Reversing is one of the most difficult manoeuvres you can perform with your
car, especially at night. The manoeuvre is made much safer and easier if your
car has a pair of reversing lights, which come on automatically when you engage
to light up the area behind your car.
Apart from solving the problems of seeing in the dark, reversing lights also
provide an instant warning to any approaching motorists or pedestrians during
If your car was not
ted with reversing lights when it was manufactured,
it is a good idea to fit an aftermarket set.
Types of light
There is a vast range of reversing lights available from accessory shops so
it is worth checking around to find the best price and type to suit your
The most common reversing lights mount on the bumper, either above or below
it. They can be secured to the bumper with either nuts and bolts or a clamp-on
Another kind of light unit is the flush-mounted type. This can be fitted to
any suitable flat metal surface, such as the flat rear panel above the bumper,
and is held in place either by self-tapping screws or small nuts and bolts.
On some cars you may find that all the wiring (and sometimes the
bulb-holders and lenses) for the reversing lights are already in place. All you
have to do is buy and fit a gearbox
, fit the light units (or just the
bulbs), then connect up the existing wiring. Check with your dealer or manual.
to find out if this is possible with your car.
If no reverse light wiring exists on your car you will have to fit a manual
on/off switch to the dash - this should also incorporate a warning light to
remind you when the reversing lights are on. Remember that it is illegal to
travel in a forward direction while showing a white light to the rear.
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Reversing lights are not generally a legal requirement but they are useful.
They serve two purposes - to warn other road-users you are about to reverse,
and to provide light if you are reversing in the dark.
The majority of indicator stalks are mounted on the side of the steering
column so you can easily operate them without having to release your grip on
the steering wheel. Most modern stalks also have a self-cancelling device that
is operated by the moving part of the steering column. This automatically
switches the indicators off after you have turned into a bend.
Many modern cars are now designed so that their lights are built as a
one-piece unit known as a cluster. These are easier for the manufacturer to
produce than the older type of light unit, which is fitted separately to the