The most bizarre driving laws around the world

The German Autobahn.

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The German Autobahn.
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Peter Steffen/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • Countries around the world have many driving laws that differ from the US – sometimes with specifications that may baffle foreigners.
  • From being fined for eating while driving to remember which days of the week you can legally drive, here are 14 of the most unusual driving laws around the world.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Driving in another country can be stressful.

For many countries, there’s more to remember than which side of the road is the correct one to drive on. For example, in Thailand, driving without a shirt could result in a fine, while in Spain, don’t even think about using flip flops to drive.

Here are 13 of the most unusual driving laws around the world, from Japan to Greece.


In Thailand, it’s illegal for men to drive without a shirt on.

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Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

The fine for doing so is ฿500, or about $16.21


In Australia, it’s illegal for drivers to stick their limbs, including arms and hands, out of the window unless they are signaling to other drivers.

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De Repente/Shutterstock

The fine for doing so in New South Wales is $337 AUS, or $237.69 USD.

“Drivers and passengers need to apply common sense – it’s not only illegal but downright dangerous, and that’s because you could risk losing a limb,” the Australian National Roads and Motorists’ Association’s Dimitra Vlahomitros told Yahoo News.


It’s illegal to smoke a cigarette while driving in Greece.

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Fajrul Islam/Shutterstock

This is likely due to the fact that drivers must take one of their hands off the wheel to bring the cigarette to the lips.


Wearing flip-flops while driving in Spain comes with a €200 fine.

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Circlephoto/Shutterstock

That’s $225.51.


In the Philippines, it’s illegal to drive on Mondays if the license plate of a vehicle ends in a 1 or 2.

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Roxas Boulevard in Manila, Philippines.
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Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

On Tuesday, it’s 3 and 4. On Wednesday, it’s 5 and 6. Thursday, 7 and 8. Finally, on Friday, it’s 9 and 0.

This unusual law is part of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number coding. The program was created to alleviate traffic congestion by restricting the number of vehicles on the road.


In Cyprus, it is illegal to eat or drink while driving, including water.

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Ievgen Tytarenko/Shutterstock

The fine for doing so is €85, or $95.86.


In Russia, having a dirty car is a fineable offense.

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Vladimir Konstantinov/Shutterstock

Some Russians choose to store their cars in the winter months when driving is more difficult, according to a BBC article from 2006. This can cause dirt and grime to build up, which the law requires motorists to clean off before taking to the streets.


It’s illegal to stop unnecessarily on the Autobahn in Germany — even if a driver runs out of fuel.

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The Autobahn.
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Peter Steffen/picture alliance via Getty Images

The famous Autobahn freeway in Germany is known for not having a speed limit, making stopping on the road all the more dangerous.


In Japan, driving through a puddle that splashes a pedestrian is a fineable offense.

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Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

The Japanese call this infraction “muddy driving,” according to Travel and Leisure.


Similar to Japan, it is illegal for drivers to splash mud onto pedestrians if the people are waiting at a bus stop or entering or leaving a stationary bus.

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Artic_photo/Shutterstock

Those who do so may be fined up to $2,200 AUS – $1,550.63 USD.


In Sweden — as well as some other Scandinavian countries like Iceland —it’s illegal to drive without headlights on, even if it’s daytime.

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Cars in Stockholm, Sweden.
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Olga Evans/Shutterstock

This is likely due to the few daylight hours in winter, but also because the weather can change quickly and lights help drivers see each other.


Driving without properly functioning actual windshields wipers is illegal in Luxembourg.

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Luxembourg.
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Alexandros Michailidis/Shuterstock

Having a windshield itself, however, is not required by law, as is the case for some vintage cars.


Drivers in Bulgaria must carry fire extinguishers in their cars at all time.

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Anupong Rajsupa/Shutterstock

Safety first in the rule of the road in Bulgaria – always.