Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption
What to Do if Car Windshield Cracks

What to do if Car Windshield Cracks?

Enjoying a lux rental on the road and seeing the windshield crack is one of the worst nightmares about renting an expensive car. Depending on the damage, the repair costs may be a financial burden. However, sometimes, you cannot prevent an accident like this, and the more important question left now is what to do if the rental car windshield cracks.

In this article, we will walk you through the details of how to address expensive car damage, the rental insurance policy, and other helpful tips for such situations.

What to Do if Car Windshield Cracks

Source: / Photo Contributor: Uryupina Nadezhda

What to Do if Rental Car Windshield Cracks?

The general rule is that when you damage a rental car you should address the issue immediately by contacting the rental car company. In our case, a cracked windshield on a rental car is a safety hazard, and neglecting it may cause it to crack further and cause more trouble.

Therefore, we’ve prepared an informative and detailed guide on what to do if the rental car windshield cracks. Read more below to learn how to address this issue effectively!

Assess the damage

The first step is to assess the damage. Check the location and size of the damage to see if it’s safe to drive.

A chipped windshield on a rental car is not a big issue and can be repaired. They are quite common windshield issues that may occur due to a stone hitting on the glass. These damages are known as “stone breaks” or “pits”.

However, if the damage is in the middle of the glass or more than two inches away from the edge, it may expand all over the windshield really fast and may require replacement. Moreover, if the damage is below six inches, it may be repaired, but anything more than six inches requires full replacement.

Notify the rental car company

Rental car companies have specific policies on car damage that usually include windshield cracks. Usually, before you rent the car, the rental company may ask you to sign a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) for a few bucks more. It’s a standard procedure, and most car renters agree to this because it removes their liability for car damages while renting the car. Technically, the CDW is not insurance, but it leaves you off the hook if the car you rent gets damaged. The rental car company proceeds with the repair.

If you refused to sign the CDW, you still have coverage from your credit card. Visa covers damages to rental cars for up to 31 days only if the person renting the car refuses the CDW. If you have a valid visa card, you can use it as insurance.

Therefore, you need to contact the rental car company right after you spot the damage to see if the insurance covers the expenses and provide them with photos/videos of the damage. They will guide you further.

If you cannot reach the rental company, do not make any unauthorized repairs yourself. The rental car company may not cover the repair cost later. If the crack is away from the driver’s view and it’s below six inches, you may continue to use the car. If the damage is in the middle of the glass and is over six inches, driving the car may cause the crack to spread all over the windshield really fast.

Document the damage

Taking photos or videos of the damage serves as proof for the insurance policy and the rental car company. If you ask for coverage, the insurance policy will ask you to provide proof, therefore you should immediately take some pictures. Stone-breaks are easy to spot and self-explanatory accidents for which you may need only a picture of the damage.

Apart from the photos, collect receipts and other paperwork from the rental company. You might have to provide them as proof, too.

However, if someone else cracked your windshield, make sure to report it to the authorities. They will ask you to explain what happened (make sure you explain as detailed as possible), and once you familiarize them with the issue, they have grounds to ask for CCTV evidence.

Repair or replacement options

A chipped windshield on a rental car is an easy fix. It only gets filled with resin to prevent further spreading. It’s fast and cost-effective.x If the crack is bigger and the windshield needs replacement, the costs can be too high. For reference, a windshield replacement of a 2018 Audi R8 coupe can cost up to $1,100. So, to avoid further costs, do not drive the car to prevent the spreading of the damage. You can read more below on the preventative measures. Otherwise, the reason we don’t recommend repairs on your behalf is that the rental car company may charge you for damages. 

Therefore, it’s best to discuss the repair and replacement options with the car rental company and wait for further instructions.

Take preventative measures

Avoid driving on bumpy roads with a damaged windshield. This accelerates the chances of further breaking. Driving in extreme temperatures is also not recommended. Driving with air conditioning on is not recommended in this situation.

On the other hand, keep a distance from other cars or vehicles on the road to prevent getting small pieces of glass into their tires.

Ultimately, it goes without saying, but if the crack obstructs your view even a little, do not drive the car. You never know what might happen on the road.

Take preventative measures

Source: / Photo Contributor: Daisy Daisy


To sum up, if you get a cracked windshield on a rental car, the first thing you should do is document the damage. Take photos, and videos, and measure the size of the damage. Secondly, inform the rental car company to see if the insurance covers the accidents. Usually, chipped windows need minor repairs, and you can drive the car safely.

If the accident is bigger than six inches, the windshield needs replacement to prevent the damage from spreading further.

Ultimately, do not make unauthorized repairs. The car insurance policy may not cover the expenses. Therefore, always contact the rental company for specific instructions on what to do if the car windshield cracks to avoid exposing yourself to additional costs.

Leave a Reply