Five ways passengers & pets could land you with fines of up to £6,250 – here's how to avoid being caught out in your car | The Sun

MOTORISTS have been warned of five ways their passengers and pets could mean see them hit with hefty fines.

Five breaches of the law could see drivers slapped with penalties of up to £6,250.

With the cost of owning and running a motor higher than ever, Charlotte Rennox, medical negligence expert at Fletchers Group, revealed the five things you need to be aware of.

Here's how to avoid being caught out.

Too many passengers

While we might have all piled into one car with friends during our lives, it could actually result in a costly fine.

An excess number of passengers can see motorists slapped with fines of around £50.

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Expert Charlotte added: "Ultimately, cars shouldn't be carrying more people than they are designed for. Despite there being no strict laws on your car being filled to the brim with passengers, doing so can seriously invalidate your insurance if caught."

Too many passengers means more distractions such as not being able to see your wing mirrors or creating blind spots.

And it is worth noting that if you were stopped for careless driving you could be potentially fined £100 on the spot.


Motorists could also be hit with a massive fine for having their furry friends in the car.

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Pets roaming freely around the car can distract drivers and block their view increasing the risk of an accident.

Rules state that pets have to be safely constrained in either a belt harness, a pet crate or cage, or in the boot of an estate car with a dividing dog guard.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code says: “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."

While disobeying the Highway Code doesn't carry a direct penalty, drivers could be pulled over by police and fined up to £1,000 if spotted with their pooch's head out the window.

That could then escalate to a failure to drive with due care and attention – also known as careless driving – which carries a maximum fine of £5,000 and nine penalty points if the case goes to court.


You could be hit with a fine of £100 for not wearing your seatbelt.

And while it is almost second nature to strap yourself in, you could also be in trouble if your passengers don't do the same.

If your passengers are found caught without a seatbelt, you could face three points on your license and a possible driving ban, even if you are wearing one.

Charlotte said: "The main benefits of wearing a seatbelt are obvious to the fact that they can literally save your life, but ensuring that everyone in the car is wearing them before setting off could help you avoid a £100 fine."

And if you have children under 14 as passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt, you could be fined up to £500 for each child.


Smoking cigarettes in the car with someone under the age of 18 is illegal and could see both driver and smoker slapped with a £50 fine.

While the law does not apply to smoking e-cigarettes, to a 17-year-old driver in their own car, or driving a convertible with the roof completely down, it is still never worth the risk.

Using a phone

Driving while using a phone has long been illegal but you can be fined £200 for even touching your phone while behind the wheel. 

There's also a chance you could be taken to court and fined a maximum of £1,000 along with six points on your license.

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It's been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving since 2003, but rules have been toughened up since.

You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last two years.

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