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Beginner's Guide: How to Get Your A2 Motorcycle Licence


Olivia C · June 06, 2024

Key Highlights

  • The A2 licence is a stepping stone towards a full, unrestricted motorcycle licence (A-licence)
  • The A2 motorcycle licence allows riders aged 19+ to ride motorcycles with a power output between 25kW and 35kW
  • To get the A2 licence, riders must complete compulsory basic training (CBT), pass a theory test, and pass both module 1 and module 2 practical tests
  • With an A2 licence, riders can ride motorcycles up to 35kW without L-plates, carry a pillion passenger, and ride on motorways
  • The cost of A2 licence training will vary depending on the course and  riding experience

What is a Motorcycle A2 Licence?

Understanding how to progress through motorcycle licence levels can be confusing, and is a lot more complex than the route to learning to drive a car. Fundamentally though, the route and speed that you can progress is dependent on your riding needs, age, and years held with certain licences.

The A2 motorcycle licence is a subcategory of the full motorcycle licence. But, unlike a full A-licence, the A2 has restrictions on what you can ride. 

Who can get an A2 licence:

An A2 licence allows riders to:

  • Ride a bike that produces no more than 35 kW or 47bhp (these are typically advertised as A2 bikes).
  • Ride without L-plates on.
  • Carry a pillion passenger.
  • Ride on the motorway.

In essence, A2’s give riders the opportunity to progress from a CBT or A1 licence onto larger and more powerful motorcycles. It also gives riders extra ‘perks’ they don’t get from just a CBT e.g. riding without L-plates, carrying passengers and riding on the motorway. 

So, if you’re over 19 and looking to upgrade from a CBT onto a licence that doesn’t need renewing every 2 years, an A2 could be perfect for you.

To get the A2 licence, riders have to complete their CBT,  pass a motorcycle theory test, and successfully complete both mod 1 and 2 practical tests.

A2 vs. Full A-Licence: Key Differences

While the A2 licence allows riders to ride motorcycles with a power output between 25kW and 35kW, the full motorcycle licence provides riders with the freedom to ride motorcycles with any power output. 

The route to getting an A2 versus a full A-licence is the same, but for an A2 licence the bike you ride on your mod 1 and mod 2 will need to be between 22-35kW and have a displacement of at least 395cc. For a full A-licence, the power output of the bike would need to be at least 54bhp or 40kw. 

A way to think of the difference is, the A2 will mean restricted bike power including during modules 1 and 2, whereas the A licence has no restrictions but needs to fulfil the minimum power requirement for the modules.

Preparing for Your A2 Licence

Eligibility Criteria: Age and Experience Requirements

To be eligible for the A2 motorcycle licence, riders must be at least 19 years old. There aren’t any specific requirements for previous riding experience, making the A2 licence accessible to both beginners and those with more riding experience. 

But, all riders must first complete the compulsory basic training (CBT) course, which gives a basic introduction to riding safely and responsibly.

Necessary Equipment and Resources for Training

When preparing for your A2 licence training, it’s important to have the necessary equipment and resources. Here are some essential items you will need:

  • A suitable motorcycle: All our training schools will provide a bike for training, so no need to bring your own (you can - but remember that you can’t ride it to the centre without your licence!)
  • A helmet: A DOT-approved helmet is a must-have for motorcycle riders. Make sure it fits properly and provides adequate protection.
  • Protective gear: Invest in protective gear such as a motorcycle jacket, gloves, and boots to protect yourself in case of an accident.
  • Motorcycle theory test material: Study the official motorcycle theory test material to prepare for the theory test.
  • Practice tests: Take advantage of online practice tests to familiarise yourself with the format and content of the theory test.

You can shop for all your motorcycle training gear at RideTo’s store, including New Rider packs, helmets, gloves and more.

How To Get Your A2 Licence

Interested in getting an A2 licence? Here is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

Step 1: Completing the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT)

Before you can progress to the A2 licence, you must complete the CBT course, which covers basic riding skills and road safety.

Book your CBT training course here.

Step 2: Theory Test – Preparing and Passing

Prepare for the theory test by studying the official DVSA theory test book  and taking practice tests. Once you feel confident, book in your theory test on the Gov.uk website.

Step 3: Motorcycle Training – Booking Your A2 Licence Test

RideTo has a multitude of schools offering A2 courses, check out the schools nearest you offering A2 licence assessments with our search tool. Simply select A2 licence type when you’ve selected a location:

Pick the duration of the training and course based on your experience level. You may want to just train without the stress of taking modules yet, which would make you a great candidate for the Introduction Course - 2 days training without tests. At the other end of the scale, you can pick the Experienced Rider package, with 4 days of training to learn and take your module 1 and 2.

Not sure which level would be right for you? Contact us to discuss the best route to passing, based on your needs.

Step 4: Completing the Practical Tests – Module 1 and Module 2

Once you have completed your CBT and any further training you need, you will need to pass both the module 1 and module 2 practical tests. These tests assess your riding skills and ability to handle different road scenarios.

The test day will be made up of tests Mod 1 and 2, the same as if you were going for a full motorcycle licence. The only difference will be the size of the bike you do your test on. A2 riders have to complete the test on a motorcycle with a minimum 395cc and a power output of between 20 kW (27bhp) and 35 kW (47bhp).

  • Module 1: This module focuses on off-road manoeuvres, including controlled stops, slalom, figure of eight, and a slow ride. It also includes a U-turn and an emergency stop. You’ll do this module at the training centre, around cones. The manoeuvres assess your control and handling skills. The test will last around 20 minutes.
  • Module 2: This module will take place out on the roads. You’ll be riding on the streets followed by a DVSA examiner, for around 35 minutes. It includes normal stops, hill starts, and independent riding. 10 minutes of this will just be  independent riding, i.e. not instructed on what directions to take by the examiner. You’ll likely be told to follow road signs to a specific destination, in order to test your ability to multitask while keeping safe.

You can read more about the Mod 1 and Mod 2 motorcycle tests in our post of passing the full motorcycle tests.

After Obtaining Your A2 Licence

Great! You have your A2 licence. You can enjoy riding more powerful bikes on the motorway, carrying passengers and removing those L-plates.

What CC Motorcycles You Can Ride with an A2 Licence

It’s common for sellers online and in dealerships to market bikes as “A2 bikes” - these are bikes specifically designed or restricted for A2 licences.

They’ll be compliant with the A2 restrictions, including:

  • Power that doesn’t exceed 35 kW (47 bhp)
  • OR are motorbikes that are up to 70 kW, with a restrictor (under 35kW)
  • AND power that doesn’t exceed  0.2 kW per kilogram of motorcycle weight

Make sure that your chosen motorcycle meets the power output restrictions to remain compliant with the A2 licence requirements. Due to A2 licence updates in 2022, the minimum engine capacity was lowered from 395cc to a new lower level of 245cc, so the range of A2 compliant bikes is now fairly wide. Other than that, you can ride any road-legal style you like!

Upgrading From A2 to Full, Unrestricted A-Licence

Obtaining your A2 licence is a significant accomplishment, but it doesn't have to be the endpoint. Once you get more experience (and meet other criteria), you might want to upgrade from your A2 licence to a full, unrestricted motorcycle licence. 

There’s 2 ways you can go about this.

  1. If you’ve had your A2 licence for 2+ years
  2. You can upgrade to a full A licence when you are at least 21 years old, via the progressive access route.
  3. Since you already have an A2 licence, you won't need to retake the theory test.
  4. You’ll need to take your mod 1 and mod 2 on a bike that produces at least 54bhp (40kW) and has an engine size of over 595cc.
  5. If you haven’t held your A2 licence for 2+ years
  6. You can either wait to have held your A2 licence for 2 years OR
  7. Complete a Direct Access Route (AKA DAS) if you’re 24 years or older
  8. You'll need to pass the motorcycle theory test, even if you already passed it for your A2 licence.
  9. You’ll need to take your mod 1 and mod 2 on a bike that produces at least 54bhp (40kW) and has an engine size of over 595cc.

Costs Of An A2 Licence

The total cost of A2 licence training will vary depending on the duration of the course and your level of riding experience. Training costs as little as £400 for introduction courses, but can be in the £900+ range for full training with mod 1 and 2.

You’ll also need to factor in the costs of taking your theory and CBT, if you haven’t already.

Tips for Budgeting and Saving on Costs

Here are some tips to help you budget and save on the costs of A2 licence training:

  1. Research and compare prices: Take the time to research different training schools and compare their prices and ratings.
  2. Consider travelling further away for your training: costs will depend on the school and location, so shopping around could save you some money.
  3. Plan in advance: Give yourself plenty of time to save for your A2 licence training. Set aside a specific amount each month to ensure you have enough funds when it's time to book your training.

You can compare locations and costs with our full licence search tool here.


Getting your A2 motorcycle licence is an exciting journey that takes some preparation and dedication. You'll need to understand the differences between an A2 and a full licence, meet the eligibility criteria, and complete the required training. 

Once you have your A2 licence, you can explore a whole new range of motorcycles and think about upgrading to a full, unrestricted licence down the line. 

Keep riding safely, have fun and contact us with any questions about your licence.


Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Get an A2 Licence?

The time it takes to get an A2 licence will depend on your situation. You'll need to complete training, pass the practical and theory tests, and get a CBT. On average, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to get your A2 licence, depending on how soon you can get onto a training course and book test dates.

Can I ride a 600cc on an A2 licence?

It depends on the bike. The A2 is restricted by power output and weight to power-to-weight ratio rather than cc’s. For the bike to be A2 compliant it can have no more than 0.2Kw of power per kilo, and a maximum of 35 kW (47 bhp) power output. There are some 600cc bikes that would qualify, especially with restrictor kits on, but not all will be compliant - so do your due diligence.

Does an A2 licence count as a full licence?

Yes, an A2 is a ‘full licence’, as it’s a subset of the A licence, like the AM and A1. But, all these subsets have restrictions on what you can ride on them, therefore they’re not an ‘unrestricted’ licence.

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.