Keeping it legal when you defrost your car

6th November, 2017

Most parts of the country experienced their first frost of the winter at the start of this week as temperatures plummeted to zero overnight. That meant a chilly start for many commuters and those on the school run, with the prospect of de-icing their cars being the first job of the day.

Mad panic of an icy morning
It’s a pretty safe assumption that, for many, an iced up windscreen added to the list of things that needed to be sorted in the mad panic of the morning rush. But, it’s important that no short-cuts are taken as you could be left in trouble with the law.

Do not leave your car unattended
When looking to defrost their cars early in the morning, many car owners leave their engines running while they run inside to grab something they’ve forgotten. This is a car thief’s dream and it also means that you are breaking the law. Police warn it is an offence to leave a car unattended with the engine running on a public highway. Drivers have to be ‘in control’ of their vehicle at all times. 

Fines for leaving your keys in a car with the engine on
A motorist has been fined £30 for defrosting his car outside his home because he left it unattended with the engine running. It’s recommended that, if you need to go back into the house, you should turn off the engine, lock the car and head in. 

No insurance pay-out
It is thought the increased danger from so-called 'frosting' is because, as cars become more secure, thieves have turned their attention to opportunist chances. Car insurers rarely pay out if the keys are left in the car.

Tips for defrosting your car
1. Turn on the engine - it sounds obvious, but before you do anything get your engine on. The most effective way of de-icing your car is to turn on the air conditioning and let it circulate in the car.
2. Start de-icing the outside - as the engine warms the car from the inside, get scraping from the outside. Don’t wipe the windows with your hands - your mitts will leave greasy smudges.
3. Never use boiling water on glass - the rapid expansion and contraction of the ice can cause the screen to crack.
4. Wait until all the glass is clear before you drive off - it’s worth waiting an extra few minutes to make sure your car is safe to drive before you head out in the icy weather.

Make sure the frost is kept clear of your premises
Now that the first frost of winter has happened, you will want to be prepared for even worse weather that could bring sleet and snow and cause havoc to pedestrians and vehicles at your premises. So, don’t delay, plan now for the icy, cold weather and get your winter gritting and snow clearance sorted by calling us on 01728 633900 for a quote that will be tailored to the requirements of your premises.

Deicing your car with a scraper is the best way to clear your windscreen of ice

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