How many of these driving myths do you believe?
If you’re taking one of our hire cars or rental vans out onto the roads this week you’ll have a number of rules to follow – most obviously the Highway Code, but also the terms and conditions of your insurers and your vehicle rental company. All in all, that’s a lot of rules, so we can all probably do without adding to that number by inventing additional red tape.
So here, in no particular order, are our favourite (and occasionally eccentric) driving myths we’ve heard over the years.
It’s illegal to drive round a roundabout 3 times
No it isn’t, although you’ll find lots of people searching this question online. There is no defined number of trips round a roundabout that can constitute an offence, although the Highway Code does require you to correctly select (and get into) the appropriate lane.
Continually circling a roundabout could be seen as contravening that and leave you at risk of being charged with driving without due care and attention.
Empty doesn’t really mean empty
We’ve lost count of the times we’ve heard people saying that the fuel gauge on our rental vehicles (and all cars, for that matter) actually masks a large reserve of petrol or diesel to stop you running out of fuel.
This isn’t true. The myth may have sprung from the distinctly dodgy fuel needles in cars of the 70s which could be rather flexible with their accuracy. Today, however, whilst every vehicle does keep a small amount of fuel in reserve which varies from model top model, it isn’t much.
I’m fully comp so I can drive any car
No you can’t. Many fully comprehensive policies do enable you to drive any car, but not all. It’s not the fully comprehensive status that lets you drive other vehicles – it’s purely down to the policy provider.
I just need to warm up the car…
No you don’t. Modern cars need next to no warm-up time – and even on a cold day, 30 seconds or so should be more than enough. Any more than that and, as we explore in this post, you could be at risk of being charged with idling.
It’s illegal to eat or drink in a car
No it isn’t, but it is illegal to drive without proper care and attention. So the act of eating something whilst driving one of our hire vehicles isn’t in itself illegal, but if you need to take your hands off the wheel or take your eyes of the road etc then there’s a risk you may be breaking the law.
Speed cameras give you 10%
They don’t, although some police forces will not penalise drivers who are above the speed limit but within certain tolerances (sometimes 10% but this varies from force to force).
It’s illegal to wear headphones
It isn’t, but it is illegal to drive without due care and attention, so the question then becomes if you have headphones on, can you still hear other road users, police sirens etc? Of course, you don’t have to be wearing headphones to not be able to hear what’s happening around you. Just playing music loudly can have the same effect and could also be an offence.