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When the windscreen gets chipped

It is almost impossible to avoid getting stone chips. If you drive a lot, it happens more than once in a vehicle’s lifetime.

It's particularly likely to happen on motorways. Trucks that do not have tarpaulin covering the load properly (as is required by law), or an open trailer, which suddenly drops something out the back. It can also happen near road works, where there are stones and gravel on the road, if vehicles are driving too fast on these surfaces stones and gravel can be kicked up.

Or if you’re unlucky all of a sudden, out of the blue you will hear a loud noise, and you know exactly what has happened. Fingers crossed it will only be a small mark that can be repaired easily, but it must be done as soon as possible to ensure it doesn’t crack further.

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Read more about windscreen and glass repair

Usually in a fully comp policy, they will cover chips, but you will have to put claim through or pay for windscreen replacement yourself. This is why it’s best to get chipped windscreens sealed quickly, to prevent you needing a whole new pane of glass in there.

If the glass has already started to crack, you need to get the windscreen replaced as soon as possible, the windscreen is part of the car’s load-bearing structure, which means it takes some of the weight of the roof and so on, so having it damaged could mean in the event of an accident you’re not as safe as you should be. Also it can affect other safety features, for example the airbags uses the strength of the windscreen to determine whether it is activated, and you don’t need those going off when not needed, or worse still not going off when they are needed.

If you are one of those sort of folk that like to have tinted windows, you need to make sure you’re doing it right. If they are too dark you can be pulled over and fined and ordered to remove them, which would make the whole job a big waste of money.

  • The front windscreen must let at least 75% of light through and the front side windows must let at least 70% of light through.
  • The rear side windows and rear windows may be tinted or covered if you feel like it.
  • If the rear window and / or rear side windows have less than 70% light transmission, a right outside mirror must be installed.

There are garages and special garages that do window tinting, spraying it yourself can be tricky and getting the right amount of tint is guess work without the correct equipment. You can put tinting film on there yourself, but it’s quite hard to not get bubbles of air under it.

It is not just the windshield or side window exposed to stone chips. It also weighs heavily on paint and lights.

These are pretty much harmless to the vehicle, other than damaging the paintwork and plastic, however it can sometimes start to rust if the metal is exposed. Sometimes your insurance covers paintwork, but not very often, so this would have to come out of your own pocket, and even if you do claim on insurance you will have to pay your excess.

With glass cover on your insurance, you must check whether this includes your lights or not, if there is a hole in the light covering, it does need to be repaired as soon as possible. Getting moisture in there isn’t a good thing, and can damage the electrics, it can also make your light weaker, a different colour, or difficult to recognise as a car making it dangerous for you and other drivers. It will not pass an MOT test with lamp damage so make sure you sort this out as soon a possible.

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