Driver Hub  Driving advice  Rules of the road   When to use your dipped headlights
Front of car showing dipped headlights

When to use your dipped headlights

We Are Marmalade profile

We Are Marmalade

December 15, 2017

Driving advice Learning to drive 2 min read

Dipped headlights, full beam, main beam, side lights, high beam, low beam… what!? It’s easy to see why the different ways you can have your car lights on can be confusing! The majority of drivers don’t know what they mean, or when to use them, but fear not – we’ve got everything you need to know! Let’s focus on dipped headlights, shall we?

What are your dipped headlights?

Essentially, your dipped headlights are what you will use the majority of the time when you’re driving in the dark. They’re also referred to as low or dipped beam (don’t worry, it’s all the same thing). Your dipped headlights are quite possibly the most important lights you have, and they will get used a lot if you drive in the dark, in fog, early morning, the rain… a lot of the time really!

They’re basically the middle step, between just your side lights and full beam. New cars also have running lights, which automatically come on when they need to! Great, for when you hop in your car and forget to turn them on.


Top tips:

  • Use your headlights when visibility is reduced (this is when you can’t see more than 100m ahead)
  • Use dipped headlights over full beam to avoid dazzling other road users
  • Don’t get caught out! If you’re stopped by the police and your headlight is out, you could get a fine and points on your licence – check your lights regularly and replace any broken bulbs

Did you know?

  • Your dipped headlights give the impression they’re pointing straight ahead, but they’re actually angled downwards slightly. This is to make sure you don’t blind any other road users (handy, right?)
  • When driving at night and you’re using your full beam, make sure you switch back to dipped headlights when other road users are coming towards you.
  • Your dipped headlights are the brightest lights your car has, without dazzling other road users.
  • You should regularly check all the lights on your car, to make sure they are working correctly. Wouldn’t it be a pain if you’d read all this, then hop in your car to find your bulbs have gone!
We Are Marmalade profile

By We Are Marmalade

'We champion young drivers with award-winning low cost insurance for learner and new drivers and a great young drivers' car scheme.'  See more posts by We Are

Share this article

Angry man in car pointing
Learning to drive News Young driver stories 6 min read

Victims of road rage - Learner driver stories

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

October 17, 2019

As many of you know, we’re petitioning for change on how learner drivers are treated when they’re on the roads. Astonishingly, 90% of learner drivers have been subject to tailgating and overtaking when in their…Read more

Young girl in car
Driving advice Owning a car Young driver stories 6 min read

Kimberley's MOT misery

Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

September 27, 2019

Fear. Dread. Horror. No, I’m not talking about the rush of panic when you spot a spider in your bedroom. I’m talking about the stab of fright that pierces your heart when you hear the…Read more

Interior Audi A1 steering wheel
Owning a car 7 min read

Audi A1 - Chloe's review

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

March 7, 2020

As a young driver, whilst I like to think that reading reviews about cars from petrol heads will help me when it comes to choosing my car, it really doesn’t. I want to know what…Read more