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Do you need a CBT to finance a bike?

This article delves into the intricacies of bike financing in the UK and the role of CBT.


In the pursuit of mobility and the sheer joy of biking, many in the UK find themselves considering the acquisition of a motorcycle or scooter. However, amidst the excitement of choosing a model and the allure of the open road, practical considerations such as training and finance inevitably arise.

A pivotal question for many potential riders is whether undertaking a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course is a prerequisite for financing a bike. This article delves into the intricacies of bike financing in the UK, the role of CBT, and what you need to know to navigate this path successfully.

What is a CBT?

Before we explore the nexus between CBT and bike financing, it’s essential to grasp what CBT entails. Introduced in 1990, the Compulsory Basic Training course is a mandatory requirement for all new riders in the UK who wish to ride a motorcycle or moped on public roads. The CBT aims to ensure that riders have fundamental skills such as handling, road awareness, and safety knowledge before they ride unaccompanied.

The CBT certificate is valid for two years, and riders must either pass their full motorcycle test within this period or retake the CBT to continue riding on L plates. It’s important to note that while CBT is a critical step for new riders, it does not bestow the full motorcycle licence.

The intersection of CBT and bike financing

When it comes to financing a bike, the requirement of a CBT certificate can vary based on the lender’s policies and the type of finance agreement. Generally, the primary concerns for lenders are the borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan. However, the requirement of a CBT certificate may come into play, especially when financing lower-capacity motorcycles or scooters typically used by newer riders.

Personal loans

For those opting for a personal loan to finance their bike, the necessity of a CBT certificate is indirectly related. Personal loans are unsecured, meaning they are not tied to the asset being purchased. Therefore, lenders are more focused on your credit score, income, and financial stability. In this scenario, whether you have completed a CBT may not be directly relevant to the loan approval process.

Hire purchase and leasing

Hire purchase agreements and leasing options offer a different dynamic. Here, the finance company retains ownership of the bike until the final payment is made. For these types of finance, the lender might stipulate that the borrower must hold a valid CBT certificate, particularly if the bike is intended for a new rider. This requirement is seen as a risk mitigation strategy, ensuring that the borrower has the basic skills to ride safely, potentially reducing the risk of accidents and damage to the vehicle.

Specialist motorcycle finance

Specialist motorcycle finance companies, which understand the unique aspects of bike ownership and riding, may also consider the CBT status of applicants. These lenders might offer more flexible terms for riders with a CBT, acknowledging it as an indication of the rider’s commitment and responsibility towards safe riding.

The role of insurance

While not directly related to the finance aspect, it’s crucial to consider insurance requirements in tandem with CBT. Obtaining insurance is a legal requirement, and the cost can be significantly influenced by your training and licensing status. Insurers may offer more favourable rates to riders with a CBT certificate, as it demonstrates a basic level of training and proficiency.

Navigating your path to bike ownership

Navigating your path to bike ownership is an exciting journey that requires careful consideration and planning. This step-by-step guide aims to help you make informed decisions, ensuring a smooth ride from dreaming about a bike to actually riding one.

1. Assess your riding intentions and preferences

Begin by evaluating what you expect from your biking experience. Are you seeking a commuter vehicle to navigate city streets, a touring bike for long-distance adventures, or perhaps a sport bike for its speed and agility? Your intended use not only influences the type of bike you should consider but also impacts your financing options and insurance costs. Additionally, think about your preferences regarding new vs. used bikes, as this decision can significantly affect your budget and financing choices.

2. Get acquainted with different types of bikes

Familiarise yourself with the various types of motorcycles available on the market, including cruisers, sportbikes, touring bikes, dual-sports, and scooters. Each type offers a unique riding experience, with specific features designed to meet different needs. Visiting dealerships and talking to experienced riders can provide valuable insights into what might suit your lifestyle best.

3. Explore financing options

Investigate the financing options available to you. Personal loans offer flexibility but may come with higher interest rates. Hire purchase agreements can be more manageable month-to-month but remember, the bike isn’t yours until the final payment is made. Leasing is an option for those who prefer to switch bikes every few years, though it may include mileage limits and other restrictions. Compare the pros and cons of each method to find the best fit for your financial situation.

4. Understand the importance of CBT

For new riders, completing a Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course is essential. While not always a direct requirement for financing, having a CBT certificate demonstrates your commitment to safe riding. It can also positively affect your loan approval chances and insurance premiums. Consider the CBT as an investment in your safety and riding skills.

5. Check insurance implications

Before finalising your bike purchase, obtain insurance quotes to understand the costs involved. Insurance premiums can vary widely based on the bike type, your age, riding experience, and whether you have a CBT certificate. Some lenders might require proof of insurance before finalising the finance agreement, so it’s crucial to have this sorted in advance.

More than just a tick box

In conclusion, while a CBT certificate is not universally required to finance a bike in the UK, its value extends far beyond a mere regulatory checkbox. It serves as a testament to a rider’s commitment to safety and responsibility on the road. For lenders and insurers alike, a CBT can signify a lower-risk borrower, potentially leading to more favourable terms.

🚗 You might like this guide: Can you finance a 125cc motorbike?

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