Drivers not checking their mirrors is a regular cause for road-rage-induced shouting, and for good reason, as failure to check is a common reason for accidents on the road. Since their introduction to the motor car, mirrors have helped drivers see in their blind spots and made motoring that little bit safer. As motoring has evolved, as have the laws surrounding it – and mirrors are no different. Here, Scrap Car Comparison guides you through all the laws around cars and their mirrors.
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Why do you need car mirrors?
Mirrors are an integral safety feature on any vehicle, be it a car, van, bus or whatever. While your eyes should remain on the road ahead as much as possible, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings, and your mirrors allow you to achieve that. Their importance can’t be understated, and it’s for that reason that one of the first things you’ll learn when behind the wheel is ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’. Minimising blind spots is an important aspect of a car mirror’s role, and could potentially allow you to see an oncoming car or bike that you otherwise would have missed, and could prevent a potentially serious incident.
Can you drive without a rear-view mirror?
The law surrounding mirrors can look quite complicated from the outside, with various different wordings depending on when your vehicle was built and what its purpose is. In some vehicles built before 2010, a nearside wing mirror will suffice in place of a rear-view mirror, whereas all vehicles built after 2010 must include offside, nearside and internal mirrors – unless the internal mirror cannot provide an adequate view of the rear.
The full regulations surrounding rear view mirrors can be found on the Gov.uk website, with details for all types of vehicle, split into their own specific categories.
Can you drive with damaged wing mirrors?
If the damage to your mirror is light enough that you can still see in it, then you are able to carry on driving in this instance. However, it’s worth remembering that the damage is likely to have significantly reduced the visibility in your mirror, meaning your safety is equally as reduced. Even if it’s just minor damage, getting the mirror repaired as soon as possible should be a priority.
If the mirror is damaged to the point where you can’t see anything out of it at all – or perhaps the mirror itself has gone, then that will be an offence and will need replacing immediately.
Is it legal to drive without wing mirrors?
In short – no. But there’s, unsurprisingly, a little bit more to it than that. Your offside mirror (driver’s side) is a legal requirement and you must have one of these fitted at all times while driving. A nearside (passenger’s side) mirror is a little bit more complex, however. You can get away without having a nearside mirror, but only if an internal mirror is fitted which can provide an adequate view of the rear. In any case, it’s safer to have both nearside and internal mirrors fitted, so having all three feels like a no-brainer to us.
What to do if your wing mirror is broken
If your wing mirror is broken but you can still see out of it, then you should aim to get it repaired as soon as you can, but you can still go about your business before you’re able to carry out the repair. However, if the mirror is smashed or hanging off, then this must be repaired immediately. The DVSA states “each mirror must be fixed to the vehicle in such a way that it remains steady under normal driving conditions” – remember if it was to fall off then it could fly into the car behind you inflicting yet more damage and potentially causing an accident. It’s also worth remembering that it will be checked in an MOT test, so it’s not worth failing for something as easily noticeable as a broken mirror.
Get the best price with Scrap Car Comparison
If your car’s mirrors are the least of your worries and are just the latest in a long line of issues, then it may be time to send it off on one final journey. By using Scrap Car Comparison’s industry-leading service, you’re guaranteeing yourself the very best price for your car, no matter its condition. Working with buyers in all four corners of the country, all of which are certified, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re never too far from our service and that your old car will be recycled in line with all rules and regulations. All you need to provide us with is a registration number and postcode and within 60 seconds we’ll find you the very best price for your car or van.