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How to Choose Best Window Tint Percentage for Your Car? (Ultimate Guide)

How to Choose Best Window Tint Percentage for Your Car? (Ultimate Guide)

Do you find it annoying when people look inside the car? Or perhaps, when the sun glares down in its full glory and blinds your vision? In any case, window tints can save the day for you!

Window tint refers to thin laminate sheets that are placed on the interior or exterior of the window. Depending on the tint percentage, these sheets can make your car windows dark or completely black.

But that’s not the only thing you should consider when choosing a window tint percertage. There’s also the tint type, visibility, UV protection, laws, and much more. So, without further ado, let’s learn how to choose the best window tint percentage for your car in detail below!

How is Window Tint Percentage Measured?

If you’re new to window tint percentages, the inverse measurement will confuse you. So, let us explain this to make choosing the car window tint easier.

VLT stands for visible light transmission. It measures how much light goes through the window, and not the other way around. So, the lesser the percentage is, the darker the tint is, and vice versa.

For example, a 5% window tint would let only 5% of external light enter the car. Hence, the dark color of the tint.

Why Should You Get a Car Tint?

Why Should You Get a Car Tint

A window tint instantly lifts up your car looks. It makes the vehicle appear sleek, modish, and sporty. But, apart from the aesthetics, a window car tint has several other benefits that include:

1. Increased Privacy

Transparent car windows aren’t bothersome until someone starts looking inside. It is an invasion of your privacy, and -well- you never know whether there are criminals on the loose. So, car window tints are great for restoring privacy and security.

2. UV Protection

The sun emits harmful UV rays at all times. Too much exposure to these rays can lead to skin burns, premature aging, blinding diseases, and even skin cancer. And that’s not it.

Sun’s UV rays also affect the car body. They can result in faded upholstery, a sagging dash pad, and damaged rubber weather stripping. Having a window tint means you can protect yourself and your car from the sunlight to some extent.

3. Reduced Glare

Glare is strong and dazzling light, which may emit from the sun or the headlights of an oncoming car. In any case, a glare can reduce visibility and affect the driver’s performance negatively.

If that’s something you wish to avoid, car window tints are a must!

4. Cooler Temperature

When the sun shines on your beautiful car body, it doesn’t only cause damage. But it also makes the vehicle warm. This can also put an unnecessary load on the air conditioner and make it work harder.

Since the car tint helps lessen the UV rays entering the vehicle, it also keeps the interior cool.

Window Tint Percentages: What Are Your Options?

Window Tint Percentages: What Are Your Options

Typically, the window tint percentages are available in a range of 5% to 70%. We’ve classified them into three broad categories below.

1. Dark Tint

Window tint percentages between 5 to 10 are almost black. They don’t provide any view of the car interior, which means high-quality privacy and security. No one could ever know what valuables are present inside the car.

But this can also create trouble with police officers and state law. Most service providers call these percentages the limo tint because they are only legal for limousines.

2. Medium Tint

Medium window tint covers all the percentages from 15% to 35%. These tints are fairly dark and make it impossible to peek inside from a distance. However, once close to the window, the visibility increases.

3. Light Tint

Above 35%, you should expect the window tint to appear gray. It loses the sleek black aesthetics and will just add a nice touch to the car’s outlook. People will also be able to see more of what’s going on inside.

But, most people prefer a 50% car window tint because it strikes the perfect balance between privacy and looks.

4. Almost No Tint

If you go above 70%, the tint will be a light gray translucent film on your car windows. There will be little aesthetics, privacy, and UV protection.

Usually, people will opt for these window shades (percentages) when they live in colder weather. The negligible offers some privacy while letting most of the sun rays inside warm them up.

How to Choose the Best Window Tint Percentage for Your Car?

Choose the Best Window Tint Percentage for Your Car

Now that we’ve understood window tint percentages, let us discuss the factors you should consider when choosing them.

Step1: Understand Your Needs

First of all, sit down and think about why you want the window tint percentage. Is it because you want aesthetics, privacy, less sun glare, or UV protection?

  • If you want a premium, sleek look on your car, choose the lowest legal window tint percentage. Most limousines and sports cars have a 5% tint.
  • If you wish to avoid attention from onlookers and get maximum UV protection, stay in the range of 5% to 35%.
  • If you want to prevent trouble from cops while maintaining privacy, stick to a 50% tint.

Step2: Decide the Tint Type

Since the tint percentage will vary with the type, it’s important to understand the options available in the market.

  • Dyed Window Tint

This window tint is available in all opacity levels, though its benefit is limited to visual aesthetics and privacy. You won’t get any real protection against harmful UV rays.

  • Metallized Window Tint

Unlike the dyed variant, the metalized window tint is infused with small metal particles. This gives it a beautiful shiny look that most car owners seek.

These tints are also excellent at blocking sun rays, glare, and heat. However, the tint type may not be available in higher percentages.

  • Hybrid Window Tint

As the name suggests, these car window tints are a hybrid between dyed and metallic film tints. This particular fusion offers you the best of both worlds.

You get a window tint that is aesthetically pleasing and efficient at blocking the sun’s negative effects. But, again, it’s usually dark gray in color and not almost black.

  • Carbon Window Tint

The carbon window tint comes in at 40% and lower percentages. Most people choose this high-quality film because of its many benefits. Not only does it protect you against UV rays, but also infrared radiation.

This means almost zero chances of temperatures increasing inside the car. The carbon films also last way longer than other types.

  • Crystalline Window Tint

The crystalline window tint is carbon tint without complete darkness. Of course, they aren’t made the same way. But their benefits are the same – except for the color.

You’ll find crystalline window tints in higher percentages(40% above).

  • Ceramic Window Tint

Ceramic window tints are the strongest type. They have ceramic particles infused in them, which makes them shatter-resistant.  It also gives a nice matte finish to the glass.

The best part is that they don’t reduce the electronic transmissions of the gadgets. So, it doesn’t matter what device you’re using inside the car. The tints will have an effect on their signals.

You can also find them in all tint percentages!

Step3: Research the State Laws

The blockage provided by the car window tints enables criminals and ill-intentioned people to carry out illegal activities like drug dealing. A complete black window tint also blocks the driver’s visibility. This can lead to serious road accidents and injuries.

It’s why rules and regulations exist for car window tints throughout the world. In the US, every state has different window tinting laws. There’s no centralized law, though the individual state laws are made by the same organization – American Automobile Association (AAA).

Most US states allow a tint percentage between 30 to 40% for the front side window. There are very different percentage requirements for the back side and rear windows. Some states will let you have any, while others will limit you to a 70%!

The same applies to Canada. So, before you choose a specific tint percentage, go through your state laws and see what’s allowed.

Step4: Check Your Budget

Last but most importantly, check your budget to find what’s an affordable option for you. The darker and high-end window films will cost you more than your counterparts. Also, the service provider chosen for the job will determine the total cost.

If you want to avoid paying hefty amounts to professionals, you can always DIY. But you’ll need to research a lot, learn, and buy the tools.

Last Words

All in all, choosing the best window tint for your car is fairly easy. You’ve to pay attention to the car’s outlook, visibility, UV protection, tint type, and window tinting laws in your location.

We hope this article has helped resolve all your queries. If you’re still confused about something or want to share your personal experience, let us know in the comments below!

Jack Alexander

Saturday 28th of May 2022



Friday 6th of August 2021

I think that he was right, because 5% tint is very, very dark.


Wednesday 15th of July 2020

You got the text backwards, and also said "deflect" when you should say "absorbs.": You wrote about factory tint: "lets in just about the 15-20 % of visible light and deflect 85-85%." Of course, it's the other way around: factory tint lets in just about 80-85% of the visible light and absorbs 15-20%.