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Can I Drive My Car With No Brake Lights?


Several parts in your vehicle are essential to guarantee a smooth and safe ride. Lights in your automobile are one of the most essential of these parts. Car lights are essential in communicating with road users, so you might be wondering, “can i drive my car with no brake light?

The Direct answer to your question is No. All factory-fitted brake lights need to be fully functional before driving. The lights on your vehicle are incredibly significant when driving as theyaid communication between you and other road users.

What is a brake light?

A brake is an essential part of any automotive system. It is a mechanical device used to inhibit motion in a vehicle by absorbing energy, slowing it down, or bringing it to a stop. Therefore, a Brake light is a red light at the back of the vehicle that lights up when the car brakes, informing oncoming vehicles to maintain their distance.


Reasons for faulty brake lights

There are lots of reasons why your brake lights are not working. Here are some of those reasons

Light bulb: The most common reason for faulty brake lights is a blown-out bulb. You will need to confirm if they are still working. Loosen the screws from the bulb lens so you can access the main bulb and remove it from the socket. If you notice blown filaments or the bulb has darkened, you’ll need to replace the bulb.

Wiring: The electrical aspects of our automobile solely depend on adequate wiring. To confirm whether the problem with your brake is not wiring, you will need to access the wiring from the fuse panel to the brake light switch and then to the bulb sockets.

It is possible that the connection could be loose, or the bulb housing could be eroded. However, if any of these is the case, you will need to replace all affected parts.

Fuse box & brake light switch:  If there are any problems with the fuse box or brake light switch, it will affect the brake lights. You can access the fuse box from under the dashboard. If the fuse box is blown or faulty, you will need to replace it.

It is also advisable to determine why it is blown or faulty, so the problem does not return. Please note that the new one will need to be in the same amperage as the old one when replacing faulty fuse boxes.

Turn switch signal: In some modern vehicles, the brake light is part of the turn signal circuit. If compromised, the brake light will not come on. You’ll need to access the single wire connecting the brake light, turn switch signals, and back probe the wire using a test light.

Dangers of driving without brake lights

It is quite risky driving without brake lights. Especially at night when most drivers depend on light signals from fellow road users to make important decisions while driving. Brake lights notify vehicles behind that you are slowing down. Faulty brake lights can be very risky for surrounding vehicles. If an oncoming vehicle cannot see that you are slowing down, you will get rear-ended.

If I hit a vehicle without brake lights, am I to blame?

In a scenario like this, the driver who hits a car from behind is partly at fault regardless of whether the brake light in the other vehicle is working. When learning how to drive, we are sternly advised against tailgating. It is best to keep a reasonable distance from surrounding vehicles to avoid situations like this. 

What to do if you see a vehicle with faulty brake lights?

If you come across a vehicle with faulty headlights while driving, the best course of action is to maintain your distance as you cannot determine when the vehicle is slowing down or accelerating. If chanced, you can respectfully inform the driver at a traffic stop.

However, please be careful as some people might take it wrongly.

Is there a number to call and report?

No. There is no designated number to report issues like this; your best bet would be to inform the authorities. Although they might not respond as swiftly as you expect to such cases. Do not worry, highway officers have been set in place to monitor such activities.

Faulty brake light? What to do

Check vehicle manual:  When you notice faulty brake lights, you can refer to the vehicle’s instruction manual. If it is a minor fault, details on locating the problem and how to manage it will be found in the appropriate chapter.

Consult a professional expert:  However, if any of the above step does not work or is too complicated for you, please reach out to expert mechanics around you.

How often do I check my brake lights?

Brake lights can malfunction at any time as our vehicles do not possess the ability to check for these faults by themselves. It is quite common to blame the performance of our vehicles. But often these faults stem from inadequate maintenance on our part.

Many road users check their car brake lights once a year during the yearly Mot check-up. My professional advice is to check and clean our brake lights and covers at least once bi-weekly.

Is there a fine for driving without brake lights?

Yes, there is a fine for driving without brake lights. Although it all depends on the officer’s discretion and the severity of the offense. As brake lights can fail at any time, the officer might advise you to change them. Although it will incur penalties if signs indicate the brake lights lack servicing.

What are the penalties: There are two conventional penalties for driving with faulty brake lights. Offenders may have to pay a fine, which varies with location, or have their license revoked.


Finally, with the information provided in this Blog, it is evident how important brake lights are to a smooth car ride. If you have a faulty brake light and you are reading this article, please do the needed and fix it as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, Stay safe.

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