Riding quad and scrambler bikes

Scramblers and quads are motorised leisure vehicles designed for off-road use. You mustn't drive one on a public road unless you’re at least 16 years old and have a driving licence. You can only drive one on private land if the landowner allows you to drive there.

Off-road vehicles

Quads, scramblers, electric scooters, buzz boards and minibikes (also known as mini-motos) are powered by a 22.5cc stroke engine. These motorised vehicles can do fast speeds. Motorised vehicle driving is restricted to off-road.

Driving an off-road vehicle

If you own one of these vehicles, you mustn’t drive it on public roads or in public places such as:

  • footpaths
  • forests
  • parks
  • sports grounds
  • car parks
  • housing estates
  • beaches

When you’re driving off-road for example on a private lane or in a field, you should pay attention to:

  • other off-road vehicles
  • walkers
  • animals

Driving motorised vehicles on public roads

To drive a scrambler, electric scooter, buzz board, quad or mini-moto on a public road, you must be at least 16 years old and have:

  • a driving licence
  • third party insurance
  • number plates
  • vehicle tax
  • lights
  • reflectors
  • a crash helmet

Driving licence for a quad

It’s an offence to drive a motorised vehicle on a public road without a driving licence. The minimum driving licences that allow you to drive a quad on a public road are:

  • category AM for a 16-year old
  • full category B for 17 years+ in a larger quad

Children and young people driving off-road vehicles

Off-road vehicles aren’t toys. But you don’t need a licence to drive an off-road vehicle on private land. If your child has an off-road vehicle, it’s important you teach them about safe driving off-road. To stay safe on a quad or scrambler, your child should wear a helmet and strong, protective clothing.

You should also make sure the landowner allows them to drive the vehicle on their private land.

To ask about children's beginner coaching, contact:

Reporting off-road vehicles in public places

If you see people driving scramblers or quads in parks, forests or other public places, you should contact the police.

If an off-road vehicle driver causes distress or alarm, or you’re concerned about unsafe driving:

  • telephone 999

To report off-road vehicle drivers causing nuisance or annoyance:

The police can investigate an off-road vehicle being driven on a public road.

They can :

  • seize the vehicle
  • prosecute or fine the driver
  • prosecute or fine the child's parent or guardian

Using a quad for agriculture

If you want to use a quad for farming and need to go on the public road, you must have a driving licence. Before driving the quad, you must have one of the licences below:

  • category AM  for a 16-year old
  • full category B for over 17 years old

You'll also need a Lantra certificate if your job involves driving. To find out about courses for agricultural drivers, go to:

More useful links



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