DRIVERS are being warned about giving their cars a Christmas makeover as it could land them with a £1,000 fine.
Motorists who bring their festive spirit to the roads could be at risk of breaching a number of road laws.
Millions of Brits get into the Christmas spirit by decorating their homes with flashing lights, colourful wreaths and tonnes of tinsel.
But now the trend has extended to cars with drivers popping reindeer antlers and red noses onto the bonnet of their vehicles and sticking elf stickers onto their windscreens.
But can drivers legally deck out their cars for the festive season? Below is everything you need to know…
Can I decorate my car at christmas?
Drivers adding Christmas decorations to their motors could end up breaching a number of road laws, leaving them at risk of hefty fines and even a road ban.
The biggest concern is anything that could potentially fall off your car and into the path of another motorist.
Tinsel, reindeer antlers, wreaths or Santa hats stuck on the outside of your vehicle could pose a danger to other road users if they fly off while you’re driving.
Could I be fined for decorating my car?
If police see something fall from your car, or worse something flies off and causes an accident, you could be charged with “driving without reasonable consideration for other road users”, or careless driving.
Motorists adding decorations to their dashboard may also fall foul of road rules, as anything that obscures your view is considered a hazard.
The Road Traffic Act states that “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if he is in such a position that he cannot … have a full view of the road and traffic ahead.”
Obstructing your view through the windscreen could attract a maximum £1,000 fine and three points.
Am I insured if I decorate my car?
Research by Zero Deposit Car Leasing found that unless the driver has declared the festive accessories to the car insurance provider then they will not validate your cover.
This could leave you liable for the hefty bill in the event of an accident.
Even stickers could count as a modification to the vehicle.
“Thousands of motorists use car decorations to bring a touch of festive cheer to the roads,” Tom Preston Zero Deposit Car Leasing’s managing director told The Mirror.
“Yet, our research shows modifying your vehicle, with something as simple as a Christmas sticker, could invalidate your insurance if it’s not declared.
“Drivers who want to get into the spirit of the season on their daily commutes, by transforming their car into Rudolph the Red Nose Renault, should probably think again if they want to avoid having a blue Christmas this year. Bah humbug, indeed.”
Anything else to be aware of?
Yes! According to a study by General Motors, reindeer antlers and a Rudolf red nose can add to your petrol bill.
The study claimed that cars with festive accessories had an increase of three per cent in their car’s drag coefficient – meaning the efficiency drops by one mile per gallon.