Claim Now

To ensure we give you the most tailored advice regarding your data breach enquiry, we kindly request that you complete our specialised enquiry form. You can access the form
by clicking on the following button: Click here

Click here to return to the previous window

Is it illegal to leave my car running to defrost whilst I grab a quick cuppa indoors? It takes a while for the ice melt. I don’t have to be inside the car whilst waiting do I?

The short answer is Yes – it is illegal. It is illegal to leave your engine running whilst the car is unattended. A driver must be in control of the vehicle at all times including whilst unloading shopping and de-icing.  

Frozen WindscreenPolice report frequent thefts as a result of cars being left with the engine running to defrost, Particularly with the recent trend of thieves using key blocker technology owners leave the engine running and think they have locked the car but the device blocks the lock, the engine is on and the thieves are gone in seconds, with your car.

Not only will it invalidate your insurance but you may end up with a fixed penalty fine!

On a side note - It is even illegal to run the engine unnecessarily whilst inside the car. The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Regulations 2003 allow local authorities to fine drivers who leave their cars running unnecessarily. This includes keeping the engine running whilst waiting to pick children up from school, or a friend from their house. This is primarily an environmental framework to avoid unnecessary noise and pollution.

So our top tip – Bust out a scraper and a can of de-icer then hop inside and crank up the heating. Avoid using boiling water as it can crack the windscreen… and could be dangerous if you spill it. Most importantly don’t be impatient and drive off without getting rid of all the ice and ensuing your vision is clear. Don’t regret those 2 minutes of impatience for the rest of your life.

Injured through no fault of your own?
Call us on
To see how much you could claim
Compensation Specialists
Our offices and meeting places
Talk to Thompsons
Claim Now