Windscreen FAQ – Ultimate Guide Australia
We answer many questions regarding windscreen replacement. For this reason we have have created the “windscreen replacement frequently asked questions ultimate guide”.
Many FAQ guides on the internet are inaccurate. This is due to the articles being written are by authors who are not actually in the windscreen business. As a result, you get information that is inconsistent, bias or in many cases information is designed to promote a product or service.
For this reason we created an ultimate guide to windscreen replacement FAQs. The list is written for Australians, however, many answers may be applicable in other country’s too.
Windscreen Replacement FAQs
A front windscreen replacement for a standard vehicle takes one technician approximately one hour. However, exotic vehicles, trucks, buses etc, may take several technicians many hours to complete.
This depends on the quality of the adhesives used, the climate and temperature. Providing your location is not sub zero in temperature and a quality product is being used, your vehicle will be ready to drive between 0.5 – 2 Hours.
Generally speaking a generic windscreen for an average family vehicle cost between $260 – $600. Genuine windscreens can cost three times this amount.
Whilst cost is important you should also consider the windscreen quality too. The the front windscreen is a safety device that supports the passengers air bag system on your vehicle.
This is a very broad question. In short, the quality of genuine windscreen is better. However, the differences may only be cosmetic. Structurally both windscreens have to pass Australian Standards. See our in depth blog about genuine vs generic windscreens.
More often than not it costs more to have your windscreen fitted at a bricks and mortar shop, due to the added costs . It’s costs thousands of dollars per week for a shop to open its doors. Rent, lighting, air conditioning, offices, staff, etc. All these costs have to be built into the price of your windscreen replacement.
A mobile windscreen replacement has none of these overheads. As a result, many mobile business’s pass the savings onto customers. This can save you anywhere from $50 – $300 on your windscreen replacement.
NSW Road Traffic Authority states that a windscreen should be replaced if it is badly scratched. However, it is not very clear what represents “badly scratched”.
In our opinion, a large long scratch such as a scratch from a windscreen wiper would likely fail a road worthy, especially if it was on the drivers side as this may impair the drivers vision.
This depends on how deep the scratch is. There are special polishing pads and compounds that are able to polish out mild windscreen scratches. However, the method is labor intensive and the results can leave distortion in the glass.
It’s more cost effective to have the windscreen replaced with a generic glass. However, acceptations to this rule would be if you had an exotic vehicle with parts that were difficult or expensive to obtain.
Windscreen replacements are never free. However, you may be able to claim one if your policy has a zero excess or a paid windscreen option. If you have an excess of several hundred dollars or more, it may not be worth while making a windscreen claim. It may be more cost effective to simply pay for the replacement yourself as often the insurance excess amount is more than replacement.
This depends on the kind of policy you selected. Unless you have opted for full comprehensive insurance, or have specifically paid extra for a windscreen option. Then it’s likely you will have to pay an excess for a windscreen insurance claim.
More often than not an excess will exceed the cost of a windscreen purchased directly from your local repairer. Always call the auto glass repairer directly for a second opinion, as the advice you get from your insurance group may be bias.
A windscreen excess is the amount you have to contributed towards a windscreen claim. For example, if your insurance policy has a $500 excess on claims and the windscreen replacement costs $700. You have to pay the first $500 and your insurance group will pay the remaining $200.
Often the actual cost of a windscreen replacement is less than the insurance excess. For this reason, don’t simply take the advice from your insurance group. Call a local windscreen repairer for advice.
A recommended repairer is a company that has an agreement/contract to work directly with your insurance group. It’s for this reason your insurance groups recommends you use their services.
That said, a recommended repairer may not have your best interests in mind as their fundamental duty is to save the insurance group money. It’s for this reason you should consider selecting your own repairer that will work in your best interests.
A laminated front windscreen that has several chips or small cracks is not necessarily unsafe to drive. However, you should have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
A windscreen is made from laminated safety glass and is held together by a plastic inlay (Polyvinyl Butyral/PVB). If the glass is chipped or cracked it is designed to stay stable and not break into dangerous shards. This allows you time to safely drive to your destination before having the windscreen attended to.
Yes, in many cases a windscreen chip or small crack can be repaired. Generally speaking if the damage is smaller than a 20c coin in size it can be repaired. For more detailed information read our windscreen repair page.
There are DIY windscreen repair kits available to purchase online and in stores. However, they are not a cheap option and the results are often average.
Furthermore, a windscreen cannot be repaired by dripping super glue or nail polish on the damage, despite the DIY community making such claims. A professional windscreen repair is not expensive and can save you the cost of a replacement.
You would be better served having a professional windscreen repair rather than using a DIY kit.