Car window tints offer a world of immeasurable benefits to both the passengers and the vehicle, on top of the styling enhancements to the car’s exterior looks. Window tints create the distinction from the rest in the same car makes and models. If you’re an upgrade fanatic and you are transforming your vehicle into a showroom material, you can’t be playing around with the car’s aesthetics without working on the car window tint. So, if you’re ready to level up your car and make it look sexy on the streets, on top of the other benefits, the first question you will ask is how much a car window tinting costs. Price is not constant, and auto window tinting prices may vary according to the car make, model, and a few other variables. So, let’s dig deeper into the significant factors in order to have a brief overview of the average costs.
- 1 What Is Window Tinting?
- 2 What Are the Benefits of Tinting Your Car Windows?
- 3 How Much Does Window Tinting Cost?
- 4 Is Window Tinting Legal and Why Are Window Tints Regulated?
- 5 Can I Do It by Myself (DIY)?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Window Tinting?
Window tinting is the process of applying thin sheets of tint films on the window glasses. It is usually applied to the windows of buildings, offices, homes, and cars. These tint films are usually made of polyester-based materials in multiple layers, added with an adhesive coating to make them stick to the glass. Some layers may contain metal particles, ceramics, carbon particles, dyes, and pigments. The final or outer layer is normally scratch-resistant for additional protection. Traditional tints are usually dyed tints, but dyes will quickly fade over time, causing more frequent replacement of the tints. Later on, carbon window tint and metalized tints became the trend with better resistance against fading. Ceramic tint also came, providing stable colors that last and that have better sunlight-blocking features than the traditional dyed tints.
What Are the Benefits of Tinting Your Car Windows?
Car tinting is all about protection and privacy rather than styling. The extra-sleek looks are a bonus benefit that can make the car a showroom material. But there’s more to aesthetics that make the tint an important add-on to any vehicle. So, let’s focus more on the essential advantages.
Blocks Ultraviolet Light and Infrared Rays
Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light may cause various skin problems, while excessive infrared ray (IRR) exposure can lead to eye irritations and damage. Long hours of driving and riding the vehicle without a tint will expose you to the harmful effects of sunlight. The tint acts as a barrier to provide protection from sunlight. Dyed tints can block harmful UV rays up to 96 percent, while premium metal, carbon tint, and ceramic window film can block 99 percent UV light. IRR blocking may differ by brands, some as much as 99 percent.
Provides Solar Heat Rejection
Total Solar Energy Rejected, or TSER, is another tint feature that makes each brand better than the others since different brands have unique TSER levels. This is the amount of heat rejected by the tint, leading to a cooler passenger cabin temperature. Cars without tints are like a heated oven when you enter the cabin after hours of parking under direct sunlight. If you have a tint with high TSER capacity, you will enter the car with a cooler temperature and at a more comfortable level. TSER usually ranges from 35 percent for standard tints to 70 percent for premium ceramic tints.
Privacy may not be so significant for others, but some people take privacy more seriously. Car-tinted windows can help deter theft, especially if you leave some valuables or gadgets inside. Without the tint, people can clearly see what’s inside the car. If you happen to leave behind your laptop or your iPhone, these personal belongings can attract theft with a quick smash of the window glass.
Prevents or Minimizes Fading of Upholstery and Dashboard
Excessive sunlight exposure is not only harmful to people. They can also accelerate fading of the upholstery and damaging of the dashboard. Tints act as barriers to prevent accelerated fading and damage to the car’s interiors.
Additional Protection from Shattered Glasses
In the event of an accident, the shattered pieces of glasses can cause more injuries to the victims. If your windows are tinted, it keeps the shattered glasses intact and minimizes injuries.
How Much Does Window Tinting Cost?
The range of prices on window tinting is too broad due to a lot of factors. However, the most significant variable that affects the price is the type of material on the multiple layers of thin films. The conventional dyed window tint is the cheapest around, costing as low as less than a hundred dollars for small cars like sedans. Tints with carbon and metal particles are more expensive, but the most expensive tint type is ceramic tints, which can fetch up to a thousand dollars for bigger cars.
Another pricing factor is the size of the vehicle. Apparently, the smaller the car, the lower the price. On the contrary, you’ll have to pay more for bigger vehicles like pickups, trucks, SUVs, vans, and buses. Sometimes, tint experts will charge per square meter of tint for bigger trucks, vans, and buses, while other tint shops charge per window.
Average Auto Window Tint Cost for Coupes
The normal cost of window tinting for a coupe using the standard tint film rolls is less than $100 for the whole vehicle. For carbon and ceramic tints, the costs may go up to $200.
Average Car Window Tinting Prices for Sedans
For family cars like sedans, the average price for standard tint films is $100. This can go up to as much as $400 for carbon, metalized, and ceramic tints, especially the premium brands.
Average Tint Prices for SUVs and Pickups
Sports utility vehicles and pickups are generally larger in size compared to sedans, so the usual price for window tinting is about $120 for pickups. This could be higher for mid-sized and full-sized SUVs.
Average Window Tint Price for Trucks and Buses
Trucks and buses are the most expensive to tint. There is no average price because these vehicles don’t have a standard number of windows. Smaller buses and minivans have fewer windows, so they will cost less compared to large buses with more windows. For trucks, mini-trucks, vans, and buses, tint shops usually charge per window to the tune of $25 to $30 per window using the standard dyed films.
Is Window Tinting Legal and Why Are Window Tints Regulated?
Every state has its own law regarding car window tints. They are regulated for safety and protection. If you opt to have the darkest shade for the tint, it should come to no surprise if you are flagged down by traffic enforcers due to your dark tint. It’s important for them to see the people inside the vehicle, and if they cannot see you inside, you’ll be flagged down and asked to remove the tint immediately, along with a window tint ticket.
Some states are not as strict as others. The state laws on car window tints are also specific per window. For instance, the states of Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Jersey will not allow any tint at all on the windshields. However, they have varying regulations for the side and rear windows. New Jersey will not allow any tint on the two front sides as well, but they have no limitation on the tint shades of the two rear sides and the rear windows. Meanwhile, the state of Pennsylvania will allow up to 70 percent shade on the two front sides, two rear sides, and rear windows – only the windshield is not allowed.
Other states will allow the installation of tints on the windshield. However, they have varying stipulations on the thickness of the tint, ranging from 4 inches up to 6 inches. The state of Vermont, on the other hand, allows tint on the windshield up to 32 percent lighter shade, while Dakota and Ohio want it lighter at 70 percent shade. The main point here is to highlight the importance of checking the applicable laws in your area first before installing the tint to avoid a ticket because every state has different laws. Also, the laws change over time. What you knew before when you first installed the tint on your car may no longer be applicable when you replace them with a new one.
Can I Do It by Myself (DIY)?
Car window tinting can be pricey, and a big chunk of the cost is the labor fee. Fortunately, there’s a way to reduce the required investment by doing the tint installation on your own. With the right tools and a guide, you are on your way to installing the tint for a minimal price to pay. Obviously, you need to buy the tint film rolls first. You also need a razor blade for cutting unless you have the precut version. The other items you need include an application squeegee, a scraper knife, a lint cloth, and a heat gun. Once you have everything on hand, you are good to go for the DIY installation of car window tints. Just be ready with the installation. There are also plenty of video resources on Youtube.
You can enjoy the fun of upgrades with window tints, but the protection and safety benefits are more important than aesthetics. If you’re ready to level up and enjoy the benefits, you will have to consider the window tinting prices since they are the game-changers. You could be expecting the best but end up with something far from your expectations due to budget constraints. If you have at least some ideas about the cost, you can prepare ahead to ensure you have the right tint you desire for your car.