Does your car have a damaged window? Buying or even repairing auto glass is one of the biggest hassles for drivers. The truth is, it is not a cheap, quick, done and dusted job—expect to part with a couple hundred dollars. That being said, the actual cost really depends on various factors. Read on to find out how much it costs to replace a car window.
Cost of auto glass replacement
Repairing a damaged window on your car is generally the more affordable option. However, if the glass is completely shattered, you have no choice but to replace it soon.
In most areas, driving with a damaged car window, especially the windshield, is against the law. It is also simply unsafe to drive a windowless vehicle.
The amount you stand to pay to replace damaged auto glass will depend on many factors. Here are some things you should consider when shopping for a car window:
Type of window
The three types of windows on a typical car are the front windshield, side door windows, and rear windshield. Some vehicles will have a glass top and others come with a small stationary window that is part of the side door window.
Being the largest window on a car, the front windshield is the costliest to repair compared to all the other windows. Variables such as the size of the glass, installation difficulty, and the type and model of the vehicle will affect the final cost of replacing the windshield.
Generally, the larger the windshield, the more expensive replacing it will be. Also, expect to pay more for replacing the windshield on high-end, luxury, or rare vehicles.
On the upside, comprehensive insurance covers windshield replacement costs in the vast majority of cases. Find out if your policy fully covers these expenses or whether it requires you to pay a deductible charge.
The rear windshield on most modern cars comes with features such as an inbuilt wiper, heating panels, defrost strips, and other fancy components. Be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets if you want your auto shop to install these features on your back window. All in all, replacing a rear windshield is generally less expensive than replacing its front counterpart
Side windows are the least expensive to replace but this too depends on the type and model of the car, geographical location, whether they are manual or power windows, and other such factors.
Interestingly, the small stationary side door windows can be surprisingly costly to replace because they tend to be hard to find. Expect to part with an upward of $100 to replace a single triangular window.
Cost of the window
Many auto shops prefer to use new parts when replacing car windows to minimize liability. Usually, for exotic or high-end vehicles, you will need a new window from an auto-dealer. As you might have guessed, new glass costs significantly more than a used one.
If you are on a budget, consider buying used glass. Some auto shops acquire glass from vehicles that have been in accidents in which the windows were undamaged. As long as the glass does not have any defects, going with a second-hand window can easily cut costs by a significant margin.
Vehicle make and model
Do you drive a rare or high-end vehicle? Expect to pay more to replace just about any of your car’s windows. With a regular ride, you might be able to save costs by opting for used auto glass. But, luxury cars typically require new glass, which might need to be custom made and therefore drive the costs up.
In addition to the cost of buying the glass, you should also consider installation expenses. Labor costs vary widely from one geographical location to another. In addition to this, costs can add up for windows that are difficult to install or require more time to get the job done.
For instance, if your car has power windows or you need extras such as defrosting panels, which require electrical work, you could be looking at more than five hours of work.
Tips for saving on car window replacement costs
Replacing a damaged car window does not come cheap. However, there are ways to save money on this type of automobile repair job. Here are some pro tips to help you keep more money in your pocket:
- Comprehensive insurance: Even if you are at fault, find out if your insurance policy covers the cost of replacing a car window. In most cases, if you have a comprehensive policy, your insurer will pay for the replacement costs. If you are on third-party policy, consider investing in comprehensive car insurance, which you can buy together with collision insurance.
- Shop around: As we’ve explained, the cost of replacing a car window varies a lot. Compare prices among auto shops to snag a good offer. Some shops offer regular discounts, which can go a long way in reducing the final price tag on car window replacement.
- Do it yourself: If you have solid DIY skills, you might be able to save on installation costs. Side door windows might be easy to install on your own. That being said, for the best outcome, you are better off having a professional do the job.
How much does it cost to replace a car window? The answer is: it depends. The price of auto glass, labor, vehicle type and model, type of window, and other extras all influence the final amount you will pay for the new window.
You might be able to save costs by using DIY replacement kits but ultimately, your best bet is to have a professional handle your auto glass installation needs.
Have you replaced a damaged car window or you are probably shopping around for the best deals? Leave your comments and questions below—we’ll be happy to hear from you!