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Classic motorbike insurance

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What is classic motorbike insurance?

Classic motorbike insurance provides the cover you need for your classic bike and yourself. Regardless of how often you ride your classic, you’re legally required to insure it to ride it on public roads.

Even if you don’t ride it, it’s still a good idea to insure your motorbike in case it’s stolen or damaged. Specialist insurers can offer cover for classic motorbikes that are in storage. While it may be hard to replace, at least you aren't left out of pocket if it’s insured.

When does a motorbike become a classic?

A motorbike is considered a classic when it's reached a certain age, which differs between insurers. Some define a classic bike as one that’s over 15 years old, and others set the limit at 25 years old.

You can get classic motorbike insurance for almost all types of motorbike, including mopeds and scooters, providing it meets the insurer’s requirements of being a 'classic'.

The difference between standard and classic motorcycle insurance

There’s a difference between classic motorbike insurance and cover for standard motorbikes. Insurers understand that classic bikes are often treated differently. Generally, classic bikes are well looked after and tend to be ridden less often. Being used less reduces your mileage and also the risk of being involved in an accident.

Since classic bikes can be worth a lot of money, insurers can also provide an agreed value as part of the policy. This is the amount you’re guaranteed to be paid if you have an accident that results in the total loss of your motorbike. The agreed value can vary between insurers, so you need to be sure you’re happy with it before you buy your cover.

Another difference is that some insurers offering classic motorbike insurance only cover policyholders who are 25 or older, while some will cover anyone who’s over the age of 21 if they have a full category A motorbike licence. If you’re under 25 and looking for classic motorbike insurance, be sure to check if there are any age restrictions before buying.

What our motorbike insurance expert says

"A classic motorbike is more than just a mode of transport – it’s often a source of huge pride and joy for its owner. It makes sense to protect it - as well as all the time and effort you've put into its upkeep - with the right insurance.

Because the value of classic bikes varies so much, setting what’s called an 'agreed value' with your insurer means you know exactly how much you’ll get if you make a total loss claim – say if your motorbike is stolen and isn’t found, or it’s written off after an accident."

Louise Thomas, Motor Insurance Expert at Confused.com
Motor Insurance Expert Confused.com logo

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What cover do I need for a classic motorbike?

If you want to ride your classic bike, you must have insurance – third party cover at the very least. If you’re happy not to ride on a public road and don’t want to tax and insure your motorbike, you must get a statutory off-road notice or SORN.

If you have more than one motorbike, you might find it cheaper to cover them together on a single multi bike insurance policy. This can also make it easier to manage your insurance, as one policy means one renewal date – and less admin for you.

It also means the motorbikes you leave at home are insured against theft while you’re out and about on one of the others.

There are 3 levels of insurance to choose from, depending on your needs:

  • Third party: The minimum level of insurance you need to ride on the road. It covers any damage you do to a third party’s property, but doesn't cover any damage to your own motorbike.
  • Third party, fire and theft: This includes everything third party insurance covers, but it also covers your classic bike if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Fully comprehensive: This is the highest level of cover. It covers everything third party, fire and theft does, plus any damage to your motorbike. 

Added extras available with classic bike insurance

If a classic motorbike policy is missing a few features you really want, you might be able to pay a bit extra to add them on. Common extras you might consider include:

  • Motorcycle breakdown cover, which provides you with roadside assistance if your motorbike breaks down. Other levels of cover are usually available, including nationwide recovery, onward journey and home start.
  • Helmet and leathers cover, which protects your motorcycle gear if it’s stolen or needs replacing after an accident.
  • Pillion cover, which offers 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.
  • Personal accident cover, also known as personal injury cover, which gives you or your family financial support if you're injured or die in an accident. Levels of cover vary between insurers.

How much is classic motorbike insurance?


The exact amount you pay depends on several factors, including:

  • The make and model of your motorbike
  • Your location
  • Where you keep your motorbike when it’s not in use
  • The motorbike’s value
  • Your age, and riding experience

Things you can do to help keep costs down:

  • Compare quotes with us to make sure you’re getting the cover you need at a price that works for your budget
  • Add motorbike security like an immobiliser and alarm
  • Store your motorbike securely when it's not in use
  • Use a tracker, so the police can find your motorbike if it’s stolen
  • Join a bike club, as some insurers give you a discount for this
  • Take an advanced rider qualification to make you a safer rider

Do I need to tax a classic motorbike?

As of 1 April 2022, you don’t have to pay tax on any motorbike that’s 40 years old. However, you need to apply for tax exemption, and you can find out how to do this in GOV.UK’s guide to classic vehicle tax.

Be aware that you still need to tax your motorbike, even if there’s nothing to pay. Read more on motorbike tax.

How to get a quote for classic motorcycle insurance

Getting a quote takes just a few minutes.We just need a few details from you.


Details about your motorbike

  • The make and model of your motorcycle
  • The year of manufacture
  • Where you plan on keeping it
  • Details of any modifications you've made to the motorbike

Rider details

  • Your licence type and how long you've had it
  • How you’ll use your motorbike
  • Estimated yearly mileage
  • Any claims or convictions you've had
  • Any additional rider’s details
  • If you need any policy add-ons

Does a classic motorbike need an annual MOT?

Classic motorbikes over 40 years old are exempt from needing an annual MOT. But even though MOTs are no longer required at this point, you need to make sure your motorbike is well-maintained and roadworthy.

Classic motorbikes less than 40 years old will still need an annual MOT.

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Motorbike guides

Page last reviewed: 14 September 2023

Reviewed by: Louise Thomas

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