MOTORISTS can be hit with a whopping £5,000 fine for not keeping the INSIDE of their cars clean, according to experts.
While it is not illegal to have a dirty car, there are some circumstances where you could be stung in the wallet for it. As the dark winter nights draw in, it’s vital your windscreen is clean and smear-free to avoid potentially blinding glare from the headlights of other motorists.
Brits are being urged to polish the inside of their windscreens and windows - and not just let the windscreen wipers take care of the exterior.
If your windscreen isn’t clear and you’re involved in an accident, you can be charged with ‘careless driving’ - even if any accident you encounter isn't your fault.
Careless driving typically carries a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points.
For more serious accidents, the fine could potentially rise to £5,000, while drivers who can’t see clearly through dirty glass could also face up to nine penalty points on their licence.
Mark Tongue, director of leading UK car leasing firm Select Car Leasing has handed a word of warning, ahead of a period when maintaining your car takes extra importance.
Mr Tongue says: “It’s one of the most neglected areas of cars when it comes to routine maintenance.
“The law states that windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision.
“And while most people think this refers to dirt which can build up on the outside, such as mud splatters, it refers to the inside of your vehicle too.
“Grime on the inside of windscreens can create a dazzling, blinding glare when motorists are faced with other car’s headlights. Meanwhile, a build-up of interior dust and dirt also means mist and condensation takes a lot longer to clear.
“That’s vital to remember as we approach the season of cold, wintery mornings where you might also find a layer of ice on your windscreen, too.”
Regulation 30 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 says: "All glass or other transparent material fitted to a motor vehicle shall be maintained in such condition that it does not obscure the vision of the driver while the vehicle is being driven on a road”.
Mr Tongue adds: “At first glance, in the daylight, your windscreen might look clean.
“But it’s often a very different story at night, when the grime becomes all too obvious and your view of the road ahead is seriously impeded.”
The Select Car Leasing team suggest giving the inside of your glass a wipe down at least once a week.
They add: “You can use a dedicated glass cleaner, or some vehicle owners swear by using a solution made from water and white wine vinegar.
“Whatever you use, make sure it’s not abrasive to the glass seals. And ensure any residue is buffed away using a good microfibre cloth to make sure no streaks are left behind.
“You’ll probably be quite surprised - and horrified - by just how dirty your windscreen really was, without you even realising it.”
The Highway Code also sets out cleanliness rules when it comes to windscreens.
It states: “Windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.