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Answered: The Most Googled Driving Fines Questions In The UK

Driving offences could cause Brits unlimited fines, 11 licence points, and even result in disqualification from driving altogether if you’re caught doing something illegal.

CEO and founder of Vanarama, Andy Alderson, commented: "There are so many myths around driving fines that it can be difficult for motorists to know what's true and what isn't.

"It's vital that drivers know the correct information as the maximum punishment for committing a driving offence can be an unlimited fine, 11 points, or even jail time."

To keep your money in your wallets and the roads safe, Vanarama answers 10 common questions about UK fines to help you avoid them, based on Google searches.

1. Can You Get Fined For Driving Too Slow?

Yes, unlimited fine and up to 11 points

While there isn't any guidance about specific penalties for driving too slow in The Highway Code, you could receive a verbal warning from a police officer if your slow driving is considered a hazard.

There are, however, point penalties for dangerous driving and careless and inconsiderate driving, which slow driving could fall under in extreme circumstances.

Offence

Maximum penalty

Penalty points

Dangerous driving

2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification

3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)

Careless and inconsiderate driving

Unlimited fine / Discretionary disqualification

3 to 9

2. Can You Get Fined For Driving In A Bus Lane?

Yes, £90+ fine

If you’ve been caught by CCTV driving in a bus lane during its hours of operation, you can be eligible for a penalty charge notice (PCN). The size of the fine varies across the UK and is usually £90, with the highest being in London at more than £100. However, it's worth noting that you get a 50% discount if you pay it early.

If the PCN isn't paid within the number of days stated, then you can be issued a Charge Certificate which increases the fine amount to £135.

3. Can You Get Fined For Driving Through A Puddle?

No, unless you splash pedestrians

Driving through puddles may be unavoidable in certain situations like on narrow roads. However, if you splash a pedestrian while driving through a puddle, you could get fined for careless and inconsiderate driving, which holds an unlimited fine and three to nine penalty points.

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is illegal to drive "without reasonable consideration for other persons" as well as “driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed”.

4. Can You Get Fined For Driving With Fog Lights On?

Yes, £30+ fine

You should only drive with fog lights on when the weather is foggy and visibility is reduced. Doing so at any other time is illegal and unsafe as it can affect other drivers’ vision of the road, as well as interfering with the visibility of your brake lights. Because of this, it could land you a £30 fine.

According to The Highway Code, you should only rely on your fog lights when you can't see 100 metres ahead of the car.

5. Can You Get Fined For Driving Without Lights?

Yes, up to £1,000 fine and three points

While you may think that your sight isn’t affected at night by driving with one headlight, it is incredibly dangerous, especially if the other light goes out too. This can land you a £100 fine and if you are caught again with the issue unfixed, it can rise to £1,000.

Offence

Maximum penalty

Penalty points

Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead

£1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification

3

It is illegal to drive on roads without headlights at night or when visibility is reduced. While the latter might sound ambiguous, it is always a good idea to drive with your headlights on if you aren't sure. If you’re caught with your lights off, you can be hit with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £50.

6. Can You Get Fined For Driving Without An Mot?

Yes, up to £2,500 fine, nine points and a driving ban

Driving your car after your MOT has expired is illegal. Being caught without a valid MOT certificate can land you a massive penalty fine of up to £2,500, points on your licence, and even driving disqualification in extreme cases.

If you’re involved in an accident without an MOT, then any insurance claims could become void, and you may be liable to paying out money that you mightn’t have otherwise. On top of this, it is illegal to drive without valid insurance cover, so this could lead to an unlimited fine, six to nine penalty points or even a driving ban.

7. Can You Get Fined For Driving On The Hard Shoulder?

Yes, £100+ fine and three points

You shouldn't drive on the hard shoulder unless you're directed to by roadworks signs, a traffic officer, or if you’re on a smart motorway. You could be end up with a £100 fine and three points on your licence due to using it illegally as a traffic lane.

8. Can You Get Fined For Driving Through A Red Light?

Yes, £100 fine and three points

It may be tempting to increase your speed while approaching a traffic light, but the cost of failing to stop for a red or amber light is typically a £100 fine and three points on your licence. If the traffic light is amber while you're approaching it, the best thing to do is to begin to slow down to avoid being caught by either a police officer or traffic light cameras.

9. Can You Get Fined For Driving In The Middle Lane?

Yes, up to an unlimited fine and 11 points

Hogging the middle lane is an offence according to The Highway Code. You should always try to drive in the left lane of a motorway unless you are overtaking other vehicles. Those caught 'hogging' are likely to face a £100 fine and three penalty points. In extreme cases, you could even be charged with careless driving – carrying an unlimited fine and three to 11 points on your licence.

10. Can You Get Fined For Driving Down A One-Way Street?

Yes, £100 fine and three points

Even though your satnav may wrongly direct you or you missed a one-way road sign, it is illegal to drive down a one-way road. You could be charged with careless driving and given a £100 fine and three penalty points.

If in the event you do realise you’re driving down a one-way street, The Highway Code says "you must not reverse your vehicle further than necessary". The best advice is to pull over and wait for a safe time to turn around and follow the correct direction.

Methodology

The queries featured in this Vanarama research are governed by those related to driving offences that are suggested by Google when searching ‘Can I get fined for…’.

Google's autocomplete predictions are based on common queries that match what is entered into the search box. This includes the trending interest and language of a query.

For more automotive research and features, bookmark the Vanarama blog, or browse our latest car leasing deals if you’re in the market for a new car.

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