De-icing your windscreen


Although this may seem like a trivial task for any driver faced with a frosted or frozen windscreen when they go out to their car, there are actually right ways to do it and wrong ways to do it.

If you know that the weather is going to be cold over night it is also an annoying problem that can easily be avoided.

How not to de-ice your windscreen!

The first method to avoid at all costs is the kettle of boiling water. Although modern windscreens are laminated and extremely tough these days, they are still susceptible to the basic laws of physics.

Pouring boiling hot water over a panel of frozen glass puts a lot of stress on your windscreen due to the sudden huge changes in temperature. This may cause it to crack under the stress. Also if you already have a small crack or flaw in your windscreen already, this stress could easily make it worse.

Although it won't damage your windscreen, this second method should also be avoided. Simply turning on your engine and directing the heater onto the windscreen does work but it will take some time to clear your screen completely (and safely) and it will also be a waste of your precious fuel.

Turning on your wipers to clear or 'wear off' the frost from your screen. This again will not damage your windscreen but it can easily damage your wipers. Your wipers will usually be frozen to your screen on a frosty morning and just turning them on to 'un-stick' them puts a lot of load on the wiper motors and can sometimes physically tear off the rubber the rubber blade or damage the supporting arm.

Even if the arm does come clear the wiper will take some time to cause enough friction to start to melt a hard frost. Friction which will also wear the rubber blades.

De-icing your windscreen the correct way

To enable your windscreen to stay frost and ice free overnight, you need to cover it tightly with a non-absorbent fabric of some kind the night before. When you get to your car in the morning most of the ice and frost would have collected on the outside of the fabric, and you will be able pull it straight off - with a perfectly clear screen underneath.

This obviously needs a little forward planning but it could save you a good 5 or 10 minutes of scraping. Purpose made windscreen frost protection covers are very inexpensive and are available from most good auto accessories stores. Absorbent fabrics or newspaper may work to some extent but it may get damp before it freezes and just end up being frozen to your windscreen.

Your second best option is spray de-icer. This is also inexpensive and when sprayed on your screen it simply lowers the melting point of the ice by chemical action and the ice will melt rapidly allowing the wipers to wipe it away when it's liquefied, or scrape off easily if you are in a hurry.

The third best option is your trusty scraper. This takes a bit of time but it's a good standby if you forget to cover your screen or have run out of de-icer spray. If you don't have this either there is always an old credit card...

Penalties for driving without a properly cleared windscreen

The law states all car windows and mirrors must be clear before you drive. Driving while peering through a small de-iced hole in the windscreen can get you a fine of £1,000 for driving with restricted visibility.


If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, Car Call and our partners can help you get a replacement vehicle, car repairs, legal assistance and injury compensation. Please give us a call on 02392 484 244 , and one of our experienced claims advisors will be happy to assist you.


No need to claim on your insurance

Anyone who has been involved in a road accident has the right to choose who repairs their vehicle. If you were responsible for the accident you were involved in, the company that insures your vehicle would normally deal with your accident claim.

However if you were not at-fault for the accident, you can choose to either claim on your own insurance policy or make a claim independently of your insurer. To find out more call 02392 484 244 and we will be happy to help.

We and our partners help thousands of people make independent accident claims. Our service enables motorists to get the help and assistance they need to resolve their accident related issues, with the costs being recovered directly from the at-fault driver on your behalf.

No excess to pay

Unfortunately even if an accident was not your fault, your insurer will almost certainly require you to pay your excess before any repair is started on your car.

This money should of course be recovered by an insurer at a later date, but with our service - you do not have to pay it at all.

By using our independent claims service, you are not making a claim on your insurance policy and so you will have no excess to pay.

Receive a like-for-like replacement hire vehicle

Not all insurance policies will include a replacement hire-car for you to use if yours is damaged and unroadworthy. In fact it is typically an 'optional extra' on your policy.

Other policies may offer a 'courtesy car' but this is often just a 'basic' saloon or hatchback which may not be suitable for your needs.

Car Call and its partners will provide a like-for-like replacement vehicle as part of our service. This means we will endeavour to supply a hire-vehicle that similar to your own in terms of its type, make and engine size.

So whether you drive a small hatchback or a prestige sports car, we will look to provide a similar hire-vehicle that suits your needs.

Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs

If you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to have to worry about is the quality of the repairs to your car. We have a UK wide network of partner approved Accident Repair Centres available to all of our customers.

Many of our accident repair centres are have manufacturer approvals for specific brands, so if you require a manufacturer approved repair centre, simply tell your personal claim handler and they will ensure your vehicle goes to an approved repairer.

Want you vehicle repaired by a specific garage? No problem, we can alternatively use a repairer that you specify.

Legal Assistance

Our partner solicitors provide legal assistance as part of our service. They specialise in motor claims related issues, so you can be assured of the best possible advice and assistance.

They issues they can assist you with include:

  • Recovery of the cost of the replacement hire-vehicle
  • Recovery of the cost of uplifting your damaged vehicle
  • Recovery of all repair costs
  • Recovery of the cost of damaged of personal items
  • Seeking financial compensation for an injury