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Road Users

Fog lights

The use of fog lights and requirements for various vehicle types.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

Front fog lights are not mandatory, but some vehicles may have them fitted. All new cars since 1998 are required to be fitted with rear fog lights.

The Road Traffic Lighting of Vehicles Regulations 1963 to 2014 S.I. No. 189 of 1963 outline which lights a vehicle must be fitted with and how or when they must be used. Fog lights must only be used in dense fog or falling snow. Fog lights must be switched off when visibility improves. 

Fog lights are extremely bright and powerful and if used when there is no dense fog or falling snow can cause glare and dazzle other drivers which is illegal under the road traffic lighting of vehicles regulations.

Fog lights should be replaced with ‘like for like’ and type-approved where possible showing e-mark. If in doubt, contact your vehicle manufacturer or authorised distributor for exact specifications.

You will need to contact the original manufacturer or authorised distributor.

Front fog lights should be either white or selective yellow.

Rear fog lights should be red – this can be a red bulb in a clear lens, a red lens with a clear bulb or a combination of both red bulb and red lens.

It is not mandatory for fog lights to be fitted to vehicles however where fitted they must work otherwise the vehicle will fail its roadworthiness test. For further information see the' Reasons for failure' in NCT and CVRT Manuals.

It is illegal to make changes to a vehicle which may increase the danger liable to be caused thereby the removal of a fog light could be construed as such and therefore illegal to remove.

Front fog lights are not mandatory to be fitted to HCV’s, but where they are fitted, they must be working.

Rear fog lamps are mandatory to be fitted to HCVs. If there is only one rear fog lamp, it shall be on the right-hand side of the vehicle.

Related pages

Vehicle lighting

Regulations on colours of vehicle lights, including fog lights, parking lamps and side-marker lamps

Vehicle components

Information and regulations for important vehicle components including lights, seat belts, glass and tyres.