How much does it cost to learn to ride a motorbike?

The feeling of freedom you get when riding a motorcycle is unlike anything else, but a lot stands in the way of the thinking about learning to ride and finally passing your test. From theory tests and module tests to riding gear and insurance, there are several hurdles to jump through before you can get on the road – and they all have a price tag attached. 

On this page, we’ll explain just how much it costs to get riding in the UK, and we’ll also throw in any tips that can help keep costs down. Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of motorcycling in the UK. 

how to pass module one and two - module one

Understanding the licence process

The path to obtaining a full motorbike licence in the UK is where the bulk of your investment will go, as it involves several steps, each carrying its own cost. These steps include the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT), theory test, and practical tests for different licence categories (A1, A2, and full A licence).

Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

The CBT is a mandatory course for all new riders and must be completed before riding on public roads. The cost of a CBT test is approximately £100-£150, varying based on location and the training school. The CBT certificate is valid for two years. If you want to ride anything more powerful than 125cc and without L or D plates, you’ll need to pass a motorcycle theory and practical test after it.

Mod 1 bike test

Motorcycle tests

The motorcycle theory test, a prerequisite for practical tests, costs £23. This test includes multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception section. Although like the car test in structure, the bike theory test is arguably more complex – mainly due to the extra hazards that come with riding a motorcycle. 

It’s possible to revise for the test using free apps, but many prefer to download free apps and then opt for in-app purchases for further support. Of course, a highway code is also a tried and tested option. 

Practical tests and categories

The practical tests and licence categories are age-dependent, so it’s possible you’ll need to take more than one depending on your age. For example, if you pass at 17, you’ll still need to take the test again once around 21 or 24. 

17 years and over you can level up to an A1 licence which entitles you to ride bikes up to 125cc without L or D plates and carry a pillion passenger. 

19 years old and over you can upgrade to an A2 licence which entitles you to ride any motorcycle with a power output of up to 35kW and carry a pillion passenger. 

how to pass module one and two - cones

21 years old and over you can apply for a category A licence which lets you ride any motorbike of any size. If you’re between 21 and 23 you must have held an A2 licence for at least two years (otherwise, you’ll have to wait until you’re 24). And one more thing; you’ll need to pass the motorbike practical test on a 595cc bike. 

24 years old and over you can apply for a category A (full motorbike licence) which entitles you to ride a motorbike of any size. Alternatively, if you have some driving experience, you can take part in the DAS. Short for Direct Access Scheme the DAS takes into account your experience on the road, and will help you earn a full motorbike licence without any previous two-wheeled experience. 

To double check the steps you need to take to get the licence you want, you can follow the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) flow charts which summarise the rules.

How much do the licences cost to get? 

Prices will vary depending on where you live and the riding school, but you should expect to pay around £600-£1,200. The theory test costs a relatively cheap £23, part one of the practical test is equally reasonable at £15.50, but part two is a little more expensive. Expect to pay either £75 for a weekday test or £88.50 for evenings, weekends and bank holidays. 

HJC R-PHA 70 Helmet

Motorcycle gear

Many riding schools used to loan students gear, but the onset of Covid has changed things considerably. Now most riding schools will ask that you have your own safety gear, including helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots.

We’d always suggest spending as much as you can on your safety, though that might feel a little daunting if you’re yet to pass – and especially if you’re not sure about how much you’ll ride. The cost of safety gear can be anywhere from £300 to £1000, depending on your budget. 

Cost-Saving Tips

Choose the right training school: Prices vary, so it’s wise to shop around. Some schools offer package deals for multiple stages of training, and if you’ve already passed CBT your with one instructor it’s likely you’ll want to unlock the rest of your bike licence with same person. 

What’s more, although the cost of the licences is fixed, tuition fees will vary depending on the school and where in the country you’re taking the test. Expect teaching to cost more in the capital, for example. 

how to pass module one and two - road test

Buy used gear: Safety equipment is crucial and will be one of your biggest initial outgoings when you first start to learn. We’d always recommend you buy the best equipment you can when you start off – but if you’re looking to save some extra cash, try looking for some used gear. Some serious equipment can be had online in good condition.

Insurance comparison: Use comparison tools like to find the best insurance rates.


Obtaining a motorcycle licence is in the UK isn’t cheap: factor in £1500 for learning, and £500 for gear and you’re looking at upwards of £2000 providing you pass first time. We’d love to say that it gets cheaper once you pass – but it really doesn’t. Once you’re riding, it’s very likely you’ll be looking at the next bike, as well as upgrading the current one – and you’ll always be looking for new gear as each season comes in.

Still, it’s worth it.