If you are looking to installing the darkest legal tint on your car truck or motor vehicle, there are a number of technical considerations you need to consider, or you may end up on the wrong side of the law, and expose yourself to financial risks and even the risk of criminal charges. Lets examine how this can happen.
In all States and Territories there is a particular VLT rating (visible light transmission) associated with the darkest legal tint permitted on a vehicle. You need to know what this is in your area. In Australia ithe darkest VLT level is 35%, on all vehicle windows (except for the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window tint with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only variation to this is in the NT and WA. In the Northern Territory you are allowed a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.
Once you are aware of the specifications allowed, technical issues related to installation become relevant. Many people fail to take into account the slight factory tint that may already be in their glass. If this isn’t taken into consideration when adding window tint to a vehicle, the darkest legal tint rating on the film can become illegal when added to the glass, and there’s a host of risks related to this. But before I go into these potential issues, lets first examine the problem.
Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in the front windows, and others on passenger windows. This varies from model to model. But if the factory glass on your car already blocks 30% of light, when this is combined with a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35%, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT will be impacted by the combination of both VLT ratings.
This needs to be taken into consideration because if a driver inadvertently fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But worse still, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could mean the cancellation of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. Furthermore a criminal charge could apply if property is damaged or people are injured.
The final thing to consider is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle becomes un-roadworthy, which means the driver can’t drive the car again until it has been put through the pits, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint.
What’s the moral of this story? When it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the right solution for your circumstances. That way you’ll end up with a range of benefits, rather than a series of possible problems.
Article by Brad Maguire
Precision Window Tinting,
25/108 Saint Georges Terrace,
Perth, Western Australia, 6000