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  • Writer's pictureBeckside Machinery

How to register a quad bike for agricultural use

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

If you’re using all-terrain vehicles on UK roads, even if it is to get from one area of farmland to another, you must comply with UK road law.

Quad bikes are ultimately designed for off-road use; however, ATV quad bikes for agricultural use are growing in popularity due to their great benefits, speed, and strength being the two primary. As such, and in some situations, this means that these quads are used on public roads.

To keep you and your quad on the right side of the law, you need to consider:


No vehicle travelling on UK roads can do so without being appropriately taxed. 

If your quad is never used on roads; however, then it won’t need to be taxed or registered, and in these instances, you also aren’t required to hold a full UK driving licence.

If you do have to pay tax, the class can depend on how the bike is used, i.e., limited use tax class for bikes used on the road, or, an agricultural class for bikes not licensed for road use.

ATVs that are primarily used for agricultural use, horticultural or forestry work, and use roads, must still be registered with the DVLA and be taxed. However, these types of quads will sit under a special concessionary, `light agricultural vehicle` which is zero-rated.

To be considered as a light agricultural vehicle, the ATV in question must not exceed 1000kgs, is a light four-wheeled vehicle, and is designed for solo riders only.


Helmets and other safety gear are not a legal requirement when driving quads, yet they can be vital when providing you with the ultimate safety measure. According to the HSE, many ATV accidents in the UK have involved serious, if not fatal, head injuries. 

A suitable helmet that has been manufactured and tested to meet all standards can be a lifesaver in the event of an accident.

Approved for road use

All quads for sale that are to be used on the road must be suitable to do so and be approved to show that it meets all of the necessary standards. 

Your approved dealer or manufacturer will be able to provide you with further information and details on the specific quad you are considering further.

Most quad bikes can’t be used on UK roads because they don’t meet the required road safety standards making it essential to check with your dealer to make sure that the quad you purchase meets your specifications.

Note: ATVs with a single seat and taxed for agricultural use, are allowed to use red diesel both on and off the road.


An agriculturally taxed ATV will not require an MOT. However, they must still be in roadworthy condition, registered, licensed, and you are still required to have third party insurance.

Quad bikes that are also more than three years old must have a valid MOT.

The Road Vehicles Regulations 1986 and Road Vehicles (lighting) Regulations 1989 have many guidelines and regs which state that you must:

  • Display front and rear number plates, which can be lit when dark

  • Include a speedometer and horn, if the vehicle is driven over 20mph

  • Have front and rear lighting fitted, as well as reflectors if the ATV is operated in the dark and to let other drivers know if you’re turning.

Different lighting requirements are needed depending on the speed of the vehicle. It’s important to refer to the 1989 regulations to confirm these

Driver Requirements

To drive an ATV on the road, you need to be at least 17 years old and hold a full UK driving licence (Category B).

However, if the bike weighs no more than 550kg, you can drive with a Category B1 licence, but you still must be 17 years of age.

ATVs are designed for solo use, and as such, passengers are not allowed to ride, no exceptions.

Note: UTVs are different and are designed for multiple passengers as well as luggage and baggage.

Road quad bikes can be the ideal solution for getting from A to B and for supporting agricultural, horticultural, and forestry work.

Making sure that your quad bike is not only suitable but that you also hold the right legal requirements and safety requirements is vital.

Vital in keeping you and other people safe on the road.

At Beckside Machinery, we have a range of new and used quad bikes for sale, and we can provide information and details on all of our quads in terms of MOT and tax requirements, driver requirements, and whether or not the quad bike in question is suitable for your needs.

Call us today to check out what we have available at 01673 828 965.

Reference video: Joshua Scott

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