Can I Tint All My Car Windows?
Window tinting is more popular than ever, mainly because of the benefits it provides. However, it is possible to have windows which have been tinted too heavily, and this could land you in some trouble. In this article, we’ll be explaining the laws on tinted windows, together with the penalties if you’re caught out and how to test that your windows have been tinted to an acceptable level. Read on to find out more!
The legal tint percentages on windows
Generally, the rules on tinted windows are easy and simple to follow. They’re split into two different categories:
- Vehicles that were in use before 1st April 1985
- Vehicles that are in use after 1st April 1985
Vehicles that were used before 1st April 1985 have different rules to follow when it comes to tinted windows:
- The front windscreen must let in 70% of visible light transmission (VLT)
- The front side windows must also let in 70% of VLT
Vehicles used after 1st April 1985 have the following rules:
- The windscreen must let in at least 75% of VLT
- The side windows must let in at least 70% of VLT
Why are there window tinting laws in place?
There are many risks which come with the darkening of your windows. If they’re within the legal limit, they can make a very trendy, stylish modification to your vehicle. However, if they don’t adhere to the law, then they pose several risks to other road users and pedestrians, including:
- Restricting the view of a driver, particularly at night
- Others cannot see the person who is driving, or those who are present in the vehicle. This makes it difficult for police to notice whether seat belts are on or if a mobile phone is in use. These factors risk, not only your own safety, but the safety of your passengers and the general public.
Ultimately, both the police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will enforce the law on tinted windows to help protect:
- Your passengers
- Other road users
How to check if your vehicle adheres to the law
If you think that your windows are too heavily tinted, and wish to check whether or not you’re within the legal limit, then there are a few things you can do to check:
- Have the tinted windows removed and replace them with a lightly tinted alternative.
- Contact your nearest DVSA test centre and ask for their help. They will be able to test the level of tint for you and offer advice on the steps to take next should your windows be tinted to an illegal standard.
- Take it to an MOT centre or a tinting company and ask for their opinion on the tint of your windows. If they’re too dark, it’ll be advised that you have them replaced.
The penalties you could face
If your front side windows or windscreen are found to be too dark or deemed to be too heavily tinted, then you’ll risk being stopped by the police as this is an offence. If caught, you could be given a penalty depending on how dark the tint is. Both the police and the DVSA will use specialist light measuring equipment to gauge how dark the window tint is and whether or not it’s at an acceptable level.
If your windows are found to be illegal, then you’ll be given:
- A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN)
- 3 points on your license
- A £60 fine
You could even be given a prohibition notice which will stop you driving your vehicle until the heavily tinted windows have been removed and replaced with a safer alternative. In extreme circumstances, you may be summoned to court to settle the case.
Advantages of tinted windows
Tinted windows can be extremely advantageous to the average motorist, often being more beneficial than first thought. Some of these benefits include:
Keeps glare of the sun out of the car – sunshine can prove to be very distracting for drivers, particularly when it’s low in the sky. Mitigate this by installing tinted windows, and have a more pleasant, vigilant driving experience.
Keeps the interior temperature cool – this is particularly welcomed during the summer months, as it also means that your air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to keep you at a comfortable temperature.
Offers an increased level of privacy – ideal for VIP vehicles where a low profile is needed when transporting certain people or celebrities to a particular destination. This will ensure people on the roads cannot see in, and it will also make it difficult for people to take pictures inside the vehicle.
Reduces exposure to UV rays – this can be more beneficial than first anticipated. Not only does it protect our skin, but it can also protect your car’s interior. UV light can be particularly damaging to certain materials, particularly if exposed for long periods of time. UV light can:
- Break down chemical bonds in cloth or upholstery leading to colour loss
- Break down polymer bonds in plastic which can lead to the lightening of the plastic
- Can dry plastic out which can eventually cause it to crack
Window tinting at Motorway Windscreens
Motorway Windscreens are proud to offer window tinting services at competitive prices. Whether you’re looking to reduce the sun’s glare, keep the interior cool or make your vehicle more aesthetically pleasing, then having tinted windows would be an ideal option. We will make sure that you’re inline with all laws on tinted windows, ensuring the safety of both yourself and other road users. With a range of colours and shades to choose from, we’ll always be on hand to help.
We have a specialist team of highly-trained, fully-qualified technicians who take pride in meticulously installing tinted windows with expert skill and precision every single time. To learn more about our window tinting service, or to find out the process behind it, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today – we operate throughout Grimsby, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and the surrounding areas.