The Rules

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. Some quad bikes are tested and ‘type approved’ in a similar way to motorbikes. These are sometimes called ‘leisure quad bikes’ or ‘quadricycles’. ‘Car like quads’, where the driver compartment is fully enclosed, are treated in the same way as other quads.

These are the only types of quad bike you can use on the road.

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

Registering and taxing

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

You must also display a valid tax disc.

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 a minimum of 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 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.

You’ll also need to get the correct ‘nil value’ tax disc and renew this every year.

Using an agricultural quad bike on the road

You can only use an agricultural quad bike on the road if travelling less than 1.5km between sites where you’re using it for agriculture, horticulture or forestry.

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 minimum of third party insurance.

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


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

More information

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

International Vehicles and Standards   Department for Transport  Zone 1/33  Great Minster House  33 Horseferry Road  London  SW1P 4DR