Does a Cracked Windscreen Fail an MOT Test?

Vehicle owners understand the importance of passing the annual MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. One common concern that arises during MOT tests is the condition of the windscreen, particularly when it has a crack. In this blog post, we will address the question: Does a cracked windscreen fail an MOT test? By understanding the guidelines and regulations surrounding windscreen cracks, you can ensure compliance and roadworthiness for your vehicle.

Don’t forget you can book your MOT with Kissane and Jeffries – we are based in Rowley Regis but service the surrounding areas including Dudley, Stourbridge, Cradley Heath, Halesowen, Quinton and Tipton.

The MOT Test and Windscreen Evaluation

The MOT test is a comprehensive examination conducted to assess the safety, roadworthiness, and environmental impact of vehicles in the UK. The evaluation covers various components, including the windscreen, which plays a crucial role in ensuring clear visibility for the driver and passenger safety.

Cracked Windscreen Guidelines

  1. Size and Position: According to the UK MOT guidelines, the size and position of a windscreen crack determine its impact on the test result. If the crack is within the area swept by the windscreen wipers, it must not exceed 10mm in the driver’s line of vision (known as Zone A) or 40mm elsewhere on the windscreen.
  2. Damage Severity: The severity of the crack is another factor that influences the MOT test outcome. If the crack compromises the structural integrity of the windscreen or significantly affects the driver’s view, it will likely result in a failed MOT test. This applies to cracks that hinder the driver’s ability to see the road clearly or pose a risk of further damage or shattering.
  3. Scratches and Chips: While minor scratches and chips on the windscreen are not typically considered a reason for failure, extensive damage that affects the driver’s vision or the structural integrity of the glass may lead to an MOT test failure.

Safety and Legal Considerations

Apart from the MOT test, it’s important to note that driving with a cracked windscreen may also violate legal requirements in between MOT tests. According to UK law, a driver must have a clear and unobstructed view of the road, ensuring the windscreen is in a condition that does not impair visibility or compromise safety. Thus, even if a cracked windscreen passes the MOT test, it’s essential to assess its impact on driving safety and comply with legal obligations. It is also important to check your windscreen regularly in between tests to ensure it remains compliant.

Repairing or Replacing a Cracked Windscreen

If your windscreen has a chip or crack that falls within the acceptable limits defined by the MOT guidelines, it is still advisable to address the issue promptly. Cracks have the potential to worsen over time due to temperature changes, road vibrations, or external factors. It’s best to consult a professional windscreen repair or replacement service to ensure your vehicle meets both MOT requirements and safety standards.


In summary, the outcome of an MOT test in the UK depends on the size, position, and severity of a cracked windscreen. While minor cracks within specified limits may pass the test, it is crucial to consider safety and legal requirements. Regular inspection and timely repair or replacement of a cracked windscreen will not only contribute to a successful MOT test but also ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and other road users.

Kissane and Jeffries are a well established MOT provider in the West Midlands and have been operating for almost 30 years. If you would like to speak to us about your MOT or service, you can call us on 0121 559 1085 and a member of our team will be in touch, alternatively you can book online.