Five popular car accessories to AVOID or risk a fine up to £2,500
By Laura Linham
31st Jan 2024 | News
Drivers are being warned about a car light available on TikTok shop which could lead to a substantial £2,500 fine and three points on their license.
The car light in question is an LED hand gesture light, which drivers can affix to their rear-view window. They can then use a remote control to make gestures, including the middle finger, to other drivers.
While this may appear to be a 'fun' trend that drivers want to take part in, it could prove to be a costly mistake. If the sign's placement obstructs a driver's view of the road, it may result in a £1,000 fine and 3 points, which increases to a £2,500 fine for PCV or goods vehicles. If the sign distracts other drivers, the police can issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £200 for careless or inconsiderate driving.
To help drivers avoid unnecessary fines and penalty points, car and van leasing company Vanarama has shared five popular car accessories that could have costly consequences.
Car accessories that could result in a maximum fine of £2,500 and 3 points for the offence 'Failure to have proper control of the vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead':
1. LED hand gesture lights:
Drivers should reconsider purchasing an LED hand gesture light for their car, as it could lead to trouble, not only with other drivers but also with the law. If the light blocks a driver's view from the rear-view window, this is breaking the Highway Code. Using this light to give other road users the middle finger is also considered a form of road rage, posing safety risks and potentially contributing to accidents.
2. Fluffy steering wheel covers:
A fluffy steering wheel cover might seem like an innocent car aesthetic, but it can be dangerous. Having fur around the steering wheel may cause hands to lose grip while driving, resulting in loss of control of the vehicle.
3. Rear-view mirror accessories:
While it is acceptable to hang a regular car air freshener from your rear-view mirror, some drivers have started hanging large decorations such as dream catchers and ornaments. Drivers are legally required to maintain a full view of the road, and large accessories hanging from your rear-view mirror could block the view.
Car accessories that could result in up to a £200 fixed penalty notice and points for the offence 'Careless or inconsiderate driving':
4. Dashboard ornaments:
Though dashboard ornaments have been around long before TikTok, they can be purchased from the TikTok shop for as little as £3.14. While technically not illegal, Vanarama recommends avoiding excessive decoration of your dashboard, as it could be distracting for both you and other road users. If your dashboard causes you to take your eyes off the road, you could be pulled over by the police for careless or inconsiderate driving.
5. LED car strip lights:
Drivers have been fitting LED strip lights to their vehicles, potentially violating The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989. The legislation states that "No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp capable of showing a red light to the front" and "No vehicle shall be fitted with a lamp capable of showing any light to the rear." If your lights break either of these rules, you could receive a fixed penalty notice.