Quiz: Which of these popular motoring myths is true or false?

motoring myths

There are no end of motoring myths. Most drivers will know at least a handful: sometimes they’re true, but often they’re stories that need to be shown the red light.

From the speed limit on a dual carriageway, to sounding a car’s horn in the small hours of the morning, driving in flip-flops to using an egg to repair an engine’s radiator, they can seem as confusing as the Spaghetti Junction.

To help sort the facts from fiction, we’ve pulled together 10 tricky questions for a motoring myths quiz. Which is driving delusion and which is as factual as the Highway Code?


You’re a seriously smart driver!

There’s always room for improvement on the road!

#1. Fully comprehensive car insurance always covers you to drive any other car

It’s false! Never assume that a fully comprehensive car insurance policy covers you (third party) to drive any other car. Many policies don’t, especially for those under 25, so check with the provider.

#2. An egg can repair an engine’s leaking radiator

It’s true! In an emergency, drivers have been known to pour a raw egg into an engine’s radiator to patch up a leak. However, it’s a temporary fix at best. Professional products specifically designed for plugging a leak are available.

#3. You can leave an engine idling for as long as you like

It’s false! Rule 123 of the Highway Code says the engine must not be left running unnecessarily while a vehicle is stationary on a public road. If it is likely to be stationary for more than a couple of minutes, drivers should apply the handbrake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution.

#4. It is illegal to sound a car horn between 11.30pm and 7am

It’s true! Unless another road user poses a danger, the Highway Code says drivers can’t sound their car’s horn when driving in built-up areas between 11.30pm and 7am.

#5. The dual carriageway speed limit for cars is 60mph

It’s false! Have you been driving too slowly all this time? The national speed limit is 60mph on single carriageway roads but it’s 70mph on dual carriageways, unless otherwise indicated.

#6. The left lane of a motorway is the lorry lane

It’s false! All vehicles should use the left-hand lane on a motorway. Rule 264 of the Highway Code states: You should always drive in the left-hand lane when the road ahead is clear.

#7. It’s illegal to drive while wearing flip-flops

It’s false! There is no law against driving while wearing flip-flops, or when barefoot. However, it is not recommended.

#8. Having dirty number plates could lead to a fine

It’s true! Having a dirty number plate that is illegible could result in a fine of up to £1000. Drivers should ensure they keep both front and rear number plates clean – especially in winter weather.

#9. You can be penalised for driving too slowly

It’s true! If the police deem that you’re driving too slowly for the conditions and are causing a hazard, you could be prosecuted for the offence of careless driving.

#10. Big cars are always safer than small cars in an accident

It’s false! Crash tests of cars, carried out by independent safety organisation Euro NCAP, have shown that many small cars can be safer than larger models.


53 comments on “Quiz: Which of these popular motoring myths is true or false?

  1. Eric Hayman 24/11/2017 11:42 AM

    Another poor set of questions from Green Flag. And no indication as to which are the “right” answers. Somewhat pointless.

    • Mike Shaw 27/11/2017 12:06 PM

      Hi Eric, if you look at each question, there should be a green line or a red line indicating which are wrong and right with an explanation of why the wrong answers are wrong.

      • Eric Hayman 27/11/2017 12:33 PM

        Please explain why there was no green or red line or explanation showing when I took the quiz? All that happened when I clicked on a true or false button was that the true or false button appeared.

        • Shirley Stickland 18/01/2018 10:52 AM

          go back to the questions they tell you the answers

          • Eric Hayman 20/01/2018 7:56 PM

            Right – I have now seen the thin green and red lines, but it would be nice if Green Flag explained where to look to find out if an answer is right or wrong. I said False to the egg in the rad because it does not “repair” the radiator. It may get you home. And this time the explanation below the red line for the egg trick has appeared.

    • ST 16/01/2018 6:55 PM

      Get them all correct and you don’t have to look for the red or green lines

    • Robin 22/01/2018 4:22 PM

      This wasn’t obvious to me at all and lucky that Eric asked the question or I would have ended this quiz none the wiser about whether I have correct understanding. My wrong answer was about large and small cars. NCAP tests are all very well but if I, in my small car, get hit by a truck then I am surely going to come off worse than someone in a heavier built vehicle like an SUV or 4WD. Obviously if the large car has a poor safety design, then this may not apply.

  2. Naina Hutley 25/11/2017 9:27 AM

    I found the questions interesting,however, having scored 9 out of 10 I would like to know which one I got wrong so that I don’t carry on blithely doing it!

    • Mike Shaw 27/11/2017 12:06 PM

      Hi Naina, if you look at each question, there should be a green line or a red line indicating which are wrong and right with an explanation of why the wrong answers are wrong.

  3. Edward Evans 25/11/2017 10:30 AM

    which ones did I get wrong ????

    • Mike Shaw 27/11/2017 12:06 PM

      Hi Edward, if you look at each question, there should be a green line or a red line indicating which are wrong and right with an explanation of why the wrong answers are wrong.

  4. tonycooksley 10/01/2018 4:43 PM

    There is so much good information in the Highway Code we should all take an annual refresher.

  5. angela 10/01/2018 4:57 PM

    A great test, and I don’t know why the commentators had a problem with the results – it was as clear as daylight! The only question I got wrong was the flip-flop one – I should have known, really, that it wasn’t illegal.
    Thank you, Green Flag!

  6. Lynda c 10/01/2018 6:35 PM

    Well done gree flag questions very good

  7. Alan 10/01/2018 7:31 PM

    It’s an interesting and a simple test, with an easy to comprehend result system. Green for go, answer correct and red for stop, answer incorrect. Simples!

  8. Ken owens 10/01/2018 9:45 PM

    Ken Owens. I did not see driving too slowly in the highway code

  9. daveoftruro 12/01/2018 9:27 AM

    I’d be interested to know the pass rate for each question, particularly the one about the dual carriageway speed limit. I tend to drive at about 70 and am always frustrated when people speed past me and then slam on their brakes when they see a speed camera to slow them down to 60 on a dual carriageway.

    On the other hand, I guess if they knew the speed limit was 70, they’d be driving at 90!

  10. Keith Turner 12/01/2018 11:28 AM

    Just shows that, generally, if in doubt, common sense will prevail. Certainly worked for me…..100%.

  11. m.mcquade 13/01/2018 8:14 AM

    question 7 – I put it is NOT illegal which is correct as if another driver is posing a danger you are allowed to sound your horn to prevent an accident yet it says my answer is wrong???

    • John Layton 11/03/2019 11:31 PM

      I quite agree with your comment. Also they said that you couldn’t leave your engine idling as long as you like. Well you shouldn’t but you could. Very poor wording of Q6 and 7.

  12. Anna 13/01/2018 11:23 AM

    Disappointed in the question 7 – I chose “false” and got marked as wrong, with the comment “It’s true! Unless another road user poses a danger, the Highway Code says drivers can’t sound their car’s horn when driving in built-up areas between 11.30pm and 7am.” Thing is, I chose “false” already knowing all of the above, because it *isn’t* illegal to sound your horn outside of a built-up area, or to do so if another road user poses a threat, so sounding your horn between these hours isn’t blanket-illegal as the question seems to imply.

  13. Kevin Reeve 13/01/2018 2:12 PM

    Question 7—- should be false, if another road user poses a danger you may sound the horn.

  14. Jeff Cooper 13/01/2018 2:48 PM

    There are a few anomalies regarding speed limits on dual carriageways, most will indicate the speed limit such as urban areas, however, I have come across short sections of dual carriageways where there is no indication as to the limit. This can be confusing !

    • Dave Jones 20/01/2018 11:55 AM

      There is no need for an indication of speed limit on a “derestricted” dual carriageway. The national speed limit for dual carriageways is 70mph EXCEPT WHERE SIGNED OTHERWISE.

  15. steve 13/01/2018 4:19 PM

    I am aware of the law regarding horn use between 11.30pm and 7am,however,I decided to plump for ” false” on the basis that horn usage has to be allowable in some circumstances without breaking the law!!! This question,therefore,is “questionable” and should have been phrased in a different way.

  16. Simon Rochester 14/01/2018 9:12 AM

    When I took the quiz, each question i answered the dot I pushed turned green. At the end I was told I got 10/10.

  17. David Fytche 15/01/2018 12:40 PM

    Enjoyed that, thank you.

  18. jonathan 15/01/2018 5:33 PM

    It is not illegal to honk if you need to alert another road user.
    Your answer is wrong.

  19. Steve Bennett 16/01/2018 11:10 AM

    The answers are in a green or red line under each question once you submit. Simples!

  20. Elizabeth Snow 16/01/2018 1:50 PM

    Go back to see the questions. If you got the wrong answer the true answer and explanation is given below the question. if you gave the right answer then there is no need for the explanation.

  21. Rosalynne Hannon 16/01/2018 7:42 PM

    I had no problem with the questions, I got them all correct.

  22. rosalyn jones 17/01/2018 9:45 AM

    good quiz , got 9 out of 10 not bad for somebody who took their test 40 years ago .

  23. Mel Hough 17/01/2018 2:30 PM

    Well I did get the green/red line and 9 out of 10 but sorry Green Flag it’s 10 out 10.
    Your question asks. Can an egg repair a leaking radiator. My answer no it can’t, it might stop it leaking for a while but it won’t REPAIR it and you seem to agree with that yet call it a wrong answer. Come on Green Flag if you are going to do things like this at least get it right.
    Also if anyone got the speed limit wrong then you had better get that book out and read it before you go out on road again.

    • John 17/01/2018 5:09 PM

      Ditto Mel, I got the same one “Wrong” so scored 9/10. I agree with you that this is at best a short term temporary fix that doesn’t always work. I once used a Holts Radiator repair to try and solve a leaking radiator but ended up melting a piston 50 miles later down the M4. OOPS. Thankfully it was company car. Phew.

  24. Bob 18/01/2018 10:50 AM

    It seems to me that most of those t,hat took the quiz should have gone to specsavers if they never saw the answers!!!

  25. Vaiti 18/01/2018 1:40 PM

    I got the one on flip-flops right but wanted to know the more precise ruling, so I went back and changed my answer to the wrong one to find out what they had to say.

  26. Roger Dodge 18/01/2018 2:49 PM

    I got 2 wrong but one I just pressed the wrong answer by mistake

  27. Simon 18/01/2018 4:46 PM

    Q7 in not clear enough, the rule only applies in a built up area, this is not specified in the question which was the only one I scored wrong

  28. Bokelberg 19/01/2018 12:48 PM

    I can’t understand why anyone would get any answer wrong!

  29. Rod Clarke 20/01/2018 8:53 AM

    my wife and i did the quiz and both got 100% although we did have to discuss the egg one as i agree with the above comments but my wife was right ….. again. Brill quiz and easy to do and a bit of fun.

  30. theHeatingEngineer 21/01/2018 9:34 AM

    OMG I got the one about the egg in the radiator wrong! Mind you, if I was so unaware about the condition of my car that there was a chance of a leak needing such attention then I would deserve all the inconvenience coming to me.

    I noticed a heated comment about the efficacy of a repair. Well I have seen people’s repairs and groaned… It appears to me that a repair to one person is a bodge-job to another. There is nothing in the definition of the word ‘repair’ that specifies how long the work should last.

    For example if you are repairing say your scuba air supply pipe and it lasts 2 minutes and is sufficient to get you to the surface and safety, then to me that is a Repair with a capital ‘R’!!. If I ‘repair’ something I expect it to last ‘a long time’. But sometimes it doesn’t.

    As for putting an egg in my cooling system… AAAaaaarrrrrggh! Not if I can avoid it! But then maybe… 🙂

    • Eric Hayman 22/01/2018 9:01 PM

      Maybe I should crack an egg and introduce it into the radiator circuit of my home’s central heating and hot tap water system if a rad leaks! I wonder if Fernox do an egg-based inhibitor.

  31. Philip Jones 21/01/2018 4:12 PM

    I thought the quiz interesting and worthwhile but my 1 in 10 wrong was proved right, I thought, by the answer. You can toot your horn any time if another road user is behaving dangerously – and for no reason at all if you’re not in a built-up area! The question needs rewording but there again I can see why the egg-repair-deniers are upset too. I thought Green Flag would be likely to be interested in a ‘get-you-home’ repair rather than a permanent. Perhaps all their vans carry half-a-dozen large!

  32. Pat Finn 23/01/2018 11:10 AM

    A perfectly sound road safety test ruined by a stupid question encouraging people to put animal products into a cooling system. Any sane person knows that putting an egg into a radiator is risky, and could never be considered as a “repair”. The test is supposed to highlight motoring myths, and the old egg cliché is exactly that. The sort of thing you see in black-and-white World War 2 films about people stuck in the desert under a boiling sun. All very heroic and stiff-upper-lippery, but not good advice for modern motorists.
    Next thing Green Flag will encourage us to do is stick chip oil into diesel as an anti-freeze. Most of us have more respect for modern engine and cooling systems.

  33. Robert Mcconnell 24/01/2018 9:59 AM

    Question 7. Your answer is incorrect. You CAN legally use your horn between 11.30 and 7 as It is illegal ”Unless another road user poses a danger” so the correct answer to this question is False

  34. Artie 24/01/2018 11:30 AM

    Q 5, Can you REPAIR a Rad with an Egg Answer NO you can only patch it. Temp repair’ it wont last!!!
    Q 9 go on then wear Flip Flops and when you have an accident the Police/law will fine you. That little piece of advice I found out from a case in the Papers.

  35. Tonyjen10 24/01/2018 12:07 PM

    Flipflops i can’t walk in them proplerly so how can you Drive in them properly !! 9/10

  36. jim 24/01/2018 12:28 PM

    Got 10/10 but result says 8/10 ?

  37. Simon Attle 24/01/2018 4:19 PM

    In addition to the radiator question not being entirely correct (an egg doesn’t “repair” a leaking radiator, but it can stem it enough to get you home), I have to take issue with the car horn question. Is it illegal to use it between 11.30pm and 7am? As the answer says, “Yes, unless another road user poses a danger.” But the answer could equally be stated as, “No, if another road user poses a danger.” The question did not state that another road user was not posing a danger, so technically the correct answer for the question as written should be “No”. Ambiguity is the curse of the poorly-worded question.

  38. David Kirchoff 25/01/2018 7:16 PM

    So …question 9 …you CAN use your horn ….Unless another road user poses a danger

  39. Graham Terry 27/01/2018 10:23 AM

    I got 2 questions “wrong” because I read the questions correctly! The question about sounding the horn doesn’t specify a built-up area, so I’m correct that it’s not always illegal (I knew it was in a built-up area), and the question about leaving an engine idling doesn’t specify on a public road – it’s perfectly legal on my drive, or in a motor repair garage.

  40. AJ 29/01/2018 1:23 PM

    So, I got 9/10. I dropped a point because I said “False” to Question 7 about sounding your horn late at night. I feel that the question itself is ambiguous as the answer isn’t just a case of true or false. Thinking to myself that, if you find yourself in a potential accident situation, you are allowed to sound your horn as a warning to other drivers no matter what time of day or night it is, the answer would be false.
    Also, it’s all very well telling people that the speed limit is 70mph on a dual carriage, but it would be good idea to make clear what constitutes a dual carriageway, as it’s not as simple as just the number of lanes going in each direction. Far from it. This should be clarified to avoid people breaking the speed limit unwittingly.

  41. Mark 25/08/2020 8:12 PM

    For the ones saying they couldn’t see the answers… You are aware you have to press “Finish” at the bottom of the screen right?

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