Is It Illegal to Drive Without a Rear Windscreen Wiper in the UK


Driving in the UK comes with a set of rules and regulations designed to ensure road safety. One often overlooked aspect of vehicle safety is the rear windscreen wiper. In this article, we will explore the legal requirements for rear windscreen wipers in the UK, the consequences of driving without one, and how you can ensure both safety and compliance.

Understanding the Importance of Rear Windscreen Wipers

Rear windscreen wipers may seem like a minor feature, but they play a crucial role in maintaining clear visibility through the rear window. They help to clear rain, snow, and debris, ensuring that the driver can see what’s happening behind the vehicle.

The Legal Requirements for Rear Windscreen Wipers in the UK

In the UK, the law mandates that vehicles must be fitted with a rear windscreen wiper if they have a rear window that is swept by the windscreen wiper. This requirement is in place to guarantee that drivers have unobstructed visibility.

Penalties for Driving Without a Rear Windscreen Wiper

Driving without a functioning rear windscreen wiper in the UK is not only unsafe but also illegal. If you are caught driving without one, you could face penalties, including fines and penalty points on your driving license. The severity of the penalty may vary depending on the circumstances.

Exceptions and Exemptions

Certain vehicles, such as classic cars, may be exempt from the requirement to have a rear windscreen wiper. However, these exceptions are limited, and the vehicle must meet specific criteria to qualify for exemption. It’s crucial to understand if your vehicle falls under any exemptions before deciding to remove or not repair the rear windscreen wiper.

Ensuring Safety and Visibility

While it’s essential to meet legal requirements, the primary concern should be your safety and the safety of other road users. A functioning rear windscreen wiper is a vital component that contributes to clear visibility during adverse weather conditions.

Why Regular Maintenance Matters

To avoid the hassle of penalties and, more importantly, to stay safe on the road, regular maintenance of your rear windscreen wiper is crucial. Cleaning the wiper blade, checking for any signs of wear, and ensuring it functions correctly are all steps you can take to prevent issues.

The Role of Insurance

Driving without a rear windscreen wiper may also impact your insurance coverage. If you are involved in an accident, and it is determined that your visibility was compromised due to a faulty or absent rear windscreen wiper, it could affect your insurance claim.

DIY Repairs and Replacement

If you encounter issues with your rear windscreen wiper, you can often address them through DIY repairs or by replacing the wiper blade. It’s a relatively simple process that can help you maintain both safety and compliance.

A Word of Caution

While you may be tempted to remove or disable your rear windscreen wiper to enhance the aesthetics of your vehicle, it’s essential to consider the legal and safety implications. Compliance with the law and ensuring safety should always be the top priorities.


In conclusion, driving without a rear windscreen wiper in the UK is illegal and can result in penalties and compromised safety. It’s vital to meet the legal requirements, perform regular maintenance, and prioritize safety on the road. Always remember that visibility is a key factor in ensuring road safety.


  1. Can I remove my rear windscreen wiper if I find it unattractive?
    While it may be tempting to remove it for aesthetic reasons, doing so can have legal and safety consequences.
  2. Are there exceptions for classic cars without rear windscreen wipers?
    Some classic cars may be exempt, but specific criteria must be met. It’s essential to verify if your vehicle qualifies for an exemption.
  3. What kind of penalties can I face for driving without a rear windscreen wiper in the UK?
    Penalties can include fines and penalty points on your driving license, the severity of which may vary based on the circumstances.
  4. How can I maintain my rear windscreen wiper to ensure it functions correctly?
    Regular maintenance includes cleaning the wiper blade, checking for wear, and ensuring it functions as intended.
  5. Can driving without a rear windscreen wiper affect my insurance coverage?
    Yes, if an accident occurs and it’s determined that your visibility was compromised due to a faulty or absent rear windscreen wiper, it may impact your insurance claim.

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