Why do farm quad bikes have to be registered?

One of our men was stopped by a policeman while riding a farm quad bike on the road between paddocks yesterday and told the bike ought to registered.

We hadn’t realised that so rang the bloke who sold it to us and he said that farm quads could have e-plates which would cost us $100 and the bikes wouldn’t need Warrents of Fitness or be fully registered which would cost around $290 and the bikes would need WoFs.

I checked the Land Transport website  and found that:

Exempt Class A vehicles are not exempt from registration and licensing but are exempt from registration fees and the vehicle licence portion of the licensing fee. You still have to pay for other fees and levies included in the total licensing fee – for example, you still have to pay for the appropriate ACC levy, registration plates and labels.

Exempt Class A vehicles include:

all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) used on a public highway, in moving from the owner’s residence to a road that isn’t a public highway, where the distance travelled doesn’t exceed three kilometres, or in connection with the inspection, servicing or repair of the vehicle.

Then we have Exempt Class B vheicles which may be exempt from some levies and include:

A motor vehicle (not a trailer) designed for agricultural operations and used on a road solely for agricultural operations, including mobile or movable huts, galleys, and similar motor vehicles used on a road solely in connection with such operations.  . . 


A motor vehicle (not a trailer) owned by a farmer and only used on the road to go from one part of the farm to another part of the same farm, or from one farm to another farm owned or managed by the same person, for agricultural operations.

I presume that quad bikes fit one of these categories and accept the case for an ACC levy but don’t see why they need plates and labels.

I thought registration fees were a tax to pay for roading so I’m not sure why a bike which is only on the road to get from one paddock to another has to be registered, espeically when most of those roads will be minor roads which are the responsibility of local councils not Transit NZ.

However, I should be grateful the policeman didn’t give our man a ticket. Barnsley Bill was not so lucky and his experience has generated a lot of comments on his own blog  and No Minister.

P.S. – for any pedants I realise that a quad isn’t by definition a bike but common usage triumphs over logic.

7 Responses to Why do farm quad bikes have to be registered?

  1. A large chunk of the registration fee is ACC levy and quad bike users tend to get their money’s worth.


  2. Stuart says:

    You have hit on an interesting situation in regards to the ACC levy.

    As you will know the ACC run different accounts to cover different situations where the injury occured, Employers Levy goes into the account hat pays for workplace accidents, Earners Levy( paid via Paye) covers non workplace accidents for those paying tax.

    There is also an account that covers Motorcycle related injury this is funded via the ACC Levy component of Motorcycle Registrations.
    This account has had some difficulties due to the fact that there are a large number of bikes that are not registered, like your quad bike.
    These bikes are not used on the road they are quads used by farmers, hunters etc etc, off road bikes used by trail riding enthusiasts etc and there maybe others that fall into this area.
    The problem arises if you riding a bike not used on the road and therefore no registered and you have an accident your injury is paid for from the Motorcycle account which you have not made ant contribution to.
    So the guys with road registered bikes find that the ACC Levy of their Registration is quite high to cover the unfunded off road accidents.

    It was for this type is reason the Earners Levy was introduced.
    Why as an Employer should I have to pay towards your sky diving, rugby,golf or Bedroom Olympic injuries.
    So therefore why should I as the own of 100cc Road Bike be asked to help cover the cost of your staffs quad bike when you make no contribution in this area. accidents. I see that you accept that there is a need to make some contribution but up to this point due to oversight on your part you have not.

    I am not having a go at individuals but at a system that does not work properly.
    At the time you purchased the quad it should have been registered in such a way as to collect the required ACC levy.
    Doing this would bring down the levy cost to all users and so therefore the cost of registration to all users.


  3. Bike Trader says:

    As law is made by the government for the exemption must be in the favor of the farmers but the registration procedure should be revised for the Quad Bikes.


  4. Bill Izard says:

    ACT has pulled the plug on Nick Smiths ACC reform.. Go Rodney


  5. Tired Farmer says:

    What about Push-bikes which figure prominently in accidents—must be due for an ACC Levy,registration fees and road user charges.

    A great way for John-boy to recoup the costs of the proposed Cycleway.All those tourists to tap.

    When we we are all economically reduced to riding cycles in the near future our financial recovery will be assured?


  6. Peter Wolf says:

    way easyer n germany ^^


  7. How does a quad hold up in my part of the country ? One of the more frequently heard comments or question is regarding the quads is its reliability in severe environments. Many acknowledge the quads superior performance, but think that they won’t survive the conditions in their area. We have example after example of the ruggedness and reliability in severe wind (Hurricane force), winter snow and icing. I refer you to the “Customer Comments Page” on this website. Honda ATVs.


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