I’m a car expert: here’s when and when not to use your fog lights

As the days get darker, drivers across the UK will be looking for ways to stay safe on gloomy roads. While many will turn on their fog lights to help other drivers see them, Peter Waddell, motor expert and CEO of BigWantsYourCar.com, has stepped forward with a warning.

“It’s a common misconception that fog lights must always be on during winter or rainy weather. However, their misuse, particularly in clear conditions, can result in a £30 fine and points on your licence.

“In the lead up to Christmas, the last thing any of us want is to have to fork out extra money for a simple mistake like this.”

Is it Illegal to Drive Without Fog Lights?

“Many drivers don’t know that it is actually illegal to use your fog lights when they are not needed,” Waddell explains. “This is because they can do more harm than good, dazzling other drivers and potentially causing other accidents.

“This is why we always encourage drivers to only use their fog lights when necessary. When visibility drops below 100 metres – roughly the size of a football pitch – failing to use your fog lights can be incredibly dangerous.

“Foggy conditions can build up quickly, sometimes without us even noticing. And, while a football pitch might seem like a big distance, the importance of keeping a close eye on visibility can’t be overstated.”


When Should I Use My Fog Lights?

“We recommend using fog lights when visibility is significantly reduced, such as in heavy fog or mist where you can’t see more than 100 metres ahead. This is not just a safety practice but a requirement according to the Highway Code to ensure you and other road users are safe.”

“The primary function of fog lights is to enhance your visibility during dense fog. Drivers should remember to switch them off once conditions improve, as unnecessarily illuminated fog lights can dazzle other drivers and lead to dangerous driving situations.”


How Do I Turn My Fog Lights On?

“We encourage drivers to familiarise themselves with their vehicle’s fog light controls, which vary depending on the car model. Usually, it involves activating the headlights first, followed by locating and operating the fog light control, often found on the indicator stalk or a dashboard button.”

“Knowing how to activate your fog lights is an essential aspect of vehicle knowledge. This can typically be done by engaging your headlights and then using a specific control for the fog lights, such as rotating a part of the light stalk or pressing a dedicated button. Always check your vehicle’s manual for accurate guidance.”