At first, becoming a motorcyclist can be a bit confusing. This guide below is intended to make it a little clearer in four steps. This is not intended as an exhaustive guide, more so as a ‘quick start’ check list for those new to, or relatively new to motorcycling in the UK. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 544 4433.
To be eligible to start training, you must have one of the following licences: a full UK car licence, a provisional UK car licence with valid provisional motorcycle entitlement, or an EU licence with valid UK counterpart (D58/2) showing provisional motorcycle entitlement (under additional UK provisional entitlement). If you have the photocard licence, you must have both parts of it, both the photocard and the paper counterpart licence (D740). If you have no licence at all, you will need to collect form D1 from the Post Office and apply for one, or you can apply online.
To apply for a UK Provisional Licence, please visit the following page of the Directgov website: Directgov link.
If you have a licence from outside of the UK please visit the following page of the Directgov web site: Directgov link.
2. Automatic or manual?
Secondly you need to think about what type of motorcycle you want to ride.
3. Ride as a learner or get a full bike licence?
The third thing you need to think about is whether you want to ride as a learner, or if you want to go off and get a bike licence straight away. If you just want to ride as a learner, then all you need to do is take a Compulsory Basic Training Course. CBT allows you to ride up to a 125cc motorcycle (providing your licence allows you to do so) for a period of two years as a learner rider if you are over seventeen years of age, or a 50cc moped at age sixteen. If you are sure that you want to get a bike licence straight away, then please move onto section 4. If you do decide to just take CBT, please be aware that you will have to take your motorcycle theory test and practical test within two years, or you will have to take another CBT course to carry on riding. If you are not sure whether you want to go for your bike licence or not, then just start with the CBT as you will be much clearer about your objectives once you have taken this course. If you decide after CBT that you do want to go on and get your licence, just upgrade within two weeks and your overall package price will work out to be the same. Ideally, you would go off and do your test as soon as you can because you will be that much safer on the roads. CBT is after all just basic training as its name suggests.
4. Which licence?
The third choice you need to make is about what licence you want to get. There are three different categories of motorcycle licence you can achieve. Before you can go for one of these, you will need to have taken CBT and passed a motorcycle theory test. You can either do these separately, or you can book them all as part of an intensive course culminating in your practical test on the last day. Age is a factor as to what options you have and is governed by law.
Age 16: You will only have Category AM on your licence, which means that you can only ride a moped. Technically (once you have completed CBT and theory test) you may go and pass your test on a moped, gaining a full moped licence, but in reality 99% of 16 year olds will wait until they are 17 to go for their licence because the options are far greater.
(Catergory A1) Aged 17+: You may only go for a restricted licence which allows you to ride a motorcycle/scooter up to 125cc under a full licence entitlement.
(Catergory A2) Aged 19+: You may only go for a restricted licence which allows you ride a motorcycle/scooter up to 46bhp under a full licence entitlement.
(Catergory A) Aged 24+: You may go for a licence with no restrictions straight away.
The three categories of motorcycle licence are listed in full on our licence options.