MOTs and Cracked Windscreens – What the Law Says

There’s no escaping the annual MOT when you are a car owner.  And when the time comes around, there are lots of little things that can be done to make sure the car doesn’t fail for those simple, silly things like a lightbulb not working.  Then there’s the question of the crack or chip in your windscreen – is this going to cause an MOTfail?  Let’s look at the rules and regulations.

MOTs and Cracked Windscreens – What the Law Says

MOTs and windscreens

Windscreens are a part of the MOT for a number of reasons, so these are the primary things you need to check ahead of the test.  Your car can fail its MOT if it:

  • Doesn’t have enough liquid in the washers to clear the windscreen when used with the wipers
  • Doesn’t have windscreen wipers or they are in a poor condition that means they don’t clear the driver’s viewing area when used

The other big area is around the cracks or chips that you might have in the windscreen.  Not all of these will instantly result in a fail but there are some stipulations around windscreen damage that are worth noting.

When a crack means a fail

According to the MOT rules, the maximum damage size for a crack in the windscreen is 10mm if it is in the drivers’ line of vision.  This is a vertical strip of the windscreen that is 290mm wide and is centred on the steering wheel.  If a chip is more than 10mm in this area, it will fail its MOT regardless and you will need either repair or replacement services before you can have the test re-taken.

On the rest of the windscreen where it is swept by the windscreen wipers, there is a limit of 40mm.  So a crack less than this on the passenger’s side of the window will not normally result in a fail.However, the tester may recommend that you seek out a repair company to have the windscreen repaired if there is a chance it could get worse and lead to a break.

Driving with a cracked windscreen

Another consideration is that driving with a cracked windscreen can be considered driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition and that can be a motoring offence.  Under the Highway Code, drivers should have a full view of the road ahead.  It also states that the glass should be in good condition so if you were stopped by the police and they decided that the car wasn’t in good condition, they could give you points on your license and a fine.

If you were driving with a cracking windscreen and had an accident, things could be more serious.  That’s because it could be seen that you caused the accident because you had a cracked windscreen and shouldn’t have been driving the car.

Get some help ahead of the test

If you are unsure whether that chip or crack will cause problems at your MOT or if you should even be driving with it, Budget Windscreens Ltd is a locally based Wolverhampton windscreen specialist who can assess the damage and let you know.  Then you can drive or go to your test with confidence.

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"Thanks to all the lads at Budget. Fantastic, quick service and reasonable price for replacement windscreen. I have no reservations in using them again."

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