Switching on the parking light on your car – When the parking light must be on

by Tobias

Whether and when you switch on the parking light on your car does not depend on your feelings – on the contrary. When you have to switch on the parking light and when the parking light has to be switched on is precisely defined in the Road Traffic Act. And as we all know, anyone who violates the Road Traffic Act is usually quickly asked to pay the fine.

Switch on the parking light on the car – then it is required

Whether or when you have to switch on the parking lights on your car is precisely defined in section 17 paragraph 4 of the Road Traffic Act:

  • The basic rule is that parked cars within built-up areas must be made visible with their light source. Specifically, this applies to the side of the vehicle facing the road.
  • If you have not dealt with this before, it makes sense to do so now. Due to energy-saving measures, many public buildings and also roads are no longer lit to the extent they were before. Especially if you spot traffic sign 394, a red lantern ring with a thin white border, you should switch on the parking lights. This is because the traffic sign says that the street lights are switched off during the night.
  • If you do not ensure that your car is visible in the dark, you risk being partly to blame in the event of an accident. For this reason alone, making your vehicle visible is also in your interest.
  • In addition, the parking light consumes hardly any battery power and you don’t have to worry about being left with an empty battery the next morning. It makes sense to adjust the parking light to one side without any problems. Depending on how the car is parked, you activate the parking light in many vehicles with the right or the left indicator lever. One headlight and one tail light will then be on, but with greatly reduced output.

Parking light or parking light – what you need to know

If you park your vehicle outside a built-up area, you are by no means exempt. Even in this case, you are obliged to make your car visible.

  • Visible means in this case that you can no longer get there with the car’s parking light. Outside a built-up area, the law would like to have a little more illumination and that means that you have to switch on the parking light.
  • With the parking lights, unlike the parking lights, both headlights are switched on as well as both rear lights. However, just like the parking light, the lights are significantly reduced in the parking light. If you fail to switch on the parking lights or the sidelights, you could face a fine of up to 35 euros.


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