Quad Bike Insurance: The Ultimate Guide For Farmers
Quad bikes have become as essential as a tractor for modern farmers. These fast, nimble, go-anywhere vehicles are ideal for everything from herding animals to carrying out feed to remote parts of the farm in bad weather. They can get through floods, snow, ice, and are even (in some cases) road legal.
However, they’re also one of the most popular targets for thieves, and with rural robberies on the increase, ensuring your quad bike insurance covers your precious asset properly is essential. At Park Insurance, we specialise in insurance cover for quad bikes, as well as a host of other insurance deals and packages. So if you’re not sure about what kind of quad bike insurance you need, you can talk to one of our friendly team for advice and help.
You need to make sure that any quad bike you use is correctly documented, insured and secured. You also need to know what to look for when buying a quad, so here’s a handy guide to help you find the right quad bike, and then make sure you hang on to it!
Get in touch if you need quad bike insurance or advice.
The legal stuff
Even if you’re only using your quad bike around the farm, it is a motorised vehicle and is still subject to current UK legislation. So it must be registered with the DVLA.
Most quad bikes are not road legal because they do not meet the current road safety standards. However, you can apply for ‘vehicle approval’ if your quad does meet those standards but hasn’t been approved. You can apply for Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) as long as your vehicle meets the right criteria and, most importantly, has a vehicle registration number. You can find out more about MSVA here.
If you want to ride your quad bike on the road (and it conforms with road safety standards), then it needs to be treated like any other road-going vehicle. That means you need number plates front and rear, an MOT (if the quad is more than three years old), tax and insurance. You also need the correct UK driving licence category, so you’ll need to check that you have a full car licence or a category B1 licence (if the licence was issued before January 1997).
Unlike motorcycle riders, you don’t have to wear a crash helmet when riding a quad bike, but it is recommended if you’re riding your vehicle on the public highway. You can only carry passengers if the bike is designed to take them and has the right number of seats.
Using a quad off road
If you’re using a quad bike purely for off-road purposes then you don’t need tax, a licence or registration. However, it’s a good idea to register your quad on the Off-Road Register, which lets you record details of your quad in case it is stolen. You can find out more about the Off-Road Register here.
If you’re using a quad bike as part of your farming or agricultural operations, forestry or horticulture, then you need to register it as a light agricultural vehicle. You can use an agricultural vehicle on the road without an MOT, but it must be registered and licenced, have a number plate, and you must have third party quad bike insurance at the very least. You’ll also need lights and remember, you won’t be able to carry a passenger on an agricultural quad bike.
Quad bike insurance
There are two types of quad bike insurance. If you are driving a quad on the road, then just like any other road user you’ll need driving insurance. In most cases, third party cover is adequate and the most cost effective. However, as with any third party cover, this will only protect you against claims from other people in the result of injury or damage to their vehicle. It won’t cover any damage to your quad bike should it be involved in an accident. And with the price of repairs running into the thousands, it’s probably a wise move to go for the most comprehensive cover you can afford.
The other type of quad bike insurance covers the vehicle itself, and in particular protecting you financially against the cost of your vehicle being stolen. Quad bikes are a major target for criminals, primarily because they’re easy to move, and very easy to sell on. Taking out extra insurance to protect your quad bike against theft is a wise move. You will need to make sure that it’s as secure as possible to qualify for insurance cover, and most quad bike insurance will stipulate that when not in use, the vehicle is kept in a locked and secure garage.
What to look for in a good quad
There are 5 key elements to look for in a quad bike that’s going to be used as an agricultural vehicle:
- Engine capacity (preferably 500cc and up) – a more powerful engine gives you greater towing ability and traction, especially over rough terrain
- User-friendly operation with push start rather than kick start – kick starts can be temperamental, especially on a cold morning
- Carrying capacity – you should be able to get feed bags, bales of hay and straw or even the occasional sheep on the front rack!
- Towing capacity – quads are excellent for towing vehicles out of muddy conditions, or hitching a small trailer to increase the carrying capacity
- Good ground clearance – especially important for rough terrain
Obviously, price is a factor too, but the second-hand market for quad bikes is very buoyant and you can usually find a very good quality quad such as a Yamaha for around £5,000 new and £2,500 second hand.
A more expensive quad bike will cost more to insure, as it’s a high ticket item. But don’t skimp on quad bike insurance for second-hand vehicles either, as they still represent a sizeable investment and are an essential piece of equipment on the modern farm.
Get in touch if you need to insure your quad bike.