It’s a horrible, sinking feeling to walk out to your vehicle and see a pile of broken glass next to the door. Whether it be because of accident, vandalism, or just plain dumb luck, having to replace one of your vehicle’s windows is a task that drivers typically want done as soon as possible. This goes especially during the winter months. On the other hand, it’s not a repair that needs to happen very often (you hope), so knowing a price for replacement is rare. Let’s see if we can narrow things down and find a rough estimate for how much it costs to replace a car window.

Power or Manual?

It won’t make much difference in regards to the price of the window itself, but whether or not you have power windows will make quite a difference in the labor cost. There is a lot more to deal with when you’re speaking about power windows. In the traditional crank-style windows there is a door panel, a window regulator, and then the window itself. When you’re speaking of power windows, you’re also speaking of power locks, additional wiring, a heavier door panel, relays, a more complex window regulator, and a lot less room to maneuver. None of these components should need to be replaced (unless the vehicle was in an accident of some kind), but they do make the job itself more difficult. As all gearheads know, more difficulty means more money.

Where Can I Get a Window Replaced?

Any automotive repair facility should be able to handle this repair without a hitch. Even a few body shops will tackle the world of window replacement. This question actually lies more toward the realm of Where Can I Get a Window? The repair shop may not give you a choice. Some shops prefer to only use brand new parts. However, if you do find a shop that is more flexible with their options, you may be offered the choice between a new or a used window. Several auto recycling facilities have new-model vehicles that have been in accidents, but still have perfectly clean and usable windows. These panes of glass can lower the parts cost by more than half what you’d pay for a new piece. As long as there are no flaws in the window, you’re better off going this route.

What About Labor?

Good question. Labor is really what makes the price difference in this job. If you’ve got vehicle that has just the basics, you’re looking around an hour or two in labor time for the window replacement, depending on which window it is. This can bring the total job cost to an average of $150 to $250 depending on make and model, and if you buy the window new or used. If you’ve got power windows with all the extras, the labor time can actually increase to a few hours. If you go with a used window you may be able to keep the price around $200 to $300 for one of these models. Just remember, a new window is only going to come from the dealership, and most will need to be ordered. That’s going to increase the amount of time your vehicle is either down or driving around windowless. Going used is almost always the best way to go here.

(Please remember that these repair prices can also fluctuate based on geographic location, as well as vehicle make and model; and that these numbers represent averages, not actual prices offered at any specific repair facilities.)