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Windscreen Chips: Repair or Replace?

Experts estimate that a rise in potholes in the roads is related to a 30% increase in windscreen chips. Most drivers will pick up a chip or a crack from loose stones or debris on the road at some point and it is very possible that you will join the third of UK drivers who have experienced chipped or cracked windscreens in the past year.

So, what do you need to do if your windscreen becomes chipped or cracked? The fact is, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money and depending on the location and size of the chip, your local windscreen repair centre may well repair it for free.

However, if you don’t repair a chipped or cracked windscreen as soon as possible, the problem can worsen; like a ladder in a pair of tights, a chip or crack can spread. This impairs your vision and compromises the strength of your windscreen which, in turn, weakens the entire structure of your car. It is no wonder, then, that there are specific rules that must be adhered to in order for a car to pass its MOT test.

Know your Zones

The size of damage permitted in your windscreen is dependent on its zone. If the damage is bigger than that specified, your car will fail its MOT test (see image above).

  • ZONE A – Chip or crack under 10mm
  • ZONE B – Chip or crack under 15mm
  • ZONE C – Chip or crack under 25mm
  • ZONE D – Chip or crack under 40mm

Fix it Properly

There are a number of DIY windscreen repair products on the market. However, many garages and windscreen repair specialists will fix windscreen damage up to a certain size for free, or at a very low cost. We recommend that you find a local garage that you trust to undertake your repairs; for the sake of a few pounds it is not worth risking your safety or the safety of others.

If the damage exceeds its zone limit, you will need to replace your windscreen. It may be worth checking with your insurer to see if your policy covers windscreen replacement, but be careful to check the impact that a claim may have on your “no claims bonus”, and be aware that you may have to pay an excess fee.

It is important that you find a local windscreen repair centre that you can trust; read other people’s reviews, contact them for a quote and make an informed decision based on what is convenient for you, what is safe, and how others rate the garage.

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