An all-terrain vehicle is defined as a motorised off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure tyres, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. Like a motorcycle, the ATV is designed to be ridden 'actively' where the rider shifts their weight on the machine to improve ride and handling.

ATVs are subdivided into two types as designated by the manufacturer. Type I ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by a single operator and no passenger. Type II ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by an operator and a passenger, and are equipped with a designated seating position behind the operator.

ATVs are not “one size fits all.” The ATV industry recommends all riders operate an ATV intended for their age. Youth model ATVs are designed for smaller hands and feet, and travel at slower speeds appropriate for their age.