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Driving at night.

Is it illegal to drive with one headlight?

Although driving with only one headlight might not seem to be a big deal, driving without your headlights being kept in good condition can seriously reduce visibility.

Its upto you to make sure that your headlights are in a decent condition and fully working order, especially when driving at night or in bad weather conditions such as rain, heavy fog and snow. 

Tips to check your lights before setting off on a journey.

  • Make sure matching bulbs are the same in colour and brightness. If you have a bulb that isn't as bright or producing a different colour, then we recommend you arrange to have them swapped for new as soon as possible. Change the pair not just one bulb as the other will likely fail shortly too.
  • Have someone visually check that all of your lights are functioning correctly. Bad connections can often mean that within the vehicle everything seems ok, but to other road users or pedestrians they may not. An example of this is a bad earth, this can sometimes lead to other bulbs illuminating in error. Like when indicating your reverse light illuminates instead.

If you find your lights are faulty or not functioning correctly we recommend replacing them as soon as possible. Some of the replacement bulbs for cars can be found below.

On models with Xenon HID Bulbs installed, you might find that the Xenon bulb has not failed but instead the control module used to ignite the Xenon Bulb. This control module is also known as a Xenon Ballast or OEM Ballast.

Under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, "No person shall use … a vehicle unless every lamp, reflector, rear marking and device … is in good working order"

The Highway Code also states that "all lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates MUST be kept clean and clear".

Most vehicles now use plastic headlamp lenses with safety in mind. However, the UV rays from the sun can discolour them and cause a bad beam pattern and or stop the light emitting through the haze.

You can now buy special kits which include all of the products needed to restore your headlight lens to make it clear again. We recommend using branded products such as Auto Glym Headlight Restoration Complete Kit. Regardless of what you might see on social media, Toothpaste does not work. 

If found to be driving a vehicle with defective headlights the Police could issue you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence, if contested the fine could reach £1000 in court. 

The Highway Code covers headlight requirements here Headlight Requirements


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