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Short-term bike insurance

What is short-term motorbike insurance?

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Written by  Mehdi Punjwani
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Reviewed by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 27 Aug 2019

Short-term motorcycle insurance is useful if you only need cover for a short while. Here’s what to look for when you compare quotes.

What is short-term motorcycle insurance?

Temporary or short-term motorcycle insurance is what you take out to cover your motorbike for a short period of time, as opposed to a policy that offers year-long cover.

Phot of a woman on a motorbike riding down a road

When would I need short-term motorcycle insurance?

Short-term motorcycle insurance can be useful in a number of circumstances where you don’t need permanent cover. For example, you might benefit from a temporary policy if:

  • You’re borrowing someone else’s bike. However, you can also try adding yourself to their existing policy for a short time.

  • You’re test-riding a motorcycle.

  • You’re riding a courtesy or replacement motorcycle.

  • You’re riding a motorcycle on holiday.

  • Your motorcycle has a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), but you need to use it for a short while.

How long does short-term motorcycle insurance last?

Short-term policies generally last anywhere from one day motorbike insurance up to a calendar month. If there’s a specific length of time you need cover for, you can always ask if your insurer can offer a bespoke policy term.

What does short-term motorcycle insurance cover?

Most short-term motorbike policies will offer the same kind of cover as standard motorbike insurance. This means you’ll be able to choose from different levels of cover, classes of use, and additional extras you can add to your policy.

What levels of motorbike insurance can I get short-term?

As with all motor insurance policies, short-term motorcycle cover comes in the following levels:


Third-party insurance is the minimum legal requirement if you own and drive any type of vehicle. It’ll cover you for damage you cause to another person (the third party), their vehicle, or their property.

Third-party, fire, and theft

Third-party, fire, and theft insurance adds cover for your own vehicle. This way, you can claim if your motorbike is stolen or damaged by an attempted theft or fire.

Fully comprehensive

Fully comprehensive insurance includes everything mentioned above. However, you’ll also be able to claim if your motorbike is damaged in an accident that was yours or no one’s fault.

Does it matter how I use my motorbike with short-term cover?

Motorbike insurance providers let you choose the class of use you need for your policy. So, you’ll have the following options:

  1. Social, domestic, and pleasure: If you use your motorbike for private reasons.

  2. Commuting: If you commute to a single place of work on your motorbike.

  3. Business: If you use your motorbike to commute to more than one single place of work.

  4. Courier and delivery: If you ride your motorcycle for work (e.g., if you’re a food delivery driver)

Even if the policy only lasts a few days, you’ll still risk voiding your cover if you use your motorbike for something not included in your insurance. As a result, you won’t be able to claim, meaning the premiums you paid will have been for nothing.

What extra cover can I take out with short-term motorcycle insurance?

When you take out temporary motorbike cover, you’ll be able to add the following policies if they aren’t already included as standard:

Motorcycle Breakdown cover

Motorcycle Breakdown cover provides access to roadside assistance if your motorcycle breaks down while you’re riding. They will also help you continue your journey.

European cover

If you want to ride your motorcycle across the pond, you’ll need to take out a European motorcycle insurance policy.

Additional rider

Insurers also let you add extra drivers to your policy. That said, your premiums could go up or down as a result, depending on the experience and age of the driver(s) you add.


You’ll also be able to insure any accessories you have for your motorcycle. However, there may be limits on how much you can claim for. You’ll also generally need a separate policy to insure your helmet and leathers.


Pillion cover insures you to ride your motorcycle while carrying a passenger.

Wrong fuel

Wrong fuel insurance covers you for the cost of repairs if you accidentally top up your motorbike with the wrong fuel.

Legal cover

Legal cover lets you claim for any legal costs that result from you being involved in a road accident.

Personal accident

Personal accident policies pay out if you’re injured or killed in a road accident.

How much does short-term motorcycle insurance cost?

The cost of short-term motorcycle insurance depends on certain factors. These include:

  • Your age: Young drivers have a higher chance of being involved in road accidents. So, they generally pay more for insurance as a result of their increased claim risk.

  • Your driving history: If you have a history of road accidents or claims on motor insurance, you’ll also appear high risk to the insurer. In this case, you’ll need to pay more for cover.

  • Your cover: Due to the number of young or high-risk drivers taking out third-party-only cover – as it used to be the cheapest option – it has now become the most expensive policy available in most cases.

How can I reduce the cost of short-term motorcycle insurance?

If you need a short-term policy to insure a motorbike, you could get a cheaper quote by trying the following:

Paying a higher excess fee

Increasing your voluntary excess fee tells insurers you’re less likely to claim, as the cost of doing so would be higher. So, in return, they’ll charge less for cover.

Only insure what you need

Taking off any unnecessary extras from your motorcycle insurance policy, especially things you won’t need for the short time you’re insuring the motorbike, can cut down your premiums.

Drive less

You’ll also get lower premiums if you can give your insurer a low estimated mileage. This is because you won’t be spending as much time on the road, so they’ll see you as a lower-risk customer.

Keep the bike safe

If you’re insuring the motorbike for more than a single day, ensuring it is kept safely locked away with security devices lowers the risk of you having to claim for theft or vandalism.

Should I choose short-term motorcycle insurance or an annual policy?

There is no right or wrong answer, as this depends entirely on your personal needs and circumstances.

For example, if you don’t ride often or only during the warmer months of the year, short-term motorcycle insurance could be a more convenient option. This way, you’ll be able to benefit from comprehensive cover for the short time you need it. However, if you’re a frequent rider, an annual policy might work best.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. It’s always wise to compare different deals to identify the one that best suits your pockets and needs.

Can I ride another bike on my short-term motorcycle insurance?

This depends on your insurer, as each provider has their own set of terms and conditions. Some insurance providers will allow you to take out multi-bike insurance, meaning that you can ride multiple motorbikes and always be covered in the event of an accident or unwanted mishap.

But if you don’t ride other bikes on a regular basis, opting for a separate, short-term motorcycle insurance policy could work out as a more convenient solution. This way, you can hit the road with an alternative motorbike only when you need to or feel like it.

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes

MoneySuperMarket don’t offer a comparison service for short-term motorbike insurance. However, it’s always easier to find an affordable policy when you shop around.

For any other motorbike insurance needs, comparing quotes with MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find cover. All you need to do is tell us about yourself, the motorcycle(s) you want to insure, and your driving history. We’ll show you a list of quotes tailored to your needs.

You’ll be able to compare them by the overall annual and monthly cost, the level of cover you get, and any add-ons included for free or at an extra cost. Once you’ve found the right policy, click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

Remember that as with all insurance products, the cheapest available deal might not always be the best. You should aim for a balance between cost and coverage, so you get the right policy at the right price. This way, you won’t be over-insured and paying over the odds or under-insured and without cover when you need it.

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