Reading this article could save you from getting fined up to £1,000 this winter.

We don’t get a great deal of snow in this country, so when we do get a light sprinkling it’s important to know what you need to do to ensure that your vehicle is safe and legal to drive.

Whilst everyone knows to remove the ice from their car’s windscreen and windows before setting off, did you know that you also need to take care to remove any snow or ice that may be obstructing your number plates?

Let’s find out a little more about how to properly de-ice your car and why removing snow and ice from your number plates is so important.

How to properly de-ice your car

Failing to do a proper job when de-icing your car is not only dangerous, it’s against the law.

Snow and ice can cause dangerous driving conditions, so taking care to remove all snow and ice that could obstruct your vision when driving or obstruct others’ view of your car is very important.

Here are our top tips for safely de-icing your car:

  1. Make sure you’ve always got an old fashioned ice scraper and a bottle of de-icer to hand before the cold weather arrives so that you’re never caught out.
  2. Don’t try to de-ice your car using the windscreen wipers or boiling water.
  3. De-ice all windows, not just the front and back windscreens.
  4. De-ice your mirrors.
  5. De-ice your lights.
  6. De-ice your vehicle’s number plates.

Only once you’ve completely de-iced your car as detailed above; your car is now safe to drive.

Why do I need to de-ice my vehicle’s number plates?

In the UK, every car must have a unique registration number to be legally roadworthy.

Your vehicle registration number is registered to your vehicle (not to you) and demonstrates that the vehicle is taxed, insured, has a valid MOT, and is fit to be on the road.

It is against the law for your number plates to be obstructed at any time whilst you’re driving around, that includes being all or partially covered up by snow or ice.

Failure to remove snow or ice from your vehicle’s number plates could land you with a hefty fine of up to £1,000.


So, next time the temperature plummets, make sure that you’re removing ice or snow from all windows, lights, mirrors, and both number plates before you hit the road.

Investing in a 3D or 4D number plate for your vehicle can improve your registration number’s visibility and help your number plate to stand out.

For further help or advice about vehicle registration numbers or how to buy a 3D or 4D number plate, get in touch with our team here at the Number Plate Clinic by calling us on 01204 534 333 or emailing [email protected]