Technicican replacing car windshield | sylv1rob1/Shutterstock.com

Your vehicle’s windshield is an important safety feature. In the event of an accident, the toughened safety glass strengthens the vehicle’s structure to prevent the roof from collapsing, while also keeping you and your passengers inside the vehicle in the event of a head-on collision.

Damage to the windshield, even a small chip or crack, weakens the structural integrity and undermines the robust design. If you are worried about the cost of repairing the glass and the damage seems minor, you may consider delaying the repairs, but that is not a wise decision.

Even minor faults increase the chance of a structural failure during an accident, but before deciding on the timing of repairs, ask yourself: How much does it cost to replace a windshield?

The sooner you make repairs, the better. Fortunately, in many cases, your auto insurance has got you covered.

Windshield replacement costs

The cost to replace a windshield varies based on the make and model of the car. Costs range from $150 to $300, with an average of $214. However, rare windshields for collector cars and high value vehicles, which are only available through dealers, could cost as much as $1,500. Shop around for quotes before committing to a purchase.

It is possible to reduce costs by purchasing an aftermarket windshield rather than an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) component. OEM parts are the official products from the original manufacturer, and therefore match perfectly without any modifications. By purchasing OEM parts, you maintain your vehicle’s original look and quality.

Aftermarket components are from third-party manufacturers and are usually less expensive, although they may be just as good as OEM parts.

Additional costs

The cost of replacing a windshield covers an installation technician coming out to your home or place of work to replace the glass. It is rarely necessary to take the car to a repair shop.

However, you usually have the option of taking your vehicle to a shop, if doing so is more convenient for you. Labor and materials are included in the cost, and the process usually takes no longer than one hour.

In some situations, there may be additional costs. If your vehicle has special rubber moldings, you may need to pay an additional $5 to $25. If the windshield wipers attach directly to the windshield, you also need to pay for the wiper replacements, which could be as much as $20 each.

Check with your installation technician if there are any additional charges before agreeing to the service.

Repair vs. replacement

In some cases, you may not have to replace your windshield. If a crack is less than 2 inches long and falls outside the driver’s direct line of sight, you may be able to repair the damage for a smaller fee.

A repair for a small crack could cost from $50 to $150, while repairing a chip could cost as little as $10, depending on the location of the damage.

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Comprehensive insurance cover

Comprehensive auto insurance often covers repairing or replacing a windshield. Recognized auto repair and windshield specialists work with major insurance providers to ensure a speedy repair at little or no cost to you. Before paying for any work on your vehicle, check your car insurance policy carefully to see if you are entitled to coverage.

Here is what to expect from your car insurance for:

  • Repairing a windshield: Many insurance products pay for a windshield repair. The work costs you nothing at all and does not affect your insurance premiums.
  • Replacing a windshield: Many insurance products pay for a windshield replacement less your prearranged deductible. If the replacement costs less than your deductible, you are responsible for paying the full amount.

Conclusion

You owe it to yourself and your passengers to ensure your car or truck is always safe for use. A small crack or chip in the windshield may seem like a minor inconvenience rather than a major problem, but that small weakness could make the difference between your windshield holding up as intended during an accident or collapsing under the strain of a rollover or head-on collision.

Before contacting your insurance company, get a repairman to answer this question: How much does it cost to replace a windshield. Ask your provider if your auto insurance covers repairs or replacements. In many cases, the work is free to you or only costs you the amount of your agreed-upon deductible.

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