Modifying the lights of your car is a popular way to personalize it. However, you should be aware of what is legal in the UK for adding under-carneons or interior lighting systems to your vehicle.
Is it illegal to have lights on a vehicle?
Legally, you can add underglow lights on your car. However, there are rules about their placement and restrictions on the colours they can be used.
We will summarize some of the regulations in The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1988. However, we recommend that you go through the entire document to verify any exceptions and make sure that your car’s neon lights don’t violate any laws.
Are you allowed to use red, green or blue underglow lights in your car?
Except for the red tail lights at each end, blue, red, and green lights cannot be seen on any vehicle except an emergency vehicle. This is to avoid your car being mistakenly identified as an ambulance, police car, etc.
This rule does not apply to just under car neon lights. Any blue, red, or green LED lighting system, washer jets, number plates, or on the windshield could lead to a Fixed Penalty Notification.
Restrictions on visible lights at the rear of vehicles
It is an offense to install any colour light visible from the vehicle’s rear. Red tail lights, amber indicators lights, white reverse lights, and lights to illuminate your number plate are the only exceptions.
Useful tips to use neon lights on your car
- Fitted neon lights should not be able to see tubing. If the light glows only from the back, you should not have a problem as long as it is not prohibited. You could be subject to a fine or fixed penalty for flouting the regulations.
- Avoid bright lights that can distract other drivers. Keep them dimmed.
- Lamps that emit a steady glow are best. Except for emergency lights, such as those on breakdown or emergency vehicles, flashing or rotating lights are prohibited.
- Do not install any lamp that has red lights in front of your vehicle
- An independent switch should allow you to turn the lights on or off.
Which headlights colors are legal in the UK
It is a UK law that all front headlights must be either yellow or white. Red must be used for rear tail lights.
Carunderglow lights and other car lighting systems should not be a distraction to you or others on the road. They also shouldn’t cause confusion about your vehicle as an emergency vehicle.
Depending on how distracting the lights are to them, sometimes police may have a different view of your car’s lighting system. Be polite and courteous when you are stopped by police. We recommend that you turn off the neons if you are asked.