You wouldn’t wear scratched or dirty spectacles or contact lenses, so why treat your car’s windscreen and glass any differently? Looking after the glazing on your car not only helps you see more clearly, it makes your car safer and protects its value.

Being able to see out clearly in all weather conditions is vital, whether it’s muck and spray in winter or splattered bugs in the summer. All of the detritus that accumulates on the windscreen leaves a film of dirt and oil that mixes with rain and water spray to leave smears on the outside of the windscreen.

This film of dirt is often all but invisible until that crucial moment when you need perfect vision to avoid a hazard. The way to do this is to keep your windows clean inside and out.

Most of us think a quick splash of windscreen washer fluid once in a while is enough to keep the windscreen free of dirt. This certainly works on the move, but built-up grime on the front window is harder to shift, so even if you don’t wash the whole car take the time to give the windscreen a good brush up.

The best way to clean a windscreen is with warm water and a small amount of car-wash liquid. When the screen is sparkling, rinse it off with clean water and then dry with an equally clean cloth. The best cloths are microfibre ones that help lift any remaining muck so it cannot scratch the glass.

Apply the same cleaning process to the inside of the windscreen too as you’ll be amazed how much filth can gather on this surface. Treat the other windows to the same grunge-busting regime and you’ll enjoy crystal clear vision all-year round.

Don’t forget to keep the windscreen wipers clean and free from muck and tiny grains of dirt that can scratch the glass. If the wiper blades look worn or ragged, change them and remember to replace wiper blades every year as part of routine maintenance. Keep washer fluid topped up with the correct mix of water and cleaner too.

When cleaning the windows, you’re more likely to spot any chips or cracks. Most chips can be dealt with by having them professionally filled with a resin that dries as hard as the glass. In most cases, this gives an invisible repair, though it can only be used on chips of up to 40mm. However, chips of more than 10mm in the line of the driver’s sight cannot be repaired and require a new windscreen.

Replacing a windscreen need not cost a fortune as most comprehensive insurance policies allow for a new windscreen to be fitted with only a small contribution from the driver. This can be done without affecting your premium, so it’s worth taking advantage of.

You will need a professional windscreen company to fit the new screen, but then you wouldn’t trust your eyesight to anyone but a trained optician, so why take the risk with your car?