Last Updated on February 28, 2022

When driving safely in foggy weather, the biggest challenge you will face is your vision. Sometimes the fog can be so overwhelming that you can only see a couple of metres ahead. Car manufacturers were aware of this and had to create a solution fast. Rear fog lights quickly became mandatory fittings in cars after October 1979, and this law is very much in effect now. Fog lights are designed to make it easier to see and be seen in foggy conditions.

Unlike standard headlights, fog lights cut through the fog by illuminating the road underneath. Ultimately reducing the problem road users will face of having the lights reflect back off the fog and adhering your vision. This is due to regular headlights being mounted higher on the front of the car, unlike fog lights which are angled downwards. As stated above, rear fog lights are a legal requirement, whereas front fog lights are not but do not worry as most cars have both.

When should you use fog lights?

 The Highway Code states that you must use headlights if you cannot see more than 100m in front of you. Likewise, you must turn your fog lights off when visibility improves to stop dazzling over drivers, or you could be challenged with a fine of £30 – a fine can also apply for not having your fog lights on when needed.

Remember to be aware of drivers not using fog lights, and don’t rely on automatic lights as these are intended to be light-sensitive, so may not change if it’s bright.

Can I use fog lights as a replacement for my headlights?

No, your fog lights should not be in use if it is clear only when you’re driving in fog. If your headlights break, you need to get them fixed straight away.

Can I drive with broken fog lights?

Front fog lights are not a legal requirement – some cars don’t even have them. That being said, rear fog lights are required by law, and if your front lights are broken, you must look into getting them fixed as soon as you can.

Need some extra practice?

Learning to drive in these conditions can be a challenge, but where you can it’s good to get experience in all conditions (if safe to do so). This is why our learner driver insurance does not have any curfews – so you can learn at a time that suits you.