Car Window Tint Percentages: A Comprehensive Guide

Too much sunlight and heat can get into your car through its windows. The heating and glare effect caused by these waves may cause trouble for you at times.

Can you do something about it?

Absolutely, yes!

Window tints are a great way to reduce the UV rays intake of your car. But with so many window tint percentages available on the market, it can be a tough decision to choose one.

We are here to help you. Read the complete article to understand car window tint percentages. 

What Is Window Tint Percentage?

Car windows are often covered with a thin film to control the amount of light that crosses the glass. The transparency level of this thin film is known as the window tint percentage. 

There are various window tint percentages ranging from 20-70%. The lower tint percentage would mean less light can pass through it, and a film with a higher tint percentage would allow more light through it. 

Benefits of Window Tinting

Window tinting offers multiple benefits. Let’s explore some of them.

1. Protection against shattered glass

There are a ton of other benefits of window tinting, but the most important one is protection against shattered glass. Broken glass can have devastating consequences for you and your family in case of an accident. However, if your windows are tinted, the likelihood of a broken glass is reduced significantly.

The reason behind this is the fact that tint film adheres so well with the glass that it acts as a reinforcement in the event of a collision. Even if the glass is broken, tint film prevents it from spreading everywhere.

2. Glare Free Driving Experience

Another prominent benefit of window tinting is the assurance of glare-free driving and riding experience. It is important for drivers to focus on the road while driving. But the sun rays in the day and flashy headlights of other cars during nighttime can cause trouble.

Glass tint provides a peaceful, glare-free driving experience by toning down the intensity of light rays passing through windows. It not only helps the driver but also the passengers to relax.

3. Protection against UV Rays

You must know that the sun emits high-intensity UV rays. Extended exposure to UV rays can cause sunburns, irritation, itchiness, premature skin aging, and melanomas. Window tinting is an effective way to block up to 99% of all kinds of harmful UV radiation.

4. Enhances AC performance

AC is blasting at full blower capacity on a sunny day, and you are still sweaty. We all have been there. When the mercury pops a hundred degrees, even the cars with the best AC will face trouble in cooling down.

Having a window tint film can enhance the performance of your car’s AC. Tint film blocks the majority of heat waves from entering the car, hence reducing the load on air conditioning. 

This has dual benefits. One is the obvious effect of enhanced cooling, whereas the other one is improved fuel economy due to decreased load on AC.

5. Longer lifespan for interior

Almost all cars use a combination of plastic and fabric for the interior. Extended exposure of plastic and fabrics to sunlight can cause fading. This gives a very bad look to the interior of your car. 

Now, having a window tint will ensure a longer lifespan for the interior of your car. This is because tint film will protect the interior against the harmful effects of sunlight radiation. 

6. Gives You Privacy

What good is a private car if you have to deal with prying eyes every now and then? A suitable window tint gives an elevated sense of privacy. You can enjoy cherished moments with your loved ones in peace.

Types of Window Tint

Window tint films can be made out of various materials. There are many different types of window tints based on these materials. Let’s see some common materials that are used for window tinting:

1. Carbon Films

Carbon films are a popular choice for window tinting. It is mainly due to the inherent ability of carbon film to repel sun rays and provide an enhanced cooling effect.

2. Ceramic Tinting

Ceramic coating might not be as effective as some other window tint types on this list, but it is certainly the most sharp-looking choice. The natural matte finish effect of ceramic tinting will enhance the bold looks on the exterior.

3. Crystalline Tint

If you’re looking for a subtle option in window tinting, then crystalline tint is the way to go. It gives you the benefits of having a window tint without messing with the looks of your car.

4. Metallic Tint

If you’re looking to get the best window tints for your car, nothing can go wrong with metallic tinting. It might be the most expensive tinting option, but its benefits are also like none other.

5. Dyed Tints 

If you’re afraid of making a long-term commitment with window tinting, dyed tints are the way to go. A protective dye is applied between the glass and tint film, which fades over time.

6. Hybrid Tints

Hybrid is another type of window tint with high quality. It is a perfect combo of dyed and metalized tint, thus the name hybrid. It combines the benefits of metallic and dyed tints while tying up loose ends.

Common Window Tint Percentages in the US and Choosing the Right Window Tint Percentage

There are five different levels of common window tint percentages in the US. 

20 window tint

20 window tint is the darkest of all. It gives you the best dark experience. If your area gets a lot of sun and the temperature exceeds a hundred degrees often, then this would be a good choice.

25 window tint

Next up, you have 25 window tints, which is again a good choice. If you feel like 20% tint is way too dark for your taste, then 25% tint is the way to go.

35 window tint

35 window tint is my personal favorite and ultimate choice when it comes to window tinting. It provides the perfect balance of visible light and UV blockage. More importantly, it allows drivers to see necessary objects on the road during nighttime.

50 window tint

If you live in an area with long winters, 50-window tint is a great choice. 

70 window tint

If you’re looking for a more subtle option, then the best way to go is 70 window tint. It is a subtle choice that doesn’t obstruct the view and is compliant with the window tint laws of almost all states.

Car Window Tinting Laws and Regulations

Each state has different window tinting laws and regulations. However, it is important to note that if you don’t comply with the window tinting laws of your specific state, you can be pulled over. 

If we were to discuss the window tinting laws and regulations of each state, it would become a mini handbook, so I would only mention a few salient facts about window tinting laws in the US.

  • Michigan has no limitation on window tinting.
  • You can choose a window tint as dark as 5% for rear windows in these states:
    • Arkansas
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Delaware
    • Iowa
    • Michigan
    • Missouri
    • North Dakota
    • New Jersey
    • Nevada
    • Ohio
    • Utah
    • Vermont
  • You cannot go any dark than 70% window tint for front windows in these states:
    • Alaska
    • California
    • Iowa
    • Pennsylvania
    • New York
    • Delaware
    • Washington DC
    • Rhode Island

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Window Tint

Even though the window tint is a matter of law and regulations, there are still various factors that you need to consider before choosing one.

Your Personal Preference

No matter how many blueprints you follow to choose a specific exterior part for your car, it boils down to one thing: your personal preference. 

The Style and Type of Your Car

The window tints should look good on your specific car style and type. For example, very dark tints are suitable for only a few sports cars with flashy colors, whereas everyday cars should have a lighter tint. 

The Purpose of Tinting

Even though there are multiple benefits of window tinting, you have to prioritize which benefit is most important for you. If you’re looking to enhance the cooling performance of your AC, you must choose a dark tinting option.

The Climate You Live In

The climate you live in plays an important role in the selection of window tint. If you live in an area with longer summer, it is better to opt for a dark tint. However, if your area has long winters, you can choose a lighter tint as well.

Quality of Tint Material

The quality of the tint material determines its lifespan. Low-quality tints often fade out after a few months, whereas high-quality tints last much longer.

How Much Does Window Tinting Cost?

The average cost of window tinting in the US starts from $100, and it can go up to $1,500. It all depends on the size and shape of your car and on the number of windows in your car. Another variable factor that decides the window tinting cost is the quality of the material. Better quality window tinting will always cost more than lower quality.

How to Remove Window Tint