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Thursday, 23/11/2017

Staying on the right side of the law this winter

Frosty mornings make for picturesque snaps for your Facebook or Instagram account, but when you’re doing your best to leave the house on-time for work or school, they can throw your routine completely off kilter!

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Last week, we experienced our first frosty mornings of the season with sub-zero figures flashing up on the temperature gauge. Now is definitely the season for stocking up on de-icer and digging out the screen scraper as we face the morning de-icing challenge.

But as you carefully navigate slippery paths with misty breath, wrapped in hat, scarf and gloves on wintery mornings, did you know you could also be breaking the law. Just by simply de-icing the car?

Breaking the law? Yes you read that right. Just when you thought snowfall and frost on windscreens were an atmospheric inconvenience to your day, it now turns out that by de-icing your car, you could face a penalty fine.

We’ve found some helpful advice about how to safely, quickly and legally de-ice your car on chilly mornings, so you can get out on the road and start the day ahead.

But the crucial point to highlight is never leave your car unattended when the motor is running.

Why? Because it’s actually illegal. With UK law clearly stating ‘it is an offence to leave a car unattended with the engine running on the public highway’. (See rule 123 of the Highway Code!) Ignore this and you risk an icy shock of a £30 fine.

Now that would really spoil your morning!

The full article can be read online, but here we’ve broken these helpful wintery motoring tips into (frost)bitesized chunks.

1. First things first on a frosty morning, start your engine. It’s the most effective way of clearing the screen.

2. DO NOT leave a running car unattended! Not only will your vehicle be an easy target for thieves, but you would be breaking the law. Need to nip back inside? Turn it off, lock it and take the keys with you.

3. If snow has fallen, wipe it all away, completely, with a soft brush.

4. With the engine on, the car will heat up and de-mist from the inside, so tackle the ice on the outside with a scraper (not your credit card!) Keep your scraper and de-icer within easy reach, at all times during the cold snap.

5. Never use boiling water on glass; it could easily crack, with your morning quickly slipping from bad to worse!

6. Be patient. Life is hectic and mornings can be frantic, but wait until your screen and all windows are completely clear, and it’s safe to set off.

And if your car has been given the Totally Dynamic treatment, with a professional, vinyl, vehicle wrap please take extra care and time when clearing your motor of snow and ice.

Use a soft brush to avoid damage to your vehicle vinyl wrap, or better still, store your car overnight in a garage or pop a car cover on your Christmas list and keep your mornings frost-free.