How much is a CBT test?

Engines at the ready.

There are several routes you can take to get your motorcycle licence. But no matter which one you choose, you’ll have to take a compulsory basic training (CBT) test. As you prepare for this process, you’ll likely find yourself wondering: How much is a CBT test? What does it entail? And what else do I need to do before I can get out on the open road?

Here, we help you anticipate the costs involved so that you can budget properly and have your licence in hand in no time.

What is a CBT test?

A CBT test is a one-day course that you have to complete before you can ride a motorbike. It forms part of the key criteria you need to meet in order to get your licence, which include:

  • A provisional licence
  • A CBT pass certificate
  • A pass on your motorbike theory test
  • A pass on your motorbike practical test, which consists of two modules

You need to have your provisional licence before you go for your CBT test. You can apply for your provisional licence easily online, provided you are over 15 years and 9 months old, can read a number plate from 20 metres away, and have the right to live in the UK.

During your CBT test, you will drive a motorbike with a maximum power output of 125 cc if you’re over 17 years old. If you’re under 17, the test covers mopeds with a top speed of 30 mph. 

So if you’re wondering, “Can I ride a 125 without a CBT?”, the answer is no, unfortunately not. The CBT test is mandatory, and you have to have a CBT pass certificate in order to drive a motorbike on public roads.

What does a CBT test include?

The name CBT test is a little bit of a misnomer, since the course isn’t actually a test. You can’t pass or fail it, and most people will get their completion certificate fairly easily. However, if your trainer feels that you aren’t participating in the course safely or appropriately, they might require you to do more training before you qualify.

The training covers a lot in a day. There are five elements:

  • Introduction and eyesight check
  • Practical on-site training
  • Practical on-site riding
  • Practical on-road training
  • Practical on-road riding

You’ll also spend about two hours with an instructor on public roads learning about:

  • Eyesight checks and general safety
  • Basic motorbike maintenance check
  • Braking and road manoeuvres, including U-turns 
  • Riding behaviour in standard traffic conditions 
  • Changing gear
  • Emergency stops

It’s worth setting aside an entire day for your CBT course.

Once you have your CBT certificate, you have to pass your other motorbike tests within two years. If you don’t, you’ll need to repeat your CBT test. During this two-year period, you’ll have to display your L plates at all times. And while you’ll be able to ride on dual carriageways, you can’t go on motorways just yet.

How much does a CBT cost in the UK?

There’s no standard CBT test price, and the cost will vary depending on the provider you choose. Typically, however, most providers charge between £150 and £200 for a CBT test. 

Be aware of any other additional costs as you do your budgeting. Your provider might charge you extra for:

To ensure you have an accurate idea of what the total cost is likely to be, ask your chosen provider for a detailed quote before you agree.

To find a CBT provider near you, head to the website.

How do I prepare for a CBT test?

Before you go for your CBT test, it’s useful to have a basic knowledge of what riding a motorcycle involves, as well as the rules of the road. You might want to familiarise yourself with:

If you feel like you need a little extra support, the Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Ride is a valuable resource. It explains exactly what you need to know to complete your CBT and practical riding tests. It costs £14.99.

If you’re using your own motorbike to take your CBT test, make sure you have tax, MOT and insurance in place.

Read more: Motorcycle MOTS: All you need to know

What are some of the other costs involved?

In addition to paying for a CBT test, there are a few other costs you’re likely to incur as you go about getting your motorbike licence

Most of these costs, including your provisional test, theory and practical tests, are fixed. (It’s work checking the website for the latest fees.) But the cost of your CBT test and your lessons will depend on the provider you choose and, in the case of your lessons, how many you have.

If you take lessons, you can expect to pay around £40 an hour. According to the DVLA guide, you could need around 45 hours of official lessons before you can drive competently. This amounts to £1,800.

With this in mind, here’s a guideline of what you can expect to pay:

  • Provisional test: £34
  • CBT test: £150
  • Theory test: £23
  • Practical test — module one: £15.50
  • Practical test — module two: £75 on weekdays, £88.50 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays
  • Lessons: £1,800
  • Total: £2,097.50/£2,111

So, how much is a full motorcycle test in the UK? Including lessons, you might pay in the region of £2,000.

What happens once you’ve completed your CBT test?

With your CBT certificate in hand, the next step is to pass the motorbike tests mentioned above, including your theory test, hazard perception test, and your on and off-road practical tests.

To pass your theory test, you need to get 43 out of 50 questions right, and to pass your hazard perception test, you need to get 44 out of 75 questions right. Your practical tests will be evaluated by a qualified assessor.

Once you’ve passed all of these tests, you’ll receive your full motorbike licence.

Remember that there are different types of motorbike licences, and which category you go for will depend on your age and the power output of the bike you want to ride. An A licence allows you to ride a bike with any power output provided you are over 21 or 24 years old. (To find out more, take a look at these handy flow charts developed by the DVSA.)

Quickfire summary: How much is a CBT test in the UK?

A CBT test is a mandatory course that you have to complete before you can drive a motorbike on public roads in the UK. It’s a one-day course that isn’t in fact a test — there’s no pass or fail. You simply have to complete the course successfully in order to be given your CBT certificate. 

The course costs anywhere between £150 and £200, depending on the provider you choose. It’s also worth confirming whether they charge extra for helmet hire, motorbike insurance, flexible cancellation, and fuel. 

You might be able to mitigate some of these additional costs if you use your own motorbike and equipment. But don’t forget that your motorbike needs to be taxed, have a valid MOT, and be properly insured.

For all of your motorbike insurance needs, speak to the team at Howden. We’re here to get you the best coverage no matter where you’re at on your motorbike licence journey or what kind of bike you ride. Get a quote today.

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