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Sometimes short-term motorcycle insurance is all you need but that doesn’t mean you want to compromise on cover – search and compare prices from a leading UK insurer right here at

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  • What periods does short-term motorcycle insurance cover?
  • Can I buy short-term motorcycle insurance for courier work?
  • How much does short-term motorcycle insurance cost?
  • FAQs
  • Useful links

Jump to section

  • What periods does short-term motorcycle insurance cover?
  • Can I buy short-term motorcycle insurance for courier work?
  • How much does short-term motorcycle insurance cost?
  • FAQs
  • Useful links

Why consider short-term motorcycle insurance?

Depending on how you use your bike, an annual policy might not be the most cost-effective way to insure it. For example, if you only ride your bike occasionally or if you decide to hire one for a few weeks or months, then short-term motorcycle insurance could be the ideal solution. 

Short-term motorbike insurance still gives you the same level of protection as an annual policy but without the 12-month commitment. 

When considering  short-term bike insurance, remember that insurers set their own terms and conditions. With that in mind, not only is it important to check what’s covered, it’s a good idea to be aware of any restrictions in place. For instance, some policies will have age limits and you may need to be 21 or over. 

Short-term bike insurance advice & FAQs

When would I need short-term bike insurance?

There are all sorts of reasons why you might need short-term motorbike insurance, for instance if you;

  • Test ride one from a private seller
  • Borrow a bike from a friend or family member
  • Need to use a replacement or courtesy bike
  • Ride your bike seasonally. 

In all these situations, short-term motorbike insurance could offer you a cheaper, alternative way to insure your bike. If cost is your main concern, it’s worth bearing in mind that while short-term bike insurance can be cheaper than annual policies, it’s not always guaranteed. That’s because insurers are still covering the same risks and the process for setting up the policy also remains the same. As the only difference is the length of your commitment, it could lead some insurers to charge you more to make up for the shortfall in your custom. 

Taking that into consideration means it’s even more important to compare short-term motorbike insurance policies to annual policies to see which gives you better value.

What periods does short-term motorcycle insurance cover?

Short-term bike insurance typically covers you for one day up to around 28 days or a month. You can of course agree a specific length of time with your insurer – for example, if you need insurance over the summer. 

When your bike isn’t in use, you’ll need to declare it off the road which you can do with a Statutory Off-Road Notification or SORN for short. If you don’t SORN your bike, it will need to be insured. This is because of Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules which state that all vehicles used on public roads must be insured. 

What does short-term motorbike insurance cover?

Short-term motorbike insurance covers the same risks and events as an annual policy so you’ll be able to choose from one of three levels of cover:

  • Third party only – compensates other people for injury or damage you cause to them or their property. Third party only won’t pay to repair your bike if it’s damaged in an accident which is something to think about if you ride an expensive bike.
  • Third party, fire and theft – includes everything in third party only cover and will also pay to repair or replace your bike if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive – includes third party, fire and theft cover and will also compensate you if your bike is damaged in an accident – even if the accident is your fault. 

Like other types of vehicle insurance, you’ll also be able to add on other features to boost your overall protection. Popular optional extras include cover for:

  • Breakdowns
  • European travel
  • Accessories like your helmet or leathers
  • Pillion passengers
  • Legal expenses to cover professional solicitor fees and court costs.

Can I buy short-term motorcycle insurance for courier work?

Yes, but you’ll need appropriate cover. When you search for short-term bike insurance, you’ll have several ‘types of use’ to choose from (also known as ‘class of use’). If you do intend to use your bike for business or commercial reasons, then it’s crucial to ensure you’re properly covered. If you aren’t and you have an accident, your insurer can refuse to pay out. 

The types of use you’ll be able to choose from are:

  • Social, domestic and pleasure – if you use your bike for leisure or purely domestic reasons like visiting friends, going to the shops or exploring the coast.
  • Commuting – if you travel to a single place of work. You can usually combine this with a social, domestic and pleasure policy too.
  • Business – if you use your bike for commercial reasons, such as courier work. 

How much does short-term motorcycle insurance cost?

Cost depends on a host of different factors including:

  • Your age – if you’re under 25 you can expect to pay slightly more than average as young people are more likely to be involved in accidents.
  • Your experience – if you’ve been riding (without claiming) for a while, you can expect this to be reflected in your premium.
  • The bike you have – expensive or powerful bikes are (as you’d expect) more expensive to insure as they’re a greater target to thieves and can cost more to repair. 
  • The level of cover and options you choose – the more robust your policy, the more you can expect to pay. That said, comprehensive policies aren’t always the most expensive so it’s in your interest to compare all types of policy to get a better idea of what represents value for money. 

If you’re looking for ways to bring down the cost of your short-term motorcycle insurance take a look at our handy guide on how to get the cheapest motorbike insurance. Luckily, one of the simplest ways to find what you need at a price that fits your budget, is to compare quotes which you can do online right now. Alternatively, you can speak to a friendly expert on 0330 022 8814.

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