Motor Cycle Monthly spoke to Dave Bowcock, MD at Principal Insurance  to find out…

“If the buyer is test riding through a dealership, the business should have an insurance policy that covers them for people test riding. This policy will have a set criteria though, and the client should always check that they have adequate cover in place.  Some policies restrict the test rider in terms of age, length of licence, number of claims etc, so always double check the wording on the policy. Most policies also contain clauses in terms of damage whilst the vehicle is in your care so it’s worth checking these too.

At a private sale, if the buyer has insurance in place that includes ‘Riding Other Bikes’, they should have cover to ride the bike they don’t own. There are conditions to this though: the other bike has to be insured, and the rider has to have the owner’s permission to ride it. Cover is usually Third Party Only. If the bike was damaged, things could get complicated, so it’s a good idea to take photos of the bike before and after, with both parties agreeing beforehand what will happen in the event of damage. If there’s no provision in your policy for riding other bikes, the only thing you could perhaps do is ride pillion with the owner.


Principal insurance ltd has a wide range of policies, which cater for most, if not all motorcycle insurance scenarios. If any reader is considering buying a new or used bike we’re happy to speak to them.” Contact or call 0808 178 7922.

Tony Carter

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