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08th Mar 2023

Drivers face fine if they leave engine running to defrost windscreen

Charlie Herbert

Defrosting windscreen

Use the de-icer and scraper instead

We’ve all been there. You’re running late one winter’s morning, you get in your car and then remember you’ve got to wait another five minutes for your windscreen to defrost.

However it turns out that if you leave your car engine running as you do this, you could end up being hit in the pocket.

Drivers could face fines of up to £40 for leaving their car engine idling to defrost the windscreen.

This enforces Rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”

CarMoney says: “Those waiting for their cars to heat up on a cold winter’s morning could be idling their cars for anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes while their windscreen clears.

Plus you could risk a fine if you leave your car unattended while it warms up!

There are, of course, environmental benefits to not keeping your car engine ticking over as well.

According to Andrew Marshall, Marketing and Partnerships Manager at CarMoney, drivers should either cover their windscreen overnight to stop it frosting over or use de-icer and an ice scraper in the morning.

He said: “Now more than ever it is important to be aware of our impact on the environment.

“By minimising car idling on our daily commutes, school drop-offs and simply waiting in traffic, we can contribute less CO2 emissions.

“Aside from switching to electric vehicles or hybrid car models, motorists can be more mindful of their idling habits by switching off their engine if waiting for long periods of time.

“As winter approaches, lessen the need for idling whilst waiting for the windows to defrost by covering your windscreen overnight, or using a can of de-icer and a manual scraper to clear the windscreen.”

So there you go. To avoid the risk of a fine, it’s best to employ a bit of elbow grease in the morning and get scraping.

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