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MOT Windscreen Rules and Regulations for Cars

Reading time 4 minutes • Last updated on March 9th, 2021

Categories Driving Law » Windscreen Information »

MOT Windscreen Rules and Regulations for Cars

Last updated on March 9th, 2021What does this mean?

Depending on the type of vehicle you have, how old it is and what condition it’s in, an MOT is either a routine check or something to dread, something that may result in a hefty list of required expenses. While it might be common knowledge that our cars can fail an MOT for a faulty engine, a damaged exhaust or other mechanical issue, a pass or fail can also be determined by the condition of the windscreen. 

In this article, The Windscreen Company are going to look at the MOT rules regarding windscreens.

MOT Windscreen Rules

MOT testing centre

MOT rules for windscreens mean that your glass will be inspected for things like cracks, chips and scratches, as well as the condition of your wiper blades and your windscreen wiper fluid. 

Many of the MOT rules relating to windscreens concern the driver’s field of vision. The rules state that a car will fail its MOT if the view from the windscreen is ‘significantly affected’ – if only the view of the sky or the bonnet is obstructed, then this is not grounds for failure. However, any scratches or damage that prevent the driver from having a clear view of the road will cause failure. Officially, these are defined as “materially affecting the driver’s view of the road through the swept area of the windscreen or an obligatory external mirror not visible”.

Will a windscreen crack fail MOT?

windscreen crack on a car

To put some numbers to the aforementioned ‘field of vision’ points, any crack or chip greater than 1cm in the driver’s field of vision is an automatic failure. Any crack greater than 4cm anywhere else on the windscreen is enough to fail, too. In fact, driving with a damaged windscreen can be considered a motoring offence and therefore illegal; read our piece about the legality of driving with a cracked windscreen here. 

If you notice a crack in your windscreen ahead of your MOT, contact a trusted windscreen repair business like The Windscreen Company to repair or replace your windscreen – we’ll remedy the issue so that you needn’t worry about failing. 

Will windscreen scratch fail MOT? 

windscreen scratch found during MOT testing

A windscreen scratch might not cause you to fail your MOT, but it’s important to note that windscreen scratches cannot be repaired. Many people try to polish the scratches on their windscreen – this may hide them somewhat, but the polishing can actually reduce the strength of the glass. If you notice a scratch on your windscreen, you will need to get your glass replaced as soon as you can.

Will windscreen wipers fail MOT?

windscreen wipers checked during MOT testing

You can fail your MOT because of your windscreen wipers, yes. Your windscreen wipers will fail your MOT if they are unable to clear your windscreen of dirt. A week or two before you take your car or vehicle for an MOT, test your wipers by dirtying your windscreen and seeing if they’re able to clean it. 

Your rear windscreen wipers are not part of the MOT, so you needn’t worry about them letting you down on the big day. However, you should ensure they’re working anyway for safety reasons, and have them repaired or replaced if they aren’t.

Will the windscreen washer fail MOT?

windscreen washer fluid

Windscreen washers can cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. If the washers are unable to supply enough cleaning fluid to the wipers, this can be grounds for failure. This washer failure can directly impact the windscreen wiper issue – if your washers don’t supply enough fluid, your wipers won’t be able to clean their screen, which is grounds for failure on its own.


As you can see, the condition of your windscreen, the wipers and even the washer is crucial to passing your MOT. If your windscreen has a chip, a crack, or you’re experiencing issues with your wipers and washers, don’t wait for your car to fail your MOT – contact The Windscreen Company today and we can repair or replace your windscreen so that you can keep driving.

The information within this article was accurate on the date the article was last updated based on the information that was openly available on the topic online. The Windscreen Company accepts no liability for any loss or damage caused by or connected with any error or omission in this article. You should make your own judgement in regards to use of this document and seek professional advice on your particular circumstances.

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