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Can I Get a Motorcycle Licence Without Having a Motorcycle?

Jas Murphy January 11, 2021

There is nothing quite like the freedom of two wheels. Being able to ride a motorbike is great for cutting through your commute to work, or just getting out and about. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle before and are considering getting your motorcycle licence, you’re probably cautious about purchasing your first set of wheels. No one wants to invest in a motorbike if you’re not sure you’ll get a licence to ride. So, can you get a motorcycle licence without owning your own motorcycle? The short answer is yes, but below we’ll dig a little deeper into the how’s and whys.

Motorcycle lessons near you

As with most things, not all motorcycle training is created equal. Some motorcycle driving lessons near you will take you through the basics and leave you to book your own licence tests. Others will provide a motorcycle you can learn with, but not the petrol or insurance you need to ride it for their course or the test at the end.

Regardless of the motorcycle licence level you are aiming to attain, our course costs include all your protective equipment – helmet, jacket, and gloves – along with a2 licence bikes or the appropriately powered machine for you to train and test with. We include petrol and insurance for you too. The bike you learn on will be the same or similar to the motorcycle you need to test with for the grade of licence you want to get. It’s the same for CBT courses and all of our other motorcycle training.

Learning to ride with CBT

CBT courses are where most people start their journey to a full motorcycle licence. These are taken on low-powered motorcycles, or scooters.

It’s a good idea to rely on the motorcycle training school you choose to provide the required bike for your training and test. Once you’ve passed and received your DL196 certification, you can then purchase the correct powered motorbike or scooter to carry on building your experience and understanding of riding a motorbike safely and confidently.

Gaining your motorcycle licence before spending on a motorbike of any power, means you won’t be leaving a great bike in the garage to gather dust should you take longer than expected to become licenced.

Another point worth noting is motorcycle insurance. It can be difficult – if not impossible with some insurers – to take out a motorcycle insurance policy if you don’t already have a motorcycle licence. It doesn’t matter if it’s a CBT certification, an A2 motorcycle licence or higher, insurers like to know your driving records to help determine their policy rates. This is much more difficult if you don’t have a licence when you purchase and insure a motorcycle.

Choosing the right motorbike for your licence grade

Different motorcycle licences come with different age and power restrictions. Your motorcycle licence training will detail this so you can understand the differences. Generally though, most people need a CBT certificate to gain a higher level motorcycle licence. Once you’ve cleared the first step, the licence level you are able to achieve is largely determined by your age.

The youngest motorcycle riders – 16-year-olds – are only eligible for an AM licence. 17-year-olds and over can apply for an A1 licence which has an associated power restriction to ‘light motorbikes’, which are roughly 125cc. If you’re 19 or older, you can go for your A2 motorcycle licence. A2 licence bikes are regarded as medium-powered bikes at around 35kW. Finally, the full A level licence can’t be gained any early than at the age of 21 (or 24 if you choose the Direct Access path) and these will enable you to legally ride any power of motorcycle that you choose.

Even if you’re moving up a licence grade, it’s wise to take the training on the motorcycle training centre’s bike before you go and purchase a higher-powered machine.


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