With so many different categories, age restrictions and weight guidelines to pay attention to, UK motorbike licences can be a little confusing and seem overly complicated. However, once you see them explained clearly, you can see that it’s actually quite simple.

At Carole Nash, whether it’s explaining our motorbike insurance or updates to insurance legisaltion, we’re all about making things as understandable and transparent as possible. Here you’ll find our straightforward explanation of the different motorcycle, moped and tricycle licence grades including who can obtain them and what they are for.

 

Here is a helpful diagram from the DVLA

 

Provisional driving licence

To apply for a provisional licence you must be at least 15 years and 9 months old and be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away.

 

AM

The AM licence covers mopeds and three wheelers with speed range of no more than or 28 mph. Small 3-wheelers up to 50 cc and below 4 kW, and light quadricycles weighing under 350 kg and with a top speed of 45 km/h or 28mph.To obtain the category AM licence it’s necessary to complete compulsory basic training (CBT), the theory test, and a practical test on all powered 2-wheeled mopeds.

The minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

 

Q

The Q licence is the same as the AM licence but also covers 2 or 3-wheeled mopeds with a top speed of 15.5 mph. You can obtain this licence if you already have the AM

The minimum age requirement is 16 years old.

 

A1

The A1 licence covers light motorcycle up to 11 kW and a power-to-weight ratio not more than 0.1 kW per kg, and 125 cc. It also covers motor tricycles with a power output not more than 15 kW

To obtain the category A1 licence it’s necessary to complete compulsory basic training (CBT), the theory test and a practical test.

The minimum age requirement is 17 years old.

 

A2

The A2 licence covers standard motorcycles up to 47 bhp with a power-to-weight ratio of no more than 0.2 kW per kg. Additionally, the bike must not be derived from a vehicle more than twice its power.

To obtain the category A2 licence you can either take a direct access route which involves a  theory and practical test, or there is a progressive access route which involves 2 years experience on an A1 motorbike and a further practical test.

The minimum age requirement is 19 years old.

 

A

The A covers all motorcycles in size/power, with or without a sidecar, and motor tricycles with power output over 15 kW.

To obtain the category A licence you can either take a direct access route which involves CBT theory and practical, or there is a progressive route where you need to have held an A2 licence for a minimum of 2 years and you need to take a practical test.

The minimum age requirement is 24 years old for the direct access route or 21 years old for the progressive access route.