Taking a Driving Test with a Cracked Windshield

Taking a Driving Test with a Cracked Windshield

If you have a driving test booked, you’re taking the test in your own car (rather than your instructor’s) and you have a crack or chip in your windshield, you’re probably asking whether you can use a car with a cracked windshield for a driving test?

At the beginning of a driving test and just prior to driving the car, examiners take a brief look around your test vehicle to ensure there are no obvious issues that may put the safety of the car occupants at risk and of other road users and pedestrians.

The basic checks include a brief look at the:

  • Vehicle tyres
  • General bodywork condition
  • External mirrors to ensure they’re in a working condition
  • Vehicle glass, particularly the front windshield

Once the examiner is seated inside the vehicle, they will also check that the internal rear view mirror is in a working condition and that there are no warning lights on the dashboard after the car has started.

If you do have a cracked or chipped windshield and you’re concerned about the driving test, think about it as though you are taking your car into an MOT.

In order for your car to pass an MOT and therefore be legally driven on a public roads, is for a chip or crack to be no more than 1 cm in size in the driver’s line of vision. To determine the distance of the driver’s line of vision, this is calculated by a vertical line running from the centre of the steering wheel, with that line being 29 cm wide.

Elsewhere on the windscreen in any area swept by the wiper blades, a crack or chip must be no more than 4 cm in size. These calculations should provide you with enough knowledge on whether you can use a car with a cracked windshield for a driving test.

If you’re in doubt about windshield damage and the examiner, stay on the safe side and have your windscreen repaired or if it’s not repairable, you’ll have to have it replaced. Most car insurance policies pay for windscreen repairs, but if you’re not sure, check with them.

What if the Examiner Wont Let Me Take the Car Out?

If the examiner deems the windshield damage too extensive and refuses to allow the car to be used on the driving test, the test will be terminated and you’ll lose the test fee. The examiners decision is final.