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Off Road Declarations and Motorbikes: What You Need to Know

Many UK motorists enjoy motorbikes. However, once the weather turns sour, many motorbike enthusiasts put their bikes away for the season. Many motorbike enthusiasts may not realize that there are insurance rules that could complicate their ability to enjoy their motorbike, and may even place them at risk of a heavy fine or seizure of their motorbike.

The relevant issue is the Continuous Insurance Enforcement regulations which came into effect in 2011. These provisions require that any vehicle either have continuous insurance or be declared off road. The result for motorbike enthusiasts is that they need to pay for insurance for a bike they’re not using, or declare it off road, which triggers additional restrictions and fees when they want to use it again.

Off Road Declarations and Motorbikes: What You Need to Know

Off Roading Your Bike

An off road declaration is also known as a SORN. A SORN does not have an expiration date, and so it will retain that condition until such a time as it is taxed, scrapped, or sold. Additionally, the bike must remain in the UK for the period of the SORN.

In order to obtain a SORN, you must go to the appropriate government website, and enter your bike’s registration number, and V5C reference number or V11 reminder reference number.

Once a bike has been declared off road, drivers will not be able to use it until it has been registered and insured again. This means that enthusiasts won’t be able to take their bike out during those few mild days in the off-season.

There are situations where it may be advantageous to off road their bike. One example of this is when you are sure you aren’t going to need your bike again

In for the rest of the year. Additionally, depending on your insurance premiums, it may be advantageous to off road your bike to save some quid.

Continuous Cover

Instead of taking a bike off road, motorists might consider keeping the bike insured year-round.

Maintaining continuous cover has a number of benefits. Cover protects your bike in case of theft or fire damage, which might be more likely during the riding off-season.

Another benefit of maintaining your cover is that if there is a break in the weather or an emergency situation you will be able to legally use your bike. This can help motorbike enthusiasts save many pounds on hefty fines, and even more on insurance premiums, which are likely to skyrocket after a driving without insurance conviction. Some drivers may have issues getting any cover at all if they get convicted for driving without cover.

Finding the Best Continuous Cover

If you’re going to maintain cover on your bike, then you will want to find the most cost effective insurance possible. There are a few things that motorbike enthusiasts can do to ensure they aren’t paying more than they have to when keeping their bike road legal.

The first cost saving measure is to choose the right type of policy. For many bikes, a third-party fire and theft will provide the best mix of cover and cost. Your bike will be protected from theft and fire damage, which are more likely when it is being stored.

It is important to note, however, that third-party fire and theft isn’t always the cheapest option. Insurance prices are based on statistics, and so it is possible that full comp cover may be cheaper as individuals with those policies are less likely to file claims. This is why it is essential to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price on your bike insurance.

Another step that drivers can take is to install security features to deter theft. This lowers the risk faced by the insurance company and thus reduces the price of cover. Safe and secure storage can also aid in this endeavor.

Finally, motorbike drivers can take additional courses beyond those required for qualification. Many cheap insurance companies offer discounts for taking these additional driving safety classes, and the savings can more than pay for the quid you spend on the course itself.


As you can see, there are many options motorbike drivers have when it comes to keeping their bike road legal. Do some research on different policies and make the best choice for your circumstances.