If it’s been a while since you took your car for a clean, you might want to have a rethink.
Having a filthy car could land you with a fine of up to £5,000.
You might already know that having a dirty number plate can land you in hot water.
You can get a fine of up to £1,000 if you registration plate is difficult to read.
And you can get slapped with a penalty of the same amount for having a filthy windscreen.
You could even get points on your licence or a driving ban if you don’t clean your windshield properly.
However, you might not have given much thought to the inside of your car – and this could prove a costly mistake.
While the police probably don’t mind if your car is full of empty wrappers and discarded shopping bags, it is a problem if it inhibits your ability to drive.
It’s also an issue if the inside of your windscreen is obscured.
If you’re in a crash and the windscreen wasn’t clear, you can be charged with careless driving regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not.
An obscured windscreen could be caused by anything from leaves to snow and ice, so be sure to clean it properly before you set off.
And while you’re waiting for the car to defrost on a winters morning, consider having a tidy up inside.
After all, you can’t leave the car unattended while it de-ices or you could invalidate your insurance.
Clear away any newspapers, letters or papers that you’ve stacked up on the dashboard as these could obstruct your vision by driving.
You should tidy up any stray bags and bottles too, which could be hazardous if they get trapped under pedals while you’re driving.
The fine for careless driving can be up to £5,000 and you could get as many as nine points on your licence.
In a less serious incident, you could still be hit with three penalty points and a £100 fine.
It comes under Regulation 30 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
This says that any transparent material in your car – such as your windows or windscreen – should be kept in such a condition that it does not obscure the vision of the driver while the vehicle is being driven.
Meanwhile, the Highway Code says windscreens and windows “must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.
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