Convex Mirrors vs. Flat Mirrors – Which one is better for your car’s side view mirrors?

The side view mirrors of your vehicle are important instruments as they enable you to see what is going on behind and beside your car.

When you are trying to decide whether to use convex or flat glass mirrors as your car’s side view mirrors, there are several factors that you should consider.

Flat mirrors and convex mirrors both have certain advantages and disadvantages that will talk about in this article.

The Advantages of Flat Mirrors

Flat Mirrors are the default side view mirrors that are preinstalled in most cars before the 90s. They reflect a true image of the space beside your car, showing distances as they really are. Since flat glass is easier to produce than convex glass they are usually cheaper to replace than convex mirrors.

The Disadvantages of Flat Mirrors

The one big disadvantage of flat mirrors is that they cover less space than convex mirrors. Even though you get an accurate picture of the space behind you, the picture is much smaller, so you have a bigger blind spot area. This can be a problem especially if you have a big car or if you are towing a trailer.

flat mirrors

The Advantages of Convex Mirrors

Convex side view mirrors are slightly curved and thus provide a wider angle of visual space. They help to eliminate most blind spots and let you see a bigger area than common flat glass mirrors. Thus, you are able to see much more than with regular flat mirrors. Convex mirrors are often used on bigger or longer vehicles because flat glass mirrors cannot cover enough space to see past a big car. Therefore, they are a good choice for SUVs, Caravans, Trucks, or large 4×4 vehicles.

The Disadvantages of Convex Mirrors

The main disadvantage of convex mirrors is that they show a distorted picture of what is behind you. Distances are seen not as they are in reality and things appear closer than they really are. They are showing cars approximately twice as far away as they actually are. This can be stressful and dangerous on the road e.g. when you are merging into heavy traffic and you are not sure how close the cars actually are. However, if you are aware of the fact that distances are distorted, your brain will quickly get used to gauging the distance correctly.

convex mirrors

How to Choose Which Kind of Mirror is Best for You?

Which mirror type is best for you depends mostly on the size and model of your car and your own visual perception abilities. If you have a long car like a  Honda CR-V, an Audi Q5 or a Kia Sorento, a convex mirror might be the better choice. On the other hand, small cars like a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a Perodua Kancil or a Proton Iriz would be better equipped with flat mirrors.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your preferences. If you think you can deal with a slightly distorted image that covers a greater angle, go for convex. If you prefer an accurate reflection of distances, go for flat mirrors.

Another thing to consider is the price: Flat Mirrors are cheaper to replace than convex mirrors, so if you live in an area with dense traffic or work in a job where your car is likely that your side view mirrors get damaged, it might be more economical to install flat mirrors.

Where Can I get The Change between Flat and Convex Mirrors done?

One cheap and easy way to change or replace your car’s side view mirrors is by calling the My Car Mirrors quick repair service.  If you live in Ireland they can come to your house and change the mirrors instantly. Even if your mirrors are not broken, they can exchange the glass for you, which is much cheaper than to have the whole side view mirror replaced by a garage. All it takes is one call to set up an appointment.

How Much Does it Cost to Change between Flat and Convex?

You can check the prices here to see how much it is to change between flat and convex mirrors.

The change can be done in less than 30 minutes and you get a one-year-guarantee on your new mirrors, so it might be worth considering a change if you think you would feel more comfortable with the other kind of mirror.

One thought on “Convex Mirrors vs. Flat Mirrors – Which one is better for your car’s side view mirrors?

  • February 17, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Great post! I was wondering what the difference between convex and flat mirrors really was. Going to change to convex now, I think. 🙂

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