Drivers whose dogs aren’t strapped in could be invalidating their insurance

Three Huskies wait in a car for the start of a training day.

Motorists who don't strap in are subject to a £100 fine if caught – a good excuse to wear your seatbelt. But did you know that man's best friend also needs to be secure when travelling? Failing to buckle Baxter into the boot could not only be breaking the law, but it could lose you your driving license and invalidate your insurance.

That's because the Highway Code states motorists must ensure "dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly".

The recommended course of action is any of the widely available pet retention systems on the market – including seatbelt harnesses, pet carriers, dog cages or rear load area guards.

Insurance comparison website GoCompare warns that it could be more than just a driving ban if you fail to suitably retain Rover, though. Incorrectly restrained pets could actually invalidate your car insurance – meaning if you're involved in an accident, you could be responsible for damages to all vehicles and people involved.

''Driving with your pet is sometimes a necessity, whether it's a short trip to the vet or a longer trip for a weekend away – but making sure they are properly controlled is essential for the safety of everyone in the car," a GoCompare spokesperson said.

"The law is clear, you must secure your animal while in a car. Therefore if you don't do this and an animal roaming freely around the vehicle is said to have contributed to causing an accident, then an insurance company could be well within their rights not to pay out on a claim."

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