Trike Insurance

Call our specialist bike insurance team on 0330 024 0087

If you like a trike you’ll be wanting to take really good care of it, protecting it with quality trike insurance that recognises what it really means to you.

So that’s not just the pounds, shillings and pence but, more often than not, the days, evenings and weekends you’ve invested in it.

When it comes to trike insurance you’ll find that our motorcycle specialists are people who really understand your enthusiasm.

  • Unlimited road legal modifications.
  • Free agreed value.
  • Salvage retention rights.
  • Specialist schemes for disabled bikers.
  • Discounts for owners club membership and limited mileage.
  • Knowledgeable service from one of the UK’s leading trike insurance  brokers.

They’re people who get that your machine might be powered by either a bike or car engine. They understand you might ride it on a car or bike licence, or that an insurer might view it as a bike or car – and the impact that could have when calculating your premium.

We understand trikes are often a labour of love. They  may be based on a Robin Reliant or custom frame, powered by a hefty Harley, Hayabusa, Honda or Rotax engine, manufactured by well-known specialists like Boom and Rewaco or something you’ve engineered yourself and registered under the Single Vehicle Approval scheme. Whatever, we know they’re all special.

To ensure your trike is properly protected we offer a free agreed value service and you’ll find we’re not easily frightened by either the number or scale of your modifications.

We also get that, whilst your trike is more than the sum of its parts, those parts can cost more than simply money, so we can even offer salvage retention rights.*

With our help you’ll find that whether your trike is fitted with bars or a wheel, you can steer yourself to a great three-wheeled deal!

We also offer cost-saving multi-bike insurance** and specialist schemes for rare and high-value trikes and motorcycles.

Trike off the road? Click here for details of specialist SORN bike insurance. 

Additional cover options – Pick and choose your cover options to get the exact level of protection that you want, with an extensive range to protect you and your vehicle. Options include Breakdown & Accident Assistance, Motor Legal Protection, Excess Protection, Key Care and Road Halo licence defence.


* Salvage retention rights subject to underwriting criteria. ** The cost per bike can be lower when taking out multi-bike insurance than when insuring motorcycles separately. Please ask for details of the insurers on our panel we use to compare trike insurance quotes.


Trike insuranceTrikes are a relatively rare sight on UK roads.

But whether you’re in it or on it for the ride, the aesthetics or purely practical considerations, those that have them, tend to love them.

Choosing the best trike insurance to protect their beloved three-wheeler can, then, be a big deal.

And there’s lots to consider.

Is it a motorcycle or a car?

Is it a one-off custom has it rolled off a production line?

Are two of its three wheels to be found at the front or rear of the chassis?

Has it been built or adapted to accommodate a disability?


Does it feature hard-to-replace rare or custom manufactured parts?

How much does it weigh?

The list goes on and we haven’t yet touched upon some of the optional benefits you might personally be looking for. Or the cost-saving tricks that can lead you to a cheaper trike insurance quote.

So let’s take a look at a few things you might want and may need to consider….

trike insuranceWhat is a trike?

To the uninitiated this can seem an odd question.

It’s just a three-wheeler right? Like many things in life, it’s not quite so simple. And the distinctions can really matter.

Is it a car, or is it a bike?

First off, trikes can be classed either as cars or motorcycles. That’s clearly a big deal not just when it comes to insurance, but DVLA classifications, regulations and road traffic laws.

In broad brushstrokes, if a three-wheeler is fitted with a steering wheel, has manual gearing and a closed chassis, then its classed as a car. Think Del Boy’s Reliant Robin or, if your thoughts journey somewhat further upmarket, a Morgan three-wheeler.

Here you’ll need be looking at specialist car insurance, rather than motorcycle cover. And yes, we can help you with that.

Applying our thick paint brush again, a three-wheeler with an open chassis and handlebars is typically classed as a motorcycle. More specifically, and in the language of the DVLA, it’s classed as a motor tricycle – and it’s this type of three-wheeler to which this page is dedicated.

Fitting the bill here might be Harley Davidson’s Tri-Glide or, for those with shallower pockets and more everyday needs, Piaggio’s MP3. In-between might come Yamaha’s award-winning Niken.

To further muddy the waters, some trikes can be powered by car engines and still be classed as motor tricycles.

Front to back, or back to front?

Another differentiator is wheel configuration.

Some trikes have two at the back, one at the front. These are known as delta trikes, presumably in reference to the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (which, if you don’t know, looks like this Δ ).

Some have two at the front, one at their back. These are known as tadpole trikes. You know what a tadpole looks like.

The difference matters to insurers as, for example, tadpole trikes are considered less prone to rolling and offer more stable braking.

Standard v custom trikes

trike insuranceStandard production trikes tend generally to offer little trouble to insurers. They have a spec sheet and an insurance group classification to lay the foundations.

If you modify a standard bike, things can get a little more complicated although a specialist broker like Principal won’t be particularly phased.

As long as they’re road legal we can arrange insurance for any number of modifications.

One key piece of advice is to make sure you declare every modification. If you don’t give an insurer the full picture you might find your cover isn’t valid. That’s going to hurt if you need to claim.

Depending on what you’ve done, insurers may also need see an engineers’ report to confirm that all is tickety-boo.

For similar reasons, custom trike insurance can be a trickier proposition for non-specialist brokers and insurers.

There can be a lot to consider.

Your trike might have a particularly delicious and valuable paint job. It might feature hand controls to accommodate a disability. You might have built it yourself which means it will need to be DVSA vehicle approved and again insurers may need see an engineers’ inspection report.

Self-builders and custom trike specialists need comply with regulations which can be affected by things like overall weight and date of build.

Trike licensing

The rules on the licences you need to ride different types of trikes vary, by vehicle category,  when you secured your licence and what type you hold and if you have a physical disability.

We’d advise you to read up on the official rules and regulations here.

There’s also a handy Government ready-reckoner to the vehicles you can drive here.


Cover notes

When it comes to trike insurance, the standard cover options that you’d find for car and motorcycle insurance are freely available (as with other insurance, subject to satisfying underwriting conditions).

Which level of cover is right for you will depend on how and where you use and store your trike and your own attitude to the potential risks faced by you and your precious three-wheeler.

trike insuranceThird Party Only insurance (TPO)

Third-party only insurance is the basic legal minimum you will need to take your trike out onto public roads. That’s it. As the name suggests, it insure only claims made by third parties for injury or damage to vehicles or property for which you are responsible.

It will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your trike should it be accidentally or fire damaged, written off, stolen.

Third Party Fire & Theft insurance (TPFT)

Does what it say on the tin. TPFT insures against TPO risks, plus fire and theft.

Comprehensive insurance

If you value your trike then comprehensive insurance is likely to be the most attractive option.

This is because it covers so much more than TPO and TPFT.

With comprehensive trike insurance, if your three-wheeler is accidentally damaged, stolen or involved in a fire, your insurer will meet the cost of its repair or replacement.

You’ll also be covered for any claims made by third parties for costs they’ve incurred through an accident for which to you are to blame.

If you opt for TPFT or comprehensive trike insurance, if you make a claim, you’ll need pay the policy excess. This is the contribution you agree to make towards the cost of any claim when you take out your policy.

SORN insuranceSorn insurance

If you declare your trike off road by registering it under the Statutory Off Road Notice scheme, you should remember that it still faces risks.

Specially designed SORN insurance offers fire and theft cover to protect your trike whilst it’s laid-up.

Principal arranges specialist SORN trike insurance. For details of cover options visit


Trike insurance options

Aside from the headline cover options, you might also want to take advantage of the specialist benefits which some trike insurance policies offer.

These exist because trikes – like custom and classic motorcycles and cars – are most often not your everyday getting from A to B kind of deal. You won’t clock many parked up outside your local supermarket.

As well as a financial value – which can be substantial – they can carry an emotional one.  Trike owners can and often do take great pride in their machines. They mean something more than that arguably diminishing name tag afforded by the DVLA of motor tricycle.

So you might want to keep an eye out for particular benefits in order to protect your trike the way you want.

trike insuranceAgreed value

Trikes can be quite an investment, especially if they’re self-built, one-off or limited-edition customs.

The key question to ask yourself here is what would happen if your precious three-wheeler was damaged beyond economic repair (written off) or stolen and not recovered?

Even if its irreplaceable as such, you’ll want to make sure your insurance settlement covers its true worth.

This is exactly what agreed value is for.

Here’s how it works. When you get your trike insurance quote, if agreed value is an option, you’ll be asked to advise the underwriter of its worth. Of course they’ll need more than just your word. They’ll usually ask for recent photographs and receipts for parts and paint work. In some cases, they might ask for an independent valuation.

Principal offers a free agreed value trike insurance assessment service via our specialist underwriters.

Salvage retention rights

If you own a custom trike or one you’ve built yourself, then it might well incorporate one-off or rare parts.

If it gets damaged and your insurer deems it is beyond economical repair – written off – under normal circumstances it’d be off to Trike Heaven. However, you might be willing to invest more – time and/or money – to restoring your trike, or simply want to cannibalise it for a new project.

If you have agreed salvage retention rights you can recover your machine from the insurer.

Custom paint insurance

Some trikes feature personalised paint work. Lovingly crafted imagery expertly applied by seriously talented people. They can cost more than a bob or two, which means accidental damage can be costly to fix.

Luckily some specialist policies offer cover which will pay for the reinstatement of that fine art or provide a financial settlement.

trike insuranceShow insurance

Go to pretty much any motorcycle show and you’ll likely come across some pretty impressive trikes. Everyone loves to admire a trike right? We think so, which why we proudly unveiled Grinnall Trikes’ awesome Midwest Indian 3 to the world at the 2019 Motorcycle Live show.

But if you’re thinking of showing off like us, make sure you ask about show and rally cover when getting your trike insurance quote.


How can I get cheap trike insurance?

We have a standard caveat here. Is cheap trike insurance really what you need? There’s something about the word cheap which should perhaps trigger warning signs.

What you want is for your trike to be protected to the standard you require, without your bank account being drained.

You want the best trike insurance for you, taking into account the level of cover and benefits you require, and the premium.

What we’re saying is that rather than cheap you should be looking for the best value trike insurance.

There are ways of squeezing better value, depending upon what you can or are willing do.

Here’s a few ideas.

Limited mileage policies

The basic formula is that the fewer miles, the lower risk.  So if you can resist the temptation and stop that odometer clicking, it should help cut your quote.

Limited mileage trike insurance – typically insurers set a 3,000 mile annual upper limit – should cost less than an otherwise comparable unlimited policy.

Voluntary Excess

Insurance is all about risk. With voluntary excess schemes, in return for a lower premium, you increase your share of that risk by agreeing to pay a higher excess. In short you agree to dig a little deeper in your pocket should you need make a claim.

Owners club discounts

Premium discounts are offered by some insurers if you are a member of a recognised motorcycle club.

It’s not hard to understand the logic. If you take the time and money to join a club, it shows you’re passionate and that passion suggests you might take just that little bit more care of your trike.

To give you an idea of the savings to be had, insurers on Principal’s motorcycle insurance panel offer discounts of up to 10% to recognised owners club members.

National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD)

Discounts may also be available to member of the NABD. This well-established and much admired charity supports in a variety of ways bikers with a physical disability.

It’s a fine outfit, with one benefit being the insurance discounts the NABD has secured for its members. As ourselves proud supporters of the NABD, we’re pleased to offer member discounts of up to 25% on both bike and trike insurance.

trike insuranceStorage and security

Where and how you store your trike is clearly an important consideration.

Enhanced security can earn you discounts.

An insurer is clearly going to look more kindly on you if your trike is kept in a locked garage rather than on the street.

For some insurers it might be a condition of insurance

For equally obvious reasons, insurers are partial to some decent after-market security. It not only increases protection but signals your own desire to take care of your machine.

Look out for Thatcham-tested and approved security products and systems, such as ground anchors trackers, tagging systems, electronic or electromagnetic alarms and/or an immobilisers.

No claims discounts

An obvious one but, as always, the cleaner your insurance record, the better for your bank balance.

Rack up a few years claims-free riding experience and it’ll make a difference. You’ll find discounts typically start following one claim-free year, with the maximum bonus typically offered after 10 years or more.

As for that maximum bonus, discounts available from insurers on our panel reach up to 65%. Worth having then.

trike insuranceMake a good call

Because of things like modifications, custom builds, licensing and the various cover options, this is a specialist area.

It’s one worth talking through with people who understand the market.

That why we recommend that you call our specialist team on 0330 024 0087 so we can root out the best trike insurance deal from our panel of insurers.


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  • Salvage retention rights available.
  • Free agreed value.
  • No limit to number of road-legal modifications.
  • Generous discounts – for owners club membership and limited mileage.
  • Specialist schemes for disabled bikers.
  • Knowledgeable service from one of the UK’s leading trike insurance  brokers.

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