Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1988

It is an offence to be in charge of a motor vehicle on the road or in a public place without at least third party insurance issued by an authorised insurer.

If you are the victim of an uninsured or untraceable driver, a claim for compensation may be made to the Motor Insurers Bureau. 

If stopped and found to be uninsured, the police have the power to remove the vehicle from the road and charge you for the cost of transport and storage.

Having removed the vehicle, the Police are entitled to scrap it if you do not reclaim it within 14 days by producing evidence or valid insurance.

Main forms of insurance

Third party

Only covers you if you damage others. You are not covered for damage to yourself/your bike.

Third Party Fire & Theft

In addition to the above, damage to your own bike through fire or loss through theft are also covered.


Covers all the above and damage to your own bike by another, whoever was at fault.

NB: Accessories such as top-boxes are not covered under every insurance policy. Always check with the policy issuer as to exactly what is covered.

Legal Expenses Insurance

LEI covers the cost of pursuing losses because of accidents that were not your fault. It will cover claiming compensation for injury, damage to your motorcycle and uninsured losses such as your policy excess, motorcycle hire and replacement motorcycle helmet and kit.

There are two options: 

1. 'Before the event' offers cover for things that might happen.

2. 'After the event' insurance is taken out after the incident has happened, ensuring you against losing the case.

  • There is an ongoing duty to disclose any relevant information to the insurer, failure to do so can invalidate the insurance policy; examples include:
  • Conviction for an offence.
  • Change or modification of vehicle.
  • You have an accident.
  • Anything else the insurer requires to be reported under the terms of the policy.

Penalties for riding uninsured

  • Maximum fine of £5000 
  • Licence normally endorsed with 6-8 points for a first offence, though courts can give a discretionary disqualification.
  • There is a fixed penalty system enforceable by the police of an immediate fine of up to £200 and 6 points on the driver’s licence at the officer's discretion.

NB Further proceedings could result in a higher fine and more points.

The amount of fine seems to vary from £60 to £200 but RTA 1988 Prospective s.144C (8) recommends £100 whilst s.144C(9) allows the amount to be varied by regulation.

Insurance terminology

Insurance policy

A legally binding agreement between you and the insurer.


The amount you pay for the agreed cover set out in the policy.


The amount the insurer may require the insured to pay in the event of a claim. This may be an agreed amount with the insurer in return for a smaller premium.

Insurance certificate

The official document required for legal purposes.

Cover note

A provisional and temporary document received on insuring. The cover may not be as extensive as the full policy.


Useful links

Drink Driving

Motor Insurers Bureau