The designation quad comes from the Latin quadruplex = fourfold and refers to the four wheels.The designation ATV is composed of the initials of the All Terrain Vehicle (cross-country vehicle) in English. Both designate an all-terrain vehicle, whereby in German, the designation Quad is more commonly used in the leisure and sports sector and ATVs increasingly for work efforts. A third special form for ATVs is the UTV (Utility-ATV). In it, two people sit next to each other in seat shells. The initial Quads and ATVs were developed for the military, as a light,solid and air-portable emergency vehicle.
Quads and ATVs can be very differently motorised. Although the four-stroke single-cylinder dominates, four-stroke twin cylinders, two strokes and diesel engines are also installed. The displacement lies on average between 50cm3 and 1000cm3.
All-terrain vehicles are not readily permitted for road traffic in Germany. For a permit, Quads must be elaborately modified. In order to be allowed to use a quad or ATV in road traffic. It needs a driving license category B (S or AM for quads up to 50cm3).
Quads up to 50cm3 are also not subject to authorisation, they merely need an insurance indicator. Quads over 50cm3 must be authorised. Note the legal obligation to wear a helmet, which since 01.01.2006 is valid not only for the driver but also for the passenger, as well as the obligation to carry a first aid kit and a warning triangle.
Since quads and ATVs are generally interpreted as off-road vehicles with great ground clearance and a resulting high focus, it requires some driving experience in order to be driven safely and with fun.