In the movies (and music video) almost every car has tinted windows. But while they’re good for privacy and security, they’re not as common in the ‘real world’. This might be due to local regulations. Some regions don’t allow darkened glass on cars. Others do but under restrictions.
Sometimes, the reason your car isn’t tinted is far simpler. Maybe you assume it’s too expensive. Or too difficult. Or too cumbersome. In reality, some car tints are simple enough to install at home. So let’s do some research together and help you find the best window tint for your car.
The Best Window Tint Film for Your Car of 2020
1. Black Magic Insta-Cling
- Easy to apply, just press on
- Holds instantly by static cling with no glue required
- Removable and reusable
Tinting your car can feel like a daunting task. As you try to position it right, you’ll repeatedly stick it on and pull it off, leaving your fingers gummy and full of ‘paper cuts’. With Black Magic Insta-Cling, you don’t have this problem? Why? Because it doesn’t use adhesive materials.
Instead, the window tint is held in place by static electricity. This ensures a smooth, bubble-free fit. And because there’s no gum to worry about, you can remove and replace it as often as you like without reducing its efficacy. The tinted film roll is easy to cut and shape, so it hugs the window better. This is especially convenient for curves and corners in your glass.
There are various versions of Black Magic, with visible light levels ranging from 5% to 35%. The higher the number, the darker the tint. This product is good for cooling, privacy, and anti-glare. It blocks 99% of UV rays, so it keeps your car interior from fading too fast. The tint is installed on the inner side of your windows. Just cut it out and press it into position. It’s easy!
But the tint can be darker than expected, so double-check visibility and state regulations. You should also avoid installing Black Magic if your car windows have double-panes, or if they’re made of plastic, plexiglass, thermal glass, or acrylic because the static cling won’t hold.
This convenient window tint brand is sold in a 26 inch by 78-inch roll. It’s manufactured by Auto Expressions, and you can pick your preferred VLT – 5%, 20%, or 35%.
2. Lexen 2-Ply Premium Carbon
- Lexen 20" X 100FT Roll 2Ply 1.5mil Professional Grade Premium Carbon Automotive...
- Scratch Resistant, Standard Black Color, Blocks 99% UV Rays and No Radio Signal...
- Great Wet/Dry Heat Shrinkability, Cooler Temperature, Privacy and Protects Your...
Carbon car window tints are among the best on the market. They block out UV rays, infrared heat, and they don’t fade. Lexen adds to your sense of confidence by coupling its standard features with a lifetime warranty. The color stability remains throughout the lifespan of the tint.
Lexen is a 2-ply carbon film for added strength and durability. It’s available in VLTs ranging from 5% to 50%. It comes in a 20-inch roll that’s 100 feet long, so you’ll get a lot of use out of it. The tint isn’t reflective, so it won’t disrupt visibility for you or other road users.
This double-ply film is 1.5mm thick, and while it won’t interfere with your phone, radio, or GPS signals, it keeps off 99% of potentially harmful UV rays. It helps your fuel efficiency because its nano-carbon particles keep the car cool, reducing your reliance on AC. The tint is suitable for all weather and driving conditions. Whether it’s hot, dry, or wet, the film won’t bubble or shrink.
Lexen car window tints hold well against scratches. They give you long-term privacy and protection. But they’re adhesive films, so be careful to measure before you cut or it’ll get messy.
3. Diablo 2-Ply Window Tint
- 2 PLY DOUBLE PLY
- NO DYE
Car tints come in many colors, but most daily drivers prefer black. State laws may also limit your color choices. That said, many cars seem to have a ‘purple’ tint, and you may wonder why. This purpling is the result of low-quality dyed films that fade over time, turning from black to indigo.
Diablo tints don’t have this problem. They retain their tint forever. Diablo films come in 36-inch rolls that are 100 feet long. You can buy various VLTs from 5% to clear. It’s an extruded car window tint, meaning you apply it on the outer surface of your glass. It’s fine for windows, and front and rear windshields, but only if your state allows front and back tints.
The dual-ply offers added protection against heat, lights, and manual damage. The tint is self-adhesive for easier installation. The color is built into the ply, so there’s no added dye and it won’t bubble chip, or peel. The film is made of highly tensile polyester. It blocks up to 50% of solar heat. It also rejects 80% of glare and 99% UV rays. Cut the roll carefully to avoid wastage.
Diablo is Spanish for Devil, but this window tint had heavenly quality. It preserves your battery and cuts down your fuel use. But it’s not pre-cut, so you need some crafting skills to apply it.
4. DNF 1-Ply Window Tint
- 1 PLY Black 35% 20" X 10 Feet Window Tint Dyed Film with Free DNF Tri-Edge...
- Shade Factor: 0.82 (05% 20%)/ 0.85 (35% 50%) + Solar Energy Reflective: 6.5%...
- 5% = Dark + 20% = Slightly Dark + 35% = CA Legal Dark + 50% = Light
On average, the darkest car tint – sometimes described as limo tint – has a VLT of 5%. DNF is on the lighter side with a light transmission level of 35%. It comes in a roll that’s 20 inches wide and 10 feet long, and it’s a single-ply tinted film, so it’s not intended for heavy-duty coverage.
That said, it comes with application tools – a triangular squeegee and a folding knife. It’s a dyed film though, so it’s likely to fade to purple over time. It has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but it’s not a premium tint, so don’t expect too much from it. It’s a good deal for its price-point though. The car window tint is made of polyester and weighs 9 ounces when shipped.
The standard DNF length is roughly 3 meters, but if you’d like a longer roll, order multiple pieces and they’ll be shipped as a continuous roll. If you’re ordering online, it will be sent via UPS so you’ll need to supply a working phone number or risk losing your package.
The tinted sheets are self-adhesive, and the sticky side is protected with a clear plastic film for shipping. This protective topcoat can be tricky to maneuver, so you may need some help applying your tint. Especially if you ordered an extra-long DNF sheet. It installs on the inner side of your windows and windscreens. Keep the VLT within the legal limit for your state.
Single-ply car window tints aren’t as durable as dual-ply, but they still last a reasonable duration. Just keep in mind that DNF is dyed polyester, so it will eventually fade to purple.
5. MotoShield Pro Precut Ceramic Tint Film
- PLEASE INDICATE THE REQUIRED INFO: the Year, Make, Model and Shade. This listing...
- THIS LISTING INCLUDES: front passenger and driver side only. Two pieces of...
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR SHADE: for example, you could choose to have 70% for the front...
Ceramic tints offer superior performance, but they’re also more expensive than other kinds of car window tints. That may be why this MotoShield package only covers your two front windows. On the upside, they’re pre-cut. But on the down-side, this narrows compatibility because your car has to be the exact size and model for these pre-cut shapes.
MotoShield blocks 99% of UV rays and 95% to 99% IRR (infrared rays), so it protects your car from light and heat damage. It keeps the car cooler, improving fuel efficiency and lowering the cost of car maintenance. You can buy MotoShield in VLTs from 5% to 75%. The ceramic window shield reduces glare and doesn’t affect wireless signals, so no cell phone interference.
You may not think this is a big deal, but the metallic components in some reflective car window tints can mess with your GPS and end up giving you the wrong directions. This is in addition to the usual glitches in mapping apps. And while that marginal error is fine when you’re driving in familiar territory, it can be disastrous if you’re stuck in bad weather or navigating new places.
Statistics are sometimes hard to decipher, so if you want to know how well ceramic cooling works, MotoShiled can lower the temperature inside your car by up to 25°F on a hot day. The sizing is specific to 4-door cars of a particular make, model, and year, so triple-check before you make your order. And yes, this is a two-window set, but the tints won’t fit in a two-door coupe.
MotoShield tints are made to order for your car. The manufacturer will feed your information into a computerized system that will spit out two pieces of tint in the right size. The window tints need to be heat-shrunk after application, so don’t use any fabric softening sheet on them. If you’d prefer a pair of tints for a two-door car, order that specific batch.
If you’re the ultimate perfectionist, you might consider the custom-fit MotoShield car tint. But there are only two pieces per pack, so your backseat windows will stay exposed.
6. OxGord Reflective Car Window Tinting
- Please refer to Amazon's fitment chart, when available -this part may not be...
- OxGord automotive parts are made only by high guality materials to ensure...
- Non-universal parts are tested to exact car specific year, make and model to...
You may worry reflective car tints will bother other drivers. Or that they’ll look gaudy and loud. But depending on the kind you buy, they can be quite sleek instead. OxGord, for example, has a higher VLT of 35%, so the reflections will counteract glare without blinding fellow drivers. It looks dark inside the pack, but it’s a high-visibility version that’s safe for road use.
The rolls are 20 inches by 10 feet and are a lightweight 7 ounces. Don’t forget to remove the clear protective coat before you try to stick the tint onto your car. Also, secure the installation position before you peel off the topcoat. If you keep sticking and in sticking the window tint, it will lose adhesion and the gum will wear out. You could use mild baby shampoo for application.
These can help the car window tint sit securely without bubbling or slipping. Apply them on the outer side of the tint – otherwise, they’ll erode your built-in adhesive. There are no instructions in the shipping box, so watch some video tutorials online before you start your installation. You can find other ways to use this film. It makes a good sun-shade for motorcycle helmets.
OxGord car window tints aren’t as opaque as they seem. Because they’re reflective, the VLT is kept at a safe 35% to avoid affecting visibility. But they come in 10-foot batches so order enough.
7. ProTint 5% Film Roll
- 99% anti-UV rate
- Good heat reduction
- Select any visual light transmission between 5%-50%
With ProTint, you can choose opacity levels from 5% VLT to 35% VLT according to your car needs. Each roll is 24 inches by 10 feet. The brand offers superior protection against UV damage (99%) and enhances heat repellence. A free squeegee is included in the packaging, but you’ll have to find a good cutting tool. Retractable crafting knives work well to avoid injuries.
If you don’t have a squeegee handy (or if you lose the one included in the pack), you can use a credit card or key card to press the film into place. Just be careful not to lose the (credit) card or you’ll have far bigger problems than overheating and windshield glare. ProTint weighs 12 oz.
The disadvantage of buying shorter rolls of tint is uniformity. They’re not always the same shade. Some may be greener, bluer, or purple, even when the roll is straight out of the pack. Mix-and-matching your tints isn’t necessarily bad. But if you prefer all your window tint colors synchronized, consider buying a car window tint that’s longer – maybe a 100-foot model.
ProTint products aren’t exceptional, but they’ll get the job done. Be careful as you cut, especially around the curves – you only get 10 feet per roll so you can’t afford a do-over.
8. True Line Automotive Pre-cut
- This selected kit is only for all side and back windows.
- Using the "Customize Now" Tab will give you the option to tell us what vehicle...
- Tint is pre-cut to fit your windows with no trimming of the tint required.
Car window tints that come pre-cut are convenient. You can install them more quickly, and there’s less risk of hurting yourself in the process. The downside is a reduced margin of error. You have to lay it right the first time because you don’t have any spare tint. You also have to be sure of the dimensions of your make, model, brand, and car windows.
True Line offers a 7-piece set of pre-cut window films. The package includes sections for your quarter windows and rear windows, but the front windshield tint isn’t part of the bundle. These pieces are fed out of a computer printer based on the sizing data you put it, so make sure there are no typos or guesstimates in your order form. You can pick from 5% to 50% VLT.
True Line tints are installed on the inner surface of your windows. They’re pre-cut, but they’re not pre-shrunk, so you’ll have to warm them up with a heat gun. Keep in mind pre-cut window tints cost more than tinted film rolls. And you have to be more precise as you apply them. Weigh ease against convenience and decide if you want to shell out the extra cash.
When your car window tint is already pre-sized, you’ll work faster. But if you’re buying True Line, you may want a separate piece for your front windshield. Even if it’s a see-through one.
9. Gila Xtreme Tint
- DARKEN WINDOWS: Upgrade your style with our darkest tint available at 97. 5%...
- INCREASED VISIBILITY: Reduces glare helping you see better and drive safer
- MAXIMUM PRIVACY: Durable material uses deep-dye technology that lasts
This is the darkest and smallest car window tint we’ve looked at so far. It measures 24 inches by 6 feet, but because it’s a film roll, it offers more flexibility than pre-cut window tints. It also has an extra-dark VLT of just 2.5%. This is great for your privacy and light control, but it may put you on the wrong side of the law. Check state rules to see if you’re allowed to go this dark.
At 97.5% opacity, you may also have a hard time seeing the road ahead of you or the cars beside you, so this is a purchase that needs serious consideration. Especially if it’s a car you drive every day. For couture cars like limos, you can get away with spy-type glass because it doesn’t spend much time in regular traffic. The car’s length and tint make it impractical to mingle freely.
That said, the slight gloss and intense light blockage make Gila Xtreme stylish and sleek. It’s not intended for home use, and you shouldn’t apply it if the car glass is etched, scratched, frosted, or defective. This will prevent the film from properly sticking to the glass. It could also void the warranty on your window tint, so inspect the glass carefully before application.
Just as a side note, you should always pre-clean your glass before application. But don’t use vinegar, ammonia, or household cleaning products, as they’ll dilute your window tint adhesive. You can use the outside of the window to cut your tint, but install the film on the inner glass.
Gila window tints work well, but they can be cumbersome to install. They’re not self-adhesive – you need several sprays of application solution to hold the glass in place.
10. UEi T-View T2bk3536 Window Tint
- T-view T2bk3536 Window Tint 36x100 Roll Tint 35% (t2bk3536)
- T-View t2bk3536
This 35% car window tint has unusual packaging. Rather than the standard box or cardboard roll, it’s mounted on a plastic base with square ends. This means it occupies more space during shipping. But these bases also provide freestanding storage pillars once you start using the film.
The UEi car window tint measures 36 inches by 100 feet, so you’re unlikely to use it all in one go. For this reason, the standing frame is a nice touch. The film weighs 8 pounds, possibly because of the plastic base. It’s a 2-ply car window film that’s 1mm thick, and it doesn’t peel or bubble. It resists high heat so it’s good for hot weather. It also does well against UV rays.
T-view has done a good job with the UEi. It’s easy to install and has a good tint capacity. At 35%, it offers mid-range opacity, so it’s ideal for states that require high visibility in car window tints.
Tinted windows look cool on your car. But they also offer practical advantages to your driving experience. So how can you settle on the best window tint for your car?
Do you want a slight darkening to shade your eyes while you drive? Or would you prefer something more solid to block out prying eyes? Are you interested in mild translucence or some reflectiveness in your windows? Most tint brands have a percentage rating on the pack.
They indicate how much light the tint will block and what percentage will shine through. This is sometimes described as VLT – visible light transmission. Depending on local regulations and your preference, you could opt for a 5% tint or a 95% one. You may need to snip the sections near your side mirrors. Otherwise, you can’t see the cars behind you so you may crash.
The percentage tint tells you how much visible light can pass through your shaded glass. But you can’t see UV rays, and they can damage your skin and health as well as your car parts. Especially when the light is filtered, refracted, or magnified through your car’s glass surfaces.
Think if window tints as sunscreen or sunglasses for your car, then pick the best setting for your needs. If your government has minimum anti-UV requirements, keep those in mind. You should also check how long the UV protection last, because come types of UV coating fade with time.
This is the reason there are such strict rules against leaving kids and pets in locked cars. The glass traps heat and air. This creates a sort of over that can easily cause dehydration and unconsciousness. It can damage interior car components as well. So blockage matters.
You want the type of tint that keeps out heat, not just light. This helps you keep your car interiors safer and cooler. It can also protect the things (and people) in your car safe from prying eyes. So make sure that darkened glass is thermally functional, not just discreet and aesthetic.
And it’s not just about safety and comfort. If you buy a cooling tint, you don’t have to use your AC as much or crank it up as high. This is better for your health since AC systems sometimes over-dry your nasal membranes. Less AC means slower battery drain and better fuel efficiency.
In some parts of the world, driving can feel like an extreme sport. If it’s not road rage and constant cut-offs, its people robbing your car in traffic. And that doesn’t even account for road discomfort and glare. Tinted windows can solve all those problems in one simple move.
Criminals can’t see inside your car, so there’s less tempted to target you. They can’t confirm you have anything valuable, and they can’t tell if you’re alone or whether they’ll be fought off by a car full of passengers. The tint also reduces glare, which eases the pressure and fatigue in your eyes.
This can lower accidents and make you way less cranky. So test the tint to see how effective its anti-glare features are. If possible, test in different driving conditions, including night-time driving. Full headlights from fellow road-users can sometimes be as distracting as sunlight.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Sunlight is a life source, but it also causes deterioration. Both in skin and car parts. The solar rays can weaken your rubbers and plastics over time. Even the glass itself can crack under the constant expansion and contraction of daily driving. Buy a tint that promises glass protection.
Your tint can do this by reflecting the bulk of light before it hits the glass. Or it could have in-built protective resins that prevent the glass from getting weak and brittle. You can even buy a shatterproof tint to reduce glass damage in case of scratches, crashes, and accidental smashes.
Not all tints are the same. Some are pre-cut into the right window shape. Others come in rolls or panels so you can customize them into the dimensions you want. The protective film itself could be dyed, metalized, ceramic, carbon, or factory-installed, depending on your car needs.
Dyed films offer standard, short-term cover, but they don’t block much heat. Over time, they fade to purple. Metallic tints are reflective, so they can protect you from light, heat, glare, and UV damage. They can also disrupt WiFi ports, cell phone signals, GPS alerts, and radio waves.
Carbon tints are best for cooling your car because they keep away nearly half the sun’s infrared radiation. Ceramic tints offer 99% UV protection. Deep-dipping factory tints are permanently darkened between 15% to 26%, but they don’t offer much privacy, cooling, or solar protection.
Embrace the Shade!
Once you’ve confirmed the tinting regulations in your area we recommend buying Black Magic Insta-Cling. Here’s what we love about it:
- You can use it on cars, but it also works at home.
- Black Magic doesn’t need glue. It’s has a self-adhesive static-cling.
- It’s re-usable, so you can peel it off and apply it elsewhere as needed.
- It’s effective against glare and is a good cooling film with 5% VLT.
- It comes in an extra-large roll for easy application – just press it into place.
Are your car windows tinted right now? What brand? Show us a photo in the comments!