ABTA urges caution on overseas motorbike rental

ABTA has urged travellers to think twice before hiring mopeds while 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.

The travel organisation points to recent incidents where a 19 year-old-man from Swindon died following a critical quad biking accident on the Greek island of Crete, while a 26-year-old man from Essex died earlier this year in Thailand following a moped crash with lorry.

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.

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These figures represent just those cases reported by ABTA Members – and ABTA believes the total number of accidents to be much higher.

Younger adults are most likely to put themselves at risk - one in seven British 18-24-year olds who have taken an overseas holiday said they had hired either a quad bike or a moped.

In recent years, quad bikes have become increasingly popular, particularly in places like Greece, Cape Verde and 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.

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.”