Honking the horn is commonplace for many drivers in America when they see a friend they know or when they want to alert another driver to an illegal practice that they have just performed. But is it legal to honk your horn in the UK? If so, when is it appropriate to do so?
Illegal Use of the Horn in the UK
It is important to be aware of what the Highway Code has to say about honking the car horn so that you do not face a fine. Remember that ignorance of the law is not a good excuse when a police officer pulls you over.
According to Rule 92 of the Highway Code, it is illegal to honk your horn in the UK when your vehicle is stationary on the road (i.e. to alert someone that you have arrived to pick them up) or while you are driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11:30.p.m. and 7:00.am except when another vehicle poses a danger. It is also illegal to honk your horn aggressively.
When Can You Honk Your Horn in the UK?
Drivers can legally honk their horn in the UK while their vehicle is in motion to alert other road users of their presence, such as when they are faced with an emergency situation or immediate danger. For example, if a road traffic accident seems imminent, it is advisable to honk your horn to alert the other driver of the impending danger.
Honking your car horn in a non-emergency situation in the UK while your car is stationary can land you in trouble with the law, and you can receive a fine for the non-emergency use of your horn. That is why you should never honk your horn while your vehicle is stationary on the road or while you are driving through a built-up area between the hours of 11:30.p.m. and 7:00.a.m, except in cases when another vehicle poses a danger; nor should the horn be used aggressively. The horn should only be used to alert other drivers of your presence or warn of danger. Illegal use of the horn in the UK can result in a fine.
Findley’s Driving School, The Highway Code.