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Is it legal to have sex in your car?

Having sex in cars appears to be a fairly common practice. On average, people engage in sexual activities in their vehicles as many as four times during their lifetime. Some of you will think it’s sexy, others will think it’s sordid, but where do we stand in the eyes of the law? Is it actually legal to have sex in your car?

We're all at it, apparently, but is having sex in your car actually legal?
We’re all at it, apparently, but is having sex in your car actually legal?

The short answer is ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’. But, before you rush out to get jiggy in the back of your Pa’s Ka, you should know there are some instances where this particular brand of pleasure may result in prosecution and possibly prison.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 doesn’t outlaw sex in cars per se. If you and any partner(s) engaged in the act of vehicular copulation are above the age of consent, consenting* and you haven’t picked anyone up while kerb crawling, then you can bone away to your heart’s content – as long as you’re in a suitably private location.

A busy, floodlit supermarket car park is probably not the best venue for checking someone’s melons, meat or veg, because your act could fall foul of the outraging public decency act, which is a common law offence in England & Wales. That said, in order for an offence to be committed, the act would have to be so lewd that it outrages public decency. Also, it has to have taken place in an area where two or more persons might be able to see it – even if they didn’t actually witness it with their own eyes – and then someone has to report it.

In other words, copulating in a supermarket car park is only acceptable if the sex is so tame it couldn’t possibly offend anyone, there’s only one other person nearby, or if the two or more people in the vicinity can’t possibly see. Careless location choice will be viewed as ‘intent’, but if your van is a-rockin’ and no one comes a-knockin’ you can count yourself lucky – particularly if you’ve taken the extra step of blacking out all the windows.

Those of you who are careless about where and when you have sex in a car had better beware. According to Halsbury’s Laws of England, outraging public decency is punishable by unlimited imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

Ultimately then, you can do your thing (while doing someone else’s thing) in a vehicle all you want, but if you’re going to avoid paying a hefty fine and spending a healthy chunk of your life locked away singing Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Come”, you’d better be wise when choosing a location.

*Roofies, handcuffs and gags are definitely a no-no**
**without permission