Windscreen damage is fairly common and mostly caused by road debris such as stone chips. Although you can ignore minor chips or cracks, it can eventually get worse and require a windscreen repair or replacement.
Failing to repair the windscreen damage can cause your car to fail its MOT if the damage is affecting the driver’s view. Depending upon the severity, it may even result in a fixed penalty on the roadside if you are pulled over by the police.
When To Repair or Replace The Windscreen
Depending upon the severity of the damage to the windscreen will determine whether you may get away with a cheap repair or a more costly replacement. As a general rule, if the size of the windscreen chip is larger than a £2 coin, it would be advisable to replace the windscreen altogether.
The location of the chip is also a deciding factor because it can’t be too close to the edge of the windscreen. Most windscreen replacement experts state that it needs to be at least 3 cm away from the edge in order to be repaired. Any chips larger than 10 mm also shouldn’t be in the driver’s line of sight too and would warrant a replacement.
What’s The Cost To Repair A Windscreen?
Depending upon whether you get a professional to repair the windscreen or you do it yourself will determine the cost of the repair. For a professional to repair the windscreen, it can cost anywhere between £30 to £50 to repair. However, if you are based in premium areas such as central London, you may have an extra 10 to 20% to pay on top.
If you were to repair the chip or crack yourself, you can purchase most repair kits for around £20 to £30. These kits usually comes with a microfibre towel, resin, polish and a polishing disc that attaches to a cordless drill.
What’s Involved With A Repair?
In terms of the process of repairing a windscreen, it involves the following steps:
- Use a car glass cleaner to clear the surface
- Use a razor blade or sanding disc to remove tiny bits of glass
- Setup the applicator over the chip or crack
- Apply the resin to the area
- Remove the applicator and allow the resin to set
- Use a razor blade to remove excess resin
- Apply a glass polish to remove fine scratches
Below is a stone chip that was picked up on my Audi RS6 but was luckily repaired cheaply (£35 to be exact) by a professional. What was worrying about this particular chip was the glass being expensive due to the fact the car featured a heads up display and rain sensors. This meant that a premium windscreen would need to be used as a replacement, which as you can imagine would have cost a fortune.
How Much Does A Windscreen Replacement Cost?
If the damage can’t be repaired, you may have to open your wallet and pay the windscreen replacement cost. Depending upon the car will dictate the cost of the windscreen replacement because certain windscreens are harder to install. Many premium cars also feature extras such as rain sensors, noise suppression, heating elements and tints required for the car’s heads up displays to work properly. Therefore, the windscreen replacement cost can vary as shown below:
- Budget – £200 to £350
- Mid-range – £300 to £500
- Premium – £500 to £1,500
The reason for the difference between the cost is due to the fact that you can have an aftermarket or OEM windscreen replacement. Personally, I would opt for an OEM replacement because any eager eyed salesmen will spot that an aftermarket windscreen has been used as a replacement.
Should You Claim Through Your Insurance?
Many insurance companies in the UK offer windscreen cover as part of their policy. Although this comes with a small excess, it’s often the best choice for those that can’t afford the cost of replacing their windscreen. However, it’s worth noting that the claim may potentially increase your insurance premiums in the future. Therefore, it’s worth asking around for multiple quotes for the windscreen replacement as it really does vary
How To Avoid Further Damage
If you are waiting for a professional to come and repair your windscreen, you will want to avoid any further damage. Therefore, we would highly recommend avoiding to drive your car if possible because this will prevent it from spreading.
Depending upon the time of year, you may also want to try and maintain a consistent safe temperature of the windscreen. This is made possible by using a windscreen cover as it protects it against cold and hot weather.
Windscreen damage is something that you simply can’t ignore and it’s advised that you get any chips or cracks repaired sooner rather than later. As you can see from the costs above, repairing the windscreen isn’t that expensive but the the windscreen replacement cost certainly is and you will want to try and avoid it if possible.