When to use your fog lights

fog lights

When driving in the UK, the chances are you’ll encounter fog at some point! If you start your car on a foggy day, what should you do (and not do)? And where exactly are your fog lights?

When should I use my fog lights?

This mostly comes down to common sense. If it’s foggy and visibility is low, it’s worth popping your fog lights on. If your car has automatic lights, don’t assume that they’ll come on in foggy weather as it may be a fairly sunny day, in which case the light sensor won’t detect poor visibility. Switch them on yourself if you think you need them.

Is it illegal to drive without them on?

It’s not illegal to drive without your fog lights on in foggy whether, but if you want to ensure maximum driving safety, it’s sensible to use them so you can see other cars and they can see you. Bear in mind that some insurers will be reluctant to pay out if you have an accident in foggy conditions and didn’t have your fog lights switched on.

Where can I find my fog lights?

This will depend on the type of car you’re driving. If they’re not obvious, check your instruction manual or, if you can’t find that, do a Google search for your make and model. Avoid driving off before you’ve located them, as trying to find them while you’re on the move could put you at further risk.

When shouldn’t I be using my fog lights?

Once the fog has died down and visibility has improved, it’s time to switch your fog lights off. It’s actually illegal to use your fog lights in clear conditions because front and rear fog lights can dazzle and distract other motorists.

What if I forget to turn them off?

Your dashboard lights will help to remind you to switch them off. If you can see a symbol with a headlamp on the right and wavy horizontal line with diagonal lines across it on the left, your front fog lights are on. If the lamp is on the left and the wavy and diagonal lines are on the right, your rear fog lights are on.

Will my car fail its MOT if my fog lights aren’t working?

Front fog lights aren’t a legal requirement, so your car won’t fail its MOT if those aren’t working. It will fail if the offside rear fog light isn’t working, but not if the nearside rear fog light isn’t functioning. So check your offside rear fog light regularly, and particularly before you MOT your car.

Top tips for driving in foggy weather

Other top tips to ensure driving safety in foggy weather include:

  • Driving more slowly, and with greater distances between you and the car in front
  • Braking and accelerating slowly and carefully
  • Checking your mirrors before you slow down or turn off the road
  • Keeping windows open to listen for traffic if you can’t see traffic signals or oncoming traffic at a junction
  • Using wipers and demisters to help prevent clouding on the windscreen
How to check your fog lights

You can check whether your fog lights are working at home or ask IN‘n’OUT to take a look. We can fit and supply new bulbs for your fog lights and headlamps, so pop into your local IN‘n’OUT centre today or call 0333 247 9999.