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Driving With Kids - Fines and Driving Laws You Need To Know!

23 September 2023

As parents, we're all too familiar with the challenges of driving with children in the car. Whether it's the constant "Are we there yet?" or the occasional bickering, it can be a test of patience. However, what many parents may not be aware of are the fines and driving laws associated with transporting children in vehicles. In this blog post, we'll delve into the important regulations and fines you need to know when driving with kids in the UK.

The Laws You Might Not Know About

Seat Belt Regulations

In the UK, it's mandatory for all passengers, including children, to wear seat belts when the vehicle is in motion. Here's what you need to know:

  • Children aged 12 and over: They must wear a seat belt in the front and back of the vehicle.

  • Children aged 3 to 12, or up to 135cm tall: They must use an appropriate child restraint, such as a booster seat with a seat belt.

  • Children under 3, or up to 135cm tall: They must use a suitable child car seat.

The fine for not complying with these seat belt regulations can be up to £500. More importantly, not using the appropriate child restraint or seat can put your child at significant risk in the event of an accident. 

Using a Tablet To Play Children’s Shows

When it comes to trying to occupy a bunch of rowdy children in the back of your car on a long drive, it can seem almost impossible to calm them down once chaos ensues.Particularly on long journeys, it's not unusual for parents to give their children a tablet, phone, or similar device to watch during their journey.

Whether they are watching their favourite episode of Peppa Pig or a Superhero Marvel movie, this could land you in some trouble.

If the driver so much as turns to adjust the screen or help the child, it's comparable to using a handheld mobile device that impedes proper control of the vehicle. Whether you are on the move, stopped at traffic lights, or queuing in traffic the law still applies.

Drivers found to be breaking this can face a whopping 6 points on their licence and a £200 fine.

Child Locks and Windows

It's essential to ensure child safety locks are activated on car doors to prevent children from opening them while the vehicle is in motion. Also, never allow children to stick their heads or arms out of windows. If your child's actions are deemed to have distracted you from driving safely, you could face fines and penalty points on your license. 

If a door was to open mid-drive caused by some little fingers fiddling with the car door latch, it could cause careless and reckless driving, resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 and the loss of your licence in a more serious event.

Ensuring your car is suitably child-locked will make sure those little fingers can fiddle with handles all they wish without the risk of opening a door.

Listening To Children’s Music Too Loudly

This one may have never crossed your mind, as road trips with the children can be a lot of fun, and can help create sing-a-long memories for all.

Whether you are blasting musical theatre tunes, some chart pop hits, or your children’s favourite theme songs, Rule 148 of the Highway Code states that you should avoid any distractions from driving, including listening to excessively loud music.

Whilst carpool karaoke is a must on many of our road trips, ensure you are keeping the volume down enough that it won't be a distraction to avoid a fine of up to £5,000! 

Tips For Driving With Kids

Embarking on a road trip with children can be both exciting and challenging. While the open road offers adventure, long hours in the car can lead to restless, bored, and irritable kids. However, with some clever planning and a bit of creativity, you can turn your car into a fun and enjoyable space for the little ones.

  1. Create a Comfortable Environment: Ensure your child's car seat or booster is correctly fitted for maximum comfort and safety. Additionally, consider adding some soft cushions or blankets to create a cosy space.

  2. Audio Entertainment: Load up on audio entertainment. Audiobooks, children's songs, and educational podcasts can captivate young minds and keep them engaged. Invest in quality headphones for older kids to prevent noise conflicts.

  3. Interactive Games: Simple games like "I Spy," "20 Questions," or "License Plate Bingo" can be a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged. Make it competitive with small prizes for winners. See our helpful ideas here

  4. Snacks: Pack a variety of snacks. Healthy options like carrot sticks and grapes are great, but a few treats like cookies or chips can make the journey more enjoyable. Just watch out for crumbs!

  5. Stop Regularly:  Plan regular stops for bathroom breaks, stretching, and short walks. Letting the kids burn off some energy at a rest area can make a world of difference.


Driving with kids can be an enjoyable adventure with the right planning and creativity. By incorporating these tips into your travel routine, you can keep your children entertained, happy, and safe during those long car journeys. Knowing and following the relevant driving laws not only helps you avoid fines and penalties but, more importantly, ensures the safety and well-being of your young passengers.

Always use appropriate child car seats, ensure seatbelts are correctly fastened, and minimize distractions. Remember that these laws are in place to protect your children, so it's crucial to adhere to them diligently. By doing so, you'll not only keep your loved ones safe but also set a responsible example for them as they grow and eventually become drivers themselves.