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Are Bull Bars Legal?

Nudge guards or bull bars were first used in Australia, where wild animals such as kangaroos are a problem. The bull bars were designed as protection for a vehicle and it's passenger in the event of a collision with an animal 'nudging' them out of the way.

These bars gradually became popular in Europe, although they did not have a positive effect. Many minor accidents were made worse by the rigid bull bars fitted to the front of vehicles. These 'indestructable' bars were not damaged but other vehicles and pedestrians involved in the collision were having more serious outcomes. Minor injuries turned into serious injuries and even deaths due to these nudge guards.

Promotion of road safety and a desire to decrease the number of serious road accidents lead to a new law being set. On 25th May 2007 sturdy, rigid bull bars were made illegal and new bull bars being produced and fitted to vehicles had to comply with EU legislations.

These EU legislations were set in place to ensure the bars fitted do less harm and are more 'pedestrian friendly'. Many manufacturers will no longer refer to bull bars or nudge guards but will now label items as frontal protection, front bars and A bars. This avoids association to bull bars accessories in their original use. Front bars are more commonly used now for pedestrian protection and cosmetic aesthetics.

What Does EU Compliant Mean?

All frontal protection systems now have to be EU compliant, meaning: the front bars have been tested and have ticked all boxes in compliance with the new law.

Front Bar Pedestrian

  • A minimum level of protection for pedestrians
  • The bar is type-approved for the vehicles they are intended to fit
  • The bar has been crash tested to deem that in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, any injury caused will be reduced in comparison to a vehicle without a front bar

Fitting an illegal bull bar to your vehicle can have many severe consequences. In the event of an accident your insurance claim will not be accepted due to the illegal accessory fitted to your vehicle. Fitting an illegal bull bar will also make your insurance premiums sky high.

You could also face legal penalties of up to 12 months in prison and a substantial 20,000 fine.

Auto Styling's range of frontal protection systems are manufactured by either Cobra or Misutonida. All of these products are EU compliant and TUV certified and each item has its own EU compliance certificate.

Download the European legislation in PDF format here