Can You Drive with a Cracked Windscreen?

A chip or crack in the windscreen should never be overlooked, as it can impair your vision and obstruct your view of the road. To avoid the risk of further damage, it is sometimes necessary to repair or even replace your windscreen. In this article we explain what to do if your windscreen gets damaged.

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What to do if my windscreen gets damaged?

If your windscreen becomes cracked or damaged, it is important to have it fixed as soon as possible. Depending on the type and extent of the damage and if it is located in your line of vision, you may need to get a full windscreen replacement or a simple repair. In either case, it is important to contact a professional windscreen specialist to assess the damage and determine the best course of action.

Any damage to your windscreen should make you react quickly:

  • Contact your insurance company.
  • If it is an act of vandalism, report it to the police.
  • Then have your windscreen repaired or replaced quickly to avoid the crack becoming larger or even an accident.

Is it safe to drive with a cracked or chipped windscreen?

Driving with a cracked or chipped windscreen can be dangerous and increase the risk of an accident. Depending on the severity of the crack, the windscreen may be weakened and unable to provide the necessary support and protection in the event of an accident. For this reason, it is important to have a cracked windscreen repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

What's the difference between a windscreen chip and a windscreen crack?

The main difference between a windscreen chip and a windscreen crack is the size of the damage.

A windscreen chip is a small piece of damage, often the size of a coin or smaller, while a windscreen crack is a larger, more substantial break in the glass. Windscreen chips can be repaired, but windscreen cracks usually need the entire windscreen to be replaced.

Is it legal to drive with a cracked windscreen in the UK?

A cracked windscreen can be a major distraction while driving and can even reduce visibility, so it is important to know the law in the UK when it comes to driving with a cracked windscreen. In the UK, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a cracked windscreen that is more than 10mm in diameter.

For any crack less than 10mm in diameter, the windscreen must still be in a safe condition and any cracks must not be in the driver's line of sight.

Have your windscreen checked by your Point S centre. Your expert technician will advise you on what to do: repair the windscreen or replace the entire windscreen, regarding the size of the damage.

When should you have your windscreen repaired?

If you have a chip in your windscreen, it's important to have it repaired as soon as possible. Windscreen damage can quickly worsen with exposure to the elements, and a tiny crack can quickly turn into a large one that will need to be replaced. It's best to get your windscreen assessed and repaired as soon as you notice any damage.

During the lifetime of your car, it is possible that your windscreen may be damaged. The repair must be adapted to the nature of the damage. Specifically, in the event of damage to your windscreen, the course of action to take depends on the size and location of the chip or crack. For example, if you notice damage of less than 2.5 centimetres (about the diameter of a £2 coin) that is not in your field of vision, your windscreen should be repaired. Even if the chip does not appear to be significant, your car window is still weakened, and the small chip can quickly turn into a large crack.

The repair of this impact, thanks to a resin injection, is quick: about an hour.

When should you have your windscreen replaced?

If your windscreen is cracked, it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible. Even a small crack can spread quickly, leading to a more expensive repair. If the crack is larger than a 20-cent coin or in the driver’s vision, it should be replaced immediately. Windscreen replacements should be done by a qualified technician to ensure a safe and reliable repair. Ask your Point S experts!

Cracks can quickly spread and cause further damage to the windscreen, as well as compromising the structural integrity of the car. If the crack is too large, it can be unsafe to drive and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Will a cracked windscreen fail an MOT?

A cracked windscreen is likely to be considered an MOT failure. The size and location of the crack will determine whether or not it is considered an MOT failure. If the crack is in the driver's direct line of sight, or within 10mm of the edge of the windscreen, it will almost certainly fail the MOT.

How much does it cost to repair a windscreen chip?

The cost of repairing a windscreen chip can vary depending on the size and location of the chip, as well as the type of vehicle. Generally, repairing a chip costs between £40 and £120, with the average cost being around £75. However, if the chip is too large, a replacement windscreen may be required, which can cost anywhere from £200 to £400.

Have your windscreen repaired with Point S

At Point S, in most of our car centres, you will find a competent team to carry out the diagnosis of your windscreen’s damage and provide the necessary solution. If you have a problem with your windscreen, contact your nearest Point S centre or book an appointment online.

In summary:

  • For a simple scratch or surface chip (a piece of glass coming off), it is not necessary to intervene because the windscreen is not likely to crack (unless, of course, it hinders visibility when driving).
  • In the case of more serious damage (bull's eye, large crack, split, bubble), it is imperative to repair or even replace the vehicle windscreen. This must be done quickly, as the impact weakens the glass and can spread to the entire windscreen.

In the event of any severe damage, be sure to have the windscreen changed or repaired by a professional. Only the expert will be able to make the right diagnosis for your car!