SummaryPreferential flow (PF) in soil has both environmental and human health implications since it favours contaminant transport to groundwater without interaction with the chemically and biologically reactive upper layer of soil. PF is, however, difficult to measure and quantify. This paper reviews laboratory and field techniques, such as breakthrough curves, dye tracing, and scanning techniques, for evaluating PF in soil at different scales. Advanced technologies, such as scanning techniques, have increased our capability to quantify transport processes within the soil with minimal soil disturbance. Important issues with respect to quantifying PF concern large-scale studies, frozen soil conditions, tracing techniques for particles and gases, a lack of simple mathematical tools for interpreting field data, and the lack of a systematic approach for comparing PF data resulting from different measurement techniques. Also, more research is required to quantify the relative importance of the various PF processes that occur in soil rather than the integrated result of all PF processes in soils.