Karting and quad biking
Race around the track
A chance for girls to get in the driving seat! Go karting and quad biking are fast, fun and often muddy.
Go karts and quad bikes are open four-wheeled vehicles, they can be used indoors or outdoors, on private tracks or other designated off-road locations
Pedal go karting is open to all.
Motorised go karting and quad biking are open to those aged seven and over.
Go karting and quad biking on public roads are prohibited activities in Girlguiding.
To take girls go karting or quad biking, you will need to find a reputable local provider with a suitably qualified instructor.
Karting and quad biking is an adventurous activity and should follow the adventurous activity policy and procedures
Approved: 5 April 2021
Content owner: Adventure team
If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue/location, follow these extra steps:
- Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
- Tell your commissioner.
- Get a copy of the public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
- Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
- Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
- Get any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
- Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.
- Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment (if relevant).
- Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
- Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.
Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.
If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity outside the unit meeting space, follow these extra steps.
- Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
- Tell your local commissioner.
- Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
- Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
- Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
- Get copies of the instructor qualiﬁcations and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
- Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
- Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
- Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
- Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
The instructor must be an experienced driver with good knowledge and relevant experience of the type of vehicle and terrain being used for the activity.
The instructor must brief participants on:
- The course/route
- Safe driving skills
- How to handle the vehicle correctly
- Speed limits
- What to do in an emergency
You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: AALA, Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure. AALA and LotC are not applicable in Northern Ireland, but Sport Northern Ireland confirm the implementation of Adventuremark as a suitable adventure activity accreditation scheme for activity providers in Northern Ireland. Or you can ask your local outdoor activities adviser to recommend an approved provider.
- Appropriate safety clothing must be determined in a risk assessment of the activity and be worn.
- You must wear helmets for this activity.
- The go kart or quad bike must be well-maintained, roadworthy and designed for the terrain where it will be used.
- The track must be clearly marked with separation between participants and spectators.
- If using an activity provider the provider must have public liability insurance to a sum of £5 million.
For quad biking (all terrain vehicles, ATVs) there are additional regulations.
There are regulations that directly relate to the use of ATVs and quad bikes with young people. These include restrictions on the maximum speed of quad bikes for use by under 12s, limiting them to 15mph, but the vehicle must have a regulator in operation that confines the speed to 10mph.
For those aged between 12 and 16, the regulations specify that the maximum speed of the vehicle should be 30mph but the vehicle must have a regulator in operation that confines that speed to 15mph. The vehicle must also have a sign in a prominent position that says:
"This ATV is not suitable for children under 12 years"
The label should be in red lettering. It should be legible, durable and precede any other safety information.
Adult to child ratios
The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.
Leadership team ratio
As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.
- Rainbows: 1:5 , at least 2 adults (note: Rainbows can only do pedal go-karts)
- Brownies: 1:8
- Guides: 1:12
- Rangers: N/A – with leader permission
Activity providers may have different ratios. Where they differ from the above, follow the strictest ratio.
Qualified adult/participant ratio
The activity leader (qualified adult) should determine what size of group is safe. There must be enough qualified adults to ensure the safety of all participants.
The number will be determined by any limitations placed on their qualification, permit or the rules of their operating organisation as well as the risk assessment. This should take into consideration the location, weather and experience of both the qualified adult and other participants. The leader should assess the risk and any concerns must be raised to them.