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Phoenix Motorcycle Training LTD

Can I Ride on the Motorway Once I Have My Motorcycle Licence?

If you’ve just got your motorcycle licence and are wondering “Can I ride on the motorway?” this is for you. As with most things motorcycle licence related, the answer is, “It depends”.

Motorcycle licences come with different restrictions and rules. Whether or not you can ride on the motorway depends on the licence you hold and the type of motorcycle, moped or scooter you ride.

Rules for new riders

In most cases, new riders start their motorcycling journey with CBT training. Once successfully completed, you’ll get a CBT certificate (DL196). This allows you to ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter up to 125ccs on most UK roads. This first permit for riding doesn’t allow you to use motorways. You won’t be able to carry a pillion passenger and you must display L plates.

The next step of motorcycle licence for new riders taking the progressive approach to motorcycle licencing is the AM licence. This licence also has restrictions. You can only ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter up to 50cc. You won’t need to display L plates. Neither can you ride on the motorway or carry pillion passengers with an AM licence.

Riding on the motorway

The lowest level licence for riding on the motorway is a light motorcycle licence, the A1 licence. You’re able to test for this licence as young as 17 years old. This restricted licence allows you to ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter up to 125ccs. These machines are fast enough to manage traffic conditions on the motorway.

The Highway code prohibits motorcycles, mopeds and scooters under 50ccs. That’s because these machines typically have a top speed of 30mph. That’s not fast enough for the quicker traffic of a motorway. You’ll find it difficult to ride safely and merge onto new roads at this speed.

It’s advisable to take some additional training so you get comfortable using motorways and carrying pillion passengers. Merging, filtering and riding in faster traffic is quite a bit different to using smaller roads. Learning how to ride safely before you go out on your own is a good idea.

Full motorcycle licences can ride on motorways

Higher-level motorcycle licences, the A2 and unrestricted A motorcycle licences are also allowed to use motorways. These licences allow you to ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter up to 500ccs (A2 motorcycle licence) or more (unrestricted A-level motorcycle licence). You won’t need to display L plates and you can carry pillion passengers too.

There are some caveats to motorcycle licencing rules. If you gained your car licence before February 1st, 2001, things are a little different. If you have your DL196, and ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter that’s more than 50cc, you’re able to ride on the motorway. You can carry pillion passengers too.
Because driving a car is so different from riding a motorcycle or moped, we’d advise you to take additional training before heading out onto the motorway or taking someone’s life in your hands. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about motorcycle licence rules and restrictions.

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