Window tinting offers numerous benefits, from safety against harmful UV rays to enhanced privacy and reduced glare. So if you want to improve your driving experience further, you must invest in the best window tint for cars.
In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of window tint films, essential factors to consider, and some tips to follow while buying tint for your car’s specific needs.
Different Types of Window Tint Films
When it comes to window tint films for cars, there are several options. Below is a list of some of the most popular tint films. Each type offers its own set of advantages, so best pick the film that best fits your needs.
Dyed Window Tint
Dyed window tint is one of the most popular and affordable options on the market. It consists of a layer of dyed polyester film applied to the interior side of the car windows. The dye absorbs solar heat and reduces glare, making driving more comfortable in bright conditions. However, its heat rejection capabilities are relatively lower than other types of tint. Over time, it may fade due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Metalised Window Tint
Meanwhile, metalised window tint comprises multiple layers, with a thin metallic layer embedded between adhesive and protective coatings. This metallic layer offers excellent heat rejection properties by reflecting significant heat and UV rays away from the vehicle. It also provides added strength to the windows, making them more shatter-resistant. However, metalised tint can interfere with electronic devices like GPS, cell phones, and radio signals due to its metal content.
Carbon Window Tint
Compared to its dyed counterpart, carbon window tint is better in terms of performance and appearance. It incorporates carbon particles within the film, which helps to block a higher amount of infrared radiation, offering superior heat rejection without interfering with electronic devices. This type of tint also provides a darker and more consistent colour tone, giving your car a sleek, stylish look.
Ceramic Window Tint
Ceramic window tint is at the higher end of the tinting spectrum, offering outstanding performance and durability. It contains non-conductive ceramic particles, making it the best choice for minimal interference with electronic devices. Ceramic tint offers great heat rejection, glare reduction, and UV protection, all while maintaining clarity and visibility. It’s less prone to fading, making it a long-lasting option.
High-Performance Window Tint
On the other hand, high-performance window tint combines the benefits of multiple tinting technologies, such as dyed, carbon, and ceramic, to offer optimal performance and aesthetics. This type of tint is engineered to balance heat rejection, UV protection, and clarity. It is an excellent choice for those who want top-tier industry performance without the premium price tag of pure ceramic tint.
Some vehicles come with factory-installed tint on their windows, typically on the rear and rear-side windows. This factory tint usually has a VLT (Visible Light Transmission) level of around 15% to 20%, providing some level of privacy and heat reduction. However, factory tint might not offer the same level of UV protection and heat rejection as aftermarket window tint films.
Factors to Consider When Getting Window Tint for Cars
Window tinting isn’t just about enhancing your car’s appearance; it serves various practical purposes as well. So when selecting the right tint for your vehicle, it’s essential to consider certain factors to ensure you end up with the one that suits your needs and preferences. Here are the key best factors to keep in mind:
Heat and UV Rejection Capabilities
One of the primary reasons for installing window tint is to reduce heat buildup inside the car. Different types of tint films offer varying levels of heat rejection. Look for a tint with high Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) values, indicating better heat-blocking properties. Additionally, consider the tint’s ability to block harmful UV rays, as prolonged exposure to UV radiation can damage your car’s interior and pose health risks. According to the Cancer Council of Australia, overexposure to UV radiation is one of the top causes of skin cancer. In Australia alone, skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cases annually.
Glare from the sun or headlights can be distracting and dangerous while driving. Window tints with good glare reduction properties can significantly improve visibility and driving comfort, especially during bright daylight or nighttime driving. Films with metalised or ceramic components often offer superior glare-reduction capabilities.
Darkness and VLT (Visible Light Transmission) Levels
Window tint darkness is measured by its VLT percentage, which indicates the amount of light that can pass through the tint. The lower the VLT percentage, the darker the tint. But while darker films offer more privacy and heat rejection, they may also affect visibility, especially during nighttime driving. A study by James LaMotte and his colleagues even found that while a car window with 37% transmittance doesn’t hinder younger drivers, it can significantly affect older ones. Moreover, each Australian region may have specific regulations on how dark you can go, so it’s crucial to check local laws to avoid legal issues.
Privacy and Security Features
Window tint provides an added layer of privacy and security for you and your belongings inside the car. Darker tints make it difficult for outsiders to see inside, protecting your personal space and belongings from prying eyes. However, remember that some regions have restrictions on the level of tint darkness allowed for front-side windows, so check local laws accordingly.
Installation Process and Warranty
Proper installation is crucial for window tint performance and longevity, as well as consumer protection. Choose a reputable, experienced professional to ensure a clean, seamless installation without air bubbles or creases. Additionally, inquire about the warranty offered by the tint manufacturer or the installer. A good warranty can give you peace of mind knowing you’re covered against defects or bubbling that may occur over time.
Brand Reputation and Reviews
Research various window tint brands and read customer reviews to gauge their performance and customer satisfaction. Reputable brands often have a track record of providing high-quality products, and positive reviews can give you confidence in your purchase decision. Seek recommendations from friends or online automotive communities to gain insights from experienced users.
Tint Type and Aesthetics
Consider the type of tint film that aligns with your desired aesthetics. Dyed tints are more budget-friendly but may fade over time, while carbon or ceramic tints offer better performance and a more consistent colour tone. Ceramic or high-performance tints might be the right choice if you prefer a premium look.
Legal Regulations and Compliance
Before selecting a window tint, familiarise yourself with local regulations on tint darkness, reflectivity, and placement. Different regions have specific laws governing window tinting, and non-compliance may lead to fines or penalties. Ensure that your chosen tint complies with the legal requirements in your area.
How to Choose the Best Window Tint for Your Car
Picking the best window tint for cars can significantly enhance your driving experience while providing various benefits such as heat reduction, UV protection, and increased privacy. With many available options, making the right choice might seem overwhelming. To help out, here’s a list of essential tips to consider:
Request Tint Samples
Most reputable window tint providers offer samples of their tint films. Requesting samples allows you to see how the tint looks on your car windows before making a final decision. It also helps you gauge the level of darkness and appearance to ensure it matches your desired aesthetics.
Seek UV-Blocking Tints
Protecting yourself and your passengers from harmful UV radiation is crucial. Look for window tints that explicitly mention their UV-blocking capabilities. High-quality tints can protect you against 99% of harmful UV rays, keeping your skin safe and preventing interior fading.
Consider Non-Metallic Tints
Opt for non-metallic tints like carbon or ceramic if you’re concerned about potential interference with electronic devices. These films can reject heat without using metallic particles, making them compatible with GPS, glass, cell phones, and other electronic gadgets.
Check for Colour Stability
Tints with poor colour stability can develop a purple or blue hue over time, detracting from the overall appearance of your car. Look for tints with good colour stability to maintain a clean and elegant look for years to come.
Choose Lifetime Warranty
Opt for window tints that come with a lifetime warranty. A lifetime warranty demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality and durability. It also provides peace of mind since you’re covered against defects or issues that may arise over the tint’s lifespan.
Prioritise Heat Rejection
If you live in a hot climate or frequently encounter scorching summers, prioritise heat rejection capabilities when selecting your window tint. Tints with higher SHGC values effectively block solar heat, keeping your car’s interior cooler and more comfortable.
Verify Legal Certification
Ensure that the window tint you choose is certified to meet local regulations. Look for the appropriate certification labels or markings on the tint package, confirming that it complies with your region’s tinting laws.
Inquire About Maintenance Tips
Different tints may require specific care and maintenance to prolong their lifespan. Before finalizing your choice, inquire about proper cleaning methods and maintenance advice from the tint installer or manufacturer.
Consider the Tint’s Reflectivity
While metalised tints offer excellent heat rejection, they can be more reflective from the outside. If you prefer a more subtle look with less reflectivity, consider ceramic or carbon tints that balance performance and aesthetics better.
Choosing the best window tint for cars is a decision that warrants careful consideration. By following the comprehensive guide above, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and preferences. So take the time to research, consult professionals, and explore various options to ensure your car receives the perfect window tint.