DRIVERS are risking a £2,500 fine for not buckling up their pets in the car.

New research by shows a third of pet-owning drivers are failing to restrain their furry friends before setting off.

The punishments for driving with an unrestrained pet are severe due to the potential danger it can cause to the driver and other road users.

In fact, one in 10 motorists have been in an accident while a pet was in the car, or know someone who has.

And almost a tenth (8%) of drivers have had to try and prevent an accident while they were travelling with their pet in the car whetehr that was swerving, emergency braking or physically holding their pet down.

Some drivers have landed themselves in a tricky situation due to leaving their pets roaming around their cars.

One driver told they lost their excitable dog out of the car window when they stopped at traffic lights after it saw children playing outside.

Another driver found themselves on the receiving end of a fine after letting their pooch climb onto the front seat.

And cats are equally as mischievous, with one driver reporting that their feline friend settled in the footwell beside the pedals after escaping from its box.

A number of drivers admit letting their pets loose in the car.

What does the Highway Code state?

Drivers who don’t buckle up their pets are in breach of the Highway Code, which states motorists should suitably restrain all animals while driving in the car in order to preserve their safety, as well as the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users.

Effective methods of restraint, according to the Highway Code, include using a specialist seatbelt, shutting pets in a secure cage or carrier, or using a boot guard to separate pets from other passengers.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, said: “With 21 million drivers taking to the road, undoubtedly many will be joined by four-legged companions as they set off on trips across the UK. But drivers must restrain their dogs properly, or they could receive fines up to £2,500.

“Driving with an unrestrained pet can also invalidate your car insurance, meaning having to personally pay out for repairs in the event of a claim. Drivers should read our go-to guide to make sure they are complying with the law and keeping their pets as safe as possible.”