Quad Bike Licences & Categories
The law and Quads
Your guide to riding safely and reporting nuisance behaviour.
Advice for riders
You do not need a licence to ride quad bikes on private land.
The use of all motorised vehicles, including go-peds, mini motos, quad bikes and motorbikes, must comply with section 185(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
What the law says
It is against the law to use a go-ped, mini moto, quad bike or motorbike in public parks, open spaces or on footpaths, pavements, cycle routes and bridleways.
It is also an offence to use a go-ped, mini moto, quad bike or motorbike on a footpath to pass from one piece of private land to another.
Under 16 – The only place that you can ride a go-ped, mini moto, quad bike or motorbike is on private land but you must have the permission of the land owner.
Over 16 – You can use a go-ped, mini moto, quad bike or motorbike on the road if you meet certain legal requirements, or on private land if you have the land owner’s permission.
Riding legally on the road
You can only ride a go-ped, mini moto, quad bike or motorbike legally on the road if you have: a full driving licence and Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) certificate – a provisional driving licence and CBT certificate is sufficient to ride a motorbike up to 125cc with ‘L’ plates a valid insurance policy with minimum of third party cover an MOT test certificate to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, with all lights and mechanics in good working order registration and tax obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) an approved protective helmet (mini-motos and motorcycles).
Safety on and off the road
On the road – if you ride without lights, brake lights, indicators, mirrors or a helmet, you significantly increase the chance of being in an accident.
Off the road – if you ride on land that is not designed for off-road vehicles, there may be unknown hazards such as potholes that could cause you to have an accident and seriously injure yourself.
Inconsiderate or careless riding
If you ride a motorbike, quad bike or other vehicle on or off the road in a careless or inconsiderate way that causes alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public, you could receive a warning and your vehicle could be seized.
These warnings are recorded on the Police National
Section 185(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988.sets out the law for all motorised vehicles these include Quad bikes and mini motos you can find more detailed information on “What the law Says” on the Kent Police website
Traditionally "Quad bikes" have always been considered to be agricultural vehicles (although there are many that are used for leisure on land to which the public does not have general access) and should only have been able to be registered as agricultural vehicles used for the purposes of agriculture, horticulture or forestry. During the course of this use there may be a small amount of road use in much the same way as a farmer uses an agricultural tractor and whilst on the road, the vehicles would have to meet the on-road requirements for an agricultural vehicle given in The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended (C&U) and The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR). Use as a normal road-going vehicle for everyday transport would be unlikely to be permitted as these vehicles are unlikely to meet the technical construction requirements that apply to a four wheel road vehicle, that is, a car. Particular areas of concern would be the tyres, braking system, seat belt requirements and so on.
In fact, in order to be able to be registered and used as a normal vehicle prior to June 17 2003 a quad would have to have been type approved in accordance with the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval system (ECWVTA) for cars, or in accordance with UK National Type Approval (Small Series) or be approved as a single vehicle under the UK Single Vehicle Approval Scheme (SVA).
Since June 17 2003 the situation has changed due to the introduction of another form of ECWVTA to cover powered two and three-wheeled vehicles including two categories of small, low performance, four-wheel vehicles referred to as “Quadricycles”. Typically these “Quadricycles” have been bodied vehicles of French origin manufactured by companies such as Ligier, Aixam, Erad, Microcar and so on and have 300cc, 400cc or 500cc diesel engines. However, we are aware that some manufacturers, for example, Bombardier of Canada, have obtained type approval for what can only be described as a four-wheel motorcycle (to all intents and purposes a “Quad Bike") and provided that such a vehicle has ECWVTA and has a Certificate of Conformity issued by the manufacturer to signify that fact, then it can be registered and legally used as a normal everyday vehicle.
For vehicles that do not have type approval but that owners wish to use as normal vehicles, there is the possibility, following extensive modification, that they could be submitted to the Single Vehicle Approval scheme directly aimed at powered two and three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles.
The definitions for quadricycles are:
Category L6e – Light quadricycle – Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 350kg (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle), a maximum speed of 45km/h, a maximum spark ignition internal combustion engine capacity of 50cm3, or maximum power of any other internal combustion engine of 4kW or maximum electric motor continuous rated power of 4kW. The construction requirements are those for a three wheel moped unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.
Category L7e – Quadricycle - Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 400kg or 550kg for a goods carrying vehicle (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle) and a maximum net power, whatever the type of engine or motor, of 15kW. The construction requirements are those for a motor tricycle unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.
Note – The Masses and Dimensions Directive, 93/93/EEC, applies controls on maximum dimensions and laden masses for vehicles. Four wheeled vehicles that fall outside the definitions given for quadricycles are considered to be cars and would have to meet the appropriate regulations for cars.
For a legal view
Quad Bike Specifications