GSC GraysGSC Grays

Contact our offices

Main office


01748 897 630

Estate Agency Offices are located in


Residential Management Team

01748 829210

The Use of Quad Bikes on Public Roads

The law governing the use of motors vehicles comes under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Under this act Section 185 defines a motor vehicle as “any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads”.

For quad bikes used purely off road then the Road Traffic Act 1988 and below requirements do not apply. Although, voluntarily registering quad bikes with the DVLA’s “off road register” will aid police when locating the quad bike if it is stolen.

Use on Public Roads

For a motor vehicle to be used on a public road it must be licensed and registered. It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road without them. This applies to quad bikes.

Agricultural Vehicle Status – An agricultural quad bike used on the road does require to be registered for tax, although this comes with a nil rate to pay, it must also be registered as a light agricultural vehicle, displaying number plates and only operated in daylight hours for short distances on the road.

This Agricultural Status does not cover the operating of quad bikes for gamekeepers and their day/night operations. Therefore, the motor vehicle requirements apply.


Dealerships on the sale of a quad bike usually provide the option of the following ‘kits’ to be fitted to the quad bike;

  1. Agricultural Vehicle status – The quad is fitted with a number plate and is registered, but is only able to be used in daylight hours for agricultural purposes. No passengers are able to be transported.
  2. Indicators can be fitted to the quad bike (involving 4 indicator lights, along with a number plate). This still requires the quad bike to only be used during daylight hours as there are not sufficient lights for operating at night.
  3. A fully road legal specification from the dealership includes: Indicators, break lights, reflectors and side lights (with a dip setting) allowing the quad bike to function at night as a normal car would.

A quad bike capable of travelling in excess of 20mph also requires a horn and speedometer. If traveling in excess of 25mph a fog light is also required to be fitted to the vehicle.

Quad bikes used on the road which are 3 years and older require a MOT certificate. However, this is not the case for quad bikes with the ’Agricultural Vehicle Status’.

A quad bike which is not road legal from manufacture can be modified to meet the above required specification. Once completed, an application to the DVLA is required to have the quad bike certified as road legal by what is known as “type approval”.

Licence to Drive

Any person without a valid driving licence must not use any motor vehicle on the road, or they open themselves up to prosecution. This can include the liability of the Estate or any member of staff who authorises the use of the quad bikes on a road.

Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 imposes this liability to anyone who “cause or permits” an offence. This means the estate staff could be open to the same criminal penalties as the person who is seen as the principal offender and could result in the member of staff receiving 6 penalty points and/or disqualification. A company cannot hold a licence, so it cannot hold a “standard” driving licence for points or disqualification to be imposed.


All vehicles used on a road must have third party insurance and it is an offence to drive a vehicle without correct insurance.


[team-member name=”Jonny Pickup”]

Latest News