Reader question: Do I need insurance to use quad on my land?

Your question answered: I want to use a quad bike on my own land in France. Are there any rules related to this and do I need insurance? J.W.

6 July 2020
Your question answered: do I need insurance to use quad on my land? Pictured: quad bikers at sunset.Your question answered: do I need insurance to use quad on my land? Pictured: quad bikers at sunset.
By Liv Rowland

Quad bikes come in two kinds: homologué (approved) for use on public roads, or not. The former must have a licence plate, rear-view mirrors, headlights and indicators. On the issue of insurance, the answer is yes, it is obligatory to have insurance for your bike, whether it is homologué or not.

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What insurance is needed?

This holds even if you never intend to take it on a public road. This was specified in a law of June 2, 2009, on off-road vehicles. This can be a basic assurance au tiers (third-party) if you wish. This covers such possible scenarios as you having an accident involving another person on your land, the bike being stolen and used by someone else and being involved in an accident, the parked bike catching fire and causing damage, etc. It is worth talking to the insurer to negotiate the price down, particularly due to likely low mileage.

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It is up to you if you want to add extras, such as theft, fire, or injury to yourself. No licence is needed to drive a bike on private land. Other points to note include:

  • Under-15s may not use them unless in a club environment, and under-14s cannot use them generally if they are built to go over 25kph;
  • “Mini” quads (not homologué for use on roads) should be declared to the prefecture within 15 days of purchase if they are built to go faster than 25kph to obtain an identification number that needs to be engraved on the bike and on a plaque (for the form see: service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R20458). Strictly speaking, the law says they should only be used on land that has been adapted for their use;
  • Helmets and gloves should be worn while riding the quad, even on private land, notably for insurance reasons.

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