+44 0330 808 9357 info@ukcarglass.co.uk
MOT Rules About a Damaged Windscreen: Roadmap to Compliance

Written by Victor

Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT can lead to a fine of up to £1,000. Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 10 vehicles fail their test due to visibility defects.

We are here to answer your MOT questions when you have a damaged windscreen, regardless of whether it is minor or major damage.

Spreading edge crack on a windscreen

An MOT, short for the Ministry of Transport test, constitutes a compulsory annual evaluation of car safety and emissions for vehicles in the United Kingdom.

The primary objective of this test is to ensure that your vehicle complies with the minimum standards established by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA).

MOT testers must adhere to stringent guidelines to guarantee a fair and precise assessment. Certified mechanics conduct this test at authorized MOT stations.

Before the examination, it is essential that the car’s registration and insurance are up to date and the vehicle is free from visible damage or defects.

Upon entering the testing bay, the mechanic performs a series of checks, which include inspecting the car’s tyres, windscreen, brakes, steering, and suspension.

The priority of an MOT is to monitor the safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions of vehicles on UK roads — the initial MOT test is mandatory three years after registration (for new cars) and subsequently annually.


MOT – When Should You Go?

In the United Kingdom, it is a legal requirement that all cars over three years old must possess a valid MOT certificate.

There are several methods to determine when your car’s MOT is due. You can find this information on your car’s registration document or utilise the online MOT history service. This service provides you with the date of your car’s next MOT and its current status.

If your car is approaching its MOT due date, schedule an appointment with a registered testing centre as soon as possible. The test typically takes about an hour and can often be completed while you wait.

Maintaining a valid MOT certificate is crucial to keeping your car legally on the road, so staying informed and up-to-date is essential.

Get MOT reminders – sign up here.

MOT and Visibility: An Insight into Safety Standards

At UK Car Glass, we want to keep you informed and assist you when your vehicle’s visibility is no longer satisfactory. We understand that clear visibility is vital for safe driving, and that’s why we’re dedicated to ensuring your vehicle meets the highest safety standards required by MOT tests.

Let us explore the significance of visibility in MOT assessments and provide insights into the safety standards your vehicle must adhere to.

This section falls under the interior checks: view to the front, wipers, and washers.

MOT – Rules About a Damaged or Cracked Windscreen


Your vehicle’s windscreen is critical for safe driving, and it’s important to grasp the factors that can impact its condition.

Let’s break it down into simpler terms:

Obstructions in Your View:

  • If anything blocks what you can see in front or to the sides of your windscreen, it’s a problem.
  • If you can’t see an obligatory external mirror because of such obstructions, that’s also an issue.

Glass Condition:

  • Damage larger than 10mm in diameter in “Zone A” of your windscreen is concerning.
  • In the rest of the swept area, damage exceeding 40mm in diameter needs attention.
  • When your windscreen has excessive tinting or discolouration, it can create visibility problems.

Zone A Explained:

  • Zone A is a specific area in the cleared part of your windscreen.
  • It’s 290mm wide and centred around your steering wheel.

Repairs to your Windscreen:

  • When the MOT technician checks a repaired windscreen, they focus on whether the repair affects your ability to see clearly.
  • It doesn’t necessarily count as damage if the repair is nearly invisible and doesn’t stick out.

Defects Simplified:

  • Your windscreen can be deemed defective if it’s damaged or severely discoloured.
  • If excessive tinting makes it hard to see through the cleared area or the obligatory mirrors, it’s a defect.
  • If your windscreen is in bad shape due to many scratches and impairs your view, that’s also considered a defect.

Windscreen Failure


If your windscreen has a chip or crack, it’s essential to know the size limits for this type of damage. In the driver’s line of vision, which is a 290mm wide area centred around the steering wheel, the maximum allowable damage size is 10mm. In other areas swept by the wiper blades, the limit is 40mm for any chips or cracks.

When your car’s windscreen is likely to fail its MOT due to damage, you have two viable options:

The first option involves repairing the windscreen. This can typically be arranged at various locations, including dedicated windscreen repair shops and many workshops equipped with windscreen repair equipment. It’s important to note that not all types of damage can be repaired.

If the crack or chip exceeds 10mm in size or falls within the driver’s line of vision, the only viable solution is to replace the entire windscreen.

The second option is to opt for a windscreen replacement. You can have this done at a specialised mobile windscreen replacement company or at a workshop.

By addressing your windscreen damage beforehand and choosing the appropriate course of action, you can ensure that your vehicle meets the required safety standards for a successful MOT test.

We recommend:

We strongly advise you to be proactive and begin addressing any issues about three weeks before your appointment. Waiting until just a few days before could potentially leave you in a situation where you might not be able to get the necessary assistance in time.

Your early action can help you avoid any last-minute inconveniences. 


MOT Windscreen Test Example
Republished on January 12, 2024 - Originally published on October 28, 2022


Victor is a car technician boasting a decade of experience within the auto repair industry. He's an avid blogger and relishes nothing more than dedicating his weekends to tinkering with his car. Always ready to embrace a new challenge, Victor thrives on expanding his knowledge and improving his skills.

Related Articles

Spring Maintenance: Awakening Your Car after Winter

Spring Maintenance: Awakening Your Car after Winter

As winter’s icy grip loosens, it’s time to give your car the attention it deserves. Spring marks the perfect opportunity for a comprehensive check-up to ensure your vehicle is ready to run optimally in the warmer months ahead.

How to Change a Car Tyre

How to Change a Car Tyre

Knowing how to change a car tyre is an essential skill that can turn a potential ordeal into a minor inconvenience. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the steps of changing a tyre, ensuring that you're equipped with the knowledge and confidence to handle this...

Car Glass Repair Services in the UK

Car Glass Repair Services in the UK

What is the process to get my windscreen repaired in the UK? What’s vital is that you get it repaired as soon as possible, even if the damage only appears very small. If not, you don’t just put yourself in danger but everyone riding with you and other cars on the...

4.8/5 - (9 votes)

Looking for a Car Glass Replacement?

Please take a moment to complete the form below, and we'll promptly perform a parts check to deliver an accurate quote for your vehicle.

Thank you for submitting your request! Our support team has received your message and will get to work right away.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Open chat
Need help?
Scan the code
We're here to help! 👋 If you require any support during your visit, please let us know.