All new cars are to be fitted with automatic daytime headlights within four years.
The Government has previously opposed the idea on the grounds that using lights in the daytime would increase fuel consumption and emissions, but conceded it was unable to oppose European legislation.
In response to a parliamentary question, Jim Fitzpatrick, the road safety minister, said: "The UK has been successful in arguing against the introduction of mandatory use of dipped headlamps during daylight hours by drivers of existing vehicles.
"However, from early 2011 all new types of passenger cars and light vans will have to be fitted with dedicated daytime running lamps in accordance with the relevant European directive. By summer 2012, all new vehicles will have to be so fitted."