Are you breaking the law when you drive your quad on the road?

Quads have become common place on Irish farms over the past number of years, but farmers could be breaking the law by not having it insured.

In addition, to having your quad taxed, third party insurance is required by Road Traffic Law in order to drive any mechanically propelled vehicle, including quads.

Depending on a farmers insurance provider and their policy, some farmers are not automatically covered and the quad will need to be insured separately by means of an extension to their policy or add the quad onto their current policy in order to be covered.

If you are unsure whether or not you are covered, farmers are advised to contact their farm insurance provider.

Have you insured your quad?

  • Yes (51%)
  • No (49%)

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Furthermore, in order to use a vehicle in a public place, the authority has said that a range of requirements must be satisfied and the vehicle must comply with vehicle standards regulations.

A number of these mini motorised vehicles do not comply with some of these requirements and are therefore not suitable for use in a public place.

These regulations outline the requirements in relation to:

  • Brakes.
  • Headlamps.
  • Rear lighting.
  • Indicators.
  • Reflectors.
  • Helmet wearing.

Do you wear a helmet when you drive your quad?

  • No (83%)
  • Yes (17%)

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As with any mechanically propelled vehicle, a licence or a learner permit is needed to drive a quad on the public road and there are two types of quads for driver licensing purposes- light quads and heavy quads (other than those classified as light quads).

A learner permit in licence category AM for a light quad can be taken out at age 16, while a learner permit in licence category B for a heavy quad can be taken out at age 17, the RSA has said.

Meanwhile, according to the IFA, under the current rules farmers looking to tax their quad must do so as a general haulage tractor, with a tax of €333 per annum applying, or as a private vehicle and taxed based on the cc of the engine.

Those found to have breached these requirements are liable to penalties enforced by An Garda Siochana.

Last year, an Agriland poll found that 81% of farmers use their quad on the road and 97% of those farmers did not have it taxed.

What is a light quad?

Light quadricycles (L6e) are defined by Framework Directive 2002/24/EC as: “motor vehicles with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 425 kg,[4] not including the mass of the batteries in case of electric vehicles, whose maximum design speed is not more than 45 km/h, and:

  • Whose engine cylinder capacity does not exceed 50 cm3 for spark (positive) ignition engines, or
  • Whose maximum net power output does not exceed 4 kW in the case of other (e.g. diesel fuelled) internal combustion engines, or
  • Whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 4 kW in the case of an electric motor.
  • These vehicles shall fulfill the technical requirements applicable to three-wheel mopeds of category L2e unless specified differently in any of the separate directives”.

Heavy quads are classified as all other quads other than light quads.