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Temporary Motorbike Insurance – Keeping it Legal with Short Term Cover

What is temporary motorbike insurance? A policy designed to fill a gap in the market for when a rider needs to insure a motorcycle for the short term. It can provide temporary bike insurance for as little as an hour and up to 3 months while offering the same standard of legal cover you would receive from an annual policy.

Why You Might Need Temporary Bike Insurance

  • Test ride a motorcycle for sale via a private seller
  • Riding the above motorcycle home should the deal be done
  • Doing a renovation project and need to do some road testing
  • Borrowing someone else’s bike
  • Hiring a motorcycle on holiday
  • A student home for the holiday
  • Friend or family visiting from abroad needing transport
  • Buying a motorbike for a road trip that you plan to sell on as soon as you are back
  • Your motorcycle is SORN but you need it for a few days (UK)
  • You ride your classic bike to shows just once or twice a year (USA)
  • You only ride occasionally and during the warm weather (USA)

In the UK your motorcycle must have insurance cover even if it is laid up for the winter unless you have registered it SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). In the U.S. a motorbike only has to be insured when used on the road.

What Cover Does Temporary Motorbike Insurance Provide?

You get the exact same cover as you would with a full years insurance policy and you can choose from the usual 3 options:

  • Fire and theft
  • Third party fire and theft
  • Fully comprehensive

You will be asked the class of use when you take out a temporary bike insurance policy. Your options will be:

  • Pleasure – a motorcycle for your own private use
  • Commuting – Using a motorcycle to travel to work and back
  • Business – Using your motorcycle to travel to more than one place of work
  • Courier – Using a motorcycle for work such as fast food delivery, courier etc.

You will be able to add on extras at the time of booking such as pillion cover, taking the bike abroad and breakdown cover.

Qualifying for Short Term Motorcycle Insurance

It varies from broker to broker but generally you will find most expect you to:

  • be aged between 17 and 70
  • hold a valid UK licence
  • have a credit or debit card to make payment
  • have not received any points in the last 3 years and no disqualification in the last 2
  • have no fault claims in the last 3 years
  • have no criminal convictions or ASBO’s

The motorcycle you want short term bike insurance for must be taxed, unmodified and not be a hire or business vehicle.

How much is Short Term Motorbike Insurance?

As with standard annual motorbike insurance, the amount you will pay for short term cover will vary dependent on such things as:

  • Your age
  • Your motorcycle experience
  • The size and value of the motorbike you want temporary cover for
  • Where the motorcycle will be kept when not in use (if insuring for more than a day)
  • Your post code
  • Whether you have any motoring convictions

Price examples on the 3 broker websites I have listed further down the page range from £20 to low £30’s for one day of insurance cover but none gave details of either the rider or type of motorcycle those prices were based on.

motorcycle camping trip
Buying a bike for the summer to go motorcycle camping that you plan to sell once back is the ideal scenario for temporary motorcycle insurance

Short Term Motorbike Insurance Brokers

When you need short term motorbike insurance you want a specialist. I’m pretty sure any broker could arrange any type of insurance cover you wanted but as with modified motorcycle insurance and classic bike insurance, you want a company with experience in dealing with both motorbikes and their riders needs to ensure you get the best cover for your particular circumstances.

Below are details of 3 brokers who specialise in biker requirements. All offer free quotes and are authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority.

Ideally you should get an insurance quote from all 3 brokers listed and compare prices as well as the levels of cover provided.

I have no affiliation with either of the companies below, the list is simply for your convenience.

No comparison sites are included as I have little confidence in their results since news broke they simply pushed whichever company was paying most for a customer.


TempCover offer temporary bike insurance from 1 hour and up to one week. If you need longer you can stack weeks together. TempCover, as the name suggests, specialise in short term temporary insurance cover and they will quote for all types of vehicle, not just motorbikes.

The website says prices for short term motorcycle insurance start at £20 per week but for that kind of money expect that quote to be for a low value, low powered scooter.

You can select the exact time you want your motorbike insurance policy to start so you don’t waste any of your cover and your documents are sent to you immediately via email.

TempCover appear to be the biggest player in the temporary bike insurance marketplace. They are the only company I found in the UK that specialise in this type of insurance cover and they’ve been in business since 2006.

During the research for this article I discovered many of the motorbike insurance websites claiming to offer temporary bike insurance simply had their ‘get a quote’ button liked to the TempCover online quote, presumably getting a cut if the visitor turns into a paying customer.

More details here and you can find the free online quote form that takes just a couple of minutes to fill out here.

The Bike Insurer

The Bike Insurer offers short term motorbike insurance from 1 day to 3 months and make the bold claim they can work to find the exact temporary insurance cover that best suits your needs.

Need temporary motorbike insurance for a superbike? They can provide insurance cover for that and any other motorbike, from a scooter upwards.

Optional extras you can add to your policy are breakdown cover, personal injury and leather gear cover.

Prices start at £31.80

The Bike Insurer prefers the personal touch so there’s no online form. Call 0330 022 7850 to get a quote or visit the website for more info here.

Bike Sure

Bike Sure provide short term motorbike insurance from one day to 3 months for riders 21 and over. They also accept riders with motoring convictions so if that’s you, this would be a good place to start.

They offer discounts for garaged bikes and experienced riders and they include £100,000 of legal cover as standard with all their short term insurance policies.

Prices start at £32.85

More details here and you can fill out the online call back form here.

A Word About American Seasonal Motorcycle Insurance

As far as I am aware, in all American states you only need insurance for when your motorcycle is actually on the road so seasonal motorcycle insurance can be offered by US insurance companies.

I see several problems with the American seasonal insurance setup:

  • Your motorcycle could be stolen while it is uninsured
  • Your garage could go up in smoke – would your home insurance policy cover your garaged bike?
  • Your bike shed could suffer winter storm damage leading to a damaged motorbike
  • If you purchased on finance surely part of the agreement is that you maintain comprehensive insurance?

If the motorcycle is yours and not the banks or finance company I would give consideration to lowering your limits of liability for the winter months rather than just cancelling your motorbike insurance.

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