Driving With Your Dog Could Cost You a £5,000 Fine

In a shake-up of the newly updated Highway Code, motorists who travel with their canine companion in the car could face fines of up to £5,000.

The Highway Code rule states that pets should be “suitably restrained” when in a moving car to keep them safe if drivers are forced to stop quickly, or are involved in an accident.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly.

“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t travel with your pooch anymore. You cannot be fined just for having your pet in the car – and you’re perfectly entitled to put them in the front seat, too. It only becomes an issue if they are not wearing an appropriate form of restraint.

Pet owners can also opt to travel with their furry friends in the boot of the car, but they must be restrained by a harness or a dog crate and not left to roam freely in the space.

Another consideration that many pet owners are unaware of is that drivers are only covered by insurance when their pet is correctly strapped in, as all insurance policies are issued on the basis that motorists will obey the Highway Code and drive responsibly.

A failure to harness your pet correctly in the care will be seen by your insurance provider as unnecessary carelessness – and you could see your insurance invalidated in the event of a claim.

Lucy Sherliker, Head of Customer Service at car finance experts Zuto who highlighted the rule to make UK drivers aware of the potential danger and subsequent fines said: “Although many people are unaware of these Highway Code Rules, it’s important to know the laws of the road, not only to avoid being financially penalised but to also keep everyone safe while driving.”