As winter sets in, car owners often grapple with the challenge of maintaining a clean vehicle amidst less-than-ideal weather conditions. Icy roads threaten paintwork as grit can scratch your car, puddles leave behind a muddy residue, and melted snow can make your car appear dusty.
In response to this, Hippo Leasing has revealed how drivers could save £2,451.73 by simply keeping their cars clean in winter.
Hippo Leasing has also been on the hunt for the UK cities with the cleanest and grimiest cars. To do this, they delved into the car wash services available in the United Kingdom’s 50 most populous cities to uncover which has the most car washes per square mile meaning their cars don’t suffer as much in winter.
While the cost of professional car cleaning may be the immediate concern for many drivers, the potential expenses associated with neglecting regular cleaning can far outweigh the savings.
Drivers often underestimate the financial toll of damage caused by dirty cars, with hefty fines for obscured views, unreadable number plates, and the risk of rust and scratches. Here’s a breakdown of potential costs and key winter car cleaning tips:
Drivers warned they could be fined £1,000 for not cleaning their windscreen in winter
As stated in Annex 6 Vehicle Maintenance, Safety and Security of the Highway Code, “windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.
This is a more difficult task during the winter months as the weather is not in motorists’ favour. However, it’s important to keep on top of cleaning your windscreen or you could face a huge £1,000 fine for failure to have full view of the road or traffic ahead.
The easiest way for drivers to keep their windscreens clear in winter is to ensure their screenwash is topped up. However, drivers should be wary of how they’re diluting their screenwash in the colder months vs the warmer months, as diluting screenwash too heavily in winter can cause it to freeze. Therefore, it’s best to ensure the solution is more concentrated in the winter months to avoid this.
Is your number plate visible? If you’re not sure, check, or you could get a £1,000 fine
Before getting behind the wheel in winter, drivers should always check that their number plate is visible. If not, you could face a £1,000 fine for the plate not being detectable by speed cameras or police checks. Driving on muddy, snowy, and icy roads can result in splashes of dirt covering licence plates, which can quickly build up over time.
Cars can develop rust if they’re not cleaned regularly – costing £361.73 in repairs
Rarely cleaning your car can leave it vulnerable to rust and corrosion due to dirt and grime on the vehicle being abrasive. This can deteriorate the car’s clear coat over time.
Once the clear coat has been damaged, it can lead to rusting. On average, rust repair treatments cost around £361.73. However, this can be avoided if drivers keep on top of their car cleaning schedule.
Scratches from dust particles could cost £90 to rectify
Did you know that dust can cause scratches to your car? This is due to these tiny dust particles being abrasive, and once swept across the car’s paintwork, can leave small scratch marks over the car.
If you clean your car regularly, some scratches will easily buff out. However, others may not be as easy to get rid of if you have a large amount of dust build up on your vehicle. On average, it costs £90 for a light surface scratch repair in the UK.