Logbook Loans Tips: dealing with a cracked windscreen!

Guidance from Logbook Loans  on what to do about a cracked windscreen…

Windscreens are something we all take for granted.  But few of us really look after them the way we should. Many of us have chips or cracks in our windscreen that we just put with day to day and don’t bother to do anything about.  

But when is the time to take action?  At what point does a slightly cracked windscreen become illegal or unsafe?  Would a crack in our windscreen caused a failed MOT?   If we do have a cracked windscreen what do we actually do about it?   Let’s look at some of these questions in more detail.

 

Is a slightly cracked windscreen illegal or unsafe?  

A possible yes to both!    Legally it’s a bit of a grey area.   The Highway Code stipulates that your vehicle must be “legal and roadworthy” (Rule 97) and that your vehicle should be maintained to the “Road Vehicle (construction and use) regulations.” (Rule 89).   According to Section 40 of the Road Traffic Act, driving a motor vehicle with a crack or chip in the windscreen is regarded as driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition.   If you are stopped by a police officer and have a chipped or cracked windscreen, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice of a fine and three points on your driving licence.

As regarding safety, even a small chip on your windscreen can be a distraction or impair vision.  When you consider that the windscreen acts as the main barrier between you and the world when you are driving, then you need to ensure it is in the best condition possible.

Even small areas of damage can rapidly worsen.  A cracked windscreen means that the glass is less resistant to the  pressures caused by driving at high speeds and by extremes of weather.  So the best thing to do is get a crack or chip repaired as soon as possible.

 

Would a crack in a windscreen caused a failed MOT?

If your windscreen has damage anywhere exceeding 40mm it would fail its MOT.   In the central zone of the windscreen (the “A zone” – a 290mm wide band in the windscreen wiper swept area) damage over 10mm (around the size of a 5p coin) would fail.

Be aware that your car can also fail the MOT if a wiper blade is insecure, missing, or for any reason does not clear the windscreen effectively to enable you to see adequately to the left and right sides of the vehicle, as well as to the front.

 

What should you do about a cracked windscreen?   

In the short term, place clear tape over the chip or crack so that the area remains free of dirt, dust and moisture – all of which can reduce the chances of it being able to be repaired.

For the safety of yourself, your passengers and other road users, you should then obtain immediate professional advice as soon as possible.  Ensure that you measure the length of a crack, to give reliable information as to whether it may be repairable.  If your insurance policy covers windscreen damage then speak to them first to see how they can help.

If the chip or crack is within the MOT limits mentioned above then it may be repairable.  Repair involves cleaning and drying the damaged area then filling it with a clear resin.  Whilst the damage won’t completely disappear, the repaired area will be much less visible and will have a smooth surface.  Even for small chips it is important not to ignore them as they can grow and become irreparable.  They can also weaken the ability of the windscreen to withstand daily stresses such as heat, moisture, frost, dirt and vibration which may then cause cracks to form.

For more significant damage, you need to be prepared for the glass to be replaced urgently.  This is inconvenient – and potentially expensive – but is essential to prevent road accidents.

Until the repair can take place ensure that you drive and treat your car carefully.  Don’t park in direct sunlight as the heat may weaken the glass and worsen the damage.  Similarly don’t run the defroster or air conditioning on high when cracks or chips are present as this places extra pressure on the glass.

If your windscreen needs replacing and this is not covered by your car insurance policy then you will need to find the money from somewhere else.  Emergencies like this cannot wait!  

If finding the money is a problem then how about a logbook loan?  You can borrow from £400 up to £50,000 over a period of 12-36 months.  If your application is approved you can have the money the same day, so there will be no delay in getting that windscreen replaced!

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