Did you know that there are over 120,000 windscreens replaced on Irish roads every year? As it's insurance companies that pick up 80% of the bills price competition in the sector is fierce.
However, recent studies show that quality and safety are fast becoming more important than price. Most of us don't realise that a poorly fitted windscreen can be a very dangerous thing to have on your car.
An ill fitting windscreen can be difficult to identify but the experts tell us that at least one in a hundred of us are driving with exactly that.
Apart from providing protection from the elements, a cars windscreen will determine the effectiveness of the passenger airbag.
When this airbag deploys it needs the support of the windscreen behind it to provide the protection necessary for the occupant.
If the windscreen has been poorly fitted it could be pushed out by the airbag leaving the passenger completely exposed.
Believe it or not, if you were unlucky enough to experience a roll-over in your car your windscreen would be responsible for 30% of the structural integrity. If it's not fitted properly your car could crumple in a way that the manufacturer didn't intend leading to serious injury or worse...
One provider who takes this responsibility very seriously is Autoglass an Irish company that's part of the International Belron group. When it comes to fitting windscreens these guys should know their stuff as Belron replace a piece of glass somewhere in the world every 5 seconds.
The winner of today's national finals held at the Europa Academy will have been judged against a number of headings including technical, quality, safety and customer interaction. Autoglass is the only company to run this type of competition which is highly regarded in an industry where anyone can claim to be a 'windscreen fitter' without any formal qualification or industry standard.
Winning the overall competition means claiming the title 'Best of Belron' and being able to put 'best fitter in the world' on your CV. The finals will be held in Paris in June where one Irish finalist will be competing for glory.