What happens if you ride a motorcycle without insurance?


Over the past 20 years, motorcycles have become increasingly popular, with more people drawn by the thrill of riding on two wheels. In fact, data from the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency reveals there were 1.35 million registered motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in Great Britain in 2020 – up from 896,000 at the turn of the century.

With so many bikers on our roads, there’s a responsibility for all riders to look after each other. That means taking care when out and about, but it also means ensuring both you and your bike are adequately protected. Taking out motorbike insurance is a legal requirement and if you fail to do so then the consequences can be severe. Read on to find out more about when you need it, when you don’t, and the penalties you could face for riding a bike without insurance.


Do you need motorbike insurance?

Yes, having cover in place for your pride and joy is required by law, just as it is for all types of vehicle insurance in the UK. At the very minimum, you need to have third-party protection to be able to ride on the road. This does not cover any damage to your bike, but does insure you for any harm to another person, their vehicle, property or animal.

The only instance where you don’t need motorbike insurance is if you’ve registered your vehicle with a Statutory Off Road Notification. This can be useful for riders who are not getting out and about any time soon, or those who are keeping their bike locked up in storage or for repairs.


Do you need insurance for a moped?

Yes, because riding a moped without insurance is also illegal. The same rules apply to mopeds and scooters as they do to motorbikes, so don’t be fooled into thinking that just because they have smaller engines they don’t require the appropriate levels of cover.


What happens if you are caught riding a motorbike without insurance?

The punishments can be severe. You could receive a fine for riding a motorcycle without insurance, have six penalty points added to your licence and even end up in court. If that happens, you could even be disqualified from riding. The police also have the power to seize and destroy the vehicle of anyone found to be riding a bike without insurance.


What are the fines for riding a motorcycle without insurance?

If you are found to be riding a bike without insurance, the police can hand out a fine of up to £300. If your case were to go to court, you could receive an unlimited fine.


What if you’re riding a motorbike without a licence?

If you’re found guilty of riding a motorbike without a licence, the consequences can be similarly serious. Depending on the nature of the offence, you could be fined, receive penalty points and face disqualification.

If you are found to be riding a motorbike without a licence after you have already been disqualified, you will be arrested and given a court date. From that point, you would be fined and your disqualification period would likely be extended. You could even receive a prison sentence.


Can I buy a bike without insurance?

Yes, you can buy a bike without having to insure it first. However, it must be insured before you take it out on the road for the first time. You can always organise your policy so that cover starts from the date you expect to receive your bike, and then you’ll be good to go. You’ll just need to know details such as the make, model and registration number first.


Can I ride my bike to its MOT without insurance?

No, you must have valid insurance to ride your bike to its MOT or anywhere else. It’s a legal requirement and if you’re caught you could face a fine, penalty points and even disqualification. It doesn’t matter if you have only just taken delivery of the bike and are taking it for an immediate MOT – it must be insured with at least third-party protection before you get out on the road.


Can you ride a bike home without insurance?

No, riding a bike without insurance is a criminal offence, no matter where you are travelling to. For example, if you have bought a new bike and have gone to pick it up, you must have at least a third-party policy in place from that date in order to be able to ride it home. Otherwise, you face punishment from the authorities.


Don’t risk riding a bike without insurance – speak to Carole Nash today

So, now you know exactly what happens if you ride a motorcycle without insurance. It’s illegal – simple as that. Being out on the UK’s roads without the appropriate cover could land you with a fine, penalty points on your licence and in some cases even disqualification.

Nobody wants to be denied the thrill of riding around on two wheels, so don’t risk the severe penalties for riding a bike without insurance. At Carole Nash, we’ve been helping riders like you find motorbike insurance for more than 30 years, so you can rest assured we know exactly what we’re talking about.

Riding a bike without insurance is a criminal offence, so get a free online quote or give us a call on 0333 005 3355 and organise your cover.