Most UK drivers are aware of the more obvious rules of the road.  As such, they’re typically in a good position to avoid making many of the kinds of mistakes that can result in paying a hefty fine. Even if most drivers break the rules on occasion, they at least know what the rules are and where to draw the line.

Interestingly though, there are dozens of much lesser known driving laws that also carry potentially severe punishments. In this instance, we’re talking about the kinds of driving laws the vast majority of drivers have absolutely no knowledge of. Nevertheless, find yourself slapped with a fine for any of them and pleading ignorance isn’t going to help.

So for those who would prefer to stay out of trouble and not end up out of pocket, here’s a brief rundown of 10 ways to earn a hefty fine you probably didn’t know about:

1.  Dirty number plates

Number plates exist for a reason. If it’s impossible or difficult to read your number plate, there’s no realistic way of identifying your car or its owner.  Hence, number plates obscured by dirt can result in an on the spot fine of £50.  In more severe cases, you could be looking at a whopping £10,00 on top of additional court fees. Long story short – a clean car is a happy car!

2.  Clearing the way for emergency vehicles

If you’re anything like most drivers, you probably panic the moment you hear sirens and see flashing lights somewhere in the vicinity. You instinctively do whatever you can to get out of the way, thinking you’re doing nothing but a good thing. In reality, run a red light, enter a bus lane, break the speeding limit or position your car somewhere dangerous and you’ll still be in for a potentially huge fine and penalty points on your licence. Even if doing so allowed the emergency vehicle to pass through safely.

3.  Parking on the pavement

Particularly in crowded and congested places like London, parking on the pavement causes a huge headache for pedestrians. The simple fact of the matter being that unless it clearly states that you can and should park on the pavement, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Mount the curb to even a modest extent in the wrong place and it will cost you £70. 

4.  Not updating your driving licence

Should you change your address or perhaps your surname for any reason, it’s your responsibility to ensure the changes are reflected on your driving licence immediately. It doesn’t cost anything to do so, but failing to do so will cost you up to £1,000 in penalties. 

5.  Splashing pedestrians

It happens by accident from time to time, but is nonetheless a huge mistake if you get caught in the process. Responsible motorists are required to ensure that they do not drench pedestrians by driving through puddles right next to them.  Believe it or not, doing so can be prosecuted as a criminal offence with a maximum fine of £5,000. 

Stay tuned for the second half of our two-part post, coming soon!