Many people want to install the darkest legal window tint on their car, but are unaware of the risks involved in accidently installing a darker than legal grade of film. You need to be very careful when installing the darkest legal tint, as is pointed out by Brad Magure of Precision Window Tinting in this expose of the little known risks involved in installing after-market window tint.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window tint with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the NT you are permitted a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver. If you are outside of Australia, find out the legal VLT in your area.
Next be aware that many vehicles come with a slight tint in the glass as factory standard, so this should be considered before adding after-market tint because if this isnt managed, the installed rating can be darker than the film specifications selected. Here’s how this can happen.
If the factory glass on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35% is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the final VLT will be finalised by the addition of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver by mistake fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But even worse, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could result in the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial culpability of the accident. Furthermore a criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
The final thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with illegally dark windows, the vehicle is deemed to be un-roadworthy, which means you can’t drive the car again until it has been put through roadworthy testing, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint for your car.
So what do I really want you to get from this article? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality installer that has the knowledge and takes the professional care to ensure you get a legal installation, because if this isn’t managed, the risks to you as the driver can be very extreme indeed.