These days more and more cars are made with a window tint. Done by the manufacturer often, these factory tints will cover your windshields and windows and are designed to absorb some of the harmful UV rays you can be subjected to while driving. It also reduces the glare from headlights, allowing you to drive in the dark with ease (and is why I love it).
But the percentage of factory tint often plagues us, and we wonder, just what percentage is factory tint? It keeps us up at night and even puts us off deciding what vehicle to buy.
Well, no more! We are here to address factory tint percentages once and for all! May you complete your tinted windows journey with ease.
What percent is factory tint?
Factory tint varies slightly, but on average, they are between 15% and 20%. The percentage of factory tint will vary depending on the make and model of the car, hence the discrepancy. You can usually find out the exact percentage of the factory tint by contacting the dealership or the car manufacturer directly.
The percentage of factory tint can also vary on the cars, with each window having a different percentage! The back windows and the rear window can have different tint percentages as they are used for different things.
You still need to see through the tint, meaning a factory tint on the front or rear windshield still needs to provide excellent visibility and often doesn’t go over 27%.
Windows with a factory tint of 15% to 20% will deflect 80%-85% of the light, leaving in between 15% to 20% of visible light. It’s often used on the rear window and is how you get reduced glare on headlights behind you when driving in the dark.
On the side windows, however, you will notice the tint tends to be a lot lighter. Instead, these will be between 70% to 80%, letting in lots more natural light. You can darken them if you want, but most of us tend to leave them nice and bright. It will still reduce the visibility of those looking into the windows but allow those inside to see out and enjoy the light.
Typically we only see these darker side windows in private cars. Celebrity cars, for example, will have darker windows to protect their identity, and they are often used by politicians too. Or even the modern vampire enjoys the reduced sunlight! Typically though, they aren’t seen on standard vehicles.
Can I change factory tints?
If the vehicle you purchase comes with a factory tint and it doesn’t suit you, you can adjust it if you want. While you won’t remove the tint without replacing the windows (and that’s a lot of work), you can apply an aftermarket film over the windows to darken the tint.
When doing so, you will need to take care and follow the instructions to ensure it’s installed correctly. You will want to check your state laws too, some percentages of tints are illegal and declared unsafe for roads. Be sure that adding your tint won’t push you into the danger zone. You don’t want to be hit by fines or expensive work having the tint removed, do you?
Are there any illegal factory tints?
Some factory tints use a 5% tint. These tints are the darkest you can get, and you can’t see through these windows! As this is not safe, these window tints are illegal in most states! These are typically used in the back window of private cars or limousines, and you’ve probably seen these vehicles with 5% tinted windows drive past you before.
If you are considering a 5% tint, be mindful that they can impact your visibility when driving. You will also need to check with the state you live in if they are legal or not. Be mindful that when traveling into a state where this tint is illegal, you could be stopped and questioned by the police. There might even be a fine heading your way so take care when installing these tints.
And just like that, we have come to the end of our factory tint journey today! As you can see, a standard factory tint will be between 15% and 20%. Of course, there are some discrepancies, and you will need to be mindful of these when purchasing a vehicle with a factory tint on it.
Taking time to read the specifications of a prospective vehicle and its tint percentage can be helpful and allow you to make an informed decision. Failing that, pick up the phone and have an old-fashioned conversation with the manufacturer or dealership. They will tell you what percentage of the factory tint they use and help you decide!