My car window is broken, what should I do?

Whether the cause is a stray cricket ball or something more serious, like vandalism, a broken car window should be fixed ASAP. If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself with a smashed window, here’s what to do about it.

Whether the cause is a stray cricket ball or something more serious, like vandalism, a broken car window should be fixed ASAP. If you’re unlucky enough to find yourself with a smashed window, here’s what to do about it.

Julie Daniels
Insurance expert
4
minute read
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Posted 13 JANUARY 2022

Will my car insurance cover broken windows?

That depends on your policy. Some insurance providers will cover glass damage as standard. Others may offer it as an add-on at an extra cost. However, some insurance providers won't cover glass damage at all. Make sure you check your documents. That way you’ll know how much glass damage cover you have.

How do I make a claim for a broken car window?

The process is the same as it would be for any other insurance claim. Most insurance providers have a 24-hour helpline you can call as soon as you notice the damage. For a step-by-step guide to the claims process and what happens afterwards, check your policy documents.

Will I lose my no-claims discount if I claim for a broken window?

Probably not. Most insurance providers will leave your no-claims discount intact if you claim for a broken window. But it’s best to check your policy documents to be 100% sure.

How much will it cost to replace my car window?

If you pay for the window replacement yourself, the cost will vary, depending on where you live and what kind of car you drive.

If the replacement is done through your insurance provider, then how much you pay will depend on the terms and conditions of your policy – for example, the amount of excess you need to pay.

What if my windscreen is broken, cracked or chipped?

A damaged windscreen is potentially more worrying than a broken car window. Not only will this affect your visibility, it could also weaken the structure of your car.

Driving with a damaged windscreen is dangerous and could lead to a fine and penalty points on your licence. If you notice any chips or cracks in your windscreen, have them repaired immediately. Don’t put off a repair as a crack can grow quickly and spread across the windscreen.

Any glass specialist who fixes car windows will be able to repair your windscreen. If you’re paying for the repair or replacement yourself, the cost will vary - depending on where you live and what car you drive.

But check if your car insurance includes windscreen cover before you shell out. If you claim on your insurance, how much you pay will depend on the terms and conditions of your policy, such as the amount of excess you have to pay.

Frequently asked questions

Can I drive with a broken car window?

Essentially, you need to be able to see clearly out of the windscreen, and the side and rear windows of your car, so you can drive safely and be aware of other vehicles, pedestrians and other hazards.

The Highway Code states: “windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.

So while it might be tempting to drive with a broken window or temporarily fixing a plastic bag over the window, this could be considered a motoring offence.

My car’s side window is chipped. Can it be repaired?

If your side window is chipped or damaged, it will need to be replaced. Side windows are designed in such a way that they can’t be repaired. Even a tiny chip in the glass will mean the window needs replacing.

This isn’t the case with your windscreen – if your windscreen is chipped, repairing it can be a quick job that costs from £40 to £200, depending on the repairer.

Why won’t my electric car window work?

There’s a range of potential causes. It could be a problem with the switch – if you have an alternative switch, use that to see if there’s still a problem. Other causes can include a blown fuse, a problem getting power to the motor, a mechanical problem with the motor or an issue with the regulator that stops the window from closing if there’s an obstruction.

Freezing cold can also stop windows from working freely too.

How can I sort out issues with my electric car windows?

You could check your car’s manual to see what suggestions are offered: for example, help to replace a fuse. You may need to take your vehicle for repair.

To keep your windows running smoothly, it’s advisable to take your finger off the button as soon as they are fully up or down to avoid placing stress on the motor.

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