As an everyday driver, windscreen damage is a frustrating yet common occurrence we must deal with. Determining whether a repair or full replacement is necessary can be confusing. This guide breaks down the key factors to consider when deciding between windscreen repair or replacement.

What Type of Damage Has Occurred?

Windscreen damage typically shows up in one of two ways – chips or cracks.

  • Chips are small, rounded pieces of glass that have chipped out of the windscreen from an impact. They are usually around 2 centimetres wide.
  • Cracks are distinct lines that have appeared across the glass. They can vary greatly in size.

Minor cosmetic damage may just be a frustration, but larger, more complex damage can reduce visibility, weaken the windscreen, and even affect the car’s structural safety.

Assessing the Severity of Damage

Windscreen chip repair is generally the first option considered for small, simple damage. It’s an affordable solution suitable for minor chips and cracks that do not hinder sight lines or weaken the integrity of the windscreen.

Repair is typically appropriate for:

  • Damage located outside the driver’s direct line of sight
  • Chips smaller than 2 centimetres wide
  • Cracks less than 15 centimetres long
  • Damage is limited to the outer layers of the windscreen glass

When Replacement Becomes Essential

In some cases, the extent of damage makes repair impractical or unsafe, and windscreen replacement becomes necessary. While typically more expensive upfront than a repair service, replacement guarantees restored visibility and safety.

Replacement is advised when:

  • There are multiple major chips or long cracks
  • Damage extends on the driver’s line of sight
  • The windscreen edges are compromised
  • Cracks exceed 15 centimetres
  • Damage affects inner glass layers or results in distortion

Making the Repair or Replace Decision

When inspecting windscreen damage, consider the size, placement, and complexity of chips and cracks. Minor damage unlikely to expand or obstruct vision can be repaired. However, more extensive damage directly affecting sight lines or windscreen integrity requires replacement.

Consulting a professional for assessment is recommended, as some damage may not be clearly visible or easy to evaluate independently.

Choosing a Reputable Auto Glass Company

Trust your car window repair or replacement to a business with specialised expertise like Advanced Auto Glazing. Located in Colchester, Advanced Auto Glazing  provides:

  • Thorough assessments by certified technicians
  • Premium quality repairs and replacements
  • Competitively priced services
  • Convenient mobile services

We meet high standards for workmanship while prioritising customer satisfaction and safety.

Conclusion: Knowing When to Repair and When to Replace

Addressing windscreen damage quickly and suitably is vital for road safety. Evaluating the specifics of damage can simplify deciding between repair and replacement. For professional windscreen repair in Colchester and expert car windscreen replacements, contact our team today. At Advanced Auto Glazing, we resolve windscreen damage quickly and easily.


What are signs I need the windscreen replaced rather than repaired?

Replacement is necessary if cracks exceed 15 cm, damage affects inner glass layers, visibility is reduced, edges are compromised, or there are multiple major chips/cracks.

How long do windscreen repairs/replacements take?

Our windscreen replacements in Colchester usually take 1-2 hours. Simple repairs take about 30 minutes. Additional calibration afterwards may add more time. Mobile services mean less downtime.

What causes cracks vs. chips in windscreens?

Chips occur when debris like stones hit the glass. Cracks form when damage spreads due to temperature changes or impact vibrations. Cracks can expand from chips over time if left untreated.

Can I drive my car if the windscreen is damaged?

It depends on the severity. Superficial chips pose no short-term risk but should still be assessed. Cracks, distortion or obstruction of over 10cm mean the vehicle should not be driven before the windscreen is repaired or replaced.

Windscreen Replacement, Chip Repair and Window Tinting Specialists


Automotive Technician Accreditation logoOur technicians are Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) registered, tested and regulated and and GQA Qualified.


Office Address

Advanced Auto Glazing
21 Davey Close

Credit card images



Registered in England and Wales
No. 08843864
Contact the office for our Terms of Business

Privacy Policy

Website Disclaimer

Get in Touch

Call us for a quote
01206 50 49 50

© 2002-2023 Advanced Autoglazing Ltd. Colchester,
Essex, United Kingdom.