Euro 2024: Insurance expert warns England football fans to watch out for £2.5k fines

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  • As Euro 2024 approaches, fans are eager to show their support attaching flags to cars
  • An insurance expert has warned this could have financial repercussions if not done correctly
  • Improperly attached flags are considered unsecured loads, leading to fines of up to £2,500
  • Flags should not exceed vehicle width, must be secure and cannot obstruct views
  • By understanding and following the rules, fans can celebrate their team's success and avoid costly penalties

As the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany approaches, England and Scotland fans are eager to show their support for their home nations.

This enthusiasm often includes hanging giant flags from homes, but you’re also likely to see football fans attaching flags to their cars, giving them the look of a patriotic motorcade as long as their team remains in contention.

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But ahead of kick-off, an insurance expert has warned about the hidden dangers of these displays of national pride, which could have financial repercussions.

Chris Richards, founder of the insurance comparison site SimplyQuote, has pointed out some of the potential risks associated with decorating cars with flags.

He says: “The excitement of the big game, the final whistle, your favourite team clinching victory. Naturally, you want to celebrate.

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“You drape yourself in the team’s colours, turn up the radio and drive around town with a football flag fluttering from your car. This is a scene repeated countless times across the UK.

“But the law can turn this joyous ride into a costly mistake. In the heat of football fever, it’s easy to forget that displaying flags on vehicles is subject to specific rules.”

An England flag to support the English team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany on a car  (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)An England flag to support the English team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany on a car  (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
An England flag to support the English team for the 2006 World Cup in Germany on a car (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) | Getty Images

What not to do

Chris says: “Driving with flags is a tradition... but it’s crucial to understand the legalities to avoid unwanted penalties. What seems like harmless fun could land you a hefty fine.

“While celebrating your team’s success it’s important to keep road safety at the forefront. What starts as a celebration could quickly sour if you aren’t mindful. A misplaced flag can lead to fines that eclipse the joy of a win.”

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Flying flags incorrectly from cars can violate multiple laws. For instance, an improperly attached emblem is considered an unsecured load, which could trigger a £300 on-the-spot fine or a court appearance, where the penalty could rise to a maximum of £2,500.

Driving with a flag that obstructs the driver's view is also an offence, carrying a £100 fine and penalty points, while attaching any kind of flag or memorabilia to number plates can result in a £1,000 fine.

How to fly flags safely

Chris says: “Driving flags are an extension of your celebration, a sign of unity and joy. Let’s keep it that way. Understand the rules, follow them, and enjoy the victory dance safely.”

Firstly, flags should not exceed the width of your vehicle, and oversized flags can obstruct your view or that of other drivers. Choose smaller flags that fit within your car’s dimensions, reducing the risk of blind spots or flags being blown away.

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Flags must also be securely attached to the vehicle. Loose flags can fly off, becoming road hazards and causing accidents or disruptions. Use proper flag mounts that clip securely onto windows or car doors.

Flags must not obstruct the driver’s view, directly or through mirrors. Place flags where they do not block any mirrors or your line of sight, and avoid placing them on rear windows as they can obstruct your rear view.

Ensure your vehicle can move safely without the flag interfering with driving or other vehicles. Flags also cannot cover your number plates, as obscuring them is illegal and can result in hefty fines.

Double-check that none of your flags cover any part of your registration plates before driving off.

Keep up to date with all things Euro 2024 with Shots!, which will be bringing video coverage from the tournament including football, fans and fun.

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