We report the discovery of an accreting binary, RAT J1953+1859, made during the RApid Temporal Survey (RATS) on the Isaac Newton Telescope. It showed high amplitude (0.3 mag) quasi-periodic oscillations on a time-scale of ∼20 min. Further observations made using the Nordic Optical Telescope showed it to be ∼4 mag brighter than in the discovery images. These photometric observations, together with radial velocity data taken using the William Herschel Telescope, point to an orbital period of ∼90 min. These data suggest that RAT J1953+1859 is a dwarf novae of the SU UMa type. What makes RAT J1953+1859 unusual is that it is the first such system to be discovered as a result of high amplitude QPOs during quiescence. This suggests that high-cadence wide-field surveys could be another means to discover cataclysmic variables as a result of their short period variability.