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The damage is in the passenger side front windscreen.

You cannot see the damage in the windscreen fully but the two lines join up and the crack goes all the way into and under the cowl panel.

The lines crack does seem to be getting bigger rapidly.

Is it illegal to drive in the U.K. like this. Damage is passenger side so maybe ok for now? Can I drive around for few days until I get it fixed?

  • Ask a policeman. Or consult the Construction and Use regulations.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    Perhaps better on the Legal Stack.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 16:06
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it asks for a legal opinion about whether a car with this windshield defect is legal to drive, and is not about motor vehicle maintenance and repair. Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 17:45
  • 1
    Probably should not drive with black marker all over your windshield.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


It is illegal in the UK to drive a car that is not in roadworthy condition. If it would fail an MOT test, that makes it unroadworthy.

The windscreen part of the UK MOT test is defined in

This states

Condition of glass

damage in windscreen zone A more than 10mm in diameter
damage in the remainder of the windscreen’s swept area more than 40mm in diameter

Both the cracks pictured are longer than 40mm.

The government website also says

Check your vehicle is safe to drive

You’re responsible for making sure your vehicle is always safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if you have a current MOT certificate.

You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

When it comes to tyres, driving with an illegal tyre will most definitely be considered dangerous, and an offence.

"The crack does seem to be getting bigger rapidly."

A cracked windcreen might shatter and temporarily distract or blind the driver causing an accident. Whether a police officer will penalise you is not for me to say, but yes it is illegal to drive an unroadworthy vehicle (except by appointment after failing an MOT test).

What can you do about it?

Your insurance policy may have a clause which allows you to claim for a windscreen repair without affecting the discount or claims history, with a nominal excess fee. Mine is £75.

The insurance company will probably want to approve the windscreen repair company. Some of them have mobile units that will replace the glass at your house. They can even do it in the rain, as they erect an awning.

  • Some mobile auto glass companies in the UK operate outside of "normal working hours". I once had a car window replaced at 11pm on a Friday night. If there was any extra charge, it was covered by the insurance at no extra cost to me.
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 21:39
  • @alephzero thanks. Because they were the repairer approved by the insurer, they sent the bill to the insurance company. I can't remember who I paid the £75 excess to. Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 21:43
  • In my case the repairer was also approved by the insurer. In fact having reported the damage to the insurer they contacted the repairers directly and the repairer then contacted me to confirm a suitable time and place to do the work, I paid the excess direct to the repairer, but other insurers may have different procedures. as it happened, they had the correct window glass in stock, but apparently if not they would have fitted a (legal) temporary plastic window and finished the job later.
    – alephzero
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 1:59
  • I've had the same before - If I remember correctly, I phoned the insurance company, they then put me through to the glass contractor to arrange a time to get the new screen fitted.
    – Nick C
    Commented Nov 3, 2020 at 16:36

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