Winshield Replacement

I have a 2001 Toyota Corolla. I recently had a small crack in my windshield turn into a big crack (from one end of the windshield to the other). I received many different quotes; $100, $200, $300 and $600 dollars. My question is what’s the defference (besides the price) of these places? Why the drastic difference in price and if someone could pay $100 to replace a windshield why would they pay 600 dollars? Is the quality of the glass different? Is the seal worse?


Dan from Berkeley, CA

Much will depend on the shop doing it. Some are higher than others, but generally you’re better off sticking with a glass only facility rather than a dealer or body shop.

All glass has to meet DOT specs unless someone is smuggling in bootleg glass. The chances of this are about zero. If the glass has the DOT stamp then you’re fine.

The average on windshield replacement, glass and labor, is about 225-275 on most cars.

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of places will say “FREE WINDSHIELD REPAIR!!! $50 REPLACEMENT!!!” and then if you look at the microscopic print you see “With Applicable insurance policy”. Meaning they want you to come in and file an insurance claim if you have glass coverage on your policy.

I had an OEM windshield replaced about a year ago at a reputable shop for a smidge under $300. They were nice and friendly to my trim, didn’t get sealant all over the place, and it hasn’t leaked yet. I have no real evidence to back this up, but I’d think that it would be prudent to not go bottom of the barrel when choosing a shop to do this.

Start by contacting your insurance company. Many policies cover that kind of repair. They want you to have clear safe vision.

Also don’t worry about rate increases. The problem of rate increases is way over blown in general and especially when it comes to glass replacement. I have had to have glass replaced twice and neither time did the rate go up. In fact the last time the rate went down.

As noted, I suggest an auto glass shop or company. Chances are they will end up doing it anyway and you can save by eliminating the middle man. It is also more convenient as they tend to do it at your home or place of work.

In a given metropolitan area, there will be only one glass wholesaler, a huge warehouse that stocks thousands of windshields. All the glass installed locally will come from that wholesaler. I would be careful of that $100 quote. I suspect a “bait and switch” operation at that price. Ask some questions.

i would be willing to bet that the 600 dollar bid is just going to be shopped out to the regular glass repair shop, so you are paying the mark up. i agree that the 100 dollar price is a bait and switch.

as you heard, call your insurance co. i would bet you have windshield replacement coverage included, for a smaller or no deductible.

as JEM said, most insurance cos want you to have good visibility.

another thought on the low bid, it may be that they were going to install a used windshield on your car. they are fine, as long as there NO small cracks along the sides, when it was being removed from the old car.

since you cant see the edges of the used glass (since its under all the sticky adhesive) you wouldn’t even know you had cracks there to start with!

these small cracks can spider web out later and cause your new (used) glass to crack, and then the cheap job is worth exactly what you paid for it!!

Some guys love changing windshields because it gives them independence and they don’t mind making $30 profit for an hour of work. There are go-getters and there are profiteers. Some windshield jobs are so easy and some are a pain.