Parking Lights – Something You Should Know About NOW!

It is actually a legal requirement for any vehicle to have working sidelight lights. In many countries, if you don’t leave them turned on, you are breaking the law. For example, The United Kingdom. Every single automobile on the road in the UK must have sidelights, by the law.   

 However, for many car owners, the parking lights are still a puzzle. Many of the drivers still do not use the lights as they are intended for. Some of them don’t even know the definition of these lights. Nevertheless, there is a reason why they create parking lights. Today, we are going to discuss things on parking lights and how you should use them.

What Are The Parking Lights? The Answer!

The parking lights are the tiny lights mounting on both the front and rear side of a car. Notice the low-powered, small lights in or separate to the headlight? There they are. These lights are created to highlight the extremities of the car in bad weather.

People still use them as an alternative to headlights when it is not completely dark to help them drive the road. Even though they cannot illuminate the road ahead, they can make the vehicle more visible in failing light.

Parking lights or sidelights are the small amber-beamed lights that you can notice near the headlights of your car. The car manufacturers use the concept on both sides of the front and rear so the traffic can be aware when the driver lights them on.

If you own a vehicle that has a manufacturing date before 2011, you may need to turn on the lights manually. The case is opposite with the modern automobiles where they light up automatically whenever you take a turn, or you can always control the lights yourself.

The parking lights symbol appears in the instrument cluster whenever it is on. While driving the car, you should always keep them on if it is the time right before the night and sunrise.

Parking Lights- Do you know all about it?
You should always keep them on if it is the time right before the night and sunrise (Photo Source: carsguide)

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Using the parking lights carefully saves you from unnecessary hassle from the traffic management and keeps you safe while driving. However, you should never use these lights unnecessarily.

How To Use The Parking Lights?

If you have an automobile built before 2011, it is most likely that you will need to turn on the sidelights by hand. In order to check, car owners can just start the engine of their cars and ensure it is in neutral condition. Or, you can park if the car has an automatic gearbox and apply the handbrake fully. After that, hop out to check if the sidelights are on or off. If they are on, then you are good to go. However, if they are off, car owners must either turn a selector knob or the lighting column stalk on the dashboard. You want to turn them to the position between off and dipped headlights. 

On the other hand, if you are having newer automobiles, the light sensors will automatically turn the sidelights on. Along with that, they also turn the ambient outdoor light as well as dipped beam headlights on. And in order for this function to be activated, car owners need to switch the lighting control to automatic. 

Parking lights on a car were manufactured to help you during the parking. These lights are used to aware people when you slow down the car. Other drivers on the road get an idea by seeing those indicators blinking. These indicators are parking lights, and using these while parking your car is mandatory.

These lights come to great use other than parking, such as when you want to warn the other drivers that something is wrong with your car. In any hazardous situation the failure of brakes or issues like traffic jam can be indicated using the car parking lights.

Rules Of Using Parking Lights

There are specific rules of using these lights, and one of them is keeping the parking lights on even when the car is parked. Though most drivers shut them off once they park the car successfully, you may be penalized for breaking the law; however, it always depends on the country you drive in. In some places, not obeying the parking light rules can be taken seriously. And in other ones, it can be casual to park your car without keeping the parking lights turned on.

So, on your query what are parking lights used for, these lights came into existence to make other drivers aware if you are taking a turn or halting the car. The concept uses dim lights, so the battery does not get out of power, and you can keep them on in the parking area.

In some cases, people do not use these car parking lights once they park the car with the thought of saving the battery. Though it is acceptable and you should always check with your country’s law what it says about the parking lights. However, while driving, you should always make use of the parking lights whenever necessary and keep the risk of meeting with the accidents at a minimum. 

Be Winter – Ready With The Parking Lights

Sidelights also make the number plate to illuminate which contributes to safe driving in winters. It lets the other drivers see the vehicle when there is fog all around. Some automobiles also allow for one side parking lights only that saves the battery while hinting other drivers on the path. The individual car parking lights come to use and save some power in the battery as we compare it to the case when both sides are lit up.

The newer automobiles use the automatic approach in which the side light switch stays on all the time. When the headlights do not come in use, the parking lights remain in use until you turn the ignition off. That is why these lights are known by the name daytime running lights. There are different types of parking lights such as the indicator-based, separate lamp, and the headlight housing; learn the method to turn them on accordingly.

Parking Lights- Is that what you know about it?
The newer automobiles use the automatic approach (Photo Source: wired)

When to Use Parking Lights?

On the authority of the Highway Code, Section 249, all automobiles must display parking lights when parked on a road or a lay-by with a speed limit greater than 30mph. With this law, it is impossible to park on faster roads at night for long periods. The reason for this is the battery. Leaving parking lights on for a long time will drain the battery of your vehicle heavily.  

However, when parked on a road with a speed limit of less than 30mph, there is no requirement to turn on parking lights as long as the car is parked in a parking place. Another situation is when the lay-bylt is around 10 metres from a junction, which is faced in the traffic flow’s direction and close to the kerb. 

Another thing to note from the Highway Code is that it advises car owners to avoid parking on the road in fog weather conditions. If it is the emergency, drivers must leave parking lights on. 


Parking lights are always a great help in driving. They let others know if you are taking a turn or slowing down the car. They help with additional warnings too so the other drivers can be alert and handle their driving well. Make sure you read out the parking lights laws of your country. Follow them to be safe against any prosecution.