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How can I insure a motorcycle test ride?

I’m planning on buying my first bike, a Kawasaki Ninja 250R advertised in a private sale, soon. If the seller allows me to test ride their bike, where would I stand if I crashed or got stopped, as I assume I wouldn’t be covered on his insurance? Secondly, if I did buy it, how would I ride it home without it being insured?

Lucian Chevallier, email


Answered by Chris Evitt, Carole Nash

If this wasn’t your first bike and you already had your own bike insurance, then the policy might have the facility to allow you to ride a bike owned by another person (with their permission), on a third-party only basis. It doesn’t necessarily have to have the same or lower group rating either. So if you were stepping up from a 600, you could test ride a 750 or 1000cc bike on a third-party only basis, although any licence restrictions would still apply.

However, as a new rider without an existing policy you would be uninsured on the test ride and in doing so would be committing an offence. You could see if you could be added to the seller’s insurance so you’re covered on the road, or take along a mate who already has a bike with ‘riding other bikes’ cover and get him to test ride it for you.

It’s best to get a quote for insurance ready to go before you see the bike. Most brokers provide 24/7 service, so obtaining your own insurance before you ride away should be quick and easy. Or you can get your mate to ride it home for you. If he was insured with Carole Nash, he may have our ‘Rider Cover’ extension, which means he’d be fully covered (not just third-party) if he had an accident

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