I'm aware that wearing a seatbelt has been mandatory in the UK for many years now, but are seat belt warning alarms mandatory, and if so is there any requirement that they be both visual and auditory?

I spend a lot of time making frequent/short journeys on private land and have deliberately disabled the seat belt warning buzzer in my car. (the flashing light still comes on, but the annoying buzzer is now silenced).

I regularly take my car to the dealer for servicing/MOT and every time it comes back with the annoying beeping turned back on. I then spend ages working out how to turn it back off again (through an esoteric combination of turning the ignition on/off in conjunction with pressing various buttons and switching the lights)

I've spoken to the dealership and they claim that the alarm is a legal requirement, and they have to fix it (and charge me for it) before they can allow the car to leave their premises.

I think they're deliberately confusing company policy with legal requirement.

My questions are...

  • Is a seat-belt warning alarm legally mandatory?
  • If so, does a garage have to switch it back on if it's been disabled?
  • If an alert is mandatory, does it have to be both a flashing light and a buzzer? Is a flashing light on it's own enough to qualify as an alert - in which case what's wrong with me turning the buzzer off?

2 Answers 2



But not because they are mandated, just because your car has one. Because there is one factory fitted and it is a piece of safety equipment anyone you pay to maintain your car would be negligent if they didn’t make sure it’s working.

  • 1
    I'm not sure that really makes sense, does it? You're saying a seat belt alarm isn't legally required, but a disabled one must be switched back on even when the owner explicitly requests that it's left off? How can it be negligence not to do something you were asked not to do? (sorry - not trying to be argumentative, I just genuinely don't get it!) Dec 31, 2018 at 11:47
  • 1
    @Hemel because the owner’s wish to expose themselves to danger does to legally relieve a person who negligently allows them to do so. For example, if your wish is to cross a drag strip while a race is in progress, the owner would be negligent to allow you to do so.
    – Dale M
    Jan 1, 2019 at 22:35

A garage is not allowed to do work on your vehicle without your permission, and if they do, if asked, they are legally obliged to undo such work.

UK law mandates the wearing of seatbelts when driving on the public road.

Seatbelt reminders may be mandated on new vehicles but nothing mandates continued operation of them. Seatbelt reminders are not tested during the MOT, only the correct operation of the seatbelt and latching mechanism.

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