The ratio of windscreen replacement to repair is unacceptably high, costing drivers and fleet operators millions of pounds a year, according to Glass Assist UK.
Keith Flowers (pictured), head of replacement network at Glass Assist UK, points out that replacing a screen is much more profitable than repairing it, leading to some windscreen services pushing replacements over repairs.
He believes some companies are working to a 75% ‘replace’, 25% ‘repair’ ratio
“Some unscrupulous windscreen companies have been manipulating the repair versus replacement option for years,” said Flowers.
“Insurance companies, fleets and the vehicle rental market have been misled by these operators who have been replacing glass when it could have been easily and cheaply repaired instead.”
He described a typical scenario: “Imagine a driver with a chipped but repairable screen calls a windscreen service. The technician turns up with a repair kit and a new screen in the back of the van and tells the driver the screen cannot be repaired.
"The average cost of a repair is £40 whereas the cost of a typical replacement screen is about £500. The temptation to push replacement is there and I think there are too many operators giving in to that temptation.”
Glass Assist UK has partnered with Glas Weld Systems to offer a service that puts more emphasis on repair whenever possible.
The company now has a 45% repair versus 55% replacement ratio, which it claims is the highest repair/replacement ratio in the industry.