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Life on the open road offers priceless thrills and exhilaration that money just can’t buy. Purchasing and owning your first bike however will set you back a penny or two, so it helps to know what to expect before you buy.
If you do not already hold a full UK driving licence, you will need to apply for a provisional one before booking your CBT course. Depending on the type of licence you are looking to apply for, the costs will vary. The way in which you apply will also effect the amount that you pay:
First Provisional Licence Apply Online £34 Apply by Post £43
Upgrade to Full N/A Free
Renew Expired Apply Online £14 Apply by Post £17
How much does a CBT Cost?
CBT courses usually cost between £100 and £150 depending on where you live and when the course is booked for. You can on occasion find special deals on marketplace sites like Groupon, or may be offered a discount voucher via local authorities or training facilities.
While it’s always nice to save a few pennies, be sure that the price includes everything you need before booking. Important questions to ask before you commit could include:
- Does the price include the hire of a motorcycle?
- Does it include the cost of safety equipment including helmet, gloves, jackets etc?
- Is full insurance with collision damage waiver included?
- Is the cost of the CBT certificate included?
- Is additional training available and how much will it cost me?
Test and training fees
If you want to move on to obtaining your ‘non Learner’ full motorcycle licence you will need to undergo further training and further tests.
Theory Test £23 (same on Saturdays and weekday evenings)
Practice Test – Module 1 £15.50 (same on Saturdays and weekday evenings)
Practise Test – Module 2 £75.00 (£88.50 on Saturdays and weekday evenings)
The cost of a motorcycle
It goes without saying but the cost of buying your motorbike is very much dependent on what type of bike you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay for it. If you are just starting out you will want invest in a bike that is suitable for beginners who have just obtained their CBT licence.
There are lots of great second hand motorbikes, scooters and mopeds in the 50cc – 125cc range, including big brand manufacturers such as Yamaha, Vespa, Honda and Aprilia amongst others. A budget of around £2000 should be enough to snag you a safe, second hand 2-wheel beauty that will be perfect for you to enjoy until such a time that you choose to move up to a bigger-engined beast!
We have written some great guides on bikes for all different licence types. If you are just going for an CBT then check out our guide to the best post-CBT motorbikes and best 125 scooters.
If you are taking your A2 motorcycle licence then check out our list of every A2 motorcycle you can buy and also our pick of the best A2-eligible motorcycles.
If money’s tight then check out these bargain motorbikes that cost under £1000 and if the world’s your oyster, then check out the best sportsbikes you can buy.
A motorbike is not only cheaper to buy than a car in most instances, it is also far more cost efficient to run. With a full tank of fuel covering well in excess of 100 miles of fun, and costing much less than a car to fill up, you can enjoy your bike for both commuting and pleasure for a very reasonable price indeed.
Helmet and protective gear
You are legally required to wear a helmet while riding on publics roads here in the UK. What you choose to spend on your helmet depends very much on your budget and what additional features, if any, you are looking for.
You can pick up a cheap motorcycle helmet for as little as £50 or splash out more than 10 times that for a top of the range motorbike helmet with premium features.
Spend what you want to, but we will say that cheaper models are not necessarily inferior in terms of protection. The same can be said for branded helmets. While most of the best known brands come with a higher price tag, there are some more obscure, less widely available brands out there that that come with excellent safety ratings.
Whatever type of helmet you choose, it must comply with British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI kitemark, or comply with UNECE Regulation 22.05 and comply with any safety standard that is accepted by a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) that’s safety protection standard is equivalent to British Standard BS 6658. Price is not a reflection of compliance, so always be certain that the helmet that you buy is road legal here in the UK before you hand over your hard earned cash.
A good website is the www.sharphelmetchooser.co.uk site which lists every helmet that has been tested by the Government’s SHARP helmet rating scheme.
Also, always buy new. A brand new helmet that costs £100 is a much safer bet than a second hand version that cost £500 from new. This is because you can’t really tell how much the helmet has been through while in the hands of the previous owner.
When it comes to your clothing you should budget for between £200 – £300 to purchase decent grade leathers or synthetics that have been specially designed for use on a motorcycle, as well as boots that offer ankle support and protection, and gloves to keep you hands well wrapped up on the road.
At a minimum we recommend a decent pair of gloves, a sturdy pair of boots and a decent jacket. At you spend more time on the bike, upgrade your kit accordingly.
We’ve written a handy guide to buying the best motorcycle CBT clothing on a budget.
Much like car insurance, bike insurance costs vary dependent on the type of bike, the age and experience of the rider, your postcode and where the bike is kept when it’s not on the road.
While there is no denying that insurance can be a large annual cost or an ongoing monthly obligation, it is vital to have it and a legal requirement that you must not go without.
For new riders living in most parts of the UK, you should budget for around £500 per year. This price could change when the insurer takes into account the following:
- Parking your bike off of the road when not in use – in a garage or driveway is best.
- Having an address that is outside of central London or any other major city centre with a high crime theft rate.
- Choosing to purchase a smaller, less powerful bike than perhaps you had dreamed of
- Increasing your bikes security using non-factory fitted alarms and devices
For a good idea of what your insurance policy is likely to cost, use our motorcycle insurance estimator form to get a quick quote, with no need to input any personal details.
This will depend on the capacity of your bike, how often and the way in which you ride it. With a 125cc bike you should easily be able to achieve 80mpg, whereas larger bikes may struggle to achieve better than 50mpg. Even with petrol prices increasing annually, it’s still pretty easy to see that 125cc bikes are very efficient on fuel.
Annual road tax for a bike in the UK ranges from £19 to as much as £91 per year, and the price you pay is based on the engine size of the bike you ride:
Up to 150cc £19
151cc to 400cc £43
401cc to 600cc £66
Over 600cc £91
All of the above are based on a single annual payment. All rates have the option to pay over a course of 12 monthly direct debits for a slightly higher annual price, and riders of bikes over 400cc have the option of paying a slightly increased annual fee for the privilege of paying in 6 monthly instalments.
To help save money on your road tax, you should consider making a single upfront payment every year.
Where to next?
If motorcycling sounds like your thing then check out our motorcycle licence guide, where you can quickly jump to the section that tells you what you need to do to get on two wheels, the costs and the way to get it all booked.