If you prefer traveling incognito, window tints can be a great buy. And it’s just as good when it comes to stopping harsh sunlight turning your car into an oven.
But with countless different products on the market, knowing which one to choose can be tough. That’s where we come in.
We’re going to look at ten of the best window tints for cars. We’ll check out what makes them great, as well as revealing anything to watch out for. And our buying guide will walk you through how to match them to your individual needs.
The kit comes with a yellow squeegee to help with application. This is a case where you’ll find a heat gun and professional tint toolkit very helpful. There are plenty of these around, and they’re well worth the investment.
It’s 1.8 millimeters thick and 2-ply, giving it extra strength. It will block out no less than 99 percent of UV rays.
And it’s just as good as a heat barrier. It will keep out up to half the heat that would otherwise come through your windows. If you’re going to be driving in hot climates for any length of time, it’s a wise investment.
It offers visible light transmission of 20 percent. In other words, it will let through 20 percent of the light outside your windows. That provides a good balance between cutting glare and not having everything too dark.
The film here is uncut, so it’s up to you to get the right size for your windows. The roll is 30 inches wide by ten feet long. It should be fine for side and rear windows. If you want to cover all of them, though, you’ll be cutting it fine. You might want to get a second roll to give yourself a margin for error.
The film is self-adhesive, and applying it takes some patience and practice. That goes double if this is the first time you’ve used window tint.
Think of it like plastic wrap or clingfilm. If the sticky side touches itself, it will create a wrinkle that will be difficult to remove.
To deal with this, take your time applying it, and spray with soapy water to help smooth it into place.
The downside is that, despite the difficulty of application, the adhesive isn’t as resilient as we’d like. We’ve heard of some cases where the film has come lo0se a few weeks later. And it doesn’t shrink as well as some other tints.
This does, though, come with a ten-year warranty. If you run into problems, there’ll be someone to call. We’ve heard positive reviews of Mkbrother’s customer service too.
If you don’t fancy cutting your tint yourself, you can opt for pre-cut versions. This film from JNK Networks comes already trimmed, so you won’t have to get out the scissors.
But how do you get the right-sized tint for your windows? Fortunately, it’s very easy. When you buy online, you’ll be asked for the year, make, model and body type of your vehicle.
You can also select how dark you want your film to be too. The options are 5, 15 and 30 percent VLT, or visual light transmission. Go for 5 percent if you want to let through minimal light. If you want a lighter tint, opt for 30 percent.
The package will include sheets of film for every window – except, of course, the windscreen. And don’t worry if your vehicle has more than the standard number of side windows. The online system will select the correct number of elements for your car or truck.
The pieces come carefully wrapped and labeled, so you’ll know which bits to stick where.
But it’s still not an easy task. You’ll need to take your time. And if you’re applying tint to the rear window, you’ll find it much easier if someone gives you a hand. Using a spray bottle with soapy water will help too.
There are some helpful Youtube videos to walk you through the process. If you’ve never applied tint before, take a look before you start. It will be time well spent.
This kit from True Line is another one that comes pre-cut. Again, you’ll need to supply details of the make and model of your car to get the right fit.
You can choose a full kit, including all the film panels for your side and rear windows. Or if you wish to cover specific windows, you can choose different kits to give you exactly what you need.
With this one, you may also have the option of a visor to reduce glare on your windscreen. This isn’t available for all vehicles, though. If a visor isn’t available for your vehicle, True Line will enclose an extra sheet of trim. That will allow you to cut one out yourself.
And if glare on your windscreen is your priority, you can even choose a visor-only kit.
You’ll also have plenty of choices when it comes to the shade. You can choose between visual light transmission of 5, 20 or 35 percent. And if you prefer a still lighter tint, you can select a 50 percent VLT option.
This is a little more expensive than some other options. The great news is that when it comes to application, it’s a lot more forgiving. But take note: you will need to pre-shrink the film with a heat gun first. Take a look at some online videos to guide you on how to do this.
As ever, the key to successful application is to take your time. Do that, and you’ll get a professional-looking result.
Lexen’s 2 ply tint is another option that’s pre-cut and specific to your vehicle. You’ll need to purchase the right version for the year, make and model of your car. And if you’re looking for tint for your truck, you’ll need to provide the cab size too.
This kit is only for the front windows at the side of your vehicle. If you’re looking for something for your rear windows too, this won’t be the right option.
There is, though, plenty of choices when it comes to the depth of tint. The lightest has a visible light transmission of 50 percent. In other words, it will let through half the light outside the window.
If you’re looking for something darker, there are 35, 30, 15 and 5 percent options too. Just take care before purchasing the darkest shades. They will reduce your visibility and may not be legal in all jurisdictions.
The tint here comes from carbon particles. They help to significantly reduce the amount of heat that will penetrate your windows. They are also scratch-resistant, so your windows will stay looking good for longer. And they’ll block virtually all UV rays – 99 percent of them.
The kit comes with a yellow squeegee to help with application. This is another case where you’ll find a heat gun and professional tint toolkit very helpful. There are plenty of these around, and they’re well worth the investment.
And make sure you give your vehicle a good clean before you start. The minute the tint touches a door post, you’ll be very pleased you did.
If you want something to make your car stand out from the crowd, check out VViViD’s colored tint. With a choice of red, orange, pink, purple, blue and green, you can be as bold as you like. Or if you prefer, opt for the mysterious-sounding “dark black”.
Just bear in mind that if you’re ordering online, colors can be vary depending on your screen. Check that the shade is what you’re looking for before you start applying it.
As well as its striking looks, this tint is strong enough to resist dust and scratches. And the color doesn’t interfere with its ability to keep out UV rays. It will block 99 percent of them from getting inside your vehicle.
The tint itself is made of vinyl, and the manufacturers say it’s specifically designed to be suitable for DIYers. So how easy is it to apply?
Well, to start with, you’ll need to cut the shapes for your windows yourself. Then it’s a case of peeling the vinyl from the backing and sticking it into place.
As with most tints, though, that’s easier said than done. You’ll still need a squeegee and a spray bottle filled with soapy water. Spray that on generously to help smooth the vinyl down without wrinkles.
We’ve heard wildly varying accounts of how difficult this process is. The key seems to be to watch plenty of videos to perfect your technique. Then take every step nice and slow for the best results.
You’ll get two rolls of tint in a package, each 30 inches by 60 inches. If you’re planning to do all your side and rear windows, you’ll need to take care not to waste any.
The second product from Mkbrother to make our list, this one is much darker. It has visible light transmission of just 5 percent. That means that 95 percent of the light outside your vehicle will be blocked by your windows.
Bear in mind that this is – obviously – going to make things a whole lot darker. The visibility from your rear and side windows will be significantly reduced. Some jurisdictions take a dim view of this – if you’ll excuse the pun. So check any restrictions on the use of tints where you live before you buy.
The tint here is uncut, so you’ll need to do this yourself. It comes on a roll 24 inches wide, much narrower than some others. You will, though, get a generous 25 feet of film per roll.
It’s 1.5 millimeters thick and single-ply. It will cut out 99 percent of UV rays. And it will do a good job of keeping you cool too. The non-metallic coating will absorb half of the sun’s heat. The color is a standard charcoal grey to black.
You won’t need to pre-shrink the film with a heat gun. You will, though, need to clean your car windows with water and baby shampoo before you start work. And keep a bottle of the same solution on standby. You’ll need to spray the film repeatedly and squeegee out the bubbles to slide it into place.
As with all DIY tints, it’s a job that takes care and patience. The film will begin to stick after about 30 minutes. Expect it to be fully cured after a day.
If you’re looking for the darkest of dark tints, this offering from Gila should be on your list. It will cut out 97.5 percent of light. If you want something that will give maximum privacy, this is it.
It’s deep-dyed and the shade of “Xtreme Limo Black” gives a pretty good idea of the effect you’ll get. Properly applied, these are sleek and sophisticated tints.
They’ll also block 99 percent of UV rays, protecting your skin from sun damage as you drive.
You’ll need to cut the film to size yourself. Cut it an inch bigger than the dimensions of your window, then trim away the excess when it’s in place.
It can be installed over any kind of automotive glass, including smoked privacy glass. But this is a very dark tint, so make sure that it’s legal to use it where you live.
Each roll is a generous 36 inches wide by 10 feet long. It’s sensible to err on the side of caution in how much you buy. That way you’ll be able to practice application with small pieces before you do the whole thing.
It’s not the easiest to apply. Once the backing sheet is removed, you’ll need to be careful to avoid the film sticking to itself. If you can find someone to help you, the task will be much easier.
MotoShield’s film offers 25 percent visual light transmission, making it a good middle-of-the-road option. If you’re looking for a compromise between privacy and visibility, it could be the right choice.
When it comes to blocking heat and light, the specifications here are impressive. This tint will cut out 99 percent of UV rays, and up to the same level of heat. Glare will be reduced by 70 percent. And the total solar energy reduction is 63 percent.
That superior heat reduction is a result of the film being made from ceramic particles. They’re much more effective than metal or even carbon. And unlike metal tints, you won’t risk any interference with electronic devices in your car.
The film here is two millimeters thick. It won’t discolor over time, and it’s relatively easy to handle. The backing sheet comes off fairly easily, and it’s less prone to creasing.
You will, though, need to pre-shrink it with a heat gun before applying it. And if you’re working with it in cold temperatures, the less flexible material will be awkward to use.
Note that when you’ve got the tint in place, you won’t be able to roll down your windows for six days. It will need that time to properly bond to the glass.
Another ceramic window tint, New Vision’s product will block 99 percent of UV rays. It’s slightly less efficient than the MotoShield product at blocking heat, but will still cut out between 90 and 96 percent.
It’s great at reducing glare too. Together, these characteristics create a pleasant and comfortable driving experience. And it’s explosion-proof for safety.
This version will transmit just 5 percent of light, so it’s very dark. Make sure tints this dark are allowed where you live before you buy.
The film here isn’t pre-cut, so it’s up to you to cut it to the right size for your windows. The package comes with a sharp knife to cut it, and to trim off the excess after installation.
The roll in this case is 30 inches wide and 10 feet long. It will be enough to tint the rear and side windows of most cars. You’ll need to use it with care, though. Any slip-ups, and you may find you need a second roll.
As with all the window tints on this list, you’ll need to keep it wet to position it without creases. Take it slow and steady, and press out air bubbles as you go. The package also includes a scraper to help with that task.
Wimax’s film is one of the darkest on our list. It will cut out all but three percent of the light outside your windows.
The tint here is dyed and extruded, and it’s a smart shade of charcoal gray. The color won’t deteriorate over time.
It isn’t reflective, and it’s great at reducing glare. If you’re driving in bright sunshine – or worse, sunshine reflecting on puddles – it’s a godsend. You’ll have a far more comfortable experience.
It’s scratch-resistant, so it will stay looking good for longer. It won’t, though, cut out as much heat as ceramic tints. Apply this to your windows, and it will block half the heat that would otherwise be admitted.
There are no metallic particles here, so there won’t be any interference with electronic signals. That means your satnav won’t be affected.
It’s single ply and is designed to be peeled from its backing sheet then pressed onto the glass. Use a heat gun to pre-shrink it before you place it on your windows.
You’ll get 10 feet of film on each roll. And the generous 36-inch width will be big enough to cover even large windows in a single sheet.
Still not sure which is the best tint for your vehicle? Read on for the questions to consider before you make your decision.
Pre-cut or uncut?
First, decide whether you’d prefer to buy your tint in the form of pre-cut or uncut film. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Pre-cut film means you’ll have precisely what you need for your car. You won’t have to spend extra time cutting the panels before applying them. And you won’t have to do any trimming.
But it does mean that you won’t have any extra film. Applying tints is tricky, so if you’re doing it for the first time you may prefer an uncut roll. That will give you the option of practicing with smaller pieces first. And you won’t have to buy a whole new kit if you make a mistake with one window.
Tints reduce glare but they also reduce visibility. In some parts of the world, they’re considered dangerous and their use is restricted. So check what rules apply to your area before you buy. You can do so on the International Window Film Association website.
Armed with that knowledge, you’ll know what options are available to you. All tints will block a certain amount of light, but to gauge how much, look for the VLT number. VLT stands for visual light transmission.
The figure will be a percentage, and it will tell you how much light the tint will allow through. A tint with 5 percent VLT will be very dark. It will let through only 5 percent of the light outside. That means it’s good for privacy but less good for visibility.
If you’re looking for something more subtle, go for a tint with a higher VLT. The ones on our list go up to 50 percent, meaning they’ll let through half the available light.
Colored or shades of gray?
Finally, choose whether you’d like discreet gray or black, or whether you’d prefer a funkier option! Colored tints aren’t for the faint-hearted, but they can look great.
Just remember that if you’re buying online, it can be difficult to get an accurate idea of the shade. Check your parcel when it arrives to make sure it’s the color you hoped for.
And take care: we’ve heard of people being fined because color-tinted windows aren’t permitted where they live. So check out what rules apply to vehicles in your jurisdiction before you go shopping.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our reviews of ten of the best window tints for cars. We hope we’ve given you the information you need to choose the option that’s right for you.
Out top pick is Lexen’s 2-ply tint. It comes in a range of shades of gray, and will block 95 percent of UV rays. And it’s easy on your pocket too.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you check the rules for what tints are permitted before you buy. Then enjoy your new and improved driving experience!