorbike wasn’t fit for the road, the insurance company could reject your claim.
If your classic bike is over 40 years old you can apply to stop paying vehicle tax. Depending on how big the engine is, that’s up to £100 a year saved.
If you’re buying a classic motorbike from abroad, you must register it through the DVLA as an imported motorbike. For more information, check out our guide on imported motorcycles.
Yes, you should be able to get classic moped insurance.
You can usually get classic cover on any kind of motorbike, so long as it meets the insurance company’s criteria for it to be a ‘classic’.
If you’ve any concerns get in touch with the motorbike insurance company and check if they offer classic cover for mopeds.
What our motorbike insurance expert says
Motorbike insurance is essential for a classic motorcycle, not least to protect all the time and effort that goes into them. You’ll need to agree a value for you motorbike with your insurer so there are no nasty surprises if you come to claim. And try to keep it shiny side up and stay bike safe.
Motorbike insurance product manager