Drivers are being warned that driving with their pet in the car can not only mean they could face a £5,000 fine as well as invalidating their car insurance.
According to new research published by uSwitch.com, an overwhelming 69% of drivers say they travel with their pet in their car – with a fifth of these saying they were unaware of laws concerning driving with animals and admitting they do not secure their pet with a safety restraint.
By failing to do so, you are in violation of rule 57 of the Highway Code which 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. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
Motorists who are judged to be distracted by their pets can receive a £100 on-the-spot fine and failure to pay can result in prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.
Additionally, most insurance companies do not cover motorists who are found to have been driving with an unsecured pet and in the case of an accident, payouts can be withheld.
It is also highly unlikely that your pet would be covered by your car insurance, so if you do travel with your pet – ensure that their insurance is up-to-scratch.