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Waking up in the morning to a fresh blanket of snow can be exciting. You picture hours spent sledging with your kids in the park, making a snowman (or snow woman!) in the garden and nights spent by the fire.

But the reality can be different. Even if you're only making a five-minute journey, it can be hard to get to work on time when snow and ice cover your car. It's not only an inconvenience to clear the vehicle but driving with snow on your car roof could see you face a fine and points on your licence. 

Is it illegal?

According to the Highway Code, you must be able to see out of every glass panel in your vehicle when driving in adverse weather conditions. This means that you must be able to see clearly through all of your car windows.

And while it is not illegal to drive with snow on your roof, you could face a penalty if it falls onto your windscreen while driving. Even if it flies into the path of another car when driving, such offences as 'driving without due consideration' or 'using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition' could apply.

You need to thoroughly clear your car of snow, ice or condensation to make sure you're not breaking the law. That means checking all windows, lights and the rest of your car for anything that could fall into the path of another driver.

Use an ice scraper and de-icer to wipe away the snow or frost – you can pick up both from B&M for less than £2. It doesn't cost much and will save you time in the long run.

What happens if I don't clear snow off the roof?

You could leave yourself open to a £60 fine and three penalty points on your licence if you're caught driving with snow on your car. It could also affect your car insurance policy as well.

Your insurance company could potentially withhold a pay-out if they find you were involved in a car accident that was your fault. You will need to cover the damage yourself in this situation and could face higher premiums as a result.

This is because insurers will consider you more likely to have another accident if you've already been involved in a crash that was your fault. You're likely to lose some or all of any no-claims bonus you've built up as well. 

Don't forget, you'll need to declare this claim every time you renew your insurance for the next three to five years. The effect of this at-fault claim should fall off with each year that you rebuild your no-claims bonus though.

Recently been involved in a car accident? Find out what happens when someone claims on your car insurance.  

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