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7 of The Most Unusual Road Signs in the UK and What They Mean

Posted on 11th December 2023
7 of The Most Unusual Road Signs in the UK and What They Mean

Once you have been driving for a few years, an element of complacency, or confidence (let’s call it confidence), sets in. By this time, you’re experienced on the road – you’ve driven in the sun, snow, rain and wind. You’ve taken road trips with the family, you’ve endured bad drivers, and you’ve managed to show that you know better than the satnav. However, it might be that you’re asking this one question: “what does that road sign mean?”

There are hundreds of different signs on UK roads, and it would take something special to remember them all. Some are more confusing than others, though, so to confirm that you’re not alone, we have selected seven of the most unusual UK road signs. Like all road signs, these are worth knowing – failure to adhere to the signs could see you being issued with a £100 fine as well as penalty points. The fines can be even more severe if you’ve already accrued points on your license, and you could find yourself having to pay out £1,000.

To top up your UK road sign knowledge, read on.

1.      Beware of migrating toads

Don’t expect to see this one in many big cities, but if a countryside road trip is on the cards, there’s a good chance you will come across this one. The triangular sign with a red outline, filled with a toad graphic indicates toads could be using the road too.

Toads head to their breeding grounds throughout spring and often negotiate our roads in order to reach them. This sign tells you that toads could be crossing and to be aware.

Keep your speed down and your eyes on the road, especially in the evenings and late at night when the amphibians are more likely to be on their journey.


2.     No vehicles

If you have encountered this sign whilst in your car, then you are already committing an offence. This road sign looks like it isn’t giving much away – the blank space only complemented with a red outer ring doesn’t seem to say much, but that is perhaps why it’s like this. It simply means no vehicles are allowed and only bicycles can be used, and even then they must be pushed rather than ridden.


3.     Vehicles carrying explosives prohibited

This one almost looks a little comical, but it is to be taken very seriously.

The red-ring sign with a car omitting an explosion states you cannot drive down this road with explosives in your vehicle. So, should you be heading to a fireworks party, you may have to pick a different route. However, you’ll be pleased to know that these signs will only appear on roads close to military facilities, so you aren’t as likely to see these compared to the other more unusual signs.


4.     Horse drawn vehicles in use

You may feel transported back to the pre-car age when you see this one, as it’s rare to see a horse-drawn cart in use these days.

The red warning triangle with a horse and cart filling the white space tells you it’s a road where horse-drawn vehicles are used frequently. This means reducing your speed is necessary at times, and that you should drive with caution when seeing any of these horse and carts.

5.     Otters crossing ahead

A bit like the toad sign mentioned earlier, this one warns that you are approaching an area where otters may choose to cross the road. The red triangle with an otter filling the white space means you may need to slow down as otters may have decided it’s time to make a move. Found frequently near rivers, keep an eye out as they may attempt a crossing when you least expect it.


6.     Electrified overhead cables ahead

With what looks almost like a superhero emblem, this bolt of lightning with something resembling a screw above it means that there are potential electrical cables overhead. These are found near railways and tramlines and are accompanied by a sign indicating vehicle height restrictions, which help you avoid contact with the cables.


7.     Quiet lane

Two signs apply here – one to indicate you are entering the quiet lane, and one to show you are leaving it. These green signs featuring a horse rider, a parent and child, a cyclist and a car mean you are entering or exiting a designated quiet lane where the environment should be kept peaceful. The idea is that it encourages people to enjoy the nature and outdoor activities the area offers. Speeds are to be kept at 35 mph, and you must drive carefully at all times. When you reach the sign with the red stripe across it, you are leaving the zone.




If you have just passed your test, you may still be getting used to the array of signs we see on the roads. Have you sorted your first car yet, though? If not, we can help. Euphoria Finance are the direct lenders that help facilitate the best car finance for young drivers. Should you be experienced on the road, we can help with that as well. Our way of financing means that any driver, whether new or experienced, whether in the market for a new car or a used car on finance, can apply easily. We even help drivers who have been turned down elsewhere. Our car finance for very poor credit means no matter your credit score, you can still find the car you desire. Contact our team today to get the process started with a quick car finance quote.

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