As Christmas is coming many parents may be considering getting their children off road bikes such as a mini moto or quad bike.  Before they do they should be aware of the law covering the use of these vehicles.

Vehicles such as mini motos or quad bikes are classed as mechanically propelled vehicles and as a result are subject to many road traffic laws.

Under 16 years
If the rider of a mini moto or quad bike is under 16 then the only place they can ride it is on private land with the land owner’s permission.  It is illegal for it to be ridden on the road, pavement or public land such as parks.

16 years and Over
Whilst it can be legal for a person 16 and over to ride a mini moto or quad bike on the road it is only legal for them to do it if they comply with the following requirements:

• The bike must be approved for road use.  A lot of mini motos and quad bikes do not meet road safety standards.  You will need to check with the manufacturer
• A full driving licence and a Compulsory Basic Training certificate (CBT) – for bikes under 125cc a provisional licence is sufficient
• Valid Insurance
• A valid MOT Test Certificate may well be required
• Registration and tax from the DVLA
• The rider must wear an approved helmet

Consequences of illegal riding
A person who rides a mini moto or quad bike in contravention of the law could be prosecuted.  As the parent or guardian of a child riding illegally it is possible that you to be prosecuted as well.

In addition to prosecution – which could lead to financial penalties and penalty points on your driving licence – the bike could be seized by the police.

If you are intending on getting a mini moto or quad bike make sure you think about the requirements that will come with it and ask yourself if the person you want to ride it can comply with them.

About the author

Callum is the head of the Motor and Transport team.  He is a solicitor with over 15 years of experience dealing with road traffic and transport matters.