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How to handle damaged windscreens

6th September 2023

Damage to your windscreen is the most common type of damage to any vehicle. A small crack left untreated can not only result in dangerous driving, but can also determine whether your vehicle  fails it’s MOT. Read our guide to find out how best to handle damaged windscreens. 

What can cause a damaged windscreen? 

There are many factors that can cause a damaged windscreen. These include: 

  • Rocks, gravel or stones hitting your windscreen  
  • Poor glass quality or glass not fitted by an expert technician  
  • Debris and falling tree branches during bad weather  
  • Sudden changes in temperature 

Is it illegal to drive with a damaged windscreen? 

Driving with a damaged windscreen may be considered a motoring offence. Depending on the size of the crack or chip, your vehicle could be in a dangerous condition. According to the highway code, drivers legally need to have a full view of the road ahead with no blockages that can obscure the driver's view. Failing to adhere to this can result in a fixed penalty of three points on your licence as well as a fine.  

These penalties may increase to a more serious driving offence should an accident or collision happen due to a damaged windscreen.  

Will a damaged windscreen fail an MOT? 

Windscreen damage can result in a failed MOT if the chip is 40mm or longer anywhere on the glass. A smaller chip as little as 10mm can also result in a failed MOT if it is within a certain area of your windscreen such as in front of the steering wheel, where it is in line of the driver’s vision.  

A failed MOT due to windscreen damage means you will be required to repair any chips before attempting to retake an MOT test.  

How to prevent a damaged windscreen 

Some damages to your windscreen may be impossible to prevent, such as a stone hitting your vehicle and cricking or chipping your windscreen. However, there are some ways you can prevent windscreen damage such as: 

  • Inspecting your windscreen for any signs of damage such as minor chips and small cracks. Get these seen to immediately to prevent them from becoming larger  

How much does a damaged windscreen cost? 

How much a damaged windscreen costs will depend on the size of the chip or crack. Generally, a minor repair will be covered by your car insurance. A chip or crack that is left untreated can increase the size of the damage and may require replacing the entire windscreen, which can be costly depending on the make and model of your vehicle.  

To help maintain your vehicle, book in for a service at your local Merityre branch. For more information about windscreen maintenance, contact our specialist technicians today.