How drivers could rack up fines of up to £19,500 on the road this winter – and how to avoid them

DRIVERS could rack up fines totalling up to £19,500 on the roads this winter.

The frosty season could cost Brits a huge chunk of cash if they don’t adapt during the colder months.


Brits could face hefty fines during winter if they fail to prep their cars for the roadCredit: Getty

People who don’t prep their vehicles before heading out in the ice, snow, fog and heavy rain can be handed a penalty.

Car finance provider Go Car Credit has revealed the most common – and expensive – mistakes that motorists make.

Marketing manager Hayley O’Connor explained: “Winter weather brings a whole new set of challenges so it’s important drivers are aware of the law to avoid hefty fines.

“At this time of year and in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, holding on to your money has never been more important.

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“We’ve pulled together top tips for winter driving to help drivers tackle the roads fine-free this winter.”

So, what exactly can get you in trouble with the law while behind the wheel throughout winter?

Although you may be in a rush to set off, it is essential to wait for your windscreen to clear before getting on the road.

Driving with condensation, ice or snow clinging on could result in motorists being slapped with a hefty £5,000 fine.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, Regulation 30, states: “All glass or other transparent material fitted to a motor vehicle shall be maintained in such condition that it does not obscure the vision of the driver while the vehicle is being driven on a road”.

Even if it costs you an extra five minutes, adjust your fans, scrape off the ice and clear the snow to swerve the penalty.

But while you’re sweeping off the white stuff, make sure you remember to clean up your licence plate too.

If the elements or dirt from the road are obscuring your registration plate, it could land you in hot water.

You might get lucky with an on-the-spot £100 fine – but drivers may have to stump up a whopping £1,000.

While clearing your car, take a closer look and see if you can clearly read your licence plate.

Meanwhile, while there isn’t a specific law forbidding driving with snow on your car, you can be penalised if it is stuck on your windshield or roof.

Motorists can be hit with a £5,000 fine if it obstructs their vision and in even more trouble if it slides off and endangers people.

If the snow falls onto the road or pavement and puts pedestrians or road users at risk, you could be held liable under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 3 – Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

While you’re getting ready to set off, you may be tempted to leave your engine running while your motor defrosts.

But you may be breaking several laws by doing so – as you are defying regulations 98 and 107 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

It essentially reinforces 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”.

However, this only applies to public roads and not to private driveways.

As it also unnecessarily pumps exhaust fumes into the environment, motorists are breaking The Road Traffic Regulations Act 2002.

Leaving your car idle could cost you a fine upwards of £20 or £80 in areas of London – as well as invalidating your insurance.

With the cold weather comes darker days – so make sure your lights are on and you’re not driving in the dark.

If you’re caught without your headlights on, you could be charged with Driving Without Due Care And Attention and “allowing your standard of driving to fall below that of a prudent motorist”.

The fixed rate for penalties is a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

However, the maximum penalty could result in a court visit, a hefty £5,000 fine and 9 points on your licence.

Another aspect of the colder months to consider is the constantly changing conditions on the roads.

The freezing temperatures, icy streets and rolling over grit can quickly cause wear and tear with your tyres.

It means your wheels might not have the necessary grip when travelling – which could lead to aquaplaning or crashes.

Drivers can receive fines of up to £2,500 for driving without due care and attention if their tyres are deemed unsuitable.

You may also be slapped with three penalty points for each tyre that does not meet road standards.

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Make sure you are checking your tyres regularly to keep an eye on how they are faring in the frost.

Rule breakers who don’t follow these winter rules would face a total bill of £19,500 – and possibly further legal consequences.

It's essential to clear your car of any snow and condensation before setting off


It’s essential to clear your car of any snow and condensation before setting offCredit: Getty

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