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Lotus Elise Windscreen Replacement

on Mon, 30/11/2009 - 17:00

Lotus Elise Windscreen
The total cost of the job was £1,085, although thankfully I only had to pay the £70 insurance excess and wipe my brow with a sigh of relief. It is the first time in my life I had ever felt like insurance was a valid expenditure. Rewind a week and I’m an emotional mess after a stone flew up on the M25 cracking the Elise’s windscreen. Initially just a deep chip, it quickly developed into a vertical split covering almost the full height of the glass.

According to the fitter handing me the bill it would have been roughly double that figure without the Elephant Insurance discount. Over £2,000 to replace a windscreen? Feels a little hard to believe but I could only take their word for it. Elephant were pretty good about it, despite some reviews that they fall down as soon as you need to make a claim. A quick phone call, in which I tried to convince them to let me have it done at a Lotus garage but failed, and the Elise was booked into the local AutoGlass. There was no impact on my no claims bonus and if I had really insisted on arranging it myself they would have contributed £50 towards the costs.

Replacing the windscreen took 4 hours from drop-off to collection, including an hour for the glue to cure. It took a couple of days to get the part in and the work was carried out by a single mechanic. The hard top had to be removed, as did both front access panels, and I was advised that from there you could just loosen the clam to cut out the old glass and fit the new one in. The rear view mirror was fitted back in pretty much the correct place and there are no obvious signs of any problems. It was a bit wet on collection so I couldn’t really tell if there were any scratches but there didn't appear to be any major issues. I had been quite apprehensive about leaving the work to Autoglass, but in the end I needn’t have been. While the glass fitter said it was a little tricky it wasn't too bad and easier than some cars. It is also far easier than having to do the rear glass which apparently requires a good deal of dismantling. So all in all a good result and thanks to AutoGlass Bermondsey.

For those interested here’s a link to the original discussion I had on the PistonHeads Forum.

UPDATE: Several months later the windscreen is still attached and looks good as new.

UPDATE 2: I’ve since moved from Elephant to Competition Car Insurance (CCI). Unfortunately CCI have a £500 limit on windscreens so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a similarly high bill doesn’t come my way again any time soon.

UPDATE 3: After raising with CCI that their windscreen repair limit seemed too low and wouldn’t have covered half the cost of the previous replacement, they consulted with their underwriters and it has since been increased. I think it is fantastic that they have listened to and acted on customer feedback.