When cracks or chips show up on your car’s windshield, the last thing you would do is opt for an expensive windshield replacement. What you’d probably try to do first is figure out a way to deal with the windshield chips yourself to save on cost. If all else fails with the DIY windshield repairs, the best option is a windshield replacement. Even then, you’re left with two choices – to either go for the expensive windshield replacement or the cheaper alternative. For most people, the expensive route would be the best and most reliable choice. However, a cheaper alternative can also provide a practical solution without shattering your bank account balance, allowing for an affordable replacement without compromising quality.
Time is crucial when it comes to windshield damages. Even if your windshield is one of the higher-risk repairs during the lifetime of your vehicle, side windows are equally threatened. A cracked windshield can tremendously affect the structural integrity of the car. Windshields not only protect you from bugs and the weather but also from flying debris during a collision or an accident, not to mention that windshields hold up around 40% of the roof. In some states, you could get a ticket for driving a vehicle with a cracked or damaged windshield, especially if the cracks interfere with the driver’s line of sight. So, please don’t wait to get it replaced later. Do it now. If money is an issue, the following are some pointers on not burning a hole in your pocket while getting a cheap windshield replacement.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Replace Your Windshield?
No matter how careful you are in driving your car, a windshield crack can happen anytime. If these cracks are eminent, then a windshield replacement is looming, leaving you no choice but to shell out a significant amount of money for the replacement. The popular belief is that replacements are expensive, so many car owners delay the much-needed repairs. In reality, however, cheap options to replace your windshield do exist.
Replacement installation and windshield parts are both found on the market for relatively low prices. Since many factors affect a cheap auto windshield replacement, such as law, safety, and driving ability, many glass companies are coming forward to offer their products at low and competitive prices. Most of them are quality tested and certified. Glass companies can further offer guidance based on the type of vehicle you have and your budget.
Keep in mind that the market is filled with copycats too. Some companies may look the same and offer strikingly similar products at “competitive” prices. However, once you read the fine print, you will see they are far from the quality you want, or they failed to follow safety standards. A handy trick to distinguish the two is to ask about the quality and performance of the product extensively and always be aware of customer reviews.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your installer, which may affect the price:
- Are you getting an OEM, dealer, or aftermarket piece of glass?
- Does the company have a nationwide warranty?
- Are you getting certified adhesives to glue your windshield into place?
- Will you be getting a new molding, or will the old one be reused?
- How long has the company been in business?
- Will the technician make sure to hook up all the electrical components?
- Are the technicians professionally trained, or is the installer only doing this as a side job?
Knowing how to get cheap windshield replacement involves considering several critical factors, such as insurance coverage, options to cut costs, and knowing the places that fix car windows. I’ll dive deeper into each essential variable to ensure you get the most out of your upcoming investment.
In the event of a windshield break or crack, the first thing you should always do is contact your insurance company. Even if you’re unsure whether or not the damage will be covered, it is still best to ask to be sure you have covered all your bases. Luckily for you, a windshield replacement is considered a no-fault incident, so you won’t see an increase in premiums unless you go around constantly breaking your front window.
Side window replacements are usually less expensive than windshields or back windows. That’s why it may be cheaper and less of an insurance risk to pay from your pocket. So, whether or not you should file for a claim depends on your deductibles and the insurance company’s policies on increasing rates for high-risk clients.
If you’ve selected it as part of your auto insurance policy, make sure to ask if it includes window repair or replacement. Usually, insurance companies, at the very least, will consist of a side window and windshield repair or replacement in their comprehensive coverage. A higher deductible than the cost of repairing or replacing your windshield will result in you not receiving any coverage from your insurance provider. In the case of any difference from deductibles, the advice is to pay out of your pocket.
Some insurance policies and some states may not even require you to pay a deductible to get the repairs done on your side windows. So, do yourself a favor, and find out before it becomes an issue, and have a plan of action if the problem ever arises.
Finding a Place that Will Fix It for You for a Cheap Price
The best way to find the cheapest place to get your windshield replaced is to search within your local area. Most of the time, it’s not too tricky to find automotive glassworks shops near you that provide cheap options to get your windshield replaced. Alternatively, you can take your search online to look for places that fix car windshields in your area.
Aftermarket replacement prices can range anywhere from $100 to $400. However, some places that fix broken car windshields can even go as high as $700 or more depending on the type of glass, the kind of vehicle, and the company you choose to install it. Replacement costs may vary – whether you need a cheap back windshield replacement or a cheap front windshield replacement. Generally, a front windshield replacement costs more than the back.
Additional expenses resulting from the type of vehicle might add up to 20% to the repair cost. If you want to add wipers to the windshield, you’ll have to be ready to spend a bit more, anywhere between $10 and $20.
Replacement costs are divided into three sections: labor, parts, and disposal fees. All three can add up anywhere from $500 to $570. The cheap car window replacement cost may vary according to car models, but the general installation procedures are the same.
Consider replacement only if the damage is so severe that repairs couldn’t solve the problem because a replacement is usually more costly than repairs. Generally, any cracks over 6 inches long will require a complete replacement. However, if the damage is less than this length, a repair can be done for a small price to pay versus the total cost of windshield replacement. Below is a quick round-up of the estimated cost.
Approximate replacement costs based on vehicle type:
- Pickup trucks usually cost around $160 to $310 for windshield replacement.
- Sports utility vehicles usually cost around $160 to $295 for windshield replacement.
- Passenger automobiles usually cost around $150 to $330 for windshield replacement.
- Minivans usually cost around $174 to $294 for windshield replacement.
The above quotes are based on average estimates and depend mainly on the company you choose or the places that fix car windshields for cheap costs.
Do It Yourself
If you wish to do the replacement by yourself, even though it might not be the best idea, a DIY windshield replacement is the cheapest way to replace a windshield. You can save a lot from the labor cost since it will cost you nothing – besides your blood, sweat, and tears. This process does not have to be difficult, however. Several windshield repair kits are available in popular shops that offer the opportunity for an easy and cheap windshield repair that you can do at home in less than an hour.
Alternatively, the cheapest windshield replacement you can find can be anywhere from $20 to $60 at a junkyard and up to $300 at a retail store. When shopping for a cheap car windshield replacement, you may want to start at a car dealership, an auto body shop, a car repair shop, or a shop or mobile service that specializes in auto glassworks. You can find many of them online with the National Glass Association’s directory. You may also want to check if the business you decide on has complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Some vehicle models are popular on the market, which means they are in high demand. Companies offer these highly demanded windshields at discount offers so that customers go to the company that benefits them the most. They offer the products at competitive prices, giving you a well-priced windshield.
Besides the costs, make sure to ask about customer experiences, the level of service offered, and even the professional skills that replace your windshield.
Other Ways to Cut Costs
If your insurance doesn’t cover windshield replacement, the best way to protect yourself is to pay a small premium as part of your car insurance policy. This will give you peace of mind once you see signs of cracks on your windshield out of nowhere because you know that you are covered when you need to replace a damaged windshield without having to pay for it from your pocket. A few additional dollars in investment will result in you getting the proper repair without compromising quality.
Here are a few steps you can follow when comparing the different offers from various shops:
- Write a list of all the local glass companies around your area.
- Go online to request cheap car windshield replacement quotes from each one.
- Compare the offers you got based on your budget, their service, the type of glass you will get, etc.
- Choose the company that best suits your requirements.
Aside from getting quotes from different companies online, you can also make phone calls to these automotive glass shops and request a quote. Shopping for various offers allows you to get the service you need and the price that suits your budget and affordability. Sometimes it might even be possible to bargain for a lower price.
An impending windshield replacement can be pretty stressful and time-consuming. However, if you’re aware of your options and know where to look, it should be a breeze without costing you too much. Just keep in mind a few things: never skimp on quality to save a few dollars. In the end, the peace of mind you will get may, alone, be worth the investment.
Poor installation can bring all sorts of costly problems, like leakage or penetration of debris that could cause electrical panel damage or worse. All these things will only add up to the total costs. What happens if you get into a collision with a poorly installed windshield? It most likely will result in more severe damages and possible injuries to the passengers.
So, if you’ve done your homework and analyzed your options thoroughly, but your insurance won’t get you a free or cheap windshield replacement, then shop around. If you’re lucky enough to know where to get an affordable windshield replacement from a reliable and trusted company, make sure to take advantage of it!
There are many factors to consider between the insurance company, your coverage, the window you need to replace, the repair shop, and your ability to DIY the project. Therefore, you need to be aware of all the available options so you can get the best and, at the same time, most economical solution to your damaged windshield problem.
You can protect yourself by knowing what you need, such as the price you should expect to pay for your specific vehicle and whether or not your insurance will cover it. Once again, remember to never skimp on quality to save money. Your safety should always come first when you’re looking for the cheapest way to replace your car’s windshield.