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Facts and Stats – find out if your driving habits are illegal or not!

Ok, so, we all know there are a lot of driving rules and regulations to keep up with. But I had no idea some habits are actually illegal, did you?

That’s why we asked you lovely lot what you thought, and this is what we found out:

  1. Is it illegal to drive with your pet on your lap?

    NO… but not a good idea!

    You answered: YES

    51% YES, 40% NO, 9% NOT SURE

    Driving around with your pooch on the loose isn’t illegal but is against the Highway Code. If the police think you’re being distracted by your doggo it can mean a £2,500 fine and 9 points. Best to just keep your fur baby safe in a seat belt, harness or carrier.

    Hit the books
  2. Is it illegal to drive through a puddle to splash a pedestrian?

    Ummm... YEAH!

    You answered: A smug YES

    64% YES, 29% NO, 7% NOT SURE

    Driving through puddles to splash pedestrians is illegal (and it’s just mean). It comes under driving without reasonable consideration for others and can get you 3 points, plus a £100 - £5,000 fine if it goes to court. Remember - pedestrians have feelings too.

    Hit the books
  3. Is it illegal to drive with earphones in?


    You answered: NO

    43% NO, 41% YES, 16% NOT SURE

    There’s no specific law that stops you driving with earphones or headphones. BUT, if the police think you’re driving without due care and attention you could get a fine and points. So, lose yourself in the music – just not at the wheel.

  4. Is it illegal to drive in flip-flops?

    No – but probs best you don’t

    You answered: NO

    58% NO, 35% YES, 7% NOT SURE

    Although there’s no law against it - driving in flip-flops is definitely not a wise move. Swap the footwear for something more secure and drive off into the sunshine without the danger of wedging one under the pedals.

  5. Do you think it’s illegal to eat and drink while driving?

    NO… but it’s a bit messy, best to park up and enjoy that meal!

    You answered: YES

    47.5% YES, 47% NO, 5.5% NOT SURE

    Munching a Maccy D’s while driving isn’t against the law BUT you can still get in trouble for dangerous driving if you’re not in full control of your car. So, park up and eat up before you hit the road. Ketchup on your new jeans is never a good look.

    Hit the books
  6. Do you think it's illegal to leave your car to defrost with the engine running?

    YES (I actually didn’t know this one!)

    You answered: A definite NO

    58% NO, 35% YES

    It IS ILLEGAL to leave your engine running on a public road and you can be fined £20 (doubled to £40 if it’s not paid in time). This falls under rule 123 of the Highway Code. Obviously, if it’s on your driveway, then it wouldn’t be an issue but maybe better not to risk it. Instead, stay safe and don’t drive off without clearing the frost properly first.

  7. Do you think it’s illegal to stop on the hard shoulder if it’s not an emergency?

    Sure is!

    You answered: A sensible YES!

    86% YES, 14% NO

    Unless it’s an emergency it is illegal to stop on the hard shoulder. If your car has broken down or the police tell you to stop - you’re OK, but stopping to check your phone, take a rest or have a wee could mean a fine (£100 minimum) and 3 points. So definitely go before you go.

  8. Do you think it’s illegal to drive without a MOT?


    You answered: A blinding YES!

    90% YES, 10% NO

    You're only allowed to drive your car when its MOT has expired if you’re driving to the MOT test centre. If you get stopped on the way, you'll need to be able to prove you have an appointment. If you can’t do this, then it is technically illegal. Your car insurance isn’t valid without a MOT, so put a note somewhere obvious OR sign up to get a free reminder text or email from the DVLA:

    Hit the books
  9. Do you think it’s illegal to drive if your tyres have less than 1.6mm tread depth?


    You answered: YES!

    89% YES, 11% NO

    It’s definitely illegal and will mean your MOT is invalid too. You can be fined £2,500 and get 3 points for EACH tyre with tread less than 1.6mm - that’s about the depth of the outer rim of a 20p coin. Stopping distances also increase when the tread is less than 3mm. So, grab yourself a 20p and go check yours.

  10. Do you think it’s illegal to smoke and drive with under 18's in your car?

    Yes, yes and yes!

    You Answered: A respectable YES

    90% YES, 10% NO

    If you’ve got passengers under 18 it is illegal to smoke in the car - you can be fined £50. You can also get a fine and points for careless driving if smoking means you’re driving distracted, no matter how old your passengers are.

    Hit the books
  11. Do you think it’s illegal to drive in high heels?

    No... but proceed with caution

    You Answered: A fashionable NO

    50.5% NO, 49.5% YES

    Although there’s no specific law against it - driving in high heels really isn’t the best idea. But if your outfit just CAN’T be seen without them, swap your driving flats for some heels once you’ve parked up. Jimmy Choo wants you to be safe too.

    Hit the books
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So, there you have it! You all pretty much nailed those answers! So much so, that I think I need to re-take my theory.

Hope this was useful and thanks for all your answers – you’re all clearly excellent drivers!
If you’d like more info, read up on our maintenance tips and theory test answers here.


Chelsey loves her convertible... a resident poser at ingenie. She had 5 driving instructors overall and during her practical test there was a hail storm! She still passed though - a stroke of luck or attempted sabotage from the driving gods? You decide.