Historically, a full car licence permitted drivers to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc without having to take any other tests or entitlements. However, the current rules state that even if you have a full licence for a car, you still have to take your CBT in order to be able to ride a small (125cc or under) motorcycle and use L-plates on the bike too.
If you have a full Category B driving licence for a car but no bike-specific categories on your licence, you cannot ride any type of motorcycle on UK roads without taking the appropriate tests and so, gaining motorcycle-specific entitlements.
The one exception to this is if you gained your full car licence prior to February 2001, in which case you can ride a moped of up to 50cc and with a top speed of up to 50km/h only, without taking a CBT or any other tests. This is reflected by the presence of Category p entitlement on your driving licence.
Therefore, if you just want a bike to nip around on, you can take your motorcycle CBT and within a day you could be on two wheels!
Yes, Category A entitlement on your driving licence allows you to ride any motorcycle with no maximum power limit, including pillion passenger carriage and using motorways.
Check whether your licence is indeed Category A or whether it is Category AM (moped), A1 (up to 125cc), A2 (restricted, replaces the old 33bhp limit) or Category A.
Category A is a full motorcycle licence, allowing you to ride any capacity motorcycle, with no restrictions.
As mentioned above. If you have a full car licence, you can ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc but you have to take your Compulsory Basic Training first. This is a day-long course that starts in a car park and ends up with you out on the road on a motorcycle or scooter. Once you’ve done that, you can ride a motorcycle or scooter with an engine capacity up to 125cc, on the road with L-plates for up to two years. After this two-year period you will need to re-take your CBT.
If you have a car licence and you just want to nip around on a motorbike, you can take your CBT and then ride a 125cc motorbike for 2 years, with L-plates. After that time, you’ll have to retake your CBT.
However, if you want to ride a larger, more powerful motorcycle you’ll need to take your motorcycle test. There are various options, so check out our motorcycle licence guide landing page to make the next step.