As cars become more sophisticated, windscreen replacement or repair costs are increasing. It’s worth checking you have the cover you need before you need it.
It may seem like a small thing, but a chip to your windscreen from a rogue stone can quickly turn into a big problem if left too long. Your windscreen is a vital part of your vehicle’s structural integrity, so it’s as important to look after as your engine.
Our figures show the average cost of replacing the windscreen in a car or van is around £850. This rises by £250 for vehicles with driver assistance systems like cameras or sensors as these need to be calibrated after the window replacement.
“If you go back a few years a new windscreen wouldn’t cost much as it was just a piece of laminated glass”, explains Nick Gibbs, Aviva’s Digital Propositions Manager.
“Back then, most people would have been able to afford the cost of replacing their windscreen themselves. But, as with a lot of things on cars now, there’s more technology involved. Therefore, the cost of windscreens has gone up, particularly for the main front windscreen.”
Increasingly, windows feature built-in radio and heating technology and sensors that make lights or wipers come on automatically. All of these dramatically increase the cost of replacing a car windscreen.
Fixing windscreen chips and cracks
According to Autoglass® 1, our vehicle glass repair and replacement supplier, a car windscreen chip could turn into a crack at any time. If this happens while you’re driving, it could seriously compromise your safety.
A repair will take Autoglass® less than 30 minutes, and it’s worth considering that a windscreen chip only has to be 1cm or more for a vehicle to fail its MOT 1.
Repair costs vary across the UK, but if you claim on your car insurance, you could pay as little as £10 excess.
Whether your windscreen is covered will depend on your insurance. Typically, a fully comprehensive policy will include, or offer, windscreen cover. For third-party, fire and theft, you may be able to add it as an optional extra.
If you have AvivaPlus car insurance, it includes windscreens, your sunroof and windows in the Premium and Regular cover, but not the Basic option. If you choose Basic, glass damage is not covered unless it's due to an accident, fire or theft – in which case your chosen excess will apply.
This means in other situations, such as a stone damaging your windscreen, you'd have to arrange for glass to be repaired/replaced and pay the whole cost. Premium customers don't pay excess for repair or replacement.
Nick Gibbs explains: “We like to give customers a choice about whether they want to insure their windscreen or go for a lower level of cover. It’s still comprehensive insurance, but they might be able to save some money on the premium.”
How to make a windscreen claim
Requesting a windscreen replacement or repair doesn’t impact on your no claims discount, and this is standard across the insurance industry.
You can book a windscreen repair or replacement online. Our repairers will only need to confirm your surname and postcode to find your insurance details.
If you have a comprehensive policy with Aviva and need to make a windscreen claim, call us on 0800 158 4093 2 (lines are open 24 hours).
Windscreen replacement is subject to a £75 excess, while chip repairs are subject to a £25 excess.