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Steve Farrell  says:

How thousands of motorcyclists could be unwittingly uninsured

Thousands of motorcyclists could be unwittingly riding without insurance because of confusion over what constitutes a full licence. Many riders tell their insurance company they have had a full licence since the date they passed their standard motorcycle test. But the insurance ombudsman has concluded they are wrong, and a full licence is only obtained when the 33bhp power restriction elapses,...

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  • Posted 3 years ago (30 January 2012 11:37)

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Apr 07

Posts: 1554

shuggie1 says:

Whole thing is a Clusterfuck

Used to be I filled in my insurance quote on line and it won't let me have a ncb longer than I've had my licence, yet I rode for 2 years on L plates, and did build up a ncb for the class of vehicle. Ditto if you did 33 bhp and then upgrade to bigger once two years are up - are you meant to loose the 2 years ncb?

Irrelevant now, as 10+ years on both so at max for comparison sites

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:


it'd be very kind of insurers to ALLOW PEOPLE TO LIST RESTRICTED LICENCE when they apply for the policy/ies - many don't, simply listing "CBT" or "Full Licence". So we're getting penalised because insurers can't do their sodding job properly.


There was stories some time back where "restricted" riders were having full-power bikes seized by Police EVEN THOUGH THE TWO YEARS HAD ELAPSED and they were entitled to ride them; in these instances clueless officers simply looked at the 25kW on the licence and decided the riders weren't actually entitled to ride them because "it doesn't state anywhere on the licence that the restriction lasts for two years" (it does, on the back of the paper counterpart, Section 2, headed "Motorcyclists - Special Conditions").


This whole fiasco requires clarification as a matter of urgency; if this rule applied to car drivers, and was f***ed up the same way, there would be an outrage. 

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Mar 08

Posts: 26

Georg3 says:

It doesn't surprise me that ebike are part of this. I had a serious disagreement with ecar last year, there's nothing but horror stories on the internet about their business. Good to see that Carole Nash and MCE are on the right side of all this.

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Sep 09

Posts: 898

Rogerborg says:

What a co-incidence

I've just had this exact discussion with the DVLA, and they won't budge on the way that they record license categories.  They claimed to be unaware that anyone had had an issue with insurance because of it - I have the emails available if anyone is interested.

I do have to take issue with the use of the term "full license" here, because while many insurers do stitch us up by only listing "provisional" and "full" (or some other nonsense term), eBike are one of the few outfits that do allow us to distinguish between provisional, A1, "A2" (no such category exists, they presumably mean "A <= 25k") and A, so they're very slightly less despicable than most other insurers pulling this trick.

If you do get stung with this, take a very careful look at what your insurer asked.  Some of them do ask for the date that you passed your test and so can jog on, and some only let us enter "full" (or "A") and are also on a sticky wicket - how are you meant to tell them that you've got "A1" or "A <= 25kW", and how on earth can your license category upgrading lose you 2 years of experience?  Ambiguity in a contract, especially a contract of adhesion, should be decided in favour of the party that didn't draft it, they shouldn't be given a chance to turn round later and say "Oh, right, what we meant to ask you was..."

OK, eBike do actually ask the right question, but boo sucks to the Ombudsman, and I hope that someone with a more ambiguous insurer takes this to a proper grown up court which should throw it out on its ear if there's any vagueness in what was asked.

It's the insurers' ostensible job to get this right, and they've got absolutely no excuse for pleading ignorance since the Directive that defined the "A <= 25kW" license was published in 1991.  We shouldn't need to still be explaining the correct license terminology to them over 21 years later.

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Nov 09

Posts: 88

ginganz13 says:

Just one of the reasons Ieft

Move to New Zealand - learner laws same as the pre 1982 UK laws.

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Jan 12

Posts: 4

megawilhelm says:

More crap...

So when we go to insure our bikes, with our '33bhp licence' in hand, do we put that we do not have a full licence? Funny, because the online quotes would not insure us if we put that in.

At the end of the day, we've taken the same test, which is just as difficult and expensive to do, just on a slower motorcycle - but on both tests you have to ride at the same speeds (as most 125's will easily do nearly 70, and 70 is the fastest you can go on either test)

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Apr 11

Posts: 6

huntley53 says:


I´m just glad I passed my test back in 1976. Then it was just a 250cc restriction on a provisional licence. No training needed (You taught yourself). Then after passing the test you could ride anything you liked. Mind you, bikes were less powerful back then.........

To Insureres - If you dont ask the right questions, dont expect the correct answers.

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Jan 12

Posts: 2

CBR600FMAD says:


this was taken from the bennets website in the FAQ's section under what does a full motorcycle licence allow me to ride? and they dond even mension the Dirrect Access Test.

"What does a full motorcycle licence allow me to ride?

There are two types of full motorcycle licence:

A light motorcycle licence (A1), which restricts riders to any bike up to 125 cc and a power output of 11 kW. The practical test must be taken on a bike of between 75 cc and 125 cc

A standard motorcycle licence (A), is obtained if the practical test is taken on a bike of over 120 cc but not more than 125 cc and capable of at least 100 km/h per hour. After passing the standard motorcycle practical test, you will be restricted for two years to riding a bike of up to 25 kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. After this you may ride any size of bike."

Enough said! Bennets are on the right side too.

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Jun 11

Posts: 36

stefmeister says:


Result in doing my DAS and passing it, everything seems to change around the licencing theme.

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Jan 11

Posts: 125

petedj says:

Pay good money for worthless paper

Insurance companies finding yet another way to weasel out of paying claims. Why do we have to deal with these crooks?

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