Quad bikes: the rules

Quad bikes must be approved, registered, taxed and have an MOT (if needed) to be used on the road.

Most quad bikes cannot be used on the road because they do not meet road safety standards.

Check with the manufacturer if your quad bike has been approved for road use. If your quad bike has not been approved but meets road safety standards, you can apply for ‘type approval’.

Rules for riding quad bikes


You must register your quad bike with DVLA and the bike must have front and rear number plates.

MOT certificates

Quad bikes used on the road need a valid MOT certificate if they are more than 3 years old.

Driving licence

To drive a quad bike on the road you need to have a full car licence or a category B1 licence if it was issued before January 1997.


You must have third party insurance to drive a quad bike on the road.


A quad bike can only carry passengers if it is designed to do so and has the right number of seats. Check with the manufacturer if you’re not sure.

Crash helmets

Quad bike drivers and passengers in England, Scotland and Wales do not have to wear crash helmets, but it’s recommended.

You must wear a helmet if you’re driving a quad bike in Northern Ireland. You can be fined up to £500 if you do not.

Using a quad bike off-road

You do not need a driving licence to ride a quad bike off-road.

You do not have to tax and register your quad bike if you’re only going to use it off-road. However, there is an ‘off-road register’ where you can record the details of your off-road quad bike, which could help the police find it if it’s stolen.

Agricultural quad bikes

If you’re using a quad bike for agriculture, horticulture and forestry work you need to register it as a light agricultural vehicle.

Using an agricultural quad bike on the road

An agricultural quad bike used on the road does not need an MOT, but must be registered and licensed for road use and must have a number plate and third party insurance.

It will also need lights if it’s being used on the road after dark.

Vehicle tax

You do not have to pay vehicle tax on quad bikes used for agriculture, horticulture or forestry.

If you do have to pay tax, the class will depend on how you use your quad bike:

  • limited use tax class for bikes used on the road
  • agricultural machine class for bikes not licensed for road use


Quad bikes used as light agricultural vehicles should be made with only a driver’s seat. They are not allowed to carry passengers.

More information

Contact the Department for Transport for more information about quad bikes.

International Vehicles and Standards
Department for Transport
Zone 1/33
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road

International Vehicles and Standards\