Drivers confused by which lights to use and when have been given handy advice by motoring experts.

With the dark mornings and nights, the team at have simplified guidance explaining the different lights and when they should be switched on.

Dipped headlights are the ones motorists use the majority of the time with them only going on to full beam on unlit stretches of road.

Sidelights, fog lights and hazard warning lights are all explained too as well as some of the rules around using them.

Tim Alcock from said: “When you’ve been driving for some time, knowing what lights to use and when becomes second nature.

“For new or reluctant drivers, it can be a real learning curve. As well as judging when you should actually put them on, it’s also about using the right lights so you’re not dazzling other road used and putting them in danger.

“These practical tips will certainly answer those questions.”

Here is LeaseCars guide to car lights and when to use them.

Dipped headlights

These are the most commonly used and according to the Highway Code, ‘you must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced’. Seriously reduced is defined as when you are able to see less than 100m in front of you. They should be on when you’re driving at night or in bad weather.

Full beam headlights

Full beam headlights are the brightest lights and should only be used on unlit stretches of road at night. But, if there’s traffic coming the other way, you’re following another vehicle or driving on left turning bends, turn them down. They can be dazzling and may cause accidents. Never used these during daylight.

Sidelights / Parking lights

These aren’t as bright as headlights. They’re best used to make your vehicle visible when it’s not quite dark enough to use the main lights. However, the Highway Code states all vehicles must display parking lights or sidelights when parked on a road or lay-by with a speed limit above 30mph.

Fog lights

As the name suggest, these should be used when its foggy and visibility is less than 100m. Do remember not to use them when visibility is better than that as they can dazzle other drivers.

Hazard warning lights

These warn other drivers that you’re causing a temporary obstruction. They’re on all corners of your car and are the light usually used as indicators. You can use your hazard lights if you’re on a motorway and need to warn other drivers about an obstruction up ahead.


These automatically switch on when your headlights are on.

Brake lights

These show other drivers you’ve applied your brakes and are slowing down. Keep them clean and check they’re working. A faulty brake light could mean a verbal warning, fixed penalty notice and a vehicle defect rectification notice.