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Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

Please note: The UK Driving Standards Agency is the information source of the following article.


So what is a CBT?

Compulsory basic training (CBT) was introduced in 1990 to help reduce the very high accident rate among inexperienced motorcyclists. CBT must be completed by Law, before any new moped or motorcycle rider is allowed to ride on the road with L-plates or D-plates in Wales.

You will need to complete CBT if:

– you want to ride a moped (a moped has an engine not over 50 cc with maximum design speed not exceeding 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) which is approximately 31 miles per hour)

– you want to ride a motorcycle/scooter up to 125cc

Note: If you obtained your car licence before 1 February 2001 you do not need to complete a CBT to ride a 50cc moped*.

Age restrictions on CBT:

• Age 16 You can ride a 50cc moped (geared or automatic)

• Age 17+ You can ride a 125cc learner bike (geared or automatic)


What does CBT involve?

The CBT course involves five elements:

A. introduction

B. practical on-site training

C. practical on-site riding

D. practical on-road training

E. practical on-road riding


The five elements have to be completed in sequence, although the order of the exercises within the element can be varied. You will only move on to the next element when your instructor is satisfied you have learnt the necessary theory and demonstrated the practical skills to a safe basic level. Trainees must, by law, receive a minimum two hour on-road ride in Element E.


Certificate of completion (DL 196) when all five elements have been satisfactorily completed (this may take more than one day), a certificate of completion, called the DL196, is issued. This is a legal document which validates the relevant entitlements on your driving licence.


CBT Courses usually start either 8.30am or 09.30am depending on the time of year, and will normally take till the late afternoon to complete.


It is important that the holder of a DL196 considers the following points:

a DL196 certificate validating a provisional moped or provisional motorcycle entitlement lasts for 2 (two years) – CBT will have to be retaken if both theory and practical tests are not passed within the two year certificate life for 50cc moped entitlement only, if you pass your car driving test whilst your DL196 is still current or complete a CBT course and obtain a DL196 after passing your car test, the certificate is not subject to expiry, you will therefore need to keep your DL196 certificate safely. Please note that this applies to 50cc mopeds only, for riding motorcycles and scooters over 50cc as a learner the DL196 remains valid for two years. Once you have your certificate you are advised to take additional training to pass your theory and practical tests and qualify for a full motorcycle or moped licence. You must take the DL196 certificate with you when you go to your practical test.


Where and how much?

Only instructors certified by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) can teach CBT at an approved training body (ATB). ATBs must have instructors who have successfully completed a two day assessment and have sites approved by DSA for off-road training. Most ATBs offer the loan of machines and helmets for the course. The cost of CBT may be incorporated into the cost of a full training course that leads to a motorcycle test.


Please note: At any point throughout the CBT course the instructor may stop training and ask the student to rebook. This may be due to a number of reasons. If this is the case the instructor will explain why he/she has chosen to do so and be available to give a full debrief and answer any questions. Any rebookings will be charged at an hourly rate (or per session rate) and the instructor will advise as to how many hours (or sessions) are required.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


I have a driving licence for a car – do I need a CBT to ride a 50cc Moped?


If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 February 2001, you can ride a moped, but only if you complete a CBT course to confirm your full moped rights (50 cc). You only need to do this once instead of repeating every two years – but keep the CBT certificate safe as it will be your only proof. Remember this only allows you to ride a 50cc moped – nothing larger. If you passed your car driving test before 1 February 2001 you don’t need to complete a CBT course to ride a moped. However, we and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) highly recommends that you do.

If you want to ride a 125cc scooter or motorcycle you must complete a CBT every 2 years.


How long is a CBT course?


The CBT course should last for at least 6 to 8 hours (sometimes more). However, this will depend on several factors regarding the dynamic of the group and its individuals, including but not limited to:

(1) cognitive learning capacity
(2) rate of knowledge absorption and transcendency into practice
(3) level of experience and potential habits attached to it, etc.
(4) knowledge flow throughout the group
(5) whether conditions
(6) medical conditions from members of the group which may require frequent brakes

There is a set routine that is regulated by the DVSA. You will be taught elements in turn, and when you are safe to go onto the next element, then you progress through all the five stages. Most people get through in one day, but sometimes a customer may need to come back another day to carry on training depending on how well they get on. The CBT course is completely safety orientated, so if you can’t complete all the stages on the day, then rest and return later on, this is the best and safest way to progress. This is also a requirement of the DVSA.


I have never ridden before – is this course OK for me?


Yes – the CBT course is suitable for complete novice riders.

CBT is a safety orientated compulsory course introduced by the UK Government.

The course is client centered and delivered in a way to suit the individual learning needs and skills levels of each trainee. Once you demonstrate to your fully qualified instructor that you are safe and competent enough to ride unaccompanied, you will have completed your CBT and you’ll be issued with a DL196 Certificate.

We have to ensure that our trainees are prepared to deal with many different challenging situations that they are likely to encounter on busy urban roads and that they have the skills to cope with those situations as soon as they begin riding unaccompanied. Hence, some first time riders, particularly young riders, may need more than «one day» training until they are fully competent to ride a moped or small motorcycle unaccompanied.


If you are a complete beginner/novice in regards to riding a motorcycle/scooter and if your EXPECTATION is to complete your Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) in one day, then we strongly suggest you start with a Beginners Course (commonly known as ITM – Introduction to Motorcycling) or at least 1-2 hours of Private Motorcycling Lessons prior to your CBT. By doing that you will have a better idea of what to expect and you will also give us an opportunity to initially assess your skills, in order for us to advise you how to proceed.


I don’t have a bike or any gear, can I still attend?


Yes – We have new loan bikes and mopeds, plus helmets, gloves, jackets and waterproof trousers, catering for small to extra large.


Can I train without the original copy of my driving licence?


Sorry but no. As the CBT course is legally required and regulated by the DSA, we have to see the original licence.


Can I fail the CBT?


There is no set pass fail mark for the CBT. You need to learn skills and demonstrate that you are competent and safe before moving onto the next one. You won’t pass for just turning up so the input from you is to listen, learn and then show that you can do it.


I have never read the highway code – will you teach it to me on the day?


No – When you sign your licence you are stating that you have read and understood the Highway Code. You don’t need to be an expert but you will need to know road signs and what the traffic rules mean.


Where are you located?


We have five (6) motorcycle training centres in London, please note that they are only available for bookings made in advance, they are not walk-in centres:

(1) in Alperton, West London, next to a tube station (Alperton, Piccadilly Line);

(2) in Dagenham, East London close to a tube station (Dagenham Heathway, District line);

(3) in Croydon, South London next to a tram station;

(4) in Edgware, North West London, next to a tube station (Canons Park, Jubilee Line);

(5) in Eltham, South East London;

(6) in Wimbledon, South London (close to a tube station: South Wimbledon, Northern Line).

Please find the full address of our training centre locations below:

Training Site 1 (and London Office):
Universal Motorcycle Training – Alperton
82 Sunleigh Road
Alperton, Wembley, London, HA0 4LR

Training Site 2:
Universal Motorcycle Training – Dagenham
Goals Dagenham, Dagenham Leisure Park,
Ripple Rd, Dagenham, RM9 6FD

Training Site 3:
Universal Motorcycle Training – Croydon
2 Ampere Way

Training Site 4:
Universal Motorcycle Training – Edgware
The Hive London (Barnet F.C.)
Camrose Avenue

Training Site 5:
Universal Motorcycle Training – Eltham
Goals Eltham
Eltham Palace Road

Training Site 6:
Universal Motorcycle Training – Wimbledon
Beverley Way
New Malden