Advanced motorcycle training - Does it help lower the cost of insurance?

April 28, 2022

Following the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) rules changes to stop ‘price walking’ by insurers, many motorcyclists are now having to pay more for their motorbike insurance in 2022 meaning many riders are looking for alternative ways to lower their bike insurance premiums.

What is price walking?

Why is motorbike insurance going up?

Does taking advanced motorcycle training lower insurance costs?

What advanced motorbike training courses lead to the biggest insurance discounts?

Do Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) Motorcycle Instructors get motorbike insurance discounts?

Where can I find the cheapest motorcycle insurance?

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Motorbike rider on road with black helmet

What is price walking?

‘Price walking’ is a term used to describe a tactic - previously employed by many insurers over the last couple of decades - where insurance companies would offer [unsustainable] low-cost deals to entice new customers.

Prior to introduction of the new rules in January 2022, insurers had previously been able to recoup their lost costs by charging higher premiums to existing customers with policies left on auto renew.

The new FCA rules mean that insurers can no longer offer cheaper deals to new customers and existing customers will be treated more fairly. BUT, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be better off staying with the same motorbike insurer.

Why is motorbike insurance going up?

As predicted by Martin Lewis in December 2021, the new FCA’s rules have seen all insurers increase their prices across all of their policies.

And, because premiums have risen sharply and are continuing to rise due to the cost of living crisis, you still shouldn’t leave your bike policy to ‘auto renew’.

Instead, you should continue shopping around using online comparison sites to compare the best motorbike insurance deals on the market. Staying with your existing insurer could still mean you’re paying over the odds and are missing out on a better and cheaper deal elsewhere.

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Does taking advanced motorcycle training lower insurance costs?

Yes, it can. Many reputable motorbike insurers offer discounts and cheap motorbike insurance quotes for motorbike riders who have successfully participated in an advanced motorcycle training course.

What discount you receive will depend on your insurer, the type of advanced training you have undertaken and who the training provider was.

If you participate in advanced motorbike training and successfully complete a course (and a test in some cases), most insurers will typically offer you a discount of between 10 to 15 per cent on an annual policy.

According to gocompare.com, an average comprehensive policy for a motorbike cost £256 a year in 2021. 15% of £256 equates to a not-to-be-sniffed-at, respectable discount of £38.40 off your annual premiums!

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What advanced motorbike training courses lead to the biggest insurance discounts?

There are several types of advanced riding courses motorcyclists can choose from but some are more favoured by insurers and induce greater discounts than others.

Here are the four most popular, reputable and insurer-recognised advanced motorbike training providers and courses in the UK:

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - RoSPA motorcycle training

An RoSPA 4-day car or motorcycle training course is FREE and includes theory and practical training of ‘safe systems of deliberate, responsible and exemplary riding’.

The free 4-day training course prepares motorcyclists for RoSPA’s nationally-recognised ‘Advanced Motorcycle Test’ and is monitored and approved by the Driving Standards Agency.

Pass rates are graded Bronze, Silver or Gold.

Cost: Free 4-day training course; prices for a 60-minute RoSPA advanced riding test start from £60.83 plus VAT.

Benefits: A RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Test pass certificate equips you with additional rider skills to keep you safer on the road, reduce your risk of having an accident and lower motorbike insurance premiums with most insurers.

The only negative is to retain your RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Test status, you are required to take a RoSPA retest every 3 years.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency - DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme

The DVSA Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) is a government scheme run by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Your riding skills will be assessed for one to two hours by an instructor to determine the training you need to:

  • become a safer bike rider
  • develop and enhance your motorbike riding skills

After the assessment, if the instructor is satisfied that you’re a safe rider, you’ll be issued a completion certificate. Or, depending on your level of riding, an instructor may decide you need further training before awarding you with a certificate.

Cost: The prices for a whole day’s training course will vary amongst DVSA Certified Motorcycle Training Instructors. To give you some idea, one ERS course provider we looked up charges £165.

Benefits: After successful completion of the scheme, you’ll get awarded a ‘DVSA Certificate of Competence’ which you can then use to get discounts of around 10% with most motorcycle insurers.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists - IAM Advanced Rider Course (IAM Advanced Rider Membership)

An IAM Advanced Rider course can be a much more sociable way to gain extra riding skills and safety awareness, as you have the option to join a local riders’ group of supportive volunteers.

IAM courses will develop your core riding skills and help you learn to consistently apply the ‘IPSGA’ framework (Information, Position, Speed, Gear, Acceleration) when riding in a variety of scenarios (i.e. safely navigating bends).

You’ll be observed over a series of rides and when your observer considers you’re ready, they’ll put you in for a test.

Cost: £175 (as of April 2022) for the Advanced Rider course which can involve as many sessions as necessary for you to pass a test. Your trained ‘observer’ will put you forward for a test when they think you’re ready. This can be in as little as two weeks, depending on your standard of riding.

Benefits: Having as many observed rides as you require takes the pressure off passing the advanced test, and being part of a group can make this a more enjoyable way to enhance your riding skills. And, of course, an IAM Advanced Rider Certificate and IAM RoadSmart Membership status will mean your insurance should cost less with many insurers too.

The National Police Force’s BikeSafe Motorcycle Safety Course

A BikeSafe motorbike safety course is run by the police and will help you develop your skills and experience to enjoy safer, more confident riding on public roads.

The course involves you being observed out on the road and where necessary, you will be given the relevant guidance and training for safer riding.

Depending on your level of riding, the course can last from half a day up to two days.

Cost: Varies between police forces and some forces offer the course for free.

Benefits: If you complete a National BikeSafe motorcycle safety course and are awarded a BikeSafe Certificate, you can receive a 10% discount from certain insurers. Make sure you shop around and choose an insurer that offers a discount for BikeSafe training.

There is a fifth scheme that some insurers will recognise with the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF). Taking this course can lead to a Blue Riband Rider Award. Similar to RoSPA, the certification will only last 3 years. A concentrated course costs £250 and an assessment £80.

Do Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) Motorcycle Instructors get motorbike insurance discounts?

A DVSA-assessed CBT motorcycle instructor (previously known - many moons ago - as a Star Rider trained instructor) can expect to receive a discount on their premiums with the most reputable motorbike insurers.

When seeking motorbike quotes, you may be asked questions like: ‘Are you a member of the Institute of Advanced Bikers (IAB)?’ or do you have a ‘Star Rider certificate?’

If you hold a ‘Star Rider’ certificate or the modern equivalent: a ‘CBT instructor certificate’ and answer ‘yes’ to any instructor qualification questions, you should be able to find cheaper motorbike insurance quotes.

Qualified motorcycle instructors with a Star Rider or DVSA assessed CBT Motorcycle Instructor certificate should shop around for cheap quotes to make sure you find an insurer offering the biggest discounts on your annual premiums.

Where can I find the cheapest motorcycle insurance?

We recommend using a reputable comparison site that has access to insurers who specialise in motorbike insurance policies.

Make sure you provide as much information as possible when applying for quotes including any advance training courses you have completed to get the cheapest quotes possible.

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