What Does 30% Tint Mean?

If you’ve heard of people tinting their car windows, you might assume that this is just a universal film that goes over the windows to make them darker. However, this is not the case. You can actually choose the percentage of your tint so that you are happy with how much privacy and protection your car has. 

Vehicle window tints are a popular addition to any car, but researching them before you make the jump can be vital. If you opt for a tint too dark you might not be happy with the results. Plus, you might be breaking the law. 

To know what 30% tint means, you need to know the spectrum of window tints that are commonly on offer. 

Available window tints

Window tints come in various different strengths, from 90% to 10%. You can often choose them in increments of 10%, although you can go as low as 5% if you wanted. Below are the most common window tint percentages and their descriptions.

  • No tint: No tint means that there is no color on your windows and you’re using the factory windows that came with your car, usually made from clear glass. You have full visibility but UV rays can damage the interior of your car as well as create dangerous glares along with the windows, making it harder to see sometimes.
  • 90 to 60%: These tints are very light with almost no color, offering little protection from the sun. you’ll also have less privacy as many people will still be able to see in your vehicle. 
  • 50%: Opting for 50% leaves you with little darkness and blocks only half the sunlight from damaging the interior of your vehicle. However, you will feel considerably less heat coming into your car from the sun, and your interior will be half protected. 
  • 30%: 30% tints are darker than 50% and therefore offer you better protection from the sun rays. It also gives your vehicle a sleeker look while still allowing you to see through the glass with ease. 
  • 20%: You’ll get even more protection still with 20% window tints, and people will be able to see through your windows only if they are incredibly up close and personal with your car. 
  • 5%: You won’t always be able to find a window tinter who offers 5% window tints because they are illegal for many vehicles. One exception is the limousine. You cannot see through this tint at all, offering maximum protection and privacy. 

Most common window tint percentage

50% is the national average percentage of window tints across the United States. However, when it comes to the most popular tints, 30 to 20% take the win. 30% tints offer you the best of both worlds between 50 and 20%, giving you the ability to see through your windows with ease without the glare from the sun hurting your eyes. 

The interior of your car will be 70% protected with a 30% tint, preventing the sun from bleaching the interior fabrics and causing them to overheat. Many people don’t understand the risk of overheating fabrics, but the sun can quickly age them prematurely and cause them to look much more weathered than they should be. 

Is a 30% tint legal?

30% tints are legal for all vehicles in the majority of states. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, Illinois has different laws on tinting for SUVs, cars, and vans. Cars require a tint that will let more than 35% light into the vehicle on the front, back and rear windows. 

SUVs and vans need their front windows to let more than 50% light in, although they can then use any percentage of tint on the back and rear windows. 

Illinois also has more complicated laws in place for window tints, such as: 

  • If the front windows have no tint, then the rear and back windows behind the driver can have any tint percentage. 
  • If a car has a factory-installed tint on the back windows, then the front windows must let over 50% light into the vehicle. This must be abided by no matter how dark the tint in the back is. 
  • If all of the windows in the back are tinted above 30%, then the front windows can have a 50% light transmission. 

These rules are quite extensive and specific, so it is important that you look up the laws on window tints in your state. They might be less strict than Illinois, but they might be even stricter! 


30% window tints offer 70% protection to you and your car by blocking out the majority of the harmful UV rays. These can damage your car’s interior as well as make it harder for you to see while driving. They also give you more privacy from outsiders who will not be able to see into your car as easily.