The cost to replace a windshield can be less than you might think, with many windshield replacements only costing a few hundred dollars. However, costs can vary greatly when it comes to auto glass repair and replacement, depending on many factors such as the type of car you drive, the technology built into your windshield, and more.
To help you get a better idea of how much it might cost to replace your car windshield, we took an in-depth look at the auto glass industry. Our team analyzed the prices of the main suppliers, as well as the costs of windshield replacement. Here's what we learned.
How much does it cost to replace a windshield?
The average cost to replace a windshield in 2022 is between $200 and $500, according to our research. However, this average should only serve as a guide, as costs can vary widely. Windshield replacement costs depend on several key factors, which means that the amount you pay could be outside of this range as well.
Windshield Replacement Cost Factors
There are a few variables that determine the cost of replacing a windshield. Here are some of the most impactful:
|Factor||How does this affect the cost?|
|Dano||The size, shape, and extent of damage can affect how difficult and time it takes to remove an old windshield.|
|vehicle type||The year, make and model of your vehicle determine the cost of the automotive glass replacement required for the job. For example, the cost of replacing a windshield on a Honda or Toyota is generally cheaper than that of a luxury vehicle like a BMW or Mercedes-Benz.|
|windshield technology||Windshields equipped with safety features and other technologies, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and rain sensors, cost more to replace than standard automotive glass.|
|damage location||There is usually a big difference in price between front and rear windshield replacement.|
|Replacement glass type||The quality and type of glass used in its replacement can affect its cost. In general, you will pay more for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement than you will for a third-party replacement.|
After-sales vs. OEM automotive glass
Depending on your vehicle and other factors, you may be able to choose where to source your replacement windshield. Some shops use OEM parts that are the same as the factory windshield, while others may choose aftermarket automotive glass. Others offer a choice between the two.
Aftermarket windshield replacements can be significantly less expensive than OEM replacements. But when it comes to something as important as your windshield, you have to consider more than just the cost. Cheaper replacements can sometimes have significant drawbacks, such as:
- Less durability: Third-party manufacturers are not allowed to use the same quality glass as the OEM part. Lower quality glass can break more easily, which means you can pay more overall.
- wrong app: An OEM windshield is designed and tested to fit your specific vehicle. Some aftermarket windshields may not offer the same precise fit and may leak or start to come loose.
- less clarity: Cheaper windshield glass can bend or warp over time. This can reduce visibility, creating an uncomfortable situation for the driver at best and a dangerous situation at worst.
Does car insurance cover windshield replacement?
Yourcar insurance companymay cover a replacement windshield, depending on the coverage you have. There are two types of coverage that will reduce or eliminate the cost of windshield replacement and repair – minus the deductible:
- collision coverage: Allows you to file insurance claims if your windshield is damaged in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- comprehensive coverage: This covers the cost of replacing your windshield if it is damaged by a non-accidental source such as extreme weather, vandalism or theft.
Having these two coverages included in your auto insurance policy is known as ownership.full coverage. These policies cover your vehicle in most cases, hence the name. If you don't already have comprehensive coverage, talk to your insurer to see how adding collision insurance and comprehensive insurance to your policy will affect your premium.
When should you replace your windshield?
In general, you should replace your windshield as soon as possible if it is damaged beyond repair. Driving with a broken or cracked windshield can impair your visibility, making it difficult to see the road. Broken windshields are also more likely to shatter in an accident, greatly increasing the risk of injury.
Can you fix a cracked windshield?
Not all damaged windshields need to be replaced. Depending on the damage, you may be able to fix your car glass – usually at a much lower cost. There are a few key factors that determine whether your windshield needs repair or replacement.
The less damage to your windshield, the more likely you are to get it fixed. Generally, windshields with cracks greater than 7.6 cm in length should be replaced. Auto body shops can usually repair windshields with small chips up to an inch in diameter, or about the size of a quarter coin. Larger brands often require a complete replacement.
Some areas of the windshield are more difficult to repair than others. For example, it can be difficult to adequately repair cracks or chips in the driver's field of vision in a way that does not alter the view of the road. Windshield edge damage is also less likely to be repaired as it varies in density and curvature.
Generally, the simpler a chip or crack is, the easier it is to repair. Auto glass professionals use a few industry terms to describe different types of damage, including:
- Direct: Straight-line windshield cracks are much easier to repair than jagged cracks.
- chip target: Circular chips that look like targets are one of the most common forms of windshield damage. It is also one of the easiest types of damage to repair.
- starburst: Defined by many small cracks extending outward from a central point, this damage is also called a star break. Often, minor star breaks can be repaired, but are likely to spread if not corrected immediately.
- Cobweb: Concentric circles with long cracks running through them have a web-like appearance, giving this type of damage its name. This is a sign of extensive damage and is unlikely to be repaired.
When should you replace a windshield?
In cases where windshield repair is not possible, it will be necessary to replace the entire item. Ignored damage can quickly become much worse. Generally, it is necessary to replace the windshield if:
- A crack extends over three inches
- A chip is over an inch in diameter
- Cracks or chips are in the driver's field of vision
- Chips or cracks are excessively dirty
- Damage is located near the edges of the windshield
- Damage includes multiple cracks or chips that vary in size and shape.
Even if your damage is repairable, a new windshield might be a good idea – especially if there isn't a huge difference in cost. Repaired windshields can warp, crack and break more easily than undamaged ones, which means you may have to pay the cost of replacing a windshield in the future.
How to replace a windshield
Fortunately, most car owners have several options for car glass replacement services. While some car repairs are easy to do at home, replacing your windshield isn't one of them. The job requires special skills, tools and materials to get it done right – and broken glass is a serious safety hazard, so it's best left to the professionals.
Get your windshield replaced at the dealership
BenefitsThe dealership uses OEM glassBest choice for windshield replacement with high-tech sensorsFactory-trained technicians work on your car
DisadvantagesMore expensive than a specialist glass repair serviceAgent answering may have a longer wait time
You can replace the glass at the dealership. This ensures availability of OEM parts and expert technicians from your car manufacturer. However, this also tends to be one of the most expensive ways to replace a windshield.
Replace your windshield with auto glass service
BenefitsMore affordable than going to the dealershipGlass service can reach your locationFast service
DisadvantagesMay not offer OEM partsCell phone service not available everywhere
Another option is to hire a company that specializes in auto glass repair. These companies tend to have several advantages over dealerships and other auto repair shops in general, including:
- Cost: Auto glass specialists usually charge less than the dealership to replace your windshield.
- Ease: Many glazing companies offer cell service so they can come to you. This means you don't have to interrupt your schedule and waste time driving to and from the store or dealership.
- Specialization: While your auto mechanic knows how to fix just about everything on your vehicle, a glass specialist spends all day repairing and replacing auto glass. This means that they are likely to be more skilled in these services than a more general mechanic.
- scheduling: It can take weeks to get an appointment with the dealership, leaving you with a broken windshield while you wait. Instead, many auto glass stores offer next-day or even same-day service.
Windshield Replacement Cost: Conclusion
On average, the cost of replacing windshield glass is between $200 and $500, although the amount you pay will vary depending on a number of factors. While you can get your windshield replaced at a local dealership or mechanic, auto glass companies can offer superior service at a cheaper price.
Recommended windshield replacement suppliers
The best way to find the cheapest replacement windshield for your vehicle is to get quotes from multiple suppliers and compare them. If you have a good relationship with your mechanic or dealership, it's worth asking too. When it comes to automotive glass specialists, our team recommends checking out the vendors below.
Glass Doctor: Best overall
Glass Doctor offers a wide range of auto glass services in 43 states and Canada. A company differential is the Windshield Protection Plan, which is included in the windshield replacement services. The plan covers future windshield repairs or a single replacement for 12 months, with some exceptions.
Safelite AutoGlass: Best Availability
Safelite is the nation's largest auto glass repair provider, with services available in all 50 states and Canada. In addition to windshield replacement and repair, the company also offers solutions for other windows in your vehicle, including power windows. Safelite technicians use proprietary products such as GlassHealer™ resin and TrueSeal®technology to ensure the highest quality automotive glass repair and replacement services.
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Get free quotes from local glass stores and choose the one that's right for you.
Windshield Replacement Cost: FAQ
In an effort to provide consumers with accurate and unbiased information, our expert review team collects data from dozens of suppliers to form our ranking of the best auto glass companies. We have developed a standardized methodology based on the aspects most important to car owners to ensure detailed, accurate and objective assessments. Businesses receive a rating in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted rating of 5.0 stars.
- Cost: Our team obtained quotes from auto glass suppliers and evaluated available discounts to determine each company's cost relative to market averages.
- services: We ranked providers based on the number and variety of services they offer.
- Availability: Our researchers looked at how many locations a provider serves to determine how easily drivers can access its services.
- customer experience: We analyzed hundreds of online reviews and developed proprietary metrics to put customer review scores into context, allowing us to get a more accurate picture of the customer experience.
- industry reputation: Our team evaluated each company's ratings from rating agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB)to assess its position in the auto glass industry.
*Data is accurate at time of publication