The weird driving laws that could earn you huge fines – from carrying potatoes to eating

New DVLA rules and driving laws coming in 2022

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Carrying too many potatoes in the boot of a car may not sound like something that could earn someone a fine, but that’s the case in Australia, just one example of some of the downright bizarre rules that apply to cars and their owners around the world. Read on to find out more.

Australia
The aforementioned potato law is the result of the Marketing Act of Potatoes passed down-under in 1946, which prevents motorists from transporting more than 110lb of spuds unless they’re a member of the Potato Marketing Corporation. Which, let’s face it, is unlikely. Fines were high back in the day for the offence.
China
While sales of electric cars might be booming in the UK, over in China owning one is literally a lottery.
Because authorities cap the amount of cars allowed to be sold by fuel type, only 60,000 ‘new energy’ vehicles are permitted each year, with citizens entering a lottery to be able to buy one at odds of around 1/500.

Cyprus
Don’t be tempted to reach for a packet of Jelly Babies on a long drive in Cyprus, or even a sip of water for that matter. Eating and drinking is forbidden in the country, in fact both hands must be kept on the wheel at all times and headlights have to be on.
France
Given the amount of wine the French are famous for consuming it may not be a surprise, but all French motorists are required by law to keep an unused breathalyser in the car at all times. Although it has been the case since 2013, penalties aren’t issued for not having one.

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Germany
Perhaps counter-intuitively given the alarming speeds drivers are perfectly permitted to travel at on the Autobahn, it is illegal in Germany to run out of petrol. The fine levied for running dry is around 70 euros, or £50.
Japan
Bizarrely, and despite it possibly being unavoidable, the Japanese have to be careful when driving through puddles. Mudflaps must be fitted and speed reduced to avoid the occasionally hilarious sight of pedestrians getting splashed by water.

Mongolia
As is common knowledge, the correct side of the road to drive on is the left, however in Mongolia they drive on the right. That would be fine, were it not for the case that almost half the cars on the road are right-hand drive. The mix of left and right hand drivers is so chaotic the country is considering import restrictions.
Spain
It’s worth investing in either a very good car stereo in Spain or a hat, because sporting a pair of headphones while driving is illegal, even if talking on the phone using a hands-free kit.

Russia
While it is the law in Russia that drivers must keep their licence plate clear of mud, the rumour that the rest of the car cannot be dirty is a myth. But it’s a myth so widespread that some police officers were caught taking bribes from motorists pulled over for their car not being clean enough.
Switzerland
Aside from jokes about all cars in Switzerland having to be in neutral, the laws about how clean cars must be are also strange, as people are banned from washing their cars at home. The Swiss government bans anything contaminating entering the sewage system, including soap to get cars clean.

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