The windscreen de-icing methods that could see you fined up to £60

The windscreen de-icing methods that could see you fined up to £60
The windscreen de-icing methods that could see you fined up to £60

Winter conditions bring with them a whole host of extra hassles for drivers.

From coping with treacherous conditions on the roads to making sure you and your car are ready for any weather, there’s a lot to think about as the temperature drops.

And even before you leave the house you have to be on the ball. De-icing your car is an almost daily task during winter but done wrong it can leave you facing a potential fine.


With regular sub-zero temperatures and worse, it’s all too tempting to start your car’s engine then nip back into the house while it warms up and the glass clears. However, if you’re parked on a public road you could be fined for contravening the Road Traffic Act rules on stationary idling. These enforce 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.

Read more: The £25 trick that could stop your windscreen icing over this winter


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 – known as portholing – can be counted as using an “unsuitable vehicle in a dangerous condition”, an offence that carries a fine and three penalty points. Fines range from £60 up to a potential £2,500 if you are taken to court.

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