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Is it Legal to Drive with a Broken Wing Mirror?

Reading time 4 minutes • Last updated on March 9th, 2021

Categories Driving Law »

Is it Legal to Drive with a Broken Wing Mirror?

Last updated on March 9th, 2021What does this mean?

With many drivers, having to park their cars on the road or other high-risk places such as shared car parks, their vehicles are unfortunately prone to wing mirror damage.
broken offside wing mirror

Whether caused by a passing car driven carelessly or by a large vehicle squeezing down the road, wing mirrors can often be easily broken, smashed or removed completely.

Wing mirrors can also be damaged by vandals, even when the car in question is parked safely on a private driveway.

Not only does this cause the driver of the damaged vehicle a great deal of inconvenience as well as the added stress and financial burden of having to pay for the damage, there are also legal implications associated with having a damaged wing mirror.

Vehicle Mirrors

Generally, there are three rearview mirrors that come fitted as standard on all vehicles.

Offside Rearview Mirror

The driver’s side rearview mirror, also known as the offside rearview mirror.
offside driver's rearview mirror

Nearside Rearview Mirror

The passenger side rearview mirror, also known as the nearside rearview mirror.
passenger's nearside rearview mirror

Interior Rearview Mirror

And lastly, the interior rearview mirror.
interior rearview mirror

In accordance with the Construction and Use Regulations set out in 1986, all vehicles first used after the 1st of August 1978, must have at least two mirrors that offer an adequate view to the rear of the vehicle.

This means that if the interior rearview mirror is damaged, obscured or missing, both of the wing mirrors need to be intact.

Offside Rearview Mirror Requirements

When considering vehicles first used after the 1st of August 1978, it is commonly required that one of the fully-operational mirrors be the offside rearview mirror. Having a damaged or missing offside rearview mirror will also result in a failed MOT.

When Only One Mirror Is Present

Vehicles first used prior to the 1st of August 1978, which may have only been made with one mirror, need only have one mirror.

broken passenger wing mirror

In light of the above information, it is not illegal to drive without the nearside rearview mirror, provided the other two mirrors are intact.

It is important to be aware that although not illegal, you can still be stopped by the police if they notice that either one of your wing mirrors is damaged or missing. This can be not only embarrassing and inconvenient, but can also lead to a notice being issued that requires the driver to have the damage repaired within fourteen days.

Despite the legal requirements concerning rearview mirrors, it is highly advisable to ensure that all three rearview mirrors are intact.

Why You Should Keep All Three Rearview Mirrors Intact

  • It would be very irresponsible to drive any vehicle that does not offer an adequate view of the rear, especially when changing lanes, overtaking other vehicles and parking.
  • Personal injury and harm caused to others is not a risk worth taking and any hindrance to the view behind you can have hazardous results. With a restricted view, especially on motorways, it is easy to cause an accident when driving.
  • Another consideration to bear in mind when your car suffers damage to either one of the wing mirrors is any material or debris that is left attached to the car.
  • Any exposed parts or materials that are hanging loose can cause damage or harm to cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles close by.

Here at The Windscreen Company we would always recommend that any damage to your rearview mirrors, either caused by yourself or a third party, is repaired as soon as possible to avoid both potential accidents and legal action.


We specialise in the providing affordable and reliable windscreen repairs and windscreen replacements to ensure your safety and the safety of your passengers as well as other road users. To find out more, or get a free quote, call us on 08009 981 068 or contact us using the form below.

The information within this article was accurate on the date the article was last updated based on the information that was openly available on the topic online. The Windscreen Company accepts no liability for any loss or damage caused by or connected with any error or omission in this article. You should make your own judgement in regards to use of this document and seek professional advice on your particular circumstances.

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