Windshields are deliberately constructed to be some of the most durable glass on the market – anywhere. And that’s no accident. In addition to being the first line of defense against threats as small as birds and bugs, and as severe as highway accidents and flying debris, these large panes of automobile glass are heavily regulated in the United States and abroad. The domestic body in charge of regulating automobile glass and installation procedures is the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. They are responsible not only for regulating the safety of windshields, but for regulating the safety of virtually every other aspect of a vehicle. Together, these regulations are the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations. They provide a way to evaluate vehicle safety and ensure high quality service and repairs and appropriate responses by insurance companies when a windshield has been damaged by debris or an automobile accident. After airbags and seatbelts, they are a vehicle’s third most important safety component.
Obtaining a replacement is a relatively easy process as there are a number of reputable companies offering affordable repairs that are specifically designed to meet insurance company and federal safety standards. The cost is relatively low and easily accessible even for budget-conscious consumers.
Replacement Cost and Factors
The industry average price for a full restoration is typically quite low, especially compared to what the average consumer is prepared to pay when requesting this type of repair. Auto industry experts generally estimate the average cost of replacement ranges between $100 and $350, though they caution that these prices can fluctuate greatly depending on several factors including the make and model of the vehicle that needs a replacement. This is generally because some vehicles use radically different shapes and architectures, as well as more labor-intensive attachment hardware. For example, high end vehicles are often more expensive due to special installation or requirements. These situations drive up labor costs and the time it takes to repair a car’s windshield. As anyone who has owned a car for a significant amount of time will understand, time is certainly money when it comes to this type of repair. For this reason, car owners who require a replacement should get a quote from several different service companies in their area in order to find the best valued service. They should also seek to understand how the make, model, and year of their vehicle might impact the cost they’ll be charged for a repair.
Another factor is whether you bring your car to the service center or they come to you. Mobile replacement & repair services are very convenient, but they cost a little bit more. Finally, it depends on how long you can wait for the procedure to be completed. Same or next-day service is usually priced at a a premium, so if you can wait a few days you can save some money.
Damaged windshields do not always require replacement, however. Repairing chips or cracks caused by debris is considerably less expensive and is usually somewhere between $20 and $60. Mobile service is typically on the higher end of that range. Each additional chip will be around $10-$20. The longer the crack, the more expensive the repair will be. Those with cracks longer than 2 feet are usually replaced as they cannot be fixed safely. Many auto insurance companies will completely cover these repairs without a deductible in order to avoid getting a replacement.
Furthermore, if the damage is the result of an accident on the road, or you have comprehensive coverage, insurance companies may cover some or all of the fees associated with the repair. Always check with your insurance company if the damage is classified as the result of an accident and to find out if there is a deductible (and if so, what it is) to see if it’s worth making a claim. This cost-saving measure is, after all, paid for by most drivers when they sign up for a policy in the first place.
What the Cost Includes
Prices are generally all-inclusive, although this might vary depending on the company chosen to complete the job. It may also vary based on whether or not an insurance company’s policy is involved in paying for part or all of the costs associated with a replacement. Most auto glass service centers offer guarantees or warranties with their work. Continue reading