If your windshield has a serious crack or is broken, you will need to have it replaced as soon as is possible. A seriously damaged or broken windshield can impair your visibility, and offers less protection in the event of an accident. It is dangerous to drive with a completely broken or seriously cracked windshield, and you can also get an expensive fix it ticket.
Thankfully, handling your broken windshield is pretty easy, as specialists can replace a windshield relatively quickly. Like many other services, though, getting the best price on a windshield replacement is very important. In order to get the best price, you may have to negotiate and search around, but it will be well worth it in the end.
Part 1 of 2: Check in with your insurance company
Step 1: Give your insurance company a call. Depending on your insurance coverage, your windshield replacement may be entirely covered, regardless of the cost.
If this is the case, you can skip part 2, and simply call up a windshield specialist for a replacement, as the cost will be the same for you regardless. To see whether or not a windshield replacement would be fully covered, simply call your insurance company and ask.
- Tip: In some states, it is state law that windshield replacements have to be made free to all registered vehicle owners, as a necessary safety precaution.
Step 2: Ask your insurance company about the severity of the damage. Depending on the damage to your windshield, you may only need a partial repair and not a full replacement.
While you’re on the phone with your insurance agent, describe the size and severity of the windshield damage, and ask them if the windshield should be replaced or if it only needs to be repaired.
- Warning: While it is safe to ask your insurance agent about your windshield, you should never rely on them for mechanical advice – that's what mechanics are for.
Part 2 of 2: Negotiate for the best price
Step 1: Call a few windshield specialists. In order to get the best prices for a windshield replacement, you’ll want to shop around and negotiate.
Ask each specialist what their price is, and then tell them you’re going to keep looking. Some of them will offer to lower the price before you hang up, while others will be willing to let you keep looking. Never settle for the first price that they offer.
- Tip: Make sure to call both big and small specialists to make sure that you are truly getting the best price available.
Step 2: Ask for discounts. It never hurts to ask for ways to save money; the worst thing that can happen is they’ll say no.
Many windshield specialists offer a discount if you don’t need an immediate replacement, so you may be able to get a better price if it's safe to wait a few days. Other places may give you a better price if you pay in cash, if you are a local, or if you’re willing to use aftermarket glass.
Ask each specialist about these things, and then ask if there are any other possible ways to work the price lower.
- Tip: Don’t be afraid to tell a windshield specialist what prices other places are offering to see if they will match it or make a better offer.
After you’ve negotiated for the best price possible, the windshield specialist will come out and replace your windshield with a brand new one, and your car will be safe to drive once more. Replacing your windshield when it is is in disrepair is essential both for safety and the look of your car, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t try to get the best possible price. If you have any questions, Ask a Mechanic for some quick and detailed advice.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Get the Best Price on a Windshield Replacement and was authored by Brady Klopfer.