Millions of motorists confused by driving laws

Millions of motorists across the UK commit driving offences they didn’t know existed, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by found that nearly one in four (23%) UK drivers – equivalent to nine million(1) – say there are so many motoring offences they don’t know what’s legal or illegal. And it’s this lack of knowledge that could land motorists with thousands of pounds worth of fines.

More than six million drivers have dodged a fine of as much as £5,000 for driving through a puddle and splashing a pedestrian(2). One in six (16%) drivers have committed the offence, either accidentally or deliberately, but didn’t receive a fine. The research also proves that not many motorists knew they could be fined for doing so, as nearly one in six (16%) admit they were in the dark about it.

And this isn’t the only offence that might leave motorists confused if they found themselves on the receiving end of a fine.


Offence No. of motorists unaware of offence(4) No. of motorists who have committed the offence(4) Maximum punishment
Driving through a puddle and splashing a pedestrian 6.5 million (16%) 6.5 million (16%) £5,000(2)
Eating while driving 12 million (30%) 21 million (50%) £100(5)
Charging a passenger and making a profit Eight million (20%) 1.6 million (4%) £2,500(6)
Flashing another driver to warn them of a speed camera Eight million (21%) 10 million (24%) £1,000(7)


And it’s these sorts of offences that could cost motorists thousands of pounds in fines if they were caught on the spot or taken to court. To prove how much drivers could have faced in fines for these lesser-known offences, has launched a driving fines checklist. You select from a list of unknown or uncommon driving offences to calculate just how much you’ve potentially dodged in fines. Some may feel confused about how their total is so high. To help clear things up, has created a guide to explain why some of these offences are illegal, and how drivers can be caught out.

But according to motorists, the sheer number of motoring rules they must obey is baffling. And a further one in five (22%) think some motoring laws are unfair.

Although, some drivers are taking the risk in committing offences that carry very clear punishments. More than half (56%) admit to breaking the speed limit. One in 10 (11%) have driven while knowing they’re over the legal alcohol limit. And one in four (25%) have used their mobile phone while driving. It’s no secret that these offences can lead to hefty fines, points on your licence or even a driving ban.

It’s impossible to police every single car on the road. And worryingly, one in four (25%) admit there are some motoring offences they know they are unlikely to get caught doing. But maybe understanding how expensive the repercussions can be is enough to prevent them from breaking the law. This is where’s driving fines calculator can help.