Questions about CBT

We've compiled a list of common questions below along with answers to help you find the right CBT for you.

Q.What is a CBT?

A.CBT stands for Compulsory Basic Training. It was introduced in December 1990 and aims to reduce motorcycle/moped accidents, improve rider training, and give people of all ages a basic understanding of the controls of a two wheeled machine and the confidence to use it on the road.

Q.How old do I have to be to do a CBT?

A.At least 16 years old. There is a special AM category for 16 year olds called the Moped or AM category. When you pass your CBT test you are limited to a 50cc scooter and no faster than 45Kph (28mph). If you are 17 years old or more then passing your CBT will mean you can ride up to a 125cc machine with a maximum power of 11kw. (14.6 BHP) manual or automatic.

Q.Do I need to have passed the theory test to do a CBT?

A.No, your CBT just qualifies you as a learner for a two year period and as such you do NOT need to take a theory test.

Q.Is CBT a test?

A.It is not a test. Throughout the day your instructor will evaluate your ability. If you complete the day to their satisfaction then you will be given a pass certificate, called a DL196.

Q.What happens if I do not complete my CBT?

A.If the instructor feels that you need additional training they will ask you to come back to complete your CBT on another day. This may incur an additional charge, so always check with the motorcycle training company first.

Q.How long does CBT training take?

A.A CBT can normally be completed in a day, but may take longer if you need more time to master the control of a two wheeled vehicle. Knowing how to ride a bicycle will really help, so if you have not ridden one for a while it's a good thing to do before you take your CBT.

Q.Will there be others training with me?

A.Yes. There can be up to 3 others training with you in the classroom and off road sections, and when you go on road there may be one other learner as well as the instructor. Training with others is a good thing as it gives you someone else to talk to and helps calm your nerves.

Q.Do I need to bring my own moped or motorcycle?

A.No. Virtually all motorcycle training schools supply mopeds and motorcycles for hire so you do not need to bring one. Some include the hire price in the price of the CBT, some do not, so make sure you check if bike hire is included in the cost.

Q.What can I ride when I pass my CBT?

A.If you are 16 then you can ride just a moped. If you are 17 or over then you can ride a moped or a motorcycle up to 125cc and with a power output of up to 11kW. You will need to have L plates displayed (D plates if you are in Wales).

Q.How long is a CBT certificate valid for?

A.It's valid for 2 years. If you carry on with your training and take a full motorcycle test then you no longer need to renew your CBT. If you do not then you will need to re-take your CBT every 2 years.

Q.What's the difference between a novice CBT and an experienced CBT?

A.Novice or beginner CBTs are for those learners who have never taken a CBT before. Because a CBT expires after 2 years you will need to re-take your CBT if you have not passed the full motorcycle test. This 're-take' is called an 'experienced CBT' or 'CBT come back', as you've already completed one before. Some motorcycle training schools have these as two separate courses with different pricing. So if you are booking a CBT for the first time then make sure you book the right one.

Q.What does the CBT consist of?

A.It consists of 5 parts called 'elements'. The DVSA have produced a brilliant 1 and a half minute video that explains these elements really well, you can view it here.

Q.What type of licence do I need?

A.A valid UK licence, either a full driving licence or a provisional licence. If you have a European licence, you must complete and send a D9 form which can be obtained from the Government website here. Remember to take your licence with you on the day of your CBT training!

Q.What clothing should I wear?

A.You do need to wear suitable protective clothing on the day. Make sure your arms and legs are fully covered using thick jeans or trousers, and a good protective jacket. You will also need sturdy footwear eg boots, as well as gloves and a safety helmet. Most motorcycle training companies can provide this for you, which can be a real help if you don't want to buy it all yourself. Some include the provision of these items of clothing in their cost of the CBT, so make sure you check before booking.

Q.What happens if I loose my CBT certificate?

A.You can get a replacement certificate from the motorcycle training company that issued the original certificate. They will charge for this as the motorcycle training company has to buy those certificates from the Government. Ideally put your original in a safe please so it cannot be lost!

What training can I do after my CBT test?

Once you have successfully completed your CBT and you have your CBT certificate you may want to go on to do further training. A CBT certificate allows you to ride only mopeds or smaller motorcycles, but with a full motorcycle licence you can ride the bigger bikes provided you are old enough. Taking your full licence will also mean you do not have to keep re-taking your CBT test every 2 years.

  • For 17 - 19 year olds there is the A1 motorcycle licence. When you pass this you can ride without L plates, carry a passenger and ride on a motorway.
  • For 19 - 24 year olds there is the A2 motorcycle licence. Once you've passed this you can ride any motorcycle up to 35kW (47BhP). Although the numbers may mean nothing to you there are plenty of fantastic motorcycles you can ride in this power range.
  • For 24+, or if you've had an A2 licence for at least 2 years, there is the DAS (Direct Access Scheme) motorcycle licence. You have to take this test on a motorcycle of at least 595cc with a minimum power output of 40 kW. Passing this DAS test will give you a full motorcycle licence where you can ride any size of bike with no restrictions.

Q.Can I book a CBT test for my son or daughter?

A.Yes you can, just make sure that they are the correct age on the date of the test that you book. So, if you book the CBT test online then on the date of the test your son or daughter must be at least the required age on that date.