03 Aug

4.5 million British adults have put themselves at risk by hiring mopeds and quad bikes on holiday

ABTA – The Travel Association is strongly advising holidaymakers and other travellers to think twice before hiring mopeds whilst overseas, and to only ride quad bikes as part of an organised excursion.

Every year many people have dangerous accidents while on holiday after driving quad bikes on the road and hiring mopeds – causing serious injuries and some accidents have been fatal.

ABTA Members reported 36 quad bike accidents and seven moped accidents in 2017. So far in 2018, seven people have been involved in quad bike accidents on the road. These figures represent just those cases reported by ABTA Members – and ABTA believes the total number of accidents to be much higher. 

New figures from ABTA reveal as many as 4.5 million Britons have hired a moped or quad bike whilst overseas – the equivalent of one in ten British holidaymakers1. Younger adults are most likely to put themselves at risk - one in seven (16%) British 18-24 year olds who have taken an overseas holiday in the last 12 months said they had hired either a quad bike or a moped2.

In recent years, quad bikes have become increasingly popular, particularly in places like Greece, Cape Verde & Turkey. Hiring mopeds has also become common among British travellers in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. Whether in Europe or further afield, these vehicles give little protection in an accident, and riders are particularly vulnerable on the open roads.

ABTA is advising anyone travelling abroad that there are always safer alternatives to hiring mopeds and quad bikes, including hiring a car, taking a taxi or using public transport, and to only ride quad bikes as part of an organised excursion. It is also reminding holidaymakers of the limitations and exclusions of standard travel insurance policies – many of which will not cover accidents from quad bikes and mopeds, leaving seriously injured holidaymakers facing unaffordable medical bills.

Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability said:

“Every year people suffer serious injuries after hiring mopeds or quad bikes while on holiday. Many have little experience of using these vehicles and are also unfamiliar with the local roads and driving standards.

“It’s so easy when you’re relaxing on holiday to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing back home;  but you are putting yourself at risk of serious injury if you hire these vehicles, and on top of that, many travel insurance policies won’t cover such activities. We’re advising holidaymakers who have little experience on mopeds to think twice before hiring these vehicles, and only ride quad bikes if they are part of a properly supervised off-road excursion.”

Recent examples of quad bike and moped accidents in the media over the past 12 months (August 2017 – August 2018):

Quad bike accidents

  • July 2018 – A 19 year old man from Swindon died following a critical quad biking accident on the Greek island of Crete
  • July 2018 – A 17 year old girl from Lancashire suffered severe injuries following a fall from a quad  bike on Greek island of Zante
  • July 2018 – Two British women were fighting for their lives after quad bike crash on Greek island of Zante
  • December 2017 – Two British tourists rescued from the desert in the United Arab Emirates after their quad bikes caught on fire

Moped accidents

  • March 2018 – A 26 year old man from Essex died in Thailand following a moped crash with lorry
  • March 2018 – A 55 year old father of six from Hertfordshire was place in an induced coma following a serious moped crash in Thailand
  • January 2018 – A 23 year old man from Hertfordshire lost half his leg in moped crash in Thailand
  • December 2017 – A 23 year old Northern Irish man had leg amputated following a serious moped crash in Thailand
  • October 2017 – A 25 year old woman from Bath survived a near fatal moped accident in Vietnam, suffering multiple injuries
  • August 2017 – A 20 year old man from Reading died as a result of his injuries when his moped crashed in Bali 


Melanie Simmonds - Quad bike accident, Greece, 2010

32-year-old Melanie Simmonds suffered serious injuries, following a quad bike accident whilst on holiday in Greece in 2010. After a series of operations, it took 14 months for Melanie to recover from the injuries she suffered. Melanie commented: “The reason that we hired the quad bike was to save money on taxis. One snap decision completely transformed my life. I could have lost the use of my legs or worse, my life. My advice to holidaymakers is be aware that quad bikes are heavy and dangerous. They are difficult to control and not very safe to use on roads. One big thing that I’ve also learnt is that you must ALWAYS know what your insurance covers you for. As it turned out I wasn't covered for was quad bikes because I never expected to be using one. Value your life and your safety because accidents can happen to anyone and your life can change in an instant.”


For more details please visit: abta.com/mopedsandquadbikes

For further information, contact:

020 3117 0596 or press@abta.co.uk

Muireann Kirby, Senior Media Relations Executive, 020 3117 0531

Sean Tipton, Media Relations Manager, tel: 020 3117 0513

Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via pager: 07623 951 339

Web: www.abta.com

Twitter: @ABTAtravel


  1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 23rd April 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
    4.5 million equates to 9% of total GB population 50,340,973 (GB adults 18+ ). 10% of GB adults who had been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months hired a moped or quadbike. All calculations carried out by ABTA.
  2. 15% of 18-24 year olds have hired a moped or have participated in quad biking abroad

Notes to editors

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £37 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.