As a nation of pet lovers, Brits are risking a hefty fine and invalidating their car insurance by driving with pets roaming loose in their cars.
Taking animals on road trips is a Brit tradition, but failing to follow the rules could leave drivers facing a £2,500 fine, invalidated insurance and points on their licence.
Here’s what you need to know…
What does the Highway Code say?
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.”
Under what laws can I be fined for driving with an unrestrained pet?
Although breaching the Highway Code is not an offence in itself, you could be fined for driving without due care and attention, or not showing reasonable consideration for other road users.
This means that if your dog was sitting on your lap, for example, you could be fined up to £2,500, receive points on your licence or even face a ban for driving without due care and attention.
Why won’t my insurer pay out if my pet was unrestrained?
If an animal roaming around the vehicle is said to have contributed to causing an accident, then an insurance company could be within their rights to refuse a claim.
How can I restrain my pet in the car?
There are many pet restraints available and the Highway Code recommends a seatbelt harness, pet carrier, dog care or guard as ways of keeping you and your pet safe while driving.