How de-icing your car could land you with a fine and penalty points

How de-icing your car could land you with a fine and penalty points
How de-icing your car could land you with a fine and penalty points

As if the hassle of having to free a car from a coating of ice isn’t bad enough, drivers could be leaving themselves open to a fine as they defrost their vehicles.

The mornings are getting colder and as well as trickier conditions on the road, motorists are once again having to spend extra time clearing snow and ice from their car’s windows.

But the simple act of de-icing your car could leave you facing a fine, depending on where and how you do it.

It’s all too tempting to start your car’s engine then nip back into the house while it warms up. However, if you’re parked on a public road you could be fined for contravening the Road Traffic Act rules on stationary idling. These enforces rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states “You must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road”.

Doing so could land you a £20 fine. It also puts your car at risk of being snatched by opportunistic thieves who take advantage of the cold weather to target unattended cars.

Police could also fine you for the offence of “quitting” where you leave a car’s engine running while you’re not in it. This offence carries a £30 fixed penalty notice.

Even if you park on a driveway or stick with you car as it defrosts you could still be fined if you don’t clear the whole thing.

Rushing to get on the road and failing to properly clear your screen is not only dangerous but it’s also illegal and could land you with a fine of up at least £60 and three penalty points on your licence.

Only clearing a patch of the windscreen rather than the whole glass can be counted as using an “unsuitable vehicle in a dangerous condition”, an offence that carries a fine and penalty points.

To avoid such hassles and ensure you do a proper job of clearing your car follow our tips, including advice from NASA scientists.


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