MOTORISTS have been urged to dig out their bucket and sponge and give their dirty licence plates a clean.

While there is no law against driving a mucky vehicle, the law is very clear when it comes to ensuring your number plate is easy to read. 

The weather at this time of year means many motorists drive with their cars covered in a layer of filth due to grit on the roads and salty water sticking to vehicles.

But if dirt obscures your number plate, you could face a £1,000 fine.

Reminders about the law have been shared by many online after a driver on the M6 was stopped last month.

The NW Motorway Police spokesman said: "The driver was reported for a registration plate not being easily readable and was advised about condition of rear lights.

"Please make sure your registration plate is clear along with your lights so others can see you.

"A 30 second check would stop you getting a fine."

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth issued a reminder about the law this time last year.

He said: “A number plate must be readable and not covered by dirt.

“This is to ensure a vehicle can be identified as and when required.

“At this time of year it’s easy for a number plate to get so dirty that it cannot be read.

"This is usually caused by muck on damp road surfaces that ends up on the rear of a car.

“Although there is no law against having a dirty car, the law is very clear when it comes to keeping your number plates clear; you risk a £1000 fine if you allow it to become obscured."

Advice is to check on your licence plate before each journey and give it a wipe if needed.

Neil added: “It makes sense to get into the habit of giving your number plate a regular wipe – every day when conditions require.

"Do the same for your front and rear lights, and you will be doing your bit for safety during this risky time of year."