Quad bikes, also known as all-terrain vehicles or more formally as quadricycles, are growing in popularity throughout the United Kingdom. Moreover, quad bikes are fun, adventurous, and easy-to-use motor vehicles that are great for on-road and off-road riding.
Many see them as a viable alternative to driving a car or riding a motorcycle. On the other hand, people use them in horse stables or to support the needs of agricultural work on farms.
While they are versatile motor vehicles used by people of all ages, quad bikes are not toys. Therefore, riders must be properly licensed if they want to ride on public roads. In addition, they must have the right quad bike insurance.
If you are looking for quad bikes that are safe for kids to use and ride, read our review of the best Electric Quad Bikes.
What You Should Know About Quad Bikes
If you are considering buying a quad bike for yourself or your child, there are several things you should know. Being an alternative to having a car, quad bikes have several rules governing their legal use. Therefore, whether they are used on back roads, major highways, or rural roads, riders must be fully qualified.
To ride a quad bike safely, you must get the proper training to ensure you don’t hurt yourself, other people, or do property damage. Untrained and underage riders have been involved in accidents that have ended up paying lots of money out of their finances because they are not properly insured.
Are Quad Bikes Road Legal
Most quad bikes are features off-road use for agricultural farms, fields, and other traffic-less settings. Consequently, people use them for off-road adventures, riding through the woods and open fields.
However, quad bikes can be road-legal. In fact, we have created a review of the best road-legal quad bikes: Top 5 Road Legal Quad Bikes in the UK.
If you want to be able to legally take your quad bike on the road, the bikes must pass some stringent tests to get EEC approval and get a certificate of conformity. Plus, if the quad bike is 3 years or older, it needs an MOT certificate to be used on public roads. Quad bikes must be Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency registered and have a number plate on their front and rear.
Quad Bikes Must Be Insured
To legally be ridden on public roadways, quad bikes must be insured. Most importantly, they must have third party insurance. According to Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) regulations, a quad bike is only street-legal if it has insurance.
As a result, some companies offer specific quad bike insurance policies that cover both quad bike riders, and anyone involved in an accident with them. Therefore, quad bikes are at a lower risk for being involved in accidents than cars or motorbikes. Therefore, the insurance needed for quad bikes costs a lot less than the other motor vehicles.
Finding The Right Quad Bike Coverage
Not all insurers cover Quad bikes. Some insurers see the perceived risks to the bike and rider as being too great.
Some insurers specialize in providing the insurance needed for quad bikes. However, their quad bike insurance cost can lead to expensive premiums. In other words, they offer these premiums on a higher price because they think riding quad bikes can be very dangerous. Furthermore, insurance firms think the average quad bike rider is typically a young person who rides a quad bike for the thrill of it. They see young quad bike riders as more likely to get into accidents where they hurt themselves or others or do property damage. So, their quad bike insurance cost can be quite high to cover that risk.
Issues That Impact The Cost Of Quad Bike Cover
Two of the common issues that make it difficult to get an affordable quad bike coverage are age and whether the rider has a full license. For instance, insurance brokers often don’t cover quad bike riders under age 19. However, this condition is problematic because 16 and 17-year-olds can legally ride quad bikes.
Specialized Quad Bike Cover
Some insurance companies cover any type of quad bike no matter the fuel type or
engine size. For example, some companies cover anything from quad bikes that are used for agriculture to children’s quad bikes against theft as long as they are kept safely locked up.
Even if a quad bike is not DVLA registered or you have a SORN quad bike, there are companies with available SORN quad cover for theft and fire. In addition, there are even companies that offer road insurance policies that include £100,000 Legal Expenses Insurance.
Unique Quad Bike Cover
If you want a higher level of insurance cover, some companies will provide it for you. Some quad bike policies include:
- Breakdown Cover
- Courtesy Bike
- Personal Accident Cover
- Helmet And Leather Cover
- 183 Days European Cover
- Track day Cover
- Excess Reducer
- Protected No Claims Bonus
This type of quad bike policy gives you an extra level of cover so you don’t have to panic if your quad bike breaks down, has an accident, your gear gets damaged, or simply save yourself some money.
When Quad Bike Cover Is A Must-Have
Quad bike cover rules are something of a grey area. Firstly, quad bike offers a practical choice for working on farms, large estates, and smallholdings. Furthermore, it’s a convenient way to deliver feed to livestock, herd them, and have some fun on the property after work. But not only farmers and agricultural workers ride quad bikes, as leisure riders are also now buying quad bikes to use for their weekend thrills and adventures.
The question of when you need quad bike insurance is what’s not always clear. Technically, if you never drive your road legal quad bike on a public road, legally you don’t have to insure it. However, insuring it may still be a good idea as minor accidents or parts breaking down are inevitable when you own a quad bike.
Good Reasons To Insure Your Quad Bike
Road legal quad bikes are classified as motor vehicles. If you drive them on any public road or property legally, you must have insurance. However, if you ride on public roads without insurance, it is as a traffic offense punishable by a £300 fine. In addition, six penalty points are added on your license. If you take the case to court and lose, you will face a larger fine. Furthermore, you may risk having your quad bike seized, and lose your driving privileges.
It’s smarter to simply get third-party insurance at a minimum. It will not cost you very much and if you find yourself on a public road or have an accident. Furthermore, third-party insurance will cover all costs in an event you cause an accident. For instance, someone is hurt or you do damage to someone’s property using your quad bike.
Getting The Right Quad Bike Cover
Quad bikes can be used in many ways. This makes choosing the right insurance type for your needs a little bit confusing. However, if you do not ride your quad bike on public roads, having the right type of insurance is still necessary and very important. So, here are several options from which you can choose.
Some of the most common types are:
- Specialist Off-Road Quad Bike Cover
- Standard On-Road Quad Insurance
- Third-Party Public Liability Cover
- Comprehensive Quad Bike Cover
- Quad Insurance with Legal Assistance
- Personal Accident Cover
- Specialist Insurance Cover
For racing, the way you typically use your quad bike determines the right type of insurance cover for your needs.
Personal Accident Cover
There is no cab or roll bar on quad bikes. Therefore, riders receive little to no protection in a crash. In addition, if your quad bike rolls over you can suffer serious injury. As a result, many people with quad bikes buy an insurance policy with personal accident cover.
This type of insurance policy not only covers the cost of your medical treatment, but it also has the option to provide you with financial payouts should the injuries sustained while riding your quad bike leave you unable to work for an extended period. As a result, this can make a significant difference in your ability to cover your basic expenses while your body is healing.
Track Day Cover
If you are a motorsports enthusiast and you use your quad bike for racing, you need to get specialist insurance cover. This provides you with insurance cover if you injure yourself or someone else or damage someone’s property while you are in the process of racing your quad bike. Another reason quad bike racers should get specialist track day insurance cover is if you crash and your quad bike is damaged beyond your ability to do the repairs yourself.
The policy will pay out the money you need to repair your quad bike and get it race-ready once again or replace it if the damage is too severe to fix.
Quad Bike Insurance: Legal Obligations
Riding Non-Road Legal Quad Bikes In Public Places
It is illegal to ride quad bikes that are not road legal on public roads even if you have insurance. Quad bikes must meet specific road safety standards, as well as have the required DVLA, MOT, and tax paperwork. In addition, a quad bike must have insurance before they can be used legally on public roads. Furthermore, the rider must be of legal age and have at least a B1 motorcycle license issued before 1997.
Failure to meet all those criteria makes it illegal to ride quad bikes on public roadways including parks, parking lots, or pavements. Therefore, riders who do so can be issued a ticket or even have their quad bike seized.
Riding A Quad Bike At A Public Event
Many people find quad bikes to be a quick, easy and convenient way to get around at a country show or other large events. However, even if an event is held on private land, it is a public place.
Furthermore, to legally ride your quad bike at such an event, you are required to have public liability or third-party insurance. This ensures that if someone claims you injured them or damaged their property, the insurance company will cover the claim. However, third-party quad insurance will not cover damage to the bike or replace it if stolen. You need to have comprehensive insurance cover for those instances
Riding Quad Bikes Off-Road
If you only ride your quad bike off-road, you do not need a driver’s license or any tax paperwork. However, it may be in your best interest to get a specialist off-road quad bike cover insurance policy. This is usually cheaper than the standard on-road quad insurance. In addition, it will not include any third-party public liability cover but will cover the cost to repair or replace your quad bike if it is damaged or stolen.
Recording details about your quad bike using the DVLA Off-Road Register is also a good idea. It can help the police to find your bike if it is stolen.
Quad Bike Insurance: Theft Coverage
Another reason you may want to get insurance cover for your quad bike is that they are
increasingly becoming prime targets for thefts. For example, some areas of the UK, quad
bike thefts have increased by 80% in recent years. Stealing and selling the bikes is easy. Gangs of professional thieves often target farm buildings where quad bikes are stored.
A rising number of quad bikes are even being stolen to order. While some people think keeping their quad bike in a barn with the door locked, it will be safe from thieves. However, thieves often use angle grinders to quickly cut the locks and padlocks. In this case, an insurance will help you replace the bike.
Home And Outbuilding Insurance Theft Coverage
If your quad bike is stolen from your garage or barn, it may be covered by your home and outbuilding insurance. Ideally, you should ask your insurance broker before immediately if your quad bike will be covered against theft.
Sometimes, it may be covered only if the shed, garage, or farm building was locked. Some home insurance policies only cover items up to a preset maximum value. Hopefully, the value of your quad bike does not exceed the limit. Make sure it is not one of the exclusions in your home insurance policy cover.
Tips For Keeping Your Quad Bike Safer
According to Farmer’s Weekly, every week about 15 quad bikes is reported stolen from farms in the United Kingdom. There are many things you can do to keep your quad bike safer and harder for thieves to steal. They include:
- Fitting it with a tracking device.
- Locking it up in a garage or barn when it is not being used.
- Attaching it to a ground anchor or any other type of high-quality immobilizer.
- Do not leave the keys to your quad bike openly displayed. Put them in a cabinet and lock them.
- Put a unique mark on your quad bike and take a photo of it. This will make it much easier for police to identify the quad bike if it is stolen.
- Make use of the DVLA Off-Road Register.
- When out in public, park your quad bike in a well-lit place and lock it to an immovable object if possible.
Quad Bikes Accidents
Between 1996 and 2006, 23 people died on UK farms in quad bike accidents. Seventeen of them were as a result of head injuries involving people not wearing head protection. Each year there are over 1,000 serious injuries because of quad bike accidents. Scotland reports at least 2 deaths every year caused by quad bike accidents.
The most common reason for the injuries and deaths are quad bikes overturning because they are being ridden incorrectly, towing people or things, riding on steep, unfamiliar grounds, and people falling off and being struck by quad bikes. Therefore, the government urges people to think about safety first when riding quad bikes to prevent accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Major Factors Involved in Quad Bike Accidents
According to a spokesperson for the Capbridge consultancy Safety Revolution, workers rushing, riding too fast, and inadequate training in handling quad bikes are some of the most common reasons for quad bike accidents.
Furthermore, they also reiterate the importance of wearing safety helmets by pointing out no one has ever died in quad bike crashes on UK farms while wearing a helmet. This is despite the fact there are thousands of quad bike accidents on UK farms every year. They caution people to be mindful to take steps to protect their health and safety when riding quad bikes.
Other Causes Of Quad Bike Related Serious Injury
If you do not receive proper training in the techniques for safely riding quad bikes it can lead to serious injuries. As a result, it has become clear that it does not make a difference if quad bikes are used on-road or off-road, if riders do certain things, it increases their chances of suffering serious injury.
For instance, here are 4 of the most common reasons quad bike riders suffer serious injury:
- The rider falls off when the quad bike overturns.
- The rider is trapped under the quad bike and crushed when the quad bike rolls over.
- The impact of a collision between the quad bike and a tree, fence, or other obstacles.
- The rider is unable to avoid colliding with a pedestrian with their quad bike.
Wearing protective gear and clothing can help an average person who regularly rides quad bikes. Every use is very likely to be involved in a collision or have the quad bike they are riding capsize. So, one of the things that can protect the rider from being injured is if they are wearing protective gear and clothing.
Moreover, experienced quad bike riders will tell you how wearing protective gear and clothing has saved them or their friends from serious injury. Having the right protective clothing can shield your body when you fall. In addition, wearing a helmet can help prevent you from sustaining a serious head injury in an event your head hits the ground or a hard object during a crash.
Tips For Riding Your Quad Bike Safely
Riding quad bikes offer a lot of fun and entertainment. However, because the bikes can easily travel up to 60 kilometers an hour on rough, hilly, wet, and slippery terrain. So, it is important to know how to protect yourself and ride your quad bike safely.
Most importantly, you should always wear a helmet and other protective clothing when you ride your quad bike. Plus, you should take the time to learn the proper techniques for riding a quad bike.
Above all, you should also ride at a safe speed, never overload your quad bike, and make sure the loads that you tow are evenly weighted. In addition, take special care when you are going up and down slopes and pay close attention to the rough, uneven ground with ruts and bumps.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment
In many cases where quad bike accidents on UK farms led to serious injury or death, the employer had supplied the employee with personal protective equipment and told them the rules about wearing it, but the injured quad bike rider ignored the personal protective equipment rules.
It is the responsibility of both the quad bike rider and the employer to make sure the personal protective equipment is used to reduce the rash of quad bike crashes that end in injury or death. However, many quad bike riders say they do not like wearing the safety equipment, but it is for their protection the rules were put in place. Therefore, quad bike riders being complacent about safety is a major concern.
While there is no law mandating quad bike riders to wear protective gear, it is for the best interest of your health and safety to do so. Although quad bikes are much safer than motorcycles, they still leave riders vulnerable to sustaining injuries in an accident. It is highly recommended that quad bike riders wear helmets and other safety gear.
Many quad bike riders use Motocross helmets as they tend to complement the style and function of their quad bikes. Therefore, you should also wear goggles, strong, waterproof textile jackets, kevlar or textile bottoms, gloves, as well as boots. Some quad bike riders find wearing a chest plate is valuable in helping to prevent injury if they fall or are involved in a collision.
Children And Teenagers Face Great Risk
While the law prohibits children younger than age 13 from using quad bikes at work and children should never be quad bike passengers, The Scotland Health and Safety Executive said children and teenagers are at great risk for being victims of quad bike accidents. Quad bikes are powerful machines that are used on the most challenging terrain.
It is public knowledge people under 16 are not allowed to legally ride quad bikes, people often ignore these prohibitions, resulting to several children and young teens being injured while riding quad bikes each year.
Quad Bike: Riding Gears
Riding Gears Should Cover Head, Arms, Hands, Legs And Feet
Quad bike riders can benefit from wearing a range of protective gear including helmets, chest plates, protective jeans, gloves, and boots. Quad bike riders need to wear strong clothing that covers the arms and legs. Riding gloves and handlebar muffs are useful for protection as well as helping to keep your hands warm when there is cold weather. In addition, it can help you maintain a good grip and proper control of the quad.
Wear strong, sturdy, supportive, protective, ankle-covering boots, Wellingtons, and other types of footwear. Plus, consider wearing visors or goggles to prevent insects, branches, wind, rain, and road dirt from getting in your eyes and preventing you from clearly seeing where you are going.
Look For The BSI Kitemark
Only buy protective gear and clothing with the BSI Kitemark to ensure that the product follows government standards of production and features high quality materials.
The British Standards Institution Kitemark is a registered mark frequently affixed to crash helmets and other protective gear. Therefore, a consumer can easily identify products made to ensure their safety through its material, production methods, and use. All the protective gear, as well as clothing you buy to wear when riding your quad bike, should display the BSI Kitemark.
If you are looking for the best riding gears for kids, read our review of the best Children Quad Bike & Dirt-bike Clothing
Wearing Safety Helmets Is The Law In Some Places
Wearing safety helmets when riding quad bikes is the law in Northern Ireland. Failure to do so can cause you to be fined as much as £500. On the other hand, England, Scotland, and Wales do not have a law mandating that quad bike riders wear crash helmets; however, it is strongly recommended.
When a sheep farmer riding a quad bike in Scotland crashed and died due to the head injuries he suffered, people began to call for a law forcing quad bike riders to wear an appropriate crash helmet. Although it did not become law, that quad bike rider’s death from head injuries suffered in a crash underscores the importance of wearing a crash helmet.
If you are a quad bike rider and want to protect your health and safety by wearing a crash helmet, it is imperative to make sure you choose the right one. In addition, ensure the crash helmet you choose has the BSI Kitemark.
Never buy a used crash helmet. If it has received serious impact in the past, it could have sustained damage that compromised its ability to properly protect its new owner. Oftentimes, the damage to a used crash helmet cannot be seen with the naked eye. Also, there could be damage to the protective material on the inside of the helmet that could prevent the used crash helmet from providing enough protection in a crash.
Visors and goggles are not just for style as they are an important piece of a quad bike rider’s safety and protection gear. With this in hand, riders should only buy visors and goggles that display a BSI Kitemark. Plus, if you are riding at night or in conditions with poor visibility, do not wear tinted glasses, goggles, or visors.
Moreover, if you need to use glasses or contact lenses to see and read license plates of vehicles in front of you at the prescribed distance, then you must wear them any time you plan to ride a quad bike at work, on public roads, or for thrilling adventures.
There are two main types of protective clothing from which people can choose when
they want to protect themselves when riding quad bikes. One is safety garments made from leather. Conversely, the other one is protective clothing that is fabricated from synthetic materials.
No matter which types of protective clothing material that you choose, you should look for safety garments that have additional protective padding in the shoulders, back, elbows, hips, and knees. The extra padding can help to prevent the road from bruising your skin, cushion your fall and help to prevent broken bones and spinal cord injuries.
Why Good Riding Gloves Are Essential
To the naive and uninitiated, quad bike riders wear gloves because they look cool and fashionable. However, gloves are an integral part of the gear riders need. Wearing gloves helps to ensure you can grip the steering properly in wet, cold, and other harsh conditions.
Good gloves help to keep the rider’s hands warm and dry and able to maintain good control of the quad bike. In addition, it also helps the grip of the rider when they have to ride in extreme temperatures, blustery conditions, high speeds, or on rough terrain. Riding your quad bike without gloves can be dangerous. Moreover, cold winds can make your fingers go numb, providing an uncomfortable grip and could possibly lead to unwanted accidents.
Moreover, protective gloves can prevent injury. It is not unusual for a quad bike rider to fall occasionally. In addition, protective gloves can help to protect the fingers, wrist, and palm and mitigate the damage done when they hit the ground. Furthermore, having gloves cushioning and protecting your hands during a fall can make a major difference when a rider falls on grass or a paved surface.
Your hands often hit the ground first when you fall from your quad bike. The gloves can help your hands handle the impact without getting badly bruised or being seriously injured. That’s why many experienced quad bike riders wear gloves every time they ride.
Some people think they look cool if they ride quad bikes around town or while working on the farm wearing sandals or trainers. Consequently, thousands of quad bike accidents show when quad bike riders do not wear protective boots or footwear. Consequently, their feet have no protection should they fall, crash, or be involved in accidents.
As a result, this has left many unlucky quad bike riders with dislocated, broken, or severely injured toes, feet and ankles because they were not wearing protective footwear. Ideally, the riders should wear boots that protect the shin, ankle, heel, instep, and toes.
Reflective Safety Gear
If you plan to ride a quad bike after dark, make sure you wear some type of reflective safety clothing or gear. For instance, you and your quad bike are near invisible during nighttime; therefore, a reflective gear can increase your visibility and safety. Frequently, car and truck drivers don’t know you are there until they are right in front of you. Safety gear and clothing with reflective strips will reflect the light from other automobiles and make you visible to them from a long distance. This can help prevent serious injuries or fatalities for quad bike riders out after dark.
Regular And Proper Maintenance Is Crucial
To safely operate quad bikes, first, you must get regular and proper maintenance services from a licensed and experienced professional. In addition, wear and tear can make quad bikes unsafe over time; therefore, properly servicing and maintaining them can help avoid accidents and prevent costly breakdowns.
Moreover, regularly check the tire pressure, make sure the lights and indicators work properly, change the oil, filters, and spark plugs, check and tighten all bolts, hinges, and components. Furthermore, check, adjust and lubricate chains, cables, clutch, and the braking system and clean the bike to remove dampness, mud, and debris.
A Safe, Enjoyable Riding Experience
In conclusion, if you follow these quad bike recommendations, you will have a safe, enjoyable, riding experience.