Motoring Laws

UK Motoring Laws cover a broad spectrum of issues, including:

  • Information about the proper documentation which all motorists need in order to legally own and drive their vehicles on UK roads
  • Verifying that a vehicle is not stolen or the subject of a financial dispute
  • Outlining the specific automotive rules and regulations in order to ensure your vehicle is in road working condition and that it is comprehensively insured
  • Outlining the specific automotive safety laws in order to help motorists uphold safe and considerate driving behaviours
  • Ensuring that justice is served in the event of a road traffic accident
  • Issuing penalties when UK driving rules and regulations have been broken
  • Issuing guidance to motorists who have been involved in a road traffic incident

All of these motoring laws have the overriding objective of ensuring that UK roads are safe for all motorists. However, despite these intentions, road safety statistics reveal that many drivers are caught infringing these motoring rules and regulations.

Any motorists who are found infringing these motoring laws are issued with penalty points on their license as well as receiving a specified driving fine. The UK penalty point system is intended to deter drivers and motorcyclists from following unsafe motoring practices. If a motorist amasses 12 or more penalty points on their license within a 3-year period, they are disqualified from driving for at least 6 months. In extreme circumstances, such as dangerous or drink-driving, UK court officials can order an immediate driving disqualification of at least 12 months.

Motoring Law Statistics

  • According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a third of motorists have admitted to driving a car without a valid MOT certificate. Out of this third; 67% drove without a valid MOT certificate for up to a week, 24% drove for up to a month, 7% drove for up to 6 months and 2% drove without a valid MOT certificate for over 6 months.
  • 4% of UK motorists currently drive without full vehicle insurance policies. 1 in 6 British drivers do not currently have a valid MOT certificate for their car.
  • Approximately 4 million parking fines were issued by British Councils last year.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, 164 UK road deaths have been blamed on under inflated car tyres. Subsequently, as of November 2012, all new vehicles must be fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems as standard.
  • 1/5 of UK motorists admit accessing social networking sites on their mobile phone whilst driving.
  • 43% of UK drivers were unable to successfully identify the national speed limit sign when shown. Moreover, only 33% of drivers completely agreed that it is dangerous to drive at 90mph on the motorway when there is no traffic.
  • Driver error is present in 90% of motorway accidents, with mechanical failures only accounting for 10%. Most drivers have a reaction time of at least 3 seconds before they even apply the brakes.
  • A quarter of road deaths involve those who drive for their work (i.e. taxi drivers, lorry drivers etc). There have been 858 deaths and 6,622 serious injuries in crashes involving at-work drivers in the past year.
  • 11% of motorists do not drive for two years or more after passing their test, which places them at a higher risk of accidents. For example, the 2007 revision of the Highway Code contained 50% more content and contained 29 extra rules. Therefore, motorists need to remain informed of the most recent motoring rules and regulations.
  • Driving whilst tired and falling asleep at the wheel cause approximately 20% of accidents on long journeys on trunk roads and motorways. Sleep related vehicle accidents usually occur between midnight and 6am, and usually involve male motorists under the age of 30. At least 10% of motorists who use their vehicles for work have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel in the past 12 months.
  • Around 24% of UK drivers have paid off another driver following an accident for which they were at fault.


It is important that motorists adhere to the UK motoring laws in order to reduce their risk of accidents, as well as avoiding receiving penalty points on their license and fines. Consequently, listed below are several motoring practises which you should follow in order to ensure you adhere to the UK’s motoring laws:

  • Familiarise yourself with the latest edition of the Highway Code in order to remain aware of the most recent speed limits and driving regulations.
  • If you are involved in a road traffic incident, make sure you stop and exchange details (e.g. name, address, telephone number, vehicle registration and insurance cover). If any parties have been injured or if their property has been damaged, you must report the incident to the police if you could not provide all the relevant details at the accident scene. Also make sure that you have a brief overview of the incident and vehicles involved (e.g. colour, registration, make and model).
  • Always drive with care and attention, and aim to anticipate the actions of other motorists and pedestrians.
  • Always wear a seatbelt and if you are travelling with small children make sure they have a child car seat which is properly fitted.
  • Do not drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway.
  • Always drive within the speed limit of the road on which you are travelling, and leave a sufficient stopping distance in between the vehicle in front of you.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Drive with caution in severe weather conditions, at night, or when there is poor visibility.
  • Anticipate any potential road hazards such as blocked roads, unmarked junctions, sudden turns in the road, or any other obstacles. Always leave appropriate stopping distance for traffic control systems, road works, pedestrian crossings or traffic lights as necessary.
  • Do not begin a journey if you are tired. Take regular breaks if you are travelling long distances in order to remain alert and focused.