Car Lights Law

Driving convictions, penalty points and fines are easily obtained if you don’t keep a careful check of your car.

This is especially crucial to new drivers who are still within the two years from passing the driving test and can only receive a maximum of six points to lose their licence.

It’s important that all lights on your car are kept clean and in good working condition to not only remain within the law and to avoid penalty points and fines, but to remain safe yourself and for other road users and pedestrians.

Detailed below are frequent mistakes made especially by new and young drivers in terms of car lighting, the safety implications involved, plus the potential fines and penalty points involved with defective or inappropriate car lighting.

When to use hazard warning lights law
When to use hazard warning lights law

When to use hazard warning lights

A guide explaining what are hazard warning lights and when they should and should not be used in terms of safety and the law.

Use of fog lights law
Use of fog lights law

Use of fog lights and the law

Some motorists are often unsure when fog lights should be used. An explanation for when to use fog lights, fog lights legal requirements for cars and drivers and the risks of using fog lights inappropriately along with potential fines imposed by law.

brake lights law
Brake lights law

Driving without or faulty brake lights

The dangers associated with having faulty or no brake lights and how to check brake lights. Also explained, brake light laws, the possible offences, penalties and fines incurred by having defective brake lights.

What are car side lights and when to use them
What are car side lights and when to use them

What are car side lights and when to use them

Brief explanation of what are car sidelights, the benefits of using them and when car sidelights should be used by law.

Dipped headlights law
Dipped headlights law

What are dipped headlights and when to use them

Briefly detailing ‘what are dipped headlights’ and in law, when you should use them. Details of the possible penalties and fines incurred for defective lights.

Full / main beam headlights
Full / main beam headlights law

Full main beam headlights

When should full beam headlights be used and detailing when it is inappropriate for their use. Also explained are the possible penalties and law for improper high beam headlight use.

8 thoughts on “Car Lights Law”

  1. roger moseley

    is there a law regarding the use of colour changing side lights as I have seen many a car with side lights that change colour

  2. Generally it should be white / amber at the front and red / amber at the rear, though there are some exceptions:

    Side lights that actually change colour would be highly distracting and confusing to other road users. I can’t imagine that they would be legal.

  3. Emily-rose

    I’m yet to fix the earth fault which causes my rear left light to go out when my break lights are on. Is this illegal?

  4. Hello Emily-rose,
    It is a minor defect, so I would think it would have to be pretty harsh for a police officer to issue any form of fixed penalty notice. They may well stop you, though it’s more likely you’ll be issued a VDRS, or Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme which entitles you to 14 days in which to get the defective light fixed and within this time, you’ll need to provide evidence of its repair. VDRS are typically issued for minor defects.

  5. Kelsey

    Is there a requirement that a car that has broken down on the freeway while it is dark out MUST use their flashers to warn other drivers? Can’t seem to find a vehicle code section directly on point.

  6. Hello Kelsey,
    In the UK you should use hazard warning lights and if it’s dark, then also use side lights if possible. There’s no specific law for this. The Highway Code generally consists of advice to follow which is defined by ‘should’. Regulations come into place where the word ‘must’ is used.
    Breakdowns and incidents (274 to 287)

  7. Alan Gilbertson

    Is it a legal requirement to have front sidelights in working order?

  8. Hi Alan,

    The Highway Code (Lighting Requirements) states:

    You must ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise.

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