The Complete Guide To Car Window Tints

Tinting your car’s windows is a popular modification and also an optional extra from the factory. If you are new to the world of car window tinting, below is an in-depth guide covering everything that you need to know.

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Car Window Tint
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Whether you want to tint your windows for privacy, blocking UV rays, aesthetics or even to improve your car’s security, its a cheap modification that’s suitable for all vehicles. When applied correctly, they can easily last up to 10 years and be removed whenever you like. Below you can find our detailed guide regarding car window tinting.

How To Apply Window Tint

Although time consuming, tinting your car windows is something that you can do yourself using basic tools. As a brief guide, below are some of the steps involved if you wish to apply window tint yourself:

  • Park your car in a clean environment without dust or dirt
  • Remove any stickers or adhesive from the windows
  • Thoroughly clean the windows with soapy water
  • Completely dry the windows with a clean cloth
  • Slightly roll down the window (if its a passenger door)
  • Spray the outside with soapy water (not needed for pre-cut templates)
  • Roll out the tint film against the whole outside window (not needed for pre-cut templates)
  • Cut out the required window tint (not needed for pre-cut templates)
  • Prepare the inside of the window with soapy water and a squeegee
  • Peel off the release liner from the tint film
  • Spray the exposed section with fresh water
  • Push out any water using a squeegee
  • Roll the window back up and tuck the bottom onto the window

Window tinting is far more involving than simply sticking a film onto your window. If you don’t prepare the surface correctly, you will always end up with bubbles once finished and it’s for this reason why you should take your time.

How Much Does Window Tinting Cost

As with most jobs, your location in the UK and the quality of work will highly determine the cost of window tinting. Another factor that comes into play is the size and amount of windows you require tinting. For example, a three door Volkswagen Golf is going to be much easier and use less tint film when compared to a BMX X5.

Below is a rough estimate of the cost for window tinting various vehicles:

  • Three Door (i.e. Volkswagen Golf)  – £100 – £180
  • Five Door (i.e. Audi A4) – £120 – £200
  • Estate (i.e. Mercedes E Class) – £120 – £250
  • SUV (i.e. BMX X5) – £300 – £400
  • Van with glass (i.e. VW T5) – £400 – £500

It’s important to note that the above prices are approximates based upon the rear and middle windows being tinted. The more premium prices would normally be quoted around the London area but its worthwhile getting a few quotes as most places will be competitive.

How To Remove Window Tint

Depending upon the age of the window tint, it may become damaged (such as the below photo) and need to be removed. There are a number of ways to remove window tint but the best method is to use a car steam cleaner. Simply steam the tint to be removed until the glue begins to melt and then attempt to peel the film slowly off. If possible, we recommend winding down the window slightly as this will allow you to begin peeling the film more easily.

Alternative methods of heating up the glue behind the window tint is to use a heat gun, hair dryer or even wait for a hot day. Sometimes you don’t even need to heat up the tint and you can get away using a razor blade and soapy water.

Once removed, you may be greeted with some glue residue that can be difficult to remove. If it’s being stubborn, try to use a high quality glass cleaner upon it with plenty of scrubbing. You can also use a razor blade to peel it away too.

How To Remove Window Tint

Pre-cut vs Film Roll

One of the hardest parts of applying window tint to your car is getting the perfect cut to match the window. However, there are many DIY kits that come pre-cut using templates that are scanned and cut to shape with precision.

Although a tint film roll is harder to install, it’s much cheaper and easier to control to suit your window. Some pre-cut window tints can also be poor quality and not match your specific car model.

Therefore its crucial that you buy it from a reputable brand and ensure the model matches. For example, a 3 door car won’t have the same window sizes as a 5 door.

Legal Front Window Tint In The UK

It’s important to note that if you tint your front windows or windscreen, it must comply to the DVSA standards. According to the DVSA, the tint must allow at least 70% of light through the front side windows and 75% through the windscreen. Failing to comply may result in a large fine or a Prohibition notice, which prevents you using your car until the tint has been removed.

author dan 4car

Written By Dan

Dan has been a car enthusiast ever since he can remember and has an extensive range of cars that include classic cars that he has restored himself from a barn find condition to modern performance cars. Whether you need advice on how to install car parts or recommendations on what products to buy, Dan’s first-hand experience will certainly help.

If you want to find out more about Dan, our testing process or the website itself, visit our about page for further information.

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