Deciding to finally have your car windows tinted is one of the best favors you did for yourself. Aside from making your ride classier on the exterior, you also protect the ones you ride with—from the harmful UV rays to the added perils of road accidents.
Whether you are planning to have it professionally tinted or trying to learn how to do it yourself, all the information about car tinting may be overwhelming. But, proper research is important before reaching an informed decision. Remember, removing window tints are harder than installing it.
Here are the things you need to know and consider before getting your car windows tinted:
Choosing the Right Tint Film
There are many kinds of tint films available for you to choose from:
Dyed Window Film – made by placing a layer of dye between an adhesive layer and a protective polyester top coating. The adhesive layer sticks to the window glass, while the top coating protects the film and prevents scrapes and scratches.
Metalized Window Film – film consists of several layers: base layer (adhesive that sticks the film to the window; a film that blocks UV rays, a metalized film that reflects heat and darkens your windows and finally a protective layer to prevent scratches)
Hybrid Tinting Film – offers the advantages of dyed and metalized films without their respective disadvantages. It consists of 4 layers: adhesive, a dyed film, a metalized film, and protective top coat.car
Ceramic Film – a newer alternative, this type consists of an adhesive layer bonded to a thin ceramic layer and protected by a top coat.
UK’s Tinting Law
Aside from film types, you also need to think about the darkness percentage of your tint, which is stated in the law. In the UK, the tinting law states that front windscreens and front side windows depend on when the vehicle was first used. If the vehicle was first used on April 1, 1985, then the required percentage of the darkness of the tint should be at least 75% of light through and the front side windows must let at least 70% of light through.
But, if the car was first used before April 1, 1985, the front windscreen and front side windows must both let at least 70% of light through.
If your front side windows or windscreen are found to be too heavily tinted, you are committing an offense. You can be issued with an Endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice (EFPN) – meaning your license will be endorsed with 3 points, plus you will be served a £60 fine.
But, if your windows are illegally tinted but close to the legal limit, it is possible you might be let off with a vehicle defect rectification notice, which requires you to have the tint removed and provide evidence that this has been done to a police station
Choosing the best tinting company
From the many companies in your area that offer professional window tinting, which one would you trust your car with? Just like with the car tint film, you need to do a lot of research before deciding. It is important that you Determine How Long the Business Has Been in the Area, with an untarnished reputation and credibility. You also need to inquire about the types of window films and warranties that they carry: the colour and darkness. Consider options too. Don’t hesitate to ask for price quotations and compare the companies’ rates.
Preparing your car before tinting
Many people don’t know it but when it comes to car tinting, cleaning is a key component. Before the big tinting day, clean your window both inside and outside. Use a solution of warm water and gentle soap. A few drops of dishwashing soap or baby soap will work fine. Spray the glass and then scrape the water off with a fresh razor blade, taking care not to scratch the glass.
What to do post-tinting
After the tint installation, car owners may find that there is some moisture remaining between the film and the glass after installation which causes a hazy, streaky, blotchy appearance. Don’t panic! It is just normal as it usually takes several days for the adhesive/film to completely cure or completely dry. The remaining moisture will evaporate through the film; depending on the type of film, this process may take a couple of days, or even a couple of months.
It is also recommended that car owners wait a week before cleaning the inside of the window where the film was installed, and not to roll down the windows for at least 1 week after the window film installation. This allows the film to cure and adhere to the glass before the window is moved.
After a full week, use a window cleaner without ammonia and a soft cloth or rubber squeegee. Never scrape the film with any type of blade or clean your tinted windows with anything abrasive, as it will scratch the film.