Is a chipped windscreen really a big deal?

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

At some point your car might have a chipped windscreen. It’s just a little scratch, but does it really matter if you ignore it?

As you'll find out in your driving lessons, it’s essential that your windscreen is clean so that you can see the road in front of you, and it’s important that your windscreen is smooth so that your windscreen wipers don’t catch and become damaged.

Even if the glass on your windscreen is chipped and not badly scratched, it’s essential to get this fixed because even small scratches on a windscreen can be a big distraction. Small chips on a scratched windscreen can also grow if left untreated.

Natural elements such as heat, cold, moisture, dirt and vibrations can cause secondary cracks to form beneath a chip on a scratched windscreen, and if this happens, you’ll need to have the windscreen replaced.

When scratches or cracks in the A-zone (the section of glass directly in front of a driver) are larger than 10mm or when marks on a chipped windscreen become larger than 40mm anywhere on the glass you will fail an MOT. You’ll also fail if secondary cracks develop.

Is a chipped windscreen covered by my insurance?

Scratches up to 40mm can be repaired easily and often your insurance will cover this without affecting your no-claims bonus.

The affected area on your chipped windscreen will be filled with a clear resin that had similar optical properties to glass once dry. If your windscreen is scratched in the A-zone this method can only be used on scratches up to 10mm in length.

If the marks on your chipped windscreen are larger than 40mm, you may have to have your entire windscreen replaced.

Can I fix a chipped windscreen myself?

It’s possible to buy DIY windscreen repair kits from retailers such as Halfords. These are intended for small lesions only and you should always read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t fix your chipped windscreen properly, you will fail your next MOT.

It’s just as important to ensure that your windscreen is clean both inside and out, because eventually a layer of dirt will form on the inside. You should clean your car windows regularly, especially if you are a smoker.

Image via Wikipedia.