Drivers lose more than three hours a year defrosting their windscreen

Motorists are spending more than three hours a year clearing their windscreens of ice, a new survey has revealed.

More than half of UK drivers were also unaware that they could face a fine of £80 for leaving their engine running while leaving their car to defrost on a public road.

Research from Skoda has found that to avoid this, drivers a third of drivers spend between five and seven minutes on average clearing their windscreens of ice, while a further tenth use up eight to ten minutes. A quarter, meanwhile, spends two to four minutes de-icing their car’s windscreen.

When applied to the UK’s 40.8 million licensed vehicles, that equates to the equivalent of 337 years of people defrosting their windscreens.

The survey of 2,000 people found that the majority of drivers used their car’s heating system to clear the screen, while 57 per cent used an ice scraper instead. Some 44 per cent opted for de-icer spray, 27 per cent used just their windscreen wipers and 15 per cent chose boiling water. In addition, more than one in ten admitted to using their bank card or plastic card to de-ice the windscreen.

Electric cars icy
Electric cars can be pre-conditioned while they’re still on charge

More than three-quarters of respondents also turned their engine on and kept it running while defrosting the car to aid the process. However, 51 per cent of people were unaware that leaving their engine idling while defrosting their vehicle on a public road could lead to a fine of up to £80.

Nearly three-quarters of UK drivers were also unaware that electric vehicles can be ‘preconditioned’ via an app to defrost the screen and heat up the cabin before motorists even enter the car. In fact, drivers could save up to 10 minutes a day by using an EV’s preconditioning feature.