When Should You Replace Your Car’s Windscreen?

At Quality Fit Windscreens, we are often asked if you can drive with a broken, cracked or chipped windscreen. The answer depends on a number of things. In short, if the state of your windscreen makes driving your car unsafe, you will need to replace it as soon as possible.

Let’s take a look at when you should replace your car’s windscreen.

Broken Car Window

If It’s Broken

It’s a rather obvious point! It’s illegal and extremely dangerous to drive around without a fully intact windscreen.

If It Can’t Be Repaired

Windscreens are generally a laminate glass – a layer of transparent plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass. A windscreen can only be repaired if only one of those layers is cracked or chipped and ideally, not damaged all the way through that layer.

How can a windscreen be repaired? We inject a resin that works its way into the affected area to strengthen the damaged glass. Unfortunately, not all damage can be repaired.

Here are a couple of issues that we can’t repair:

  • Damage that’s in the directly eye line of the driver.
  • Damage in the driver’s view (but not direct eye line) larger than 10mm. We can repair larger issues depending on where it is located.
  • Damage close to, or on the edge of the windscreen.
  • Large cracks as cracks will often spread by snaking through the glass.

You can see a guide here.

Repair Broken Car Windscreen

If It’s Unsafe

Here we don’t mean glass safety (that’s an obvious one too – you shouldn’t be driving with shards of glass sticking out from the frame), we mean if it’s unsafe to drive your vehicle in the first place.

Your windscreen plays a very essential role in the structural integrity of your vehicle. Modern cars rely on its windscreen to keep it together and safe on the road.

A severely damaged windscreen can mean that your car won’t be able to handle the stress of regular driving or an accident compared to an undamaged car. You don’t want to find out if your car can handle an accident when it’s too late, so please give us a call as soon as possible!

Unsafe Damaged Windscreen

If You’re Selling The Vehicle

When selling or buying a vehicle, it needs to be roadworthy and there are a few regulations that apply to windscreen health. It is possible to get a damaged windscreen through a roadworthy check as long as:

  • Any cracks can’t be too deep.
  • Chips (and any cracks around it) are 16mm or less across.
  • Any damage doesn’t impair the driver’s vision.

We think that it’s general courtesy to replace a damaged windscreen before selling, however, it’s not always necessary. We can help to ensure your windscreen will pass any roadworthy checks – keep in mind that you may need to replace it.

If you’re unsure, get an expert’s opinion. If you are certain that your windscreen needs to be replaced, get a free quote here, or book an appointment by contacting us here.

Quality Fit Windscreens can come to you, which is often the safest, especially if you don’t know if your car is safe to drive.