For Work Or Road Use?Traditionally "Quad bikes" have always been considered to be agricultural vehicles (although there are many that are used for leisure on land to which the public does not have general access) and should only have been able to be registered as agricultural vehicles used for the purposes of agriculture, horticulture or forestry. During the course of this use there may be a small amount of road use in much the same way as a farmer uses an agricultural tractor and whilst on the road, the vehicles would have to meet the on-road requirements for an agricultural vehicle given in The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended (C&U) and The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR). Use as a normal road-going vehicle for everyday transport would be unlikely to be permitted as these vehicles are unlikely to meet the technical construction requirements that apply to a four wheel road vehicle, that is, a car. Particular areas of concern would be the tyres, braking system, seat belt requirements and so on.
In fact, in order to be able to be registered and used as a normal vehicle prior to June 17 2003 a quad would have to have been type approved in accordance with the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval system (ECWVTA) for cars, or in accordance with UK National Type Approval (Small Series) or be approved as a single vehicle under the UK Single Vehicle Approval Scheme (SVA). Since June 17 2003 the situation has changed due to the introduction of another form of ECWVTA to cover powered two and three-wheeled vehicles including two categories of small, low performance, four-wheel vehicles referred to as “Quadricycles”. Typically these “Quadricycles” have been bodied vehicles of French origin manufactured by companies such as Ligier, Aixam, Erad, Microcar and so on and have 300cc, 400cc or 500cc diesel engines. However, we are aware that some manufacturers, for example, Bombardier of Canada, have obtained type approval for what can only be described as a four-wheel motorcycle (to all intents and purposes a “Quad Bike") and provided that such a vehicle has ECWVTA and has a Certificate of Conformity issued by the manufacturer to signify that fact, then it can be registered and legally used as a normal everyday vehicle.
For vehicles that do not have type approval but that owners wish to use as normal vehicles, there is the possibility, following extensive modification, that they could be submitted to the Single Vehicle Approval scheme directly aimed at powered two and three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles.
The definitions for quadricycles are:
Category L6e – Light quadricycle – Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 350kg (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle), a maximum speed of 45km/h, a maximum spark ignition internal combustion engine capacity of 50cm3, or maximum power of any other internal combustion engine of 4kW or maximum electric motor continuous rated power of 4kW. The construction requirements are those for a three wheel moped unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.
Category L7e – Quadricycle - Four wheels, with a maximum unladen mass of 400kg or 550kg for a goods carrying vehicle (not including the mass of the batteries in an electrically powered vehicle) and a maximum net power, whatever the type of engine or motor, of 15kW. The construction requirements are those for a motor tricycle unless otherwise specified in a particular Directive.