Drivers can clear ice and frost in seconds and avoid fines with ‘important’ hacks

Christmas forecast: Turning colder with chance of snow

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Winter weather can be problematic for drivers, with frosted windscreens, windows and mirrors making getting on the road something of a nightmare. But there are simple steps to take in order to start a journey faster and avoid fines for having the engine idling.

Those fines can be a fixed £20 penalty rising to £40 for using the engine running while at a standstill to defrost the car.

Local councils could increase that further, with London fines as much as £80 due to emission rules.

And if the car is left running unattended then stolen, an insurance company will likely refuse to pay out.

In addition, leaving an engine running can have an impact on the environment.

Rental experts are offering top tips to drivers this winter to help.

A spokesperson for the company said: “As the months are turning even colder, car owners are finding themselves having to wake up earlier than normal in order to factor in time to de-ice their cars.

“With the possibility that drivers leaving their car engines idle could face fines, it is now even more important to remind motorists that there are other handy tips and tricks to get rid of the frost.”

Warm water and a scraper
The key to this method is to ensure the water used is not boiling.

If the water is too hot, it could cause a crack in the windscreen or cause further damage to any unnoticed small cracks already present.

Once warm water is poured over the windscreen, the ice will have turned to slush which can be scraped away.

Warm water can also be applied to door mirror housings to stop the mechanism sticking.

No scraper? Improvise
Motorists who find themselves with a frozen windscreen and no scraper can use other household items.

These could include a debit card, an old CD case, a ruler or even a spatula!

Some manufacturers even build in handy tools to help in winter.

Skoda for example hides an ice scraper in the fuel door that doubles as a tire depth checker.

​​Adding alcohol
For those extra frosty mornings when warm water alone doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, motorists should add ⅔ rubbing alcohol to ⅓ water to a spray bottle and spritz over the windscreen.

This creates an ice-busting solution to cut through the build up.

Wiper blades can also be rubbed with alcohol the night before a cold morning.

This will help cut through ice and also remove debris from the windscreen.

Drivers could also preempt frost forming on a windscreen by covering it with a towel or bath mat the night before.

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