Some answers to FAQs on car windscreens and the MOT.

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Windscreen inspections have been included in the annual MOT test since 1993, but, according to figures released by VOSA (the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency), the body responsible for MOT testing in the UK, over 8% of cars failed their MOT in one year simply due to chips or cracks in their windscreens, so here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Windscreens and the MOT test to help save you money:

Can a chipped or cracked windscreen cause my car fail its MOT?

Yes. There are two important areas on the windscreen, referred to as Zone A and Zone B.

Zone A is a section 290mm (just under 12 inches) wide centred on the steering column. Any chip or crack in the area swept by the windscreen wipers which is more than 10mm (just over 3/8ths of an inch) across will cause your car to fail its MOT.

Zone B is the remaining area swept by the windscreen wipers. In this section, any crack or chip which is larger that 40mm (just over 1 1/2 inches) will cause an MOT failure.

Note also that the MOT testing manual states that the damage has to be contained “within a circle of 10mm”, so a group of smaller chips, if they exceed this figure, could also cause an MOT failure even if they are individually smaller than the stated size.

What if my car’s windscreen has been scratched?

MOT test guidelines state that scratches are not considered to be damage , however if there is a concentrated area of scratching, for example as the result of a faulty windscreen wiper blade, and this could obscure the driver’s vision, then it could cause a fail.

Can my windscreen be repaired?

Yes, provided the repair to the windscreen is “invisible” or barely detectable such that it allows clear vision.

What if the chip or crack is bigger than 10mm in Zone A or 40mm in Zone B?

If the damage to the windscreen cannot be repaired in a way that allows clear vision then it must be replaced as this will cause the car to fail its MOT.

Will a chipped or cracked side window cause an MOT failure?

No. A car’s side windows are not included in the MOT test.

What about the rear window? Is that tested in the MOT?

Again, no. the car’s rear window is not tested in the MOT.

Where can I get my windscreen or side windows repaired or replaced in Birmingham?

Supreme Windscreens specialise in windscreen repair and windscreen replacement in Birmingham and have a mobile service that can fix your broken or cracked windscreen anywhere in the Birmingham area.