Thursday, 6 September 2012

A Nod to the Quad

Ok if you are confused about the law pertaining to Quad bikes and ATVs - ie what licence you need to drive one, where and how to register or categorise one,  hopefully this may help...

Quad rules!

First thing to do when you get you shiny new Quad bike, once you have got over just feeling the love and are ready for action, is to register it with the DVLA, get it some number plates and a nice tax disc which need to be displayed.

Like a car it must have an MOT if it is over 3 years old and you are intending to use it on the road - obviously the MOT is pretty much a catch-all, necessitating lights, indicators, road legal tyres, horn, speedo, mirrors and everything else which your Quad will need to make it road legal.

Type approval


If you are buying a Quad as an individual, it will probably already be type approved and have a certificate of conformity, as it is generally the manufacturer or importer who is responsible for this because of the level of testing required. If it is not type approved though, don't worry as Individual, or Single Vehicle Approval is possible and affordable.

And what is type approval again?

Type approval is a testing process to check that all vehicles in the UK meet both European and domestic safety and environmental standards in line with European Directives and UN ECE Regulations.

It should be type approved, in line with one of the following categories:

*European whole vehicle type approval system (ECWVTA)
*Uk national type approval (small series)
*Uk motorcycle single vehicle approval system (MSVA)

If you want more information about type approval have a look at this website:

businesslink website 

Once your Quad or ATV is type approved it can be registered and taxed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Definitions of a Quad bike


Just in case you want to plumb the complicated murky depths of type approval even further, (if not then you have permission to skip to the next section before you fall asleep....) there are two categories of Quad bike for type approval purposes, each with its own definition. These are called category L6e and L7e.

Category L6e
This category is a light four-wheeled Quadricycle with:
  • an unladen weight of not more than 350 kilograms
  • a maximum speed of 45 kilometres per hour
It must also have one of the following:
  • a maximum spark ignition internal combustion engine capacity of 50 centimetres cubed
  • a maximum power of any other internal combustion engine of 4 kilowatts
  • a maximum electric motor continuous rated power of 4 kilowatts
Category L7e
This category is a four-wheeled Quadricycle with:
  • an unladen weight of not more than 400 kilograms (or 550 kilograms for a goods carrying vehicle)
  • a maximum net power, whatever the type of engine or motor, of 15 kilowatts
Four wheeled vehicles that fall outside of these two definitions would need to be type approved, registered and taxed in another category.


What driving licence category are road legal Quads? 


This has been the subject of much debate at Wemoto as it is very unclear  whether you need a car or a motorcycle licence to drive a Quad. But we have finally come up with the answer after extensive, and totally  confusing research, culminating in this information being unearthed and verified by a very helpful man at the DVLA in Wales.

Quads and ATVs can fall into categories B or B1 for driving purposes - ie:

B = it has 3 or 4 wheels and weighs more than 550kgs unladen but not more than 3500kg

B1 = it has 3 or 4 wheels and weighs less than 550kgs unladen

If you have a B category road legal quad bike which is over 550kg unladen weight, you can only ride it on the road with a full car licence NOT a motorcycle licence.

Equally, if you have a motorcycle licence issued after 1st February 2001, you will NOT have been given  category B1 automatically with that licence. You will need to pass a driving test in a car to get category B or B1 in order to drive a Quad or ATV on the road.

Just in case you thought that was too clear and easy, the plot thickens, if you passed your bike test before February 2001 and have a motorcycle licence from before that date it WILL include category B1 and WILL entitle you to drive a road legal Quad or ATV on the road...Oh yes....and that has been confirmed by the same very helpful man at DVLA!

Protective clothing


It is not a legal requirement to wear a crash helmet or protective clothing on a Quad bike but it is strongly recommended by the Ministry of Transport.


Registering a Quad as an agricultural vehicle


If you are getting a Quad for use as an agricultural vehicle you will need to register it in a different way from a road vehicle and will have to go through the DVLA. You will need to ring them or email them to get form V55/5 with guidance notes - don't worry if a lot of the questions don't apply to agricultural use quads - just leave them blank.

Their contact number is: 0300 790 6802 to ask for the form or get further clarification on anything.

To get more information and order a V55/5 application pack and guidance notes - the section on registering and taxing a vehicle is the one you need to look at - use this link to the form-ordering service:

Once you have filled the form in send it to your local DVLA office with your payment of £55 and ID and etc, you may then receive a letter asking you to present your quad for inspection

At the inspection they will check the frame and engine number if it has one and hopefully then in a few days time they will send you your registration number and your free road tax disc. You should then be able to take this registration number to your local garage to get your number plate made up and away you go to the fields! Yipee!

And finally...

Well there we have it  - hopefully this is all you need to know to enjoy your  Quad - the only other useful information you might want is that Wemoto sells parts for quad bikes so if you need any, check out our website.

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