Can defrosting your windscreen invalidate car insurance?

Here in the UK, we certainly see a lot of up and down weather and this can be such a pain, especially when you’re trying to get into work on time. The black ice is enough to make anyone anxious and that, paired with lengthy traffic queues, are just the stressful stages after managing to sort out your frozen windscreen.

This being said – did you know that defrosting your windscreen can invalidate your car insurance? At 1st Call Windscreens, we are here to lend a helping hand to keep you fine-free and your car, in tip top shape.

Can defrosting your windscreen invalidate car insurance - 1st Call Windscreen

The New Act

There’s a new Act that enforces rule ‘123 of the Highway Code’, stating ‘You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.

The penalty

Should you choose to ignore this new Act, you will be faced with a £20 fine or £40 if you delay payment outside of the time frame given to you.
What’s wrong with leaving your car idle?

Leaving your engine running, whilst you go back into the house is not only incredibly dangerous but it is also the perfect opportunity for thieves. If your car is stolen in a situation like this, it’s very likely that your insurance will refuse to pay out because you have invalidated your agreement by acting in a way that’s open to these risks.

Does this Act mean the car can never be idle – even when you’re on the road?

Of course when you’re driving and come to a red light, it is not expect of you to turn your engine off; it’s simply put in place to stop unnecessary noise and air pollution. You need not turn your ignition off at a traffic jam either, it’s a simple act put in place to stop people from carelessly leaving their cars and polluting the environment unnecessarily.

As there are more fuel-efficient vehicles now on the road, leaving your car idle for a short time frame whilst in a traffic jam will actually use up less fuel than if you were to switch it off.

Ways to avoid fines:

  • Give yourself time – before heading to work, take into consideration the time it will take you to defrost your windscreen.
  • Use a windscreen blanket – covering your car’s windscreen before you go to bed will shield your window from the frost. All you will have to do is remove it and pop it into the boot before getting into your car.
  • Warm water, not boiling – using boiling water on your windscreen will shock the glass and cause it to crack. Apply luke-warm water, it’ll be enough to do the job.
  • Have de-icer to hand – see de-icer as a last resort; it’s not ideal for the environment but it’s better than boiling water on your windscreen.

Choose the right method when defrosting your windscreen

Defrosting your windscreen properly and keeping in mind your car insurance will go a long way when trying to avoid fines. Simply defrosting your windscreen will not invalidate your car insurance but ignoring the new act and leaving your car engine running in order to defrost your windows, certainly will.


1st Call Windscreens offer a first-rate service repairing and replacing windscreens. We offer a 24 hour service and work throughout Maidstone, Gillingham, Sittingbourne, Chatham, Rochester, Medway Towns and the neighbouring areas. If you require a helping hand – call our friendly team today!


Questions? - We can call you back.