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 can’t be used on the road because they don’t meet road safety standards.
Check with the manufacturer if your quad bike has been approved for road use. If your quad bike hasn’t 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.
Quad bikes used on the road need a valid MOT certificate if they are more than 3 years old.
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.
Quad bike drivers and passengers don’t have to wear crash helmets, but it’s recommended.
Using a quad bike off-road
You don’t need a driving licence to ride a quad bike off-road.
You don’t 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 doesn’t 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.
You don’t 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 aren’t allowed to carry passengers.
Contact the Department of Transport for more information about quad bikes.
International Vehicles and Standards
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road