A CBT qualifies a rider to ride a motorcycle, scooter or moped up to 125cc for a period of two years, after which the CBT must be renewed. Taking an A1 licence will help riders who are happy riding a 125cc machine to improve their road skills and will be a one-off cost, which will never need to be renewed. This means that if they leave motorcycling for a while, their licence will still be valid, should they wish to return.
There are other benefits too, including not having to ride with L plates and being able to take a passenger.
Karen Cole, Safety and Training Director for the MCI says riders should start planning a few months before their CBT is due for renewal “It would be best to start training for an A1 test around four to six months before the CBT needs renewing. This should allow most riders enough time to choose a training school and be able to get a good choice of test dates at a centre which suits them.”
“Records of how many people are repeating CBTs are not kept by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), but we know that 190,000 CBT certificates are issued each year, a sizeable percentage of which are bound to be repeats. Riders in this category should put the money they’d spend on another CBT (somewhere between £100 and £150) towards training and testing for a licence which will last a lifetime.”
For someone already holding a CBT the cost of taking the three parts of the motorcycle test (theory, Mod 1 and Mod 2) is from £121.50 plus any training costs.*
Even those who anticipate moving to an A2 as soon as age will allow them, will gain from taking an A1, as they will learn new skills earlier on in their riding and will be more prepared for their next test. For those who don’t want to do an A2 or A licence yet, or are restricted from doing so by age, it means they will be better trained, should they decide to progress to bigger bikes.
*Total cost of taking a test is slightly more if Mod 2 is taken at the weekend = £135.00. Training costs will vary according to need.