The Halloween season is upon us, and this year, car decorations have taken centre stage. Experts at Leasing Options have analysed TikTok and Google searches to unveil the most popular ways to decorate vehicles for Halloween. However, they also caution car owners to be mindful of safety and legal regulations to avoid hefty fines.
According to Leasing Options' analysis, Halloween car decorations have experienced a staggering 62% surge in popularity based on Google searches over the past month. On TikTok, the hashtag #HalloweenCar has amassed over 15.4 million views, indicating the growing trend's appeal worldwide.
Originating in the US as Halloween tailgating, commonly known as 'Trunk or Treat', the trend has now gained momentum in various countries as an additional means of embracing the spooky spirit of Halloween.
If you plan on jazzing up your car for Halloween, Leasing Options offers essential tips to ensure safety and prevent any potential fines, particularly for car owners in the UK.
1. Blood handprints and stickers:
Stickers are a popular choice to add a touch of fright to your vehicle temporarily. However, it is essential to choose stickers that won't damage your car's paintwork or leave residue on your windows.
Furthermore, when applying stickers to your windows, ensure they do not obstruct your view of the road or surroundings. Failure to adhere to this could result in fines of up to £2,500, driving bans, or three penalty points for driving under dangerous conditions. It is important to note that obstructed views due to excessive stickers and decorations may also invalidate your insurance in the event of an accident.
2. Arm sticking out of the boot:
While staging a fake arm protruding from your trunk may seem like a spooky idea, it is advised against. This particular decoration choice is seen as inconsiderate towards other drivers and pedestrians. The Road Traffic Act 1988 clearly states that driving "without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place" is an offense.
Violating this rule could lead to being stopped by the police, with potential fines of up to £5,000. Additionally, if the fake arm covers your number plate, you may face an additional fine of £1,000. To prevent encountering legal troubles, it is advisable to avoid this type of decoration.
3. Covering your car in spider webs:
Spiderwebs have long been associated with Halloween, and now car owners are incorporating them into their decorations. However, if you plan on using spider webs, ensure they do not obstruct your view of the road and surroundings. Failure to do so may result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points on your licence.
4. Covering your seats with spooky seat covers:
Halloween-themed car seat covers can add a touch of spookiness to your vehicle's interior. However, it is crucial to choose covers that are not offensive and do not interfere with your ability to drive safely.
5. Turning the boot into a Halloween scene:
Many car owners enjoy showcasing eerie Halloween scenes inside their open boots to entertain trick-or-treaters. However, it is crucial to only do this when your vehicle is stationary. If you plan on driving with a decorated boot, ensure everything is securely fastened, your number plate remains visible, and your rearview mirror is unobstructed. Failure to abide by these measures could lead to fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for dangerous driving.
6. Changing the headlight colours:
While some may feel tempted to change their car's headlight colours or add additional coloured lights to embrace a Halloween theme, it is important to note certain rules.
It is an offence to have red lights at the front of your car, white lights to the rear (unless reversing), or neon lights under or on the side of your car. If you have these, you can receive a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice.
There are certain colours that are only allowed to be used by certain job roles, for example green lights can only be fitted on Medical Practitioner vehicles, whilst blue lights can only be used by emergency vehicles. If you are caught using these, you risk a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice and could be reported to court.