Investing in Windshields

I’m not a math guy. I can do math, and I actually do really well with doing math in my head. When I was younger (like 8), my mom used to take me grocery shopping so that I could tell her how much she had spent. I’d even add the tax. But I’m having a lot of trouble understanding this bit of math….

In May, our windshield took a rock to it. Just a small chip, and it was so low on the windshield that I never saw it until, in July, I suddenly had a crack working its way across the glass. The crack progressed until November when our car registration paperwork came in the mail. The law states that cracks can exist in the outside edge as long as they are no more than 6 inches away from the edge. My crack was closer to 12, so we had to replace the windshield.

We had debated replacing it back in July, but the quoted price we got from numerous sources was anywhere from $1100 to $2300 for the glass (it’s heated and has the rain sensors in it)! I figured I could drive forever without paying that price, and I intended on doing just that until the registration paperwork changed my mind. So I called again to set up the appointment. This time, the glass came in at $560. Why the fall in price? No idea. They even found a no heater/no rain sensor windshield for $260. By my numbers, that’s at least a 75% discount over July prices.

SafeLite came out on Tuesday to change the glass but discovered that the cheaper pane wouldn’t work because of the heating wires. At that time, they quoted me a price of $400 for the glass that just the day before had been $560. Hey, another 25% savings off the previous day. I’ll take it.

The next day, SafeLite came out again and installed the glass. The final bill for the glass was around $300. Another 25%.

Now I’m not a math guy, but unless windshields are directly tied to the price of other commodities like oil and copper, I don’t get why the price dropped from a high quote of $2300 in July to $300 in November. I’m only glad that I didn’t “invest” in windshields. Heaven knows my 401(k) has already taken enough of a beating without that.

Oh, and if you need a windshield replaced or even a chip fixed, I like SafeLite. Back in my long commute days, I had them do all my fixes. They do a good job even if the math is a little fuzzy sometimes.

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