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Short-term bike insurance

What is short-term motorbike insurance?

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Written by  Saarrah Mussa
5 min read
Updated: 17 Oct 2023

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?

Short-term motorcycle insurance will cover your motorbike for a short period of time, as opposed to a policy that offers year-long cover.  

There are lots of reasons why you may need a temporary motorbike insurance policy, such as if you’re test-riding a new motorcycle, borrowing someone else’s bike, or if you’re riding a courtesy bike while yours is being repaired.  

This type of motorbike insurance cover can be cheaper than taking out an annual policy and in this article, we look at how it works, how much it costs and the importance of comparing motorbike insurance policies before you buy. 

Phot of a woman on a motorbike riding down a road

When would I need short-term motorcycle insurance?

Short-term policies generally last anywhere from one day motorbike insurance up to a 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. 

It 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.  

  • 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 does short term motorcycle insurance work?

If you take out short-term motorbike insurance, it will work in the same way as standard motorbike insurance, apart from the fact that you can choose how long you need to be covered for, and you should be able to extend this if you need to.  

At MoneySuperMarket we do not compare prices of this type of insurance, so to find your best deal you’ll need to look at specialist providers. Once you’ve found a policy and price you’re happy with, you can arrange for the insurance to be set up.  

If you do need to make a claim, speak to your insurer in the first instance. It will tell you what you need to do, and will ask for details including your policy number, name, address, and information about what has happened. It should then arrange for your bike to be repaired or replaced, depending on what the claim is for.  

What are the types of short-term motorbike insurance? 


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 bike. 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. 

How much does short-term motorbike 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. 

  • 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 and you’ll 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. 

Can I ride another bike on my short-term motorbike 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 and cheaper solution. This way, you can hit the road with an alternative motorbike only when you need to or feel like it. 

What happens to your no claim bonus if you’re hit by an uninsured driver? 

If you’re hit by an uninsured driver and need to make an insurance claim, you may lose your no claims bonus.  

This is a bonus you can use if you don’t make an insurance claim within a year. For each year you keep this record, you are then awarded a discount off your future premiums. 

However, keeping your bonus intact is usually reliant on your insurer being able to reclaim any costs from another rider’s insurer. If they don’t have any insurance, this may not be possible. 

It all depends on the insurer though, some have no claims bonus promises whereby they will let you keep your discount even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. It’s important to check this in advance of buying a policy if you’d like to hang onto your bonus. 

Looking for standard motorbike insurance policies? 

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.  

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.   

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