Can you drive with snow on your car?

posted on Mar 02 2018 by Karen Liggett

Can you drive with snow on your car?

When winter comes with its hail and snow showers, cars in the morning are all covered with snow.

Is it a legal requirement to clear the snow from your car before driving ?


By law...

No law stipulates that it is illegal to drive with snow on your vehicle but the section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 decrees that you should be able to see through every glass panel in your car.

For obvious safety reasons, but also to avoid being fined, you must ensure that your glass panels are clear on the outside and demisted on the inside to guarantee a perfect visibility for the driver.


What if there is snow on the roof?

There always is a risk that a chunk of snow falls off onto your windscreen while you're driving or even lands in the middle of another vehicle's way. Even though it might not sound like major risks, you could be sanctioned for "using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition".

That's why you shouldn't take the risk to leave 5 inches of snow on your roof, even for a short journey to a nearby shop. 


What about the rest of the car?

A few other elements of the car should be clear from snow traces for safety and legal reasons:

--- Make sure there is no condensation on your glass panels inside the car. Start with turning on the heater on cold and then slowly increase the temperature as you don't want to overload the car with wet air.

--- Your lights and plates must also be clean and visible.

--- Eventually, you must ensure that all your mirrors are clean and demisted and shouldn't take the road before you have a perfect visibility.

Failure to comply to these sensible safety requirements could incur a £60 fine and 3 penalty points on your licence so you shouldn't take these precautions lightly.