The quadricycle’s success was immediate in France, which explains the predominance of French manufacturers in this industry that is now servicing the market for 28 members states of the European Union. Today quadricycle is very different from the first quadricycle available on the market, thirty years ago : manufacturers have developed more resistant and better equipped vehicles ensuring the utmost security and safety for drivers. On the administrative side, there are two categories of quadricycle :
Directive 2002/24/EC defines a light quadricycle (L6e) vehicle as having the following characteristics :
A maximum unladen weight of 350kg (minus the weight of vehicles options and the weight of batteries if an electric powered vehicle).
A maximum power output of 4kw.
A maximum road speed of 45kph or 28 mph.
A diesel or electric engine.
Light quadricycles have a number of passive safety elements such as seats, headrest, safety belts, wiper, lights etc.
There are also many advantages that make quadricycles an excellent urban vehicle of choice :
Their diminutive size makes parking easier (narrow access) this can prove useful when making light, multi drop deliveries.
Fuel efficient (approx 95mpg).
Low Co2 emissions reducing the environmental impact.
A reduced speed of 45 kph or 28 mph which is better adapted to urban driving.
Easy to operate CVT transmission system.
A form of safe entry level graduated driving which encourages better driver awareness.
Heavy quadricycles, which are more popular in the UK, and whose maximum net engine power does not exceed 15 kW, require a B licence. These are mainly small commercial vehicles used by public authorities or electric vehicles whose power allows their optimal use in extended urban area.
Elements of the AM licence for the light quadricyle
The minimum requirement to drive a light quadricycle (L6e) vehicle on the public highway is presently a full AM category license. The AM license was introduced into the UK on the 19th January 2013 as part of the “Third European Driving Licence Directive”.
The Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) is required (16 years old, register online at the DVLA in order to obtain the DL196) :
In real conditions (practical test of two hours). The candidates have to complete CBT on a two wheeled vehicle, unless he is suffering from a disability that made it impractical to take a test on a two wheeled vehicle. If the candidate has obtained the DL196, he must carry an “L” badge on his two wheeled vehicle (this allows the driver onto the public highway but he cannot carry a passenger).
Theoretical Exam in 2 parties
Multiple-choice questions : 50 questions over 57 minutes duration;
Observational test of perceived driving dangers test using a computer simulator (known as Hazard Perception Test).
Practical Exam in 2 modules
• The first one : a maneuvering test (at a minimum speed of 45 kph) and a visual test;
The candidate can undergo the module 2, only if he has succeeded the first one.
• The second contains : a visual test and a theoretical exam (mechanical questions).
EQUAL believes that the introduction of L6e vehicles onto UK roads can offer benefits in the education of young drivers and make a positive contribution to the reduction of road traffic accidents.