Whether a windshield is completely shattered or just has one large dent or crack in the driver's line of vision, it must be replaced for the safety of the driver and others in the vehicle. Luckily, a windshield replacement is usually a fairly inexpensive job compared to other vehicle repairs.
Replacing the front windshield generally costs between $157 and $324 at the time of publication. The point within the range depends on what company performs the work, what type of vehicle it is, and where you live. In general, a dealership will charge more than an independent repair company. Urban areas generally have higher prices than more rural ones. Windshields on SUVs and minivans generally cost less to replace than those on sedans, with the top of the range hitting $290 for SUVs and $292 for minivans.
Windshields with special features cost extra to replace. For example, if the windshield wipers are mounted on the windshield rather than on the hood of the car, these will need to be replaced, usually at a cost of $10 to $20. Some cars also require rubber moldings around the windshield that typically cost $5 to $21. And of course, getting the back windshield replaced as well costs approximately double what it would be to replace just the front windshield.
If there is only a small chip or crack in the windshield, you might be able to repair that section instead of replacing the whole thing. Filling a chip can cost as little as $20 at the time of publication. Cracks less than 12 inches typically cost $50 to $59 and cracks 12 to 24 inches are about $59 to $69. However, not all chips and cracks can be repaired. They generally must be outside of the driver's direct line of vision.
If you have comprehensive auto insurance, this might pay for repairing or replacing your windshield. Your out-of-pocket cost depends on what type of insurance you have and what your insurer's policy is. Some insurance companies pay for all small repairs because they prevent more costly replacement in the future. For the replacement, you will probably have to pay your deductible before the insurance company will pay for the rest. Therefore, unless your deductible is less than the repair cost, you will not get help from your insurance. However, some insurance companies allow you to purchase full glass coverage, in which case you will not have to pay the deductible.