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Car Window Tinting

Many new drivers want to customise their car to make it stand out from the crowd. An effective and relatively cheap way to customize a car and make it look more stylish is to apply a tint film to the windows. Most cars nowdays have a very light tint as part of the manufacturers specification.

Manfacturers do not supply a darker tint to the front side windows or the windscreen because there is legislation to prevent them from doing so. The regulations are reasonably straightforward and would probably have no impact on the general public except for the fact that they can be breached by aftermarket tints.

The legal position is that the front side passenger windows on all cars must allow 70% of light to pass through them. This figure also applies to the windscreens of cars first used before April 1985. Any car first used from then onwards has to let 75% of light through the windscreen. So some customised cars that you may see around with all round very dark tinted glass may in fact not be legal and probably will fail their next MoT test. The responsibility for enforcing the rules is with VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency).

This is, of course, to do with safety. The darker a window, the less chance there is of the driver being able to see pedestrians and other motorists, and take avoiding action should it be required. On the other hand, darkened windows do make a car look classy, so it's easy to see their appeal!



Broadly speaking there are three window tinting options:

Cheap diy window tinting kits (cost from around £12) which consist of a roll of film and application tools
Ready trimmed window tint kits pre-cut for your make and model,
Professional window tinting service (from £220) where the whole tinting job is done for you. Just remember to make sure that if used on the front windows, the film in your window tint kit complies with the legal requirements.

Be aware that the police do enforce these laws. In Manchester over 2,000 fixed penalty notices were issued in 2006/7 in a 6 month period.

The main problem with having dark tinted widows at the front is one of safety. The driver will inevitably be able to see less clearly, particularly at night. In addition, particularly in busy traffic situations it is helpful to be able to make eye contact with other drivers, and to see where they are looking.

Benefits of tinted windows (apart from the fact that they look good!) are that they reduce glare, reduce harmful rays, keep car interiors cooler and make it easier for the kids to view dvd's in the back!



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