A windshield is the second most crucial component from the safety point of view after the seat belts in a vehicle.
Just like faulty seat belts pose a great threat to the occupants of that vehicle, any issue with the windshield poses a similar threat.
If your vehicle’s windshield appears cracked, chipped, or shattered, it’s not a good option to drive it without a quick repair or replacement work.
If you go against it, you will either put your life at risk or invite severe fines. It is because, in some countries, a damaged windshield is vulnerable to penalties or fines.
While some owners believe in immediate repairing or replacing their vehicle’s damaged windshield, others refrain from the same worrying about the total costs the process would include.
However, this is just a myth!! Replacing a damaged windshield is not expensive as one thinks it to be, and many factors govern that cost.
Let’s understand those factors and an approximate cost you’d have to shell out.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Windshield?
The cost to replace a windshield depends on various factors (which I’ll discuss in the next section). The two most important ones are the type of the vehicle and the degree of damage.
Since you won’t need to replace the windshield for minor damage or cracks, an average replacement job can cost you anything between $100-$400 if talking about a standard vehicle.
For luxury line vehicles, the cost for a windshield replacement can go as high as $1,500 since such windshields support other functionalities.
While the overhead cost is inclusive of the labor at some places, others may charge you extra as labor charges.
Factors that can affect the cost of replacing the windshield
As said above, various factors govern how much dollars you’ll have to shell out for replacing your damaged windshield. For example:
The degree of damage
The level of damage is undoubtedly a major factor here.
However, you’d understand that the damage solely done to the glass will require specific work against a different process if the moldings surrounding the glass are affected.
A molding is that black rubber that is present around the windshield.
Hence, while replacing a highly damaged windshield, the moldings may also change as some glasses come with their specific molding.
Or some windshields require custom molding for the best results.
Depending upon your glass’s degree of damage and need to replace the molding, your replacement work’s cost may fluctuate.
Type of vehicle
The next important factor is the vehicle’s type.
While standard vehicles don’t require high-end windshields that are difficult to procure, luxury vehicles like Mercedes and Lexus need only model-specific windshields.
Such windshields are not only challenging to procure through local sources or manufacturers but difficult to install too.
In some cases, you have to import such windshields from other cities, states, or even countries. All this significantly elevates your replacement cost.
Ease of replacement work
By “ease of replacement work,” I mean the amount of work from start to finish.
Consider the above example here again.
If your vehicle belongs to the economy class, the installer wouldn’t have to invest much time and effort to undo the existing windshield and install a brand new one.
However, for expensive and modern cars like Mercedes and Lexus, the removal and installation process isn’t easy.
The mechanic will have to undo multiple nuts, disconnect all the other connections of rain sensors, lane departures, and so on.
Hence, merely the windshield removal process would consume half of the total time.
In a nutshell, the more the replacement works, the higher its cost will go.
Type of windshield material
You should know that a windshield is not a regular glass that can’t tolerate even a minor hit.
These days, even a low-grade windshield is of tempered glass.
The benefit of using tempered glass lies in its hardness and solid build that can withstand multiple hits.
More high-end vehicles utilize multi-layered laminated glass.
It has a slight advantage over the former material, and it can bend inwards upon hit to offer more protection to the occupants of the vehicle.
Hence, the windshield replacement cost will depend upon the material of your new windshield.
Other purposes served by the windshield
In economy class vehicles, a windshield doesn’t support any additional functionality.
However, in the luxury class, the windshield supports additional components for added functionality.
For example, sensors for rain, lane departure, light, and other functions are now standard, and the replacement of such windshields involves more precision and effort.
Hence, you’ll see an exorbitant price tag in that case.
Company reputation and technicians’ expertise
There is a vast difference between the windshield replacement work done from an ordinary garage and a reputable company having a highly skilled workforce.
In comparison, the latter will produce a heavy bill for the work done and ensure high-quality work with a good warranty.
However, this isn’t common with standard garages where you may or may not get a warranty.
The place’s reputation and technicians’ skill set will also influence the windshield replacement costs.
So, these are the top factors that influence the replacement cost of a windshield.
Does insurance cover a cracked windshield?
A windshield can suffer from various damages, some of which may or may not ask for a complete replacement, and merely a quick repair would go fine.
However, in the case when the only feasible option is a complete windshield replacement like a cracked windshield, you might wonder whether insurance will cover the costs or not. Right?
For insurance to cover the windshield replacement costs, you must have comprehensive coverage.
Under comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will cover the cracked windshield that occurred due to the following causes and others.
These include a falling tree branch or baseball, road debris, an animal, vandalism, snow, or hail storm.
Note that most comprehensive coverage policies come with deductibles.
That’s you’d have to pay an amount before getting compensation from the insurer for the replacement work. However, there are other policies, too, without the deductibles.
How much does it cost to replace a windshield without insurance?
To replace a windshield without insurance, you will have to shell out anything between $100-$400 on average.
Note that this is just an estimated cost, and the actual cost will depend upon various factors like the vehicle type, windshield material, company, and much more, as discussed above.
If you have insurance, the replacement cost will go down.
However, you have to various other factors too, like the policy, deductible, etc.
A windshield protects the vehicle’s occupants from serious accidents occurring due to a sudden snow or hail storm, flying baseball, a branch of a tree, etc.
Even though the material of windshields has changed over the recent years from tempered glass to multi-layered laminated glass, it’s still vulnerable to cracking, chipping, or shattering.
Be it any of these; you’d ensure immediate repair of the windshield or complete replacement if the former isn’t feasible.
While there is a significant cost difference between the two, the final cost isn’t more significant than the life threats a damaged windshield poses by causing poor visibility for the driver, etc.
If you’re too worried about the costs, you can also opt for coverage under your vehicle’s insurance. For this, you must have comprehensive coverage with or without deductibles.