Lesser-Known UK and European Driving Laws, What You Need to Know

Lesser-Known UK and European Driving Laws, What You Need to Know

...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.

If you’ve recently passed your driving test and are still struggling to memorise the Highway Code, you’re not alone.


There are plenty of rules to follow on the road, some of which are more obvious than others.

Cinch, the online used car marketplace, has compiled a list of lesser-known UK driving laws that could lead to penalties, as well as unfamiliar laws to be aware of when driving abroad.

Splashing Pedestrians

Avoiding puddles on the road can be challenging, but it’s important to take care not to splash pedestrians with your car.

According to section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, doing so is considered careless and inconsiderate driving, and can result in a fine of at least £100 and three penalty points on your licence.

The maximum fine for this offence is £5,000.


Testing Brakes After Driving Through Water

In wet conditions, it’s important to test your brakes after driving through puddles or standing water.

Rule 121 of the Highway Code advises drivers to do so, as water can impair the effectiveness of your brakes.

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Applying light pressure to the pedal while driving slowly can help dry out your brakes if they are not working properly.

Swearing and Rude Gestures

Road rage is a common occurrence on UK roads, with 43% of motorists having been a victim of it according to the RAC. To deter the onset of road rage, motorists can be fined up to £1,000 and receive three penalty points for cursing, swearing or making rude gestures to fellow drivers.

It’s always best to keep your cool when behind the wheel.

Warning About Speed Traps


While it might seem like a good idea to warn other motorists about speed checks ahead by flashing your lights, doing so is considered to be obstructing a police officer in their duty, and can result in a fine of up to £1,000.

Pets and Breakdowns

If you’re taking your pet for a ride, make sure to restrain them in a vehicle to avoid distracting the driver and causing potential injuries.

Additionally, in the event of a car breakdown, pets are not allowed to vacate the vehicle with their owners.

Drivers must leave their animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them on the verge or on a short lead.

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Failure to comply with this rule can lead to a penalty of up to £2,000.

Shoe Choice

When driving, it’s important to wear clothes and shoes that don’t prevent you from using the controls in the correct manner.


Rule 97 of the Highway Code specifically states that flip flops, sandals, high heels, and wellies are not appropriate footwear for driving, and wearing them can result in a £100 fine and three penalty points.

It’s always a good idea to wear comfortable shoes when driving for everyone’s safety.

Loud Music

While listening to music can be a great way to make your drive more enjoyable, turning up the volume too high can be dangerous.

The Road Vehicles Regulations 1986 state that loud music can cause distractions for both the driver and other road users, and can prevent the siren of emergency vehicles from being heard.

Motorists can face hefty fines for playing music too loudly.

Driving Laws Across Europe

When driving in other European countries, it’s important to be aware of their driving laws, as they may differ from those in the UK.

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For example, in Spain, France, and Switzerland, anyone wearing glasses while driving must have a spare pair in the car, or they could face a fine.

In Cyprus, drivers are prohibited from drinking water while driving, and in Slovenia, hazard warning lights must be used when reversing.

In France, drivers are responsible for checking their own blood alcohol content


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About the Author:

Joseph Benjamin is an experienced journalist with a successful career spanning over 18 years. He has made a name for himself in the industry through his insightful and engaging reporting, and his dedication to delivering accurate and unbiased news. Joseph's years of experience have equipped him with a keen understanding of the media landscape, and he has become a trusted voice in his field. His writing style is characterized by its clarity, precision, and attention to detail, making his articles a pleasure to read. Joseph is a dedicated professional who is committed to providing his readers with the most up-to-date and relevant news and information. He lives in Ontario, Canada.