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Cheap Motorbike Insurance

Compare bike, moped or motorcycle insurance
Sliced bread

Whether you ride a Harley-Davidson or a Vespa scooter, motorbike insurance is a legal requirement. However, just because it is compulsory it doesn't have to cost a packet.

Cheap cover can be hard to find, as many big names steer clear. Yet it's still possible to get scores of quotes in minutes, saving you £100s.

Step 1: Getting the right cover

Motorbike insurance rates are set by actuaries, whose job is to calculate risk. Each insurer's price depends on two things; their underwriters' assessment of your particular risk, and then their own pricing model which dictates what customers they want to attract and what they should charge. See the following quick questions for more.

Quick Questions:

Does my age matter?

How much does my mileage impact my price?

Should I park my bike in my hallway? Will it lower the cost of cover?

Does it matter if I have points on my licence?

How high should I set my excess?

Does covering helmets and other gear cost extra?

Is it cheaper to pay monthly or annually?

What do I do if I have special circumstances?

How truthful do I have to be when getting a quote?

What if my insurer goes bust?

Step 2: Find the best bike quote

As insurance prices depend on an individual's circumstances, there's no single cheapest provider. The key is to use comparison sites to get the most quotes in the shortest amount of time.

If you are a fair-weather rider and only use your bike in lighter, brighter months of extra daylight, also get a quote for temporary insurance.

Compare in the following order

This guide has recently been updated with a new order, and information, but we'd love your feedback on if it works for you, if there's anything you would change, or feel we have missed.

  • Always double check your results. What to check

  • Your data is being given to insurers. What insurers may do

Quotes from more than 44 providers

The Bike Insurer*

TheBikeInsurer
  • Obtaining a quotation took approximately five minutes
  • Results are readily available for different levels of cover
  • Editing your quote is simple
  • Special offers are clearly laid out
  • Voluntary excess as it defaults to £500
  • The box used to opt out of marketing calls is not easy to find

Quotes from 44 providers

Confused.com*

  • Getting a quote from Confused took three minutes
  • It has a simple edit option and you're able to view premiums for each cover level by clicking a drop-down.
  • Voluntary excess defaults to £500
  • The box used to opt out of marketing calls is not easy to find

Quotes from 33 providers

Gocompare*

  • The GoCompare quotation process took approximately six minutes.
  • It clearly states, with a tick and cross display, if additional cover is provided, or has been selected
  • The process of opting out of marketing calls or literature was clear and easy to find.
  • Comparing between insurers and including add-ons is simple can be fiddly

Quotes from more than 30 providers

MoneySupermarket*

  • Obtaining a quote from MoneySupermarket took around four minutes
  • The excess defaults to a lower £150 and lets you alternate between cover levels by using a drop-down box.
  • Additional costs are clearly displayed
  • The box used to opt out of marketing calls is not easy to find

The pick of the rest

A couple of insurers aren't included on comparisons and are worth checking separately for a final push. So if you have a few minutes spare, try Aviva (though you will need to give them a call) and broker Carole Nash*.

If you're desparate to squeeze the pennies, there are also a few more comparisons to try: Quotezone*, Compare The Market, Tiger.co.uk* and MCN Compare.

Step 3: Check out special policies

Once you've obtained quotes from comparison sites, it's worth trying these extra steps to see if they undercut your best price.

Temporary insurance

For some, jumping on the saddle is a good weather activity. If your bike only comes out when the weather is on the bright side, take a look at cheaper temporary insurance that can just last up to three months.

There are two things to be aware of, though.

  • You won't build up a no-claims bonus. This will mean you won't be eligible for no-claims discounts in future years.

  • When not insured, you must get Sorn. Rules came into force in 2011 saying all vehicles must either be insured - even if no one rides them - or you must get a a Sorn (Statutory Off Road Notification). See Gov.uk for how to do this.

The top short-term solution

Bikesure: If you need short-term cover, Bikesure can offer policies from one day up to 3 months at a time. A condition is that the rider must be aged 21 or over.

Before jumping for a short period policy, compare the cost against an annual premium as getting three months of cover won't simply be a quarter of an annual premium so is worth doing some homework.

Get a 'six-wheel' policy

If your bike isn't your only form of transport, and you use a car too, get a quote for a policy that covers both. The only 'six-wheel' policy we've found is from Carole Nash.

Though having both vehicles on one policy may be convenient, check that it's actually worth it. Get a 'six-wheel' quote, then total up individual ones for your bike, using the comparisons above, and your car, using our Cheap Car Insurance guide.

Speak to a broker

Brokers and comparison sites may seem like they're doing a similar job, as each search a number of different insurers. But they're radically different beasts. A good analogy for this is to compare it to searching for the cheapest loaf of bread.

Individual insurers are like bakers, your choice is simply to buy the cheapest loaf that suits.

Brokers are like supermarkets. They stock a range of bakers' loaves and the price charged depends on their relationships with suppliers, while comparison sites keep records of all their prices.

So, with your tastebuds whet, we'll get to the point. To really hone the price to the nth degree, it is worth picking up the phone and calling a broker. Here's a selection: BikeSure, Footman James or search on the British Insurance Brokers Association website for a local broker.

Step 4: Special deals

While comparison sites offer a large chunk of the deals available in the market, others are only available directly from insurers or brokers. If any of the providers below are among your cheapest, use the links below to buy instead and take advantage of special deals.

Free helmet and leathers cover and roadside assistance

Be Wiser

Insurance broker Be Wiser has a number of incentives to tempt you into signing up. You'll automatically get free helmet and leathers cover (up to £1,000), legal protection service, RAC roadside assistance and personal accident cover (up to £10,000).

Step 5: Grab cashback and haggle

By now you'll know the cheapest available provider. But you may be able to cut the cost even further.

Try cashback websites

Once you know who your cheapest provider is, you need to check there aren't any hidden cashback deals, as these have been as high as £100. If your second or third cheapest quotes weren't too much more expensive see if cashback's available for them too, and find the overall winner.

These sites carry paid links from some retailers and financial services providers. In other words if you click through them and get a product they get paid. They then give you some of this cash which means you get the same product, but a cut of its revenue.

Don't choose based only on cashback, see it as a bonus once you've picked the right cover.

Those new to cashback sites should ensure they read the Top Cashback Sites guide for pros and cons before using them. Otherwise use the Cashback Sites Maximiser tool to find the highest payer for each insurer.

Things you need to know before doing this...

  • Never count the cash as yours until it's in your bank account. This cashback is never 100% guaranteed, there can be issues with tracking and allocating the payment, plus many cashback sites are small companies with limited backing, and you've no protection if anything happens to them.
  • Withdraw the cashback as soon as you're allowed. Money held in your cashback site account has no protection at all if that company went bust, so always withdraw it as soon as you're eligible.
  • Clear your cookies. While it shouldn't be a problem, if you've used comparison sites beforehand, there is a minor risk that the cashback may not track due to cookies - so its good practice to clear those first (read About Cookies)

Haggle on your insurance

The insurance market is very competitive and companies are desperate to retain business. So once you've got your overall cheapest price, get on the phone and try to haggle. There's often price flexibility, but be fully armed with the screenscrapers' cheapest quotes and any available cashback first.

The first port of call should be your existing insurer. If it can beat or even match the best quote it saves the hassle of switching policy. If that doesn't work and you're still in the mood, take it to a broker. For more haggling tips, read the full Haggle On The High Street guide and the top 10 firms to haggle with.

Once you've found the cheapest

Once you've found the cheapest from the screenscrapers, there are two important checks to make:

  • Double-check the quotes
    Click through to the insurance provider's own website to double-check the quotes, as to speed up searches some comparison sites make a few assumptions.

  • Examine the policy's coverage
    Is the policy suitable for you? If you want "pillion cover", is it included? Plus while you're there, it's worth playing with the policy details to see if you can slim the price down. Look at the excess, and if extra security will help to drive the cost down.

Step 6: Remember next year

alarm clock picture

Providing you drive well and don't have any accidents, your insurance premium should get cheaper after the first year. However, don't automatically stick with the same provider - it may not still be the cheapest.

Apply for cover from your existing insurer as a new customer and its likely you'll be given a better price. This is because insurers, like any company, will happily profit from apathy if they can.

Insurers must send out renewal notifications at least 28 days before renewal. This doesn't leave much time, and you can end up rushing to find a cheaper price.

To avoid being forced to decide quickly, put a warning in your diary six weeks before your renewal date, so there's plenty of time to sort out a new provider. Alternatively use the free Tart Alert, which sends a reminder text or email.