Drivers warned of massive £2,500 fine for not demisting windscreens under Highway Code rules

Foggy car windscreen

Drivers should ensure their windscreens are free of any obstructions

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 13/12/2023

- 09:20

The Highway Code states that windscreens must be clear at all times

Motorists are being warned that they risk being slapped with huge fines for not completely demisting their cars before they set off in the morning.

With the cold weather lingering, millions of Britons are waking up to see their vehicles covered in condensation, frost, ice and potentially even snow.

Experts are now warning that drivers could be fined up to £2,500 if they do not properly clear their windscreens and windows.

Getting behind the wheel with impaired vision could land motorists with an on-the-spot fine of £100, as well as three penalty points on their driving licence.

WATCH NOW: Motorists hit with driving fines on the road

In more extreme cases, drivers can be fined up to £2,500 and be disqualified from getting behind the wheel.

Annex six of the Highway Code outlines how drivers should maintain their vehicle, as well as how they can prioritise safety and security.

It states that motorists should take special care that lights, brakes, steering exhaust system, seat belts, demisters, wipers, washers and any audible warning systems are all working.

The Highway Code adds: “Windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision.”

Tim Alcock, from, warned motorists of the potential for hefty fines if they do not clear their car windscreens properly.

He added: “Drivers should always make sure to completely demist their windscreens before setting off or risk being slapped with a fine of up to £2,500 for breaking the Highway Code.

“Don’t be tempted to just leave a small gap to see what is directly in front, as you could still be fined for careless driving by not being able to see the full road view ahead.

“There are several things drivers can do to speed up the demisting to avoid driving with foggy windows.”

The majority of motorists will blast their heating for a few minutes before setting off to remove the condensation and to help drivers avoid the cold.

This will help to absorb the moisture from the windows and reduce fog, with some drivers also using the air con to dry out the vehicle.

Drivers can also use more unconventional methods to demist their windscreens, including the use of shaving foam.

Wiping shaving foam over the windows and windscreen can create a barrier to stop the glass from fogging up, although this will not last too long, so motorists may need to reapply regularly.

Some newer cars are fitted with a climate control system with a setting to demist the windscreen, which will remove the condensation far more efficiently than other hacks.

Last month, a driver in Scotland was hit with a £500 fine and 12-month disqualification after taking to the road without properly defrosting his van.


Frosty windscreen

Drivers will see their cars covered in frost more regularly


Inspector Gavin McHallum commented on the conviction, saying: “As we move into the winter months and a drop in temperatures I hope this case acts as a reminder of the importance of ensuring your vehicle is in a safe condition to be driven on our roads.

“It is absolutely vital that there is no snow or ice on your windows before you set off so please take the time to properly clear your vehicle because if you cannot see clearly you are putting yourself and others on the road at risk.”

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