Keep safe and avoid a fine by de-icing your windscreen properly

Following on from our road safety tips, and with temperatures dropping below zero, properly and fully de-icing your windscreen and other windows is so important.

We’ve all been there – you’re running late on a cold, frosty morning and you haven’t left yourself enough time to de-ice your windscreen. The temptation is to reach for the kettle, but this could be disastrous! Extreme heat on a cold windscreen could crack the glass and land you with the expense and bother of having to replace it.

Or, in your rush, you reach for your bank card to scrape off the ice or worse, some other sharp object, which could scratch your windscreen. If you don’t clear the windscreen fully, you could be liable for a £60 fine and 3 points on your licence for driving with a limited view of the road. A sure way of increasing your car insurance costs.

You might think ahead and go out to start your engine to warm up the car before you’re ready to set off. You then wander back into the house, while the heat performs its magic, but that may not be the best option either. Idling car engines are unhealthy, pumping out exhaust fumes, wasting fuel and damaging the environment which could land you with a £20 fine. You’re also making yourself vulnerable to thieves if you leave your car unattended while it’s running, plus the impact that will also have on your insurance premiums.

So, after considering what not to do, give these methods a go: –

  • Firstly make sure your wipers are switched off. If they’re frozen to the windscreen, they could be damaged when the engine starts.
  • Turn on the ignition and have the heating on max. Point the blowers on the windscreen or switch on the heated windscreen option. You could also switch on the air con to keep the air dry.
  • Go to town with an ice scraper and de-icer. De-icer spray is a quick and easy way to de-ice your car windows. It’s safe to use on your car and shouldn’t damage the paintwork, but the chemicals it contains could be bad for the environment. If you’re trying to be ‘green’, making your own de-icer at home is a good alternative. Using 1 part water and 3 parts white vinegar in a misting spray bottle can work well, or spray your windscreen the night before as a preventative measure. The solution has a low freezing point and should quickly clear the frost.
  • It could make sense to invest in a windscreen frost cover or full car cover to protect all the windows and the bodywork. As long as you remember to put these on your car the night before, you’ll save yourself the headache of having to de-ice when you’re short on time in the morning.
  • Ice on the inside of your windows? Turn on the heat in your car and put a towel underneath the frosty parts to catch the moisture or use a warm, dry towel to rub away the ice. To stop it from happening, get a dehumidifier for your car and remove any wet clothes and boots, etc.

Taking a few extra minutes to ensure your windscreen, other windows and wing mirrors are completely clear of ice before you set off, will keep you on the right side of the law and minimise your driving risks.

If you do suffer an injury in a road accident (or any other accident) which wasn’t your fault, we may be able to help. We are experts in personal injury compensation claims and members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). Contact us at 01425 275555, by email at or through our website to discuss your claim. We do no win, no fee and your initial consultation is free. All enquiries are confidential and there is never any pressure to pursue a claim.


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