When to use your dipped headlights

Here's the lowdown on when and how to to use your dipped headlights


By Marmalade Author

Updated on Dec 4th, 2020

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!

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By Marmalade Author

Providing tips and advice for young drivers on all aspects of driving - from getting through the driving test to buying and running your first car.

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