So if you're new to scooters and motorcycles, you might find there's a lot of new information to deal with all at once. You don't need to worry though, we'll take you through some of the things you really ought to know and make sure it's only useful information. That way you'll end up getting on the two wheels that's right for you.
The UK government introduced new motorcycle licence laws which came into effect in January from 2013. These licence requirements will only affect new riders who pass their test on or after January 19th, 2013. Let’s take them step by step:
To start your journey you need a provisional Category A licence, either included in your full car licence or as part of a provisional licence. If you don’t already have a provisional driving licence you can apply online. by Clicking Here
You must complete your Compulsory Basic Training (often known as CBT) before you ride any moped, scooter or motorcycle on the road. It’s not a motorcycle test, but the instructor will assess your riding to make sure you are safe to ride before you can get your DL196 certificate which shows you have completed the training.
If you have not gained a full motorcycle or moped licence two years after completing CBT, your DL196 certificate is no longer valid and you must repeat your CBT.
If you have a full car licence issued before 1st February 2001 you may ride a restricted 50cc moped on the road without L plates (and carry a passenger) without taking your CBT, but you still need to successfully complete your CBT to ride any motorcycle over 50cc. However, if you have not ridden a motorcycle or scooter before, it is a good idea to complete CBT as a minimum so as to be safe on the roads.
You can ride a moped with L plates after completing your CBT, or if you want you could opt for the new AM licence by taking your theory test and then a practical test. This will allow you to ride a moped (either scooter or motorcycle style) up to 50cc with a top speed of 45 km/h (around 28mph) without L plates, and to carry a passenger.
Even if you decide not to get your full moped licence and just ride with L plates after your CBT, we recommend that you do further training after CBT to improve your riding skills and your road sense.
At 17 you can take a 2-stage practical test, after passing your CBT and theory tests, to get an A1 licence. This category will allow you to ride a motorcycle or scooter up to 125cc (with maximum power of 11 KW) without L plates, and to carry a passenger. You might find that passing a full motorcycle test can also reduce your insurance costs.
After two years of holding an A1 motorcycle licence, you can take another practical test and if successful qualify for an A2 Motorcycle Licence (see below).
Again, even if you opt to ride on L plates after completing your CBT instead of gaining your A1 Licence, we strongly advise you to get additional training for your own safety and confidence.
At 19 can get an A2 Motorcycle Licence allowing you to ride a motorcycle or scooter with power up to 35KW (46.6 bhp) which will typically mean up to 500cc engine size, or a restricted version of a bigger more powerful model.
There are two ways to qualify for an A2 licence:
First if you have held an A1 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test.
Or second if you are 19 or older you can take the Direct Access route by completing your CBT and passing your Theory Test and Practical Tests.
You are then allowed to ride any A2 category motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger.
After holding an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test and get an unrestricted A Motorcycle licence (see below).
At 21 you can get an A Motorcycle Licence, allowing you to ride any motorcycle or scooter of any size or power. There are two ways to qualify for an A Motorcycle Licence:
One, if you have held an A2 Motorcycle Licence for 2 years, you can take another practical test.
If you haven’t held an A2 licence for two years and if you are aged 24 or over, you can take the Direct Access route by completing CBT, Theory tests and a practical test.
You are then allowed to ride any motorbike or scooter without L plates and to carry a passenger.