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07th May 2023

Drivers warned they could face £5,000 fine for having an untidy car


Drivers warned they could face £5,000 fine for having an untidy car

Those empty bottles and coffee cups could actually be life-threatening

Drivers in the UK could face a £5,000 fine if their car gets too messy, because litter in a vehicle can actually prove fatal.

Having a filthy car is not currently a crime, but it can fall under Rule 237 of the Highway Code. This states that drivers must drive with due care and attention.

If you’re pulled over for failing to do this, the issue can be dealt with there and then, with a £100 fine and three points on your licence. But in severe cases, drivers could end up with nine penalty points and a £5,000 fine.

So, how can having a dirty car actually become dangerous?

Andrew Jervis, the co-founder of ClickMechanic, an online marketplace for car repairs, told Teeside Live: “Few of us can honestly say we’ve never left a little rubbish in our vehicles. However, it’s important to be aware of all of the potential hazards that could arise, and empty drinks containers are certainly one of the most common.

“They can move around as we drive and if one manages to roll its way into the pedal area, it could spell disaster if it becomes lodged underneath the brake or distracts the driver.”

If it resulted in death or serious injury due to a lack of care, it could lead to an unlimited fine, a lengthy driving ban or jail time.


“So it’s much better to keep your vehicle free from mess as not only does it create a better driving environment,” Jervis added, “it could help prevent a terrible crash or severe consequences.”

The expert said there seems to be a correlation between a messy car and drivers who ignore more serious issues with their motors.

“It’s definitely worth getting into the habit of keeping your vehicle clean and tidy, and if you think there is anything wrong mechanically get it checked out by a training mechanic,” he said.

And Jamie Louram, Halfords Car Cleaning Buyer, shared his top tips for what to look out for in your vehicle and how to ensure your car is safe to drive.

He told the Express: “As a general rule, keep your car clutter-free to avoid any dangerous situations such as things getting stuck under the brake pedal or blocking your view.

“If you do tend to err on the side of messy when it comes to your car, a bin is a great solution.”

He also explained that having a messy exterior can cause issues as well. A dirty windscreen can be seen as careless driving which can result in a £100 fine and three points, with mucky windscreens potentially leading to the same issue.

Meanwhile, an obscured number could land you with a fine of up to £1,000 if the digits can’t be clearly read.

Louram said: “It’s crucial to check that your mirrors are clean and clear every time you use your car, as anything that may obstruct your vision will make it dangerous to drive.

“Any kind of dirt or grime on the windscreen can be incredibly dangerous as it can impact your view of the road ahead.”

He recommended keeping a pack of wipes in your vehicle so you can quickly clean up any spillages.

He also suggested installing a small bin and cleaning out the boot regularly.

Related links:

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Brit drivers warned they face a £5,000 fine if their car is too messy