Drivers who travel with their dog in the car face fines of up to £5,000 for breaching the Highway Code.

The Highway Code contains advice and rules for people on Britain’s roads.

The code was updated last month to introduce a risk-based hierarchy of road users.

But a rule pet owners should be aware of relates to having four-legged passengers in the car.

What does the Highway Code say about pets in the car?

The rule states that pets should be “suitably restrained” when travelling in the car to keep them safe if drivers are forced to stop quickly.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: "When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.

“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

So, although the image of a dog with his head out the window with its tongue out and its ears fluttering in the wind is a very enjoyable one, it can actually put you in the doghouse with the law and result in a fine of up to £5,000.

New Highway Code rules 2022 – test your knowledge

To stay safe while driving and avoid the hefty fine, ensure your dog (or any other pet) is restrained appropriately so it doesn’t distract you or hurt you or itself if you suddenly come to a stop.

The warning comes from car finance experts Zuto who also listed splashing pedestrians and wearing unsuitable footwear as habits that could lead to a fine.

Lucy Sherliker, Head of Customer at Zuto said: “Although many people are unaware of these Highway Code Rules, it’s important to know the laws of the road, not only to avoid being financially penalised, but to also keep everyone safe while driving.

“Hopefully this information along with the top tips will save some pedestrians from having an unexpected shower as well!”

For more tips on how toa void getting fined when driving, visit Zuto’s website.