FAQ: How to get cheap motorcycle insurance

Published: 04 November 2009

As a new rider insuring your bike could leave you feeling like you’ve just had a run in with Dick Turpin.

The usual premium slashing saviours of years of riding experience or years of accumulated no claims bonus’s clearly don’t apply, but it is not all bad news, there are things you can do to keep costs to a minimum.

Here the good folks at insurance specialist Carole Nash offer some wise words to help you avoid paying over the odds.

Dave Bowcock, operations director at Carole Nash, says:  “Experience, or claims-free experience, is obviously a big influence on the cost of cover.

"Obviously that’s no comfort to new riders so the next best thing is bolster your CBT with some advanced training.”

“We knock up to 10% off if you’ve passed a RoSPA or Institute of Advanced Motoring advanced test.”

He adds: “Another straightforward and sensible measure is to invest as much as you can in insurance approved – Thatcham accredited - security.  Fit a decent alarm, immobiliser or ground anchor and again you can trim maybe 10% off.”

Bowcock also advises that if you’re buying a secondhand bike have a think about its age. “Classic bike insurance can be significantly cheaper than modern. 

"Most insurance firms offer classic rates for bikes aged 15 years or more although Carole Nash offer classic cuts from 10 years.”

"Another thing to watch out for is if a bike is modified. Modifications, if they enhance performance or add value, may increase your premium.

"Contrary to popular opinion insurers don’t try and catch you out with mods, but they do expect you to inform them of something which materially affects you or your bike. If you have any doubts ask.”

It may also be worth negotiating with your insurer. “You might be able to trade off an agreed mileage limit or a higher excess for a lower premium,” he advises.

“Just remember that you have to stick to your side of the bargain. You can’t say you’ll do 5,000 miles and then do 10,000.”

He cautions too that when weighing up quotes make sure you’re comparing like with like as excesses and benefits like breakdown or legal protection may vary or not even be included.

Finally Bowcock warns against going to a general insurer. “Biking is a specialist market, it’s nothing like cars,” he advises.

“Specialist firms tend to offer better cover, value and, crucially service.

"If you need to make a claim you’ll want someone who knows what you’re talking about handling it.”

To help you budget here is a small selection of insurance costs for a few new-rider friendly bikes.

All quotes are for a 30-year-old male in an average risk area just got full licence, no no claims bonus. All brand new bikes, fully comprehensive.
 
Yamaha YZF-125R        £399.12 xs 150
 
Kawasaki Ninja 250R    £476.12 xs 200
 
Suzuki Gladius 650        £467.48 xs 200
 
Suzuki GSF 650 Bandit    £410.95 xs 200
 
All quotes include full UK and European Breakdown recovery and legal protection

Further reading:
Motorcycle FAQ

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  • Finding insurance for your first bike can be a difficult task