UK drivers spend three hours a year defrosting windscreens

Date Posted 26th January 2023
Read Time 3 min read

UK motorists spend up to three hours a year de-icing their windscreens, according to new research by Škoda UK.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that over half of all UK drivers (51%) are unaware that it’s illegal to walk away from your car when its idling on a public road, and that this could land them with an £80 fine.

Škoda’s recent research has uncovered that a quarter (25%) of UK drivers spend at least two to four minutes clearing their windscreens of ice. Around a third (35%) of UK drivers spend between five to seven minutes on average, scrapping ice off their windscreens, whilst just over a tenth (13%) of UK motorists spend from eight to ten minutes completing the same chore.

To put these figures into a greater perspective, when looking at the UK’s 40.8 million licensed vehicles – the population loses around 337 years to defrosting windscreens.

When the public was questioned by Škoda – about commonly used methods to get rid of windscreen frost – a variety of answers were given.

The most popular method used by the public proved to be their cars’ heating system, with 63% stating they used this approach. Next was the ice-scraper, used by 57% of the driving population. A de-icer was the third most common tactic, whilst 27% simply use their windscreen wipers. Around 15% thought boiled water was the most effective method, whereas 13% confessed to using their bank cards or other plastic cards to complete the job.

What was also revealed through this survey was that more than three quarters (76%) of UK motorists admitted to keeping the engine running whilst de-icing, in order to speed up the process. This is the before mentioned illegal practice that can lead to a fine of up to £80.

This revealing survey also divulged that around 74% of UK motorists are oblivious to the fact that electric vehicles (EVs) can be ‘preconditioned’ – via an app – to defrost the windscreen before the driver even gets into the car.

Drivers of the Škoda Enyaq iV, can use the Škoda Connect app – along with the parameter settings on the infotainment system – to perform various functions. These included defrosting the windscreen, heating the entire cabin, as well as preparing the car’s battery for cold conditions – ensuring it’s ready, at a specific time, to be driven.

A good tip for drivers is to keep the car’s charging cable connected when performing preconditioning. This prevents energy being taken from the battery during this process, thereby ensuring the vehicle is still capable of delivering its maximum driving range when preconditioning is completed.

This preconditioning feature of Škoda’s EVs could save owners up to ten minutes a day. Research also revealed that more than two thirds (67%) of UK drivers would take advantage of Škoda’s preconditioning feature to save fuel, and to reduce time spent in the cold, if they owned one of the brand’s EVs.

Further winter combating features of the Enyaq iV include tri-zone climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated front washer nozzles.

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