Drivers across the UK are being warned over five things that their passengers could do that could land them fines totalling over £6000.

Motorists will be more than aware of the laws and regulations that they need to know about in order to drive their vehicles safely.

However, they might be less familiar with the ways that their passengers who aren't sitting behind the wheel could cost them hefty fines. 

Medical negligence expert at Fletchers Group, Charlotte Rennox, has rounded up five such ways to help raise awareness of the 'unknown' fines.

5 tips to help your car's fuel last longer

Passengers could cost drivers over £6000 in fines if they do these five things


Wearing seatbelts "has rightfully become second nature" to drivers, Ms Rennox commented.

However, it's not a mindset that is always shared by their passengers.

Charlotte added: “Seatbelt wearing became compulsory for all rear-seat occupants in 1991 and so if your passengers are found caught without a seatbelt, you could face three points on your license and a possible driving ban, even if you are wearing one.

"The main benefits of wearing a seatbelt are obvious to the fact that they can literally save your life, but ensuring that everyone in the car is wearing them before setting off could help you avoid a £100 fine.”

“Protecting children whilst driving is crucial, so it is your responsibility to ensure each passenger under the age of 14 wears a seatbelt. If you are caught you could be fined for each child not wearing a seatbelt whilst driving; that can be up to £500.” 

Estimated fine: £100


“As of October 2015, smoking cigarettes in the car with someone under the age of 18 is illegal. Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50 as a result," Charlotte said.

The medical negligence expert acknowledged that the "financial implications of this are significant", but smoking in a car with children can lead to them developing major respiratory problems in the future.

Charlotte continued:"The law does not apply to smoking e-cigarettes, to a 17-year-old driver in their own car, or driving a convertible with the roof completely down, but it is still never worth the risk.”

Swindon Advertiser: Here are five ways car passengers could cost drivers a total of £6250 in fines. ( Getty Images)Here are five ways car passengers could cost drivers a total of £6250 in fines. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Estimated fine: £50

An excess of passengers

A car shouldn't be carrying more people than it is designed for.

If a vehicle is brimming with passengers, it is not only a serious invalidation of your insurance if you are caught but can also be extremely unsafe.

Charlotte said: “Despite there being no strict laws on your car being filled to the brim with passengers, doing so can seriously invalidate your insurance if caught.

“However, having too many passengers can cause a multitude of distractions for the driver like not being able to see your wing mirrors and creating blind spots, increasing the risks of collisions.

"If stopped for careless driving, you could potentially be fined £100 on the spot .”

Estimated fine: £100


Drivers have also been warned to watch out for their furry friends. 

Charlotte advised: "They may seem like the ideal travelling companion, but they can cause many distractions for the driver.

She also noted that the Highway Code states that animals should be suitably restrained so that they cannot distract, or injure you or themselves while you are driving and have to stop quickly.

The medical negligence expert added:“Your pets won’t want to cause you any inconvenience, but if they are not restrained with a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard, you could receive an almighty £5,000 fine."

Swindon Advertiser: Not wearing a seatbelt, using a phone with a learner driver are among the ways passengers could cost drivers fines. ( Getty Images)Not wearing a seatbelt, using a phone with a learner driver are among the ways passengers could cost drivers fines. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

Estimated fine: up to £5,000

Using a phone

Motorists know that using their phone whilst driving "is illegal and extremely dangerous", Charlotte commented.

However, she asked: "Did you know that a passenger using their phone could get you fined?"

She went on to explain: “If a passenger uses their phone when supervising a learner driver, you could be hit with a fine up to £1,000 along with six points on your license.

"As the person aiding the learner driver, you are expected to also have full visibility and attention on the road, as if you were the actual driver.”

Estimated fine: £1,000