There will be no reprieve on the new motor tax charges for tens of thousands of farmers who own quad bikes, Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, has insisted.
Quad bikes with tow bars are classed as commercial haulage tractors and are liable for road tax of €333 per annum, almost three times the rate charged on an ordinary tractor.
In reply to a query from Roscommon TD, Denis Naughten, Minister Hogan confirmed that owners of quad bikes that are used for haulage will be charged at €333 per annum. Road tax for quad bikes that are less than 1,000cc in engine size and not used for road haulage will cost €199 per year.
In a letter to Deputy Naughten, the minister said he had "no plans to change the basis of assessment of motor tax for all-terrain/quad bikes".
"All-terrain/quad bikes are taxed at the private rate of motor tax, based on engine capacity, if the vehicle is being used for private, domestic or pleasure purposes," Minister Hogan said.
"The rate of motor tax for a quad with engine capacity of less than 1,000cc, not used for haulage, is €199 per annum. If the vehicle is being used to haul another vehicle or trailer, it then becomes taxable at the general haulage tractor rate, currently €333 per annum," he added.
Most quad bikes would fall into the latter category, with tow bars used to tow small trailers and fertiliser spreaders.
The minister conceded that road tax was not necessary on quad bikes that were not used in a public place.