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Quad bike insurance

Are quad bikes road-legal? Do I need quad bike insurance if I’m only using it off-road? We look at your insurance-based questions about riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

Are quad bikes road-legal? Do I need quad bike insurance if I’m only using it off-road? We look at your insurance-based questions about riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

Written by
Julie Daniels
Motor insurance expert
Last Updated
21 MARCH 2024
4 min read
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What is quad bike insurance?

Quad bike insurance covers your ATV, or all-terrain vehicle, against theft and accidental damage. Policies can cover your quad both on and off the road, and there are multiple levels of cover available.

Because quads are non-standard, you can’t cover them under a regular motorbike insurance policy. This means you’ll need a specialist ATV insurance policy to cover a quad bike.

Unfortunately, you can’t currently compare quad bike insurance with Compare the Market, so you’ll have to shop around to find cover.

What does quad bike insurance cover?

There are different types of quad bike policies, depending on how you use your bike. 

Road legal cover 

If you’re taking out road legal quad insurance to drive your quad bike on public roads, then, like car insurance and motorbike insurance, quad-bike insurance is split into similar cover levels: 

  • Third party insurance – the minimum legal requirement to drive on public roads, this covers damage you cause to other people and their property. 
  • Third party, fire and theft – includes everything in a third-party policy and covers your quad bike if it’s stolen or damaged by fire. 
  • Comprehensive – includes everything in a third-party fire and theft policy, and can also protect you as a driver and damage to your quad. 

Off-road cover ​​

​If you’re planning on driving your quad bike off road, then you might want to take out specialist insurance. You’ll need to explain to your insurance provider how and where you’ll be riding your quad bike. 

If you’re only planning on driving your quad bike off road, you’re not legally required to insure it. 

Do I need quad bike insurance?

If you plan on taking your quad bike on a public road, even for short or infrequent journeys, you’ll need to arrange third-party cover. You’ll also need to register your quad bike with the DVLA, tax it, and, if it’s more than three years old, make sure it has a valid MOT certificate. 
The rules are slightly different for quad bikes used for agriculture. 

If you’re only riding your quad off road, you don’t need quad bike insurance. However, you might want to get cover for peace of mind.

How much is quad bike insurance?

It’s difficult to say. Most quad bikes don’t meet road-safety standards and their features can vary greatly. Similarly, cover for agricultural use is very different to a policy designed to cover your ATV for use on the road. 

However, all premiums are affected by: 

  • The driver’s age – younger riders tend to pay more 
  • Where the quad bike is kept – like cars and motorbikes, it’s cheaper to insure a vehicle that’s parked or stored securely 
  • How the quad bike is used – working quads or those used in agriculture are more likely to get damaged 
  • Agreed mileage – setting a lower mileage limit could save money on your premium 
  • The quad bike itself – how powerful is the engine? Are there any smart security features? Can the quad bike take passengers? All these questions are taken into account. 

What extras can I add to my quad bike insurance?

Not all insurance providers can offer the same extras for your policy. But if you make some enquiries, you might be able to sort: 

  • Breakdown cover 
  • Equipment cover – for your leathers and helmet 
  • International cover – to take your quad bike abroad 
  • Motor legal protection – to cover legal costs if a driver makes a claim against you 
  • Multiple rider cover 
  • Personal accident cover 
  • Track day cover – if you damage your quad on a private track. 

Different types of quad bikes

Quad bikes can be split into several categories:

On-road quad bike

Designed to be driven legally on public roads, on-road quad bikes include things like mirrors, lights and even a horn. You must insure and tax these quad bikes to drive on the road.

Off-road quad bike

Off-road quadbikes are designed to traverse uneven terrain, like grass, mud, hills etc. They’re not designed to drive on roads, which means they can come without things like mirrors and lights.

If you’ve modified your off-road quad bike to make it road legal, you can apply for individual vehicle approval.

Utility quad bike

As the name suggests, utility quad bikes can be used for various things, including towing trailers or other vehicles. They’re a sort of jack-of-all-trades quad bike.

Sports quad bike

Sports quad bikes are usually smaller than utility quads, because they’re designed for speed and jumps etc.

Frequently asked questions

What licence do I need to ride a quad bike?

To ride a quad bike on the road, you’ll need either a full car licence or a category B1 licence if it was issued before January 1997. 

Can I ride a quad bike on a motorbike licence?

You can only ride a quad bike with a full car licence or a category B1 licence, if it was issued before January 1997. Unfortunately, a motorbike licence won’t do. 

Can I carry passengers on my quad bike?

You can carry passengers on a quad bike as long as it’s designed to do so. If you’re unsure, you can check the vehicle handbook or the manufacturer’s website for more details. 

Are quad bikes road-legal?

Some are, but most quad bikes don’t meet the safety standards required to qualify for use on the road. 
You can check with the manufacturer if your bike is road-legal. If it isn’t, but you believe the bike meets the safety standard needed, you can apply for vehicle approval

Do I need to pay tax on a quad bike?

Only if you’re driving it on public roads. If you’re only driving it off road, you don’t need to tax your quad bike.

Do I have to wear a helmet to ride a quad bike?

Although quad-bike drivers don’t have to wear helmets by law in England, Scotland and Wales, it is highly recommended. The same applies to your passengers, too. 

In Northern Ireland, you must wear a helmet while riding a quad bike. You can be fined up to £500 for not wearing a helmet.

How do I compare quad bike insurance quotes?

​Unfortunately, you can’t currently compare quad bike insurance with Compare the Market. Instead, you’ll need to shop around to find specialist quad bike insurance.

But if you have a motorbike or moped you want to insure, you can compare and find the right deal with us

Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie