The Laws On Road Legal Quad Bikes Explained

Understanding what’s legal for your quad bike, and what’s not, can be confusing. Is it considered a motorbike or is it a car? What are the on-road rules? From helmets and insurance to age limits and tax, we explain all the laws for road legal quad bikes.

Are all quad bikes road legal?

No. Most quad bikes are not legally allowed to drive on the road. That’s because most quad bikes don’t meet the strict road safety standards that are required to drive on the public highway. As a result, you’ll need to check with your bike manufacturer to see if your quad bike is road legal. If it complies with safety standards but hasn’t been approved for road use, you can apply for type approval.

Next, what driving licence do I need to ride a road legal quad bike?

The government classifies road legal quad bikes as a B1 vehicle. That means the driver must hold a full car licence or full motorcycle licence, category B1 to drive it on the road.

Can a 16-year-old drive a quad bike on the road?

No. You need a B1 category full motorcycle licence or full car licence. That means you’ll be a minimum of 17 years old before you can drive a quad bike on the road.

Do I need an MOT for my quad bike?

Yes. If your quad bike is more than three years old and you drive it on the road, an MOT is required.

Do I need licence plates to ride my quad bike on the road?

Yes. You must register your quad bike with the DVLA and display your licence plates on the front and rear.

How much does quad bike road tax cost?

The cost of road tax for your quad bike depends on emissions and the size of the engine, just like taxing a car. But not everyone has to pay road tax for their quad bike. If you use your quad bike a very limited amount on the road for agriculture, horticulture or forestry, you are exempt from road tax. And if you don’t ever ride your quad bike on the road, you won’t need to tax it.

If you do need to tax your quad bike, you can do it online here. You’ll need the reference number that you can find on your tax reminder letter, your vehicle log book, or the green ‘new keeper’ slip from the logbook if you’ve just bought it.

How do I apply for zero-rated vehicle tax?

If you use your road legal quad bike for agriculture, horticulture or forestry, you can apply for zero-rated road tax. You can only apply for this if you only make very short journeys on the road (less than 1.5km) to go between land owned by the same person. Remember, even if you don’t need to pay for road tax, you still need to apply for it.

Can you ride a quad bike on the motorway?

Yes. You can ride a road legal quad bike on the motorway as long as it is fully registered with the DVLA. A quad bike registered for agricultural, horticultural or forestry use is not permitted on the motorway.

Do I have to wear a helmet on a quad bike on the road?

You don’t have to wear a helmet when you drive your quad bike on the road in Scotland, England or Wales, although it is recommended.

If you are driving your quad bike in Northern Ireland, you must wear a crash helmet on the road. If you don’t, you can be fined £500.

Do you need to insure a quad bike?

If you have a road legal quad bike, it is classed as a motor vehicle. That means, if you drive it on the road or in a public place, you are legally obliged to hold a minimum of third party insurance. If you don’t, you are committing a traffic offence. That can mean a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence. Your case could also go to court, and you may have the vehicle seized, face a more substantial fine or, above all, even be disqualified from driving.

If you have a road legal bike, but never drive it in a public place or on the road, you don’t legally have to take out insurance. However, there are lots of good reasons why you might want to take out insurance anyway. For example, to pay for a replacement if your ATV is stolen or damaged.

If you only use your quad bike off-road, you can take out specialist off-road quad bike insurance. This tends to be cheaper than standard on-road quad bike insurance because it won’t normally include third-party public liability cover. Be warned though. If you use your quad bike in a public place, for example at horse trials, country fairs, or other public events, you could be liable for significant costs if you do injure someone or damage property.

Finally, where can I buy cheap quad bike insurance?

Quad bikes are considered specialist vehicles, and that can make it trickier to find the right quad bike insurance. You’ll need to speak to a specialist provider or independent broker, like Park Insurance. When you talk to our team, we’ll know exactly what questions to ask you so that we can find the most appropriate cover for you, at the best price. That means you can be reassured you’re going to get insurance you can rely on.

Our specialist vehicle team at Park Insurance has been helping quad bike owners to find great value insurance for many years. We’re a Bristol-based, family-run business that has been established for over 30 years for your peace of mind. Above all, our expert team is on hand to talk you through what you do (and don’t!) need and we know exactly where to look to negotiate the best deal. Call us today on 0117 955 6835 or get in touch to find out more.