Quad Bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Laws on Quad Bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.
Frequently asked questions
A quad bike or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is a four-wheel powered vehicle which is generally designed for off-road use e.g., farms, purpose-built tracks etc.
If used on a public road which includes footpath, quads are subject to all of the regulatory controls that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs) i.e., must be roadworthy, registered, taxed and comply with all regulations mentioned below.
If used in a public place quads must comply with the following*:
*These regulations are in original format and amendments can be viewed at www.irishstatutebook.ie
Yes, provided that the quad meets with all the regulatory requirements for road use i.e., it is taxed, insured, roadworthy etc. You should hold the appropriate driving licence for that vehicle combination and the loaded weight of the trailer must not exceed the quad’s towing capacity. You should refer to the owner’s manual or contact original manufacturer for its towing capacity.
The type of licence will depend on the weight and power of the quad bike. For information on driving licences see breakdown of licence categories.
Quad bikes used in a public place require the driver to have a licence. Therefore, the minimum age is 16 for light quads 350 kg or less with a maximum design speed of not more than 45 km/h otherwise it is 17 years. Minors using quad bikes on private property fall under the remit of Health and Safety Authority.
No. Research has shown that roll over bars are more likely to increase the likelihood of injury by obstructing the rider either when thrown off or when jumping off during an overturn. For further information contact HSA at 1890 289 389.
No. But if one is fitted it should be worn.
The HSA have general information for the safe use of quad bikes (ATVs) in Agriculture and Forestry on their webpage.
You will need to contact the original manufacturer. If the manufacturer cannot supply a CoC it means the quad was not designed or intended for use on a public road and therefore must only be used off-road i.e., on the farm or a purpose-built track.
No, currently it is not a legal requirement as the regulations regarding the compulsory wearing of helmets relate to two and three wheeled vehicles only. However, we would strongly recommend that you always wear a helmet for your own safety. The wearing of helmets on quads used on private property e.g., farms, purpose-built tracks is a matter for the Department of Agriculture.
The safety of road users is paramount to us, and we are committed to promoting the importance of wearing crash helmets when operating such vehicles in the future. We will review this matter with the Department of Transport and may incorporate a policy change in future amendments of the existing regulations as appropriate.
No. Unless it has been originally manufactured to carry a passenger.
Yes. As enforcement of road traffic legislation is a matter for the Gardai, we advise that suspected breaches of this legislation should be reported to them. Road traffic-related incidents can also be reported to Traffic Watch on 1890 205 805.
If used on a public road which includes a footpath quad are subject to all of the regulatory controls that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles as mentioned above. However, enforcement of these regulations is a matter for An Garda Síochána so ultimately the discretion lies with them.
Tyres fitted to a vehicle being used on the road require type approval i.e. e-marked, s-marked and have a minimum 1.6 mm tread depth. If off-road tyres meet with these requirements, then they can be used on a public road. Some off-road tyres are marked ‘for off-road use only’ and may not be used on a public road. You can also refer to our booklet Tyre_Safety_Information_Guide_