Motorists urged to check cars to avoid £5k fines in winter wildlife mishap

With the days getting darker, it's never been more important to be careful behind the wheel.

The colder season could also make the roads more slippery as drivers are urged to take caution on the roads. Now motoring experts warned about wildlife.

According to experts, if an animal gets stuck under the car, it could result in extensive and costly damage. It's because smaller animals would be taking shelter during winter.

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Cats, squirrels and hedgehogs are always on the lookout for places to keep warm and could wind up lurking around your engine area.

The engine is a popular hiding spot for creatures because of the warmth, but it contains various components like fan belts and blades.

Unfortunately, it could become dangerous for both the animals and the car. And any damage incurred could lead to a costly replacement up to £5,000.

Ways to prevent animals for getting trapped in a vehicle include installing motion-activated alarms near the car and using natural herb repellents such as lavender.

Tim Alcock, from, said: "All car owners are being asked to be on the lookout for pets and animals before they get behind the wheel.

"Cars and vans offer the perfect warm sanctuary from cold winds and freezing temperatures, especially when the engine has recently been running, so it is important to check for them before.

"Common spots for animals to hide include the car engine, under the hood and on top of the wheels."

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Here are six ways to deter animals:

1. Motion activated alarms

Motion-activated alarms, or lights, can startle animals and discourage them from coming over to the vehicle and making camp.

2. Use Herbs

Some herbs such as lavender and rosemary contain scents unpleasant to cats and create a natural repellent. It is worth sprinkling this around and spraying where animals could try to sneak in.

3. Park in the garage

If possible, park the vehicle in a garage as it will create a barrier between the animals and the car. Those without a garage should consider using a car cover.

4. Keep it clean

Leaving food and rubbish in a vehicle could attract animals to come closer to the vehicle, so it is worth having a winter clean.

5. Beep the horn

If a motorist suspects an animal could be hanging around their car, honk the horn or bang on the hood before starting the engine. If the animal was sleeping, this should give them time to escape.

6. Double-check

Routinely check the vehicle before setting off anywhere – think about checking underneath the vehicle, and even in the wheel arch above the tyres.

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