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Quad Bikes and the Law in Spain

- Updated: 28/01/2014
Quad Bikes and the Law in Spain

The Spanish climate, way of life and fantastic scenery in many parts of the country makes owning both a motorcycle / quad bike - or even renting one whilst on holiday - an attractive consideration. Add in the cost of ownership, and it is easy to see why there seems to be significantly more quads on the roads of Spain than in the EU.

However, the driving laws and regulation surrounding Quad bikes can often seem confusing. With this in mind Tumbit asked Mike Forrester from to explain more :

" As from September 2010 the law changed so that you now need to be a minimum 15 years old to get the new 'AM' licence which allows you to drive scooters / mopeds or quads of 50cc. You need to take a theory test and a closed circuit test.

The A1 licence stays the same which allows you to drive bikes up to 125cc. You need to be a minimum of 16 years old and take a theory test, closed circuit test and an open road test. If you have held a 'B' licence (car licence) for a minimum of 3 years the A1 is included within the B category.

Spain has now fallen into line with the rest of europe and created a new 'A2' category. You need to be a minimum of 18 years old and have held an A1 licence for 2 years or a 'B' licence for 3 years (21 years old). You have to complete a theory, closed circuit test and an open road test. This allows you to drive bikes upto 35kw (appx. 500cc).

** The legality of Crash Helmets in Spain is covered in depth on the Article attached HERE

ONLY when you have held the A2 licence for 2 years and are a minimum of 20 years old can you then take the 'Big Bike' licence which allows to to ride anything you like, which again means a theory test, closed circuit test and an open road test.

If you currently hold a UK driving licence you would need to convalidate this to a Spanish licence to enable you to take the A2 licence. Do off-road training session and test. Sit a theory test. Do an on-road driving test. You can now ride up to 500cc/35Kw

After 2 years, sit another theory test, another on-road driving test. Then you get an A licence and can ride anyting you want.


On a car licence, you can ride a quad up to 550Kg/approx 30 hp - if it has a normal black-on-white number plate.

If it is 'Agricultural Plated', which means it is registered as an agricultural vehicle, and with a red-on-white number plate, you can ride any size quad you like. It is quite common to find even quite hairy large-capacity sports quads registered as agricultural vehicles in Spain. These have to display a '45km' plate and are supposed to be restricted to 45km on the road and for single occupancy.

Disclaimer: We are familiar with the situation in the Alicante region, the same may not apply in other areas. Licence regulations are sometimes interpreted differently from area to area. We believe this information to be correct, but of course it is not a full statement of the relevant law and should not be taken as such. All details correct and current as of 27.09.2013.

Source : Mike Forrester from

Comment on this Article

Please let us know the procedure for importing a Beach buggy and make it worthy of on and off road use do we need to pay import duties if the buggy is new 20,000 euros and do we have to pay 21%VAT also have got to register and do ITV here first all so confusing please help ..would love to find one person that deal with this all
Anthony - Wed 23rd May 2018

The contact details for the Jefatura Provincial de Malaga is :

Address: Calle Mauricio Moro Pareto, 0, 29006, Malaga

Phone: 34 952 040 770

The procedure for registering a Quad is the same as with a Car.

C Shaw - Thu 3rd Aug 2017
Where can I register my 150 atv quad in Malaga it has never been registered before
Jacqueline - Wed 2th Aug 2017
I have afull uk license and would like to know if i can take a passenger on a 125cc bike in spain.
Douglas Ross - Sat 11th Jun 2016
Im thinking of buying a ped for my daughter she is 30 years of age and the ped is a 50cc
Steve Mercer - Thu 28th Apr 2016
Hi I would like to rent a quad bike for a couple of days if this would be possible i would like a price on a quad bike and to know which cc i would be eligible for. I am 26 years old.. Many Thanks Kind Regards Paul
Paul - Sat 12th Mar 2016
Kelly : The above would not apply, due to bing private land / not a public road, however would raise a few separate questions : 1) Without permission of the land owner, you would effectively be trespassing, 2) Would this then invalidate any insurance ? 3) Many Mountain roads / tracks are owned by the Municipality, and therefore publically owned. I don't know the correct response here, but would suggest you spoke to your Town Hall. My guess is that the end result would be a 'no'.
Tumbit - Admin - Sat 13th Jun 2015
How does it work if I got my 13 year old son a mini quad or a mini moto and he just went on our mountain roads and not actually on a public road, im not sure what I will need to make it legal so any advice would be much appreciated.
Kelly Mcmaster - Mon 8th Jun 2015
Ged : Not unless your UK driving licence already permits you to do so. Also, the cost of importing will vary between the provinces, and will depend upon the classification / weight / cc of the Quad.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 2th Jun 2014
Can I drive a 500cc quad in Spain on my UK driving licence ? Thanks for any help... PS : What is the cost to transfer a quad bike ?
Ged Barker - Sun 1st Jun 2014
Nope : For one, Spain does not recognise the UK Provisional Licence.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 4th Nov 2013
My partner has a provisional driving licence from the uk can she drive a 50cc scooter ? Many Thanks
Craig Brown - Mon 4th Nov 2013