Motorcycle Safety Abroad

According to recent research conducted by Travel Insurance Explained, 28% of Brits admitted to being more carefree and adventurous whilst they are on holiday. It would appear that some people are prepared to take risks abroad that they would not take at home.

For example, very few people would think of riding a moped, scooter, motorbike or quadbike at home, without wearing a crash helmet (and other protective clothing) or making sure that they had the right driving licence.

Now, whilst we agree that this is a fun thing to do on holiday, providing an easy way to get around and save money on taxis, it is really important to make sure you have the correct licence, insurance and perhaps most importantly, attire!


Many countries will let you ride a moped, scooter, motorbike or quadbike, whether you have a valid licence or not. However, most travel insurance policies will only cover you if you hold a valid UK driving licence for that particular machine.

So, regardless of where you travel it is imperative that you have the correct UK licence before thinking about hiring a moped/ scooter, motorbike or quad bike, because each of these requires a different type of UK licence.

  • Moped/ Scooter - If you have a full drivers licence issued before 2001 you can drive a moped/scooter up to 50cc with no need to complete your CBT (Compulsory Basic Training). If your licence was issued after 2001 you must complete your CBT to activate your full moped/scooter licence.
  • Motorbike - A motorbike is completely different, and you must have passed both a theory and practical test before being licenced to drive one. For example, if you are 17 and over but do not have the correct motorbike licence then you should not drive one.
  • Quadbike  - For a quadbike, you must hold a full drivers licence to drive this on the road. For example, if you are 16 and over but do not have a full drivers licence, you should not be allowed to drive a quad bike on the road.

More information can be found here, we recommend that you check this regularly as rules and regulations do change. It also depends when you received your licence as to what is required if you are interested in riding a moped/ scooter, motorbike or a quad bike, so best to check you hold the correct licence before you arrange to hire one of these machines.

Check that you have the correct UK driving licence if you are thinking of hiring a vehicle during your trip.


The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported a worrying increase in claims involving people suffering serious injuries whilst riding motorbikes abroad. The cost of treating a broken leg in Thailand is around £16,000 so you want to make sure your travel insurance will cover you for these costs

Whilst most travel insurance policies will automatically provide cover for riding a moped, scooter or motorcycle up to 125cc, many have restrictions regarding holding a UK licence and wearing crash helmets, and some do not cover quad bikes and others will only cover you if you pay an additional premium.

Remember no travel insurance policy will cover you for any injury you may cause someone else, or for any damage you might do to their property (third party liability) – the people who rent the vehicle should provide you with the appropriate motor insurance cover.


Please note - most travel insurers will not cover costs of a moped accident if you do not hold the correct licence in the United Kingdom, whether or not this is legally required in the country you are travelling to.

If you do not have the correct UK licence and you are injured whilst riding a moped, scooter, motorbike or quad bike on holiday, then your travel insurance claim is likely to be refused. This could land you with huge medical bills, (as we have already mentioned), but there may also be costs for new flights home and other associated expenses, such as accommodation, food, drink etc.


Check your policy! If you are thinking or riding off road, or quad biking, check with your insurer first because most will require you to pay an additional premium if you intend to take part in any of these activities.

If you are a riding as passenger on one of these vehicles it is still your responsibility to check that the driver holds the appropriate licence, if they don’t you won’t be covered either!




Whether legally required or not in the country you are in, you must wear a crash helmet! – your safety is much more important than helmet hair…sorry. 

It is best to wear long clothing – not shorts or bikinis – and appropriate footwear; Flip-flops are a definite no! no! We recommend that you wear something similar to trainers or boots because if you do crash they could help prevent serious life threating injuries. People do not realise that at best gravel injuries following a fall from a moped can result in permanent scarring, and at worst in the total loss of a limb because it is extremely difficult to clean these areas fully. Unfortunately, we have seen young people lose legs because of the onset of sepsis following gravel injuries. We know it can be hot, but even a pair of skinny jeans in your bag to pull on when you are riding around could save you from serious injuries.

It is better to be safe than fashionable! Wear a helmet and cover up your bare skin.

What to do if you are in a moped accident abroad?

This step by step if definitely something to keep in mind if you are thinking about riding a moped/ scooter, motorbike or quad bike on your next holiday.

  1. Safety first - Personal safety comes first, make sure you or anyone else involved is safe and not hurt before taking the following steps.
  2. Call the emergency services - Although the UK number is 999, other countries use 911 or 112, but it is always best to check locally to ensure you know how to call for an ambulance and police before operating one of the machines.
  3. Take photographs - Ensure you have photographic evidence of the scene, your machine and any other important details. This will help your hire company and their insurers if there is a claim to be made against another driver!
  4. Take down the details of those involved - Make sure you have their name, address, contact number and any registration number on their vehicle/s.
  5. Take down the detail of any witnesses - Ensure you get their name and contact number.
  6. Write down as much information as you can - Such as the date, time, location and any other important facts of the accident.
  7. Get a police report - Again, this will help when having to make a claim.


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