Who knows about Rule 57: The Law on travelling with dogs in cars?
Q. Does the UK have any laws on how to travel with dogs in cars?
A. Yes. Rule 57 of the Highway Code states that all dogs must be safely restrained within a car.
Q. What if I get caught?
A. Drivers face paying a fine up to £5000 and risk having their car insurance invalidated. That’s the legal bit. The safety bit is much scarier… Without being secured, your dog is at risk of being thrown across the car causing serious injury or fatality to the dog, as well as causing injury to whoever it crashes into on the way. Distressing thought. But unfortunately, it’s a reality for many.
Q. Can I just tie the lead onto the seatbelt?
A. No. To be deemed safely restrained within the body of the car, a dog would need to be wearing any well fitting harness (not a retracting type) with a suitable seatbelt attachment. Clipping an attachment straight to the collar would most certainly cause serious neck injury if the car stopped suddenly.
Q. Can I put a dog crate on the passenger seat?
A. Yes. But only if the crate is suitably FIXED in place.
Q. If a dog is loose in the boot of the car, does it still count?
A. Yes. Even in the boot of the car, dogs must be safely restrained. Either a fixed grille to close off the boot from the body of the car or a suitable sized crate in the boot of the car will suffice (suitably sized = the dog must be able to stand, sit, lie down and turn around comfortably).
Q. But I don’t want a cage in my car! Is there another way?
A. Yes. If the dog is wearing a well fitting harness, it is safe to clip one end of a dog coupler to the dog harness and clip the other end onto an anchor point in the boot of the car.
If you have any questions or would like any help choosing a suitable harness & secure attachment, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring on 07722 127 692