January 18, 2022

UK Driving Laws You (Probably) Didn’t Know Existed

We’ve compiled some lesser-known driving laws, so have a read on for some driving rules that you (probably) didn’t know existed.
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The UK is known for weird laws that are hard to find, with the 1986 Salmon Act making it illegal to handle fish in suspicious circumstances, and it being illegal to shake your rug out of the window before 8am.

However, there are some unusual laws hidden in the Highway Code and other driving/road use laws you may not be aware of and that you could get caught out for.

We’ve compiled some lesser-known driving laws, so have a read on for some driving rules that you (probably) didn’t know existed.

DISCLAIMER: These laws are correct at the date of publishing, and a list of sources is provided at the bottom of the article. This article cannot be used as evidence in a court of law as a source of legal information and is intended for entertainment purposes only.

Is it Illegal to Drive Barefoot?

No, it isn’t! If you have control of the vehicle, you can drive barefoot. However, it isn’t the best thing to do.

Shoes provide grip on the pedals and help you to stay safe in an emergency. If you are seen to by driving dangerously by the police and they put the cause down to your footwear, or lack thereof, then you can get a fine of £100 and three points.

The Highway Code states that you should be sure that “clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner”, so it’s best to consider driving in sensible footwear.

Is it Illegal to Drive in your PJs?

No, there is no law saying you can’t drive in your pyjamas. As long as you’re comfortable, can use the pedals correctly and can see clearly, you can wear any clothes you wish, including your PJs.

Do I Have to Give Way to People Waiting at Zebra Crossings?

Technically, you don’t have to give way to people waiting at a zebra crossing. The law states that you MUST wait when a person has begun to cross, but if they are standing on the side of the road, you do not legally have to wait.


Am I Allowed to Wave Pedestrians Across a Zebra Crossing?

No, you are not allowed to indicate to a pedestrian that they should cross. The Highway Code recommends that you do not indicate to a pedestrian that it is safe, either by waving or using your horn, as this could be dangerous to other cars.

Is it Illegal to Drive with Your Interior Lights On?

No, it is not illegal to drive with your interior lights on, although it certainly can be a distraction. There is no specific law for interior lights being on, but if they are found to be a distraction, then you will get fined for driving while distracted.

Can I Legally Sleep in My Car?

You can legally sleep in your car, if you don’t have an drugs or alcohol in your system. As the law is very strict on being in charge of a vehicle with drugs or alcohol in your system, and you are found to be sleeping in your car, then you are at risk of being fined. Points on your licence for drink driving, or under the influence and in control of a vehicle, will affect your insurance and you may have to take out specialist drink driver insurance.

drink driving and sleeping in your car

It is, however, completely legal to ‘camp’ in your car, as long as the place you park doesn’t forbid it.

Is it Illegal to Drive Without a Wing Mirror?

Yes, if it is the offside one (the one attached to the driver’s door). This mirror is one of two that must be in use. However, if the nearside mirror is damaged, as long as two others are in use, you can drive legally. As always, it’s best to fix such issues as soon as possible as it is dangerous. This can affect your insurance, as you may be required to claim if you have a broken windscreen.

Am I Allowed to Reverse onto A Main Road?

No, you’re not allowed if you are reversing from a side road onto a main road.

While it’s not recommended, if you are reversing from a driveway onto a main road, you should do so with caution, and it is recommended you reverse in and drive out. If you need to reverse, you must not reverse more than necessary.

Can I Use My Phone at A Petrol Station?

Contrary to popular belief, you can, although most petrol station owners prefer you not to. When mobile phones first became a thing, the use of phones was banned as people thought it would cause the forecourt tanks to combust. Now, technology has advanced on both sides and it is safe to, although it’s best to avoid it to respect the forecourt owner.

Is it Illegal to Use My Phone to Pay at a Drive-Thru?

As much as the press would like you to believe it is, new laws being introduced will provide an exemption for you to use your phone to pay for your food at drive thru’s. You currently must be parked and with your engine off to use your phone, but these regulations will change soon.

paying with phone at drive thru

Can I Eat and Drive Legally?

Technically, you can, yes, however, if it is seen that you are driving dangerously because you are eating or drinking, then you can receive a fine of £100 and three licence points. It’s best to be safe, and have food that can be easily consumed while driving, such as unwrapped goods.

Got Points on Your Licence?

Keith Michaels are experts in convicted driver insurance, and other specialist insurance. If you’ve been affected, speak to one of our brokers today for a competitive quote. Get a quote today.