Best Window Tints: Block the Sun & Make Your Car More Stylish
The best automotive window tints for privacy and to keep the heat away
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PUBLISHED ON April 18, 2019
Whether it’s to upgrade your vehicle’s look or block light on hot days, the best window tint can completely transform your car or truck. Auto tints are applied to the glass surfaces of your vehicle, such as the windshield, rear glass, and side windows. The best auto tint has several advantages that will make driving not only more comfortable but also safer.
This window tint provides good heat reduction and has a 99% anti-UV rate. You can choose a shade up to 50%.
This scratch-resistant tint blocks 99% of UV rays and is non-reflective. It includes five tint shades, and the company provides thousands of tint patterns for 1990-2018 vehicles.
Written by Noelle Talmon
Published April 18, 2019
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Window Tints
- Keep your car cooler. During the summer or in hot climates, the interior of your car can get very hot. The best auto tint will keep the interior cooler.
- Block UV rays. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can be very harmful to the human body. It can cause a number of health issues, such as skin cancer (melanoma), cataracts, and premature skin aging.
- Cut down glare. When you’re driving, the sun can be very bright, which can cause eye fatigue. The best window film for cars is particularly useful if you’re driving a long distance on a sunny day.
- Get more privacy. The best auto window tint will conceal items inside your vehicle, particularly things in the back seat. It’s also more difficult to see people inside a car with a window tint.
- Reduce fuel consumption. Since window tints keep your vehicle’s interior cooler, you’re less likely to crank up the air conditioner. This reduces the amount of fuel you use, saving you money.
- Keep your interior from fading. The best-quality window tint will prevent the hot sun from penetrating the glass and fading your front and back seats, dashboard, and other interior areas.
- Boost glass protection. The best window tint film has an adhesive layer that may prevent the glass from shattering if it is struck in an impact. This can help protect you and your passengers.
Types of Window Tints
This type of tint includes a layer of dye between an adhesive layer and a polyester top coating. The tint appears flat and opaque from the outside and gives the driver and passenger good visibility. Dyed film is non-reflective, less expensive, and blocks glare. However, it provides the least amount of heat and UV protection. It can also deteriorate in high temperatures. Eventually, UV rays will turn the dye from black to a shade of purple.
Metallic or Metallized Film
Metallic tints have a metallic look and feature an adhesive layer, a layer that blocks UV rays, a metallic layer that reflects light, and a protective outer layer. This type of tint does not fade, is very durable, and is great at reducing heat and UV reduction. However, it can obstruct radio waves and other electronic signals, such as a cell phone signal, GPS, or TPMS.
Carbon tints block UV rays and interior fading. They reflect as much as 40 percent of infrared light with their dark, matte finish. They do not fade over time, and they help reduce overall fuel consumption because they cool your vehicle enough to reduce the amount of air conditioning you need.
The best ceramic tint features ceramic particles that are non-conductive. It performs very well and is the newest type of tint on the market. It blocks up to 99 percent of UV rays, reduces glare more than other types of tint, and does not fade. It keeps your vehicle at the desired temperature and does not interfere with electronic signals; however, it’s more expensive than other types of tint.
Several car manufacturers offer you the option of having a factory tint. Windows are permanently tinted via a process known as «deep dipping.» While this darkens the glass, it is not the best car window tint for heat reduction or UV protection. Typically, factory-tinted windows have a VLT index of 15 to 26 percent. This can cool your car’s interior but won’t offer a lot of privacy or protect you completely from the sun.
SunTek is headquartered in Martinsville, Va., and is under the Eastman umbrella. The parent company has more than 60 years of experience in film production and technology. One top product is the Suntek Window Films Carbon 18 Black 40 Inches by 100 Feet 1.5 Millimeter Non-Fade — CARBON 18 40X100.
MotoShield Pro is based in Commerce, Calif., and focuses on using nano-coating protection for your car inside and out with an easy-to-clean, ultra-smooth surface. One popular product is the MotoShield Pro PreCut Ceramic Tint Film All Windows Any Shade.
3M began as a small-scale mining venture in Northern Minnesota over a century ago in 1902. The company operates in 70 countries and produces more than 60,000 products. One popular auto window tint is the 3M 1080 G12 GLOSS BLACK 5 Feet by 7 feet (35 Square Feet) Car Wrap Vinyl Film.
LEXEN is based in Catonsville, Md., and is a Formula One/LLumar-authorized window tint dealer. One of its top products is the LEXEN 2 Ply Premium Carbon 20 Inches by 100 Feet Roll Window Tint Film.
Gila Window Film is manufactured by CPFilms Inc., a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company in Martinsville, Va., which has over 60 years of experience in film production. One popular product is the Gila 550001807 Heat Shield 5% VLT Automotive Window Tint DIY Heat Control Glare Control Privacy 2 Feet by 6.5 Feet (24 Inches by 78 Inches).
Window Tint Pricing
- Under $25: There are several window tints on the market in this price range, but they sometimes cover just a couple of windows and not the whole car. A few may be applied with static cling instead of adhesive.
- $25-50: Some of the best window tints fall into this category. You can get a decent-quality product for this price, and they typically come in larger square footage.
- Over $50: Window tints can cost upwards of several hundred dollars. More expensive products tend to be more pliable and easier to use with curved surfaces. They also are more resistant to bubbling and peeling.
Pre-Cut Versus Rolled
Pre-cut films are cut precisely to match the dimensions of your windows. Conversely, you must cut rolled tints yourself to make a proper fit. Pre-cut films are typically more expensive compared to the DIY version. If you are proficient at measuring, consider a rolled tint to save some money.
The shade measures how much light can pass through a tint. The best types of window tint typically come in various shades of black and are rated by the percentage of visible light transmission (VLT) that enters the vehicle. Tints with a lower VLT percentage are darker, while tints with a higher VLT percentage are lighter. For example, a VLT with 50 percent means that 50 percent of the light will come into the vehicle. The best window tint percentage is up to you.
The 5 Best Car Window Tints (2021 Review)
Keep your vehicle cool with a set of car window tints from Amazon.
Car tinting serves many purposes. It prevents other drivers from peeking into your car, blocks out UV rays that will damage the furnishings, and keeps the temperature down. If one or all of these reasons interests you, read our review below on the five best car window tints.
In this article:
Best Overall: LEXEN 2-Ply Premium Carbon Roll Window Tint Film
Our top pick for car window tint is LEXEN’s carbon film. It comes as a roll of film that you cut yourself to fit the exact measurements of your windows. You can customize how dark you want your car to be with a roll as dark as 5% and as light as 50%.
This roll blocks 99% of harmful UV rays, which prevents the furnishings in your vehicle from fading and keeps the temperature down.
- 40 inches x 100 feet roll
- Choice of 5%, 20%, 35%, 40%, or 50% tint percentage
- Black color
- Blocks 99% of UV rays
- Scratch resistant
- No radio signal interference
- Nano carbon particle technology for heat rejection
What Customers Are Saying
About 100 customers reviewed this product on Amazon and gave it an average rating of 4.3 stars out 5. This puts its rating 0.3 stars above the average for all five car window tints in this review.
Customers said this tint was easy to size and apply with the proper tools. After some time on, the tint seemed to hold up well with no peeling or bubbling. Some customers did complain about how fragile it was, saying that it creased easily. They also said that the 5% option wasn’t as dark as it should have been.
Best Pre-Cut Tint: LEXEN 2-Ply Ceramic All Windows Precut Tint Kit
LEXEN manufactured our number two choice as well. The main difference between the two is that this one comes pre-cut instead of as a roll. You input your car’s make, model, and year, and LEXEN sends you film that perfectly fits your windows.
Along with the pre-cut films, you also get a squeegee. This helps to push out bubbles during the application process.
- All windows set
- Choice of 5%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, or 45% tint percentage
- Black color
- Nano ceramic particle technology for heat rejection
- Comes with a squeegee for application
What Customers Are Saying
More than 130 Amazon customers reviewed this product, giving it an average score of 4.1 stars. This is 0.1 stars above the average for all 5 products.
Most customers said that the tint set they received perfectly fit their car windows. When someone did get incorrect sizes, they were able to reach the company and have a new set shipped to them for free. Some customers said it was difficult to install even with their written instructions and instructional videos on YouTube.
Best Tint Range: MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint for Auto
MotoShield Pro’s tint roll comes in eight sizes. This allows you to pick the roll that will cover all of your vehicle’s windows without leaving too much roll leftover. These rolls also have the widest tint range out of the products in this review, starting at 5% and going up to 75%.
The material used to manufacture this tint is metal, carbon, and dye free, making it safe for the environment.
- Choice of 20 inches x 10 feet, 20 inches x 100 feet, 24 inches x 10 feet, 30 inches x 10 feet,
- 36 inches x 10 feet, 40 inches x 6 feet, 40 inches x 100 feet, or 60 inches x 100 feet roll
- 2 millimeters thick
- Choice of 5%, 15%, 25%, 35%, 50%, 70%, or 75% tint percentage
- Silver color
- Blocks 99% of UV rays
- Block 99% of heat
- Reduces glare by 39%
- Metal, carbon, and dye free
- Bubble resistant
- Environmentally friendly
What Customers Are Saying
About 180 Amazon customers reviewed this product and gave it a score of 4 stars. This is equal to the Amazon average for all five tints in this review.
Customers said that this product did a great job of blocking heat and UV rays, even in states like Arizona and Texas that are especially hot. They said that because of how thick the tint was, it was durable and difficult to crease. However, several customers complained about poor customer service, saying that the company was unresponsive when they reached out about receiving the wrong roll size.
#4: TRUE LINE Automotive Computer Customized Pre-Cut Window Tint Kit
This product from TRUE LINE comes as a set of pre-cut window tints. You can choose from 10 options that cover some or all of the windows around your vehicle at a 5%, 20%, 35%, or 50% tint.
If you choose one of the options that comes with the install kit, you will get razors, squeegees, and a spray bottle to help with application.
- Choice of back windows, back windows with install kit, side windows with install kit, front sidewindows, front side windows with install kit, front sun visor, front sun visor with install kit, side and back windows, side and back windows with install kit, side and back windows plus sun visor strip, or side and back windows plus sun visor strip with install kit set
- Install kit comes with razors, squeegees, and a spray bottle
- Choice of 5%, 20%, 35%, or 50% tint percentage
What Customers Are Saying
TRUE LINE’s window tint received a rating of 3.9 stars from about 300 Amazon customers, which is 0.1 stars below the average.
Customers said that their tint set came properly sized for their vehicle, making it easy for even inexperienced car owners to install. They also said that the company was responsive and would send a new set if they messed up the order of if you messed up during installation. However, some customers said that the material was thin.
#5: JNK NETWORKS Real Precut Tint Film
This JNK NETWORKS set comes pre-cut for your vehicle’s specific make, model, and year. It covers all of the windows around your car, including the back windshield, with film that has a 5%, 25%, or 30% tint.
JNK NETWORKS strives to make the application process as easy as possible. The company sends detailed instructions with your set and is available at any time for additional questions.
- All windows plus back windshield set
- Choice of 5%, 25%, or 30% tint percentage
- Black color
What Customers Are Saying
265 Amazon customers gave this product a score of 3.9 stars, putting it 0.1 stars below the average.
Customers said that the set was easy to install because the product came with detailed instructions. If you did have any questions about installation or incorrect sizing, the company replied quickly. Some customers said that the tint material was thin, which made installation difficult and led to wrinkles in the film.
Buying A Car Window Tint: Factors to Consider
Take a look at these factors to see what you’re looking for in a car window tint.
You can buy a car window tint that comes already cut for your vehicle or in a roll for you to cut.
When you go to buy a pre-cut window tint, you will be asked your car’s make, model, and year. The manufacturer will then cut the tint to the right size and send it to you. This type is usually more expensive.
This type of tint comes as a roll that you cut yourself to fit the size of your windows. It is usually cheaper, but it takes more time to apply because you have to measure your windows.
Window tint is usually made out of one of three materials.
Dyed film is the most common type of material used for window tints. It is affordable, has a long life, and is relatively easy to install.
Metallic tints offer more protection from heat and UV rays. However, they can affect GPS signals and cell phone service.
This type is just a paint that you spray directly on the window glass. It requires special training and tools, making it difficult to do at home.
Tint percentage is how dark the tint is and how much light it allows through the window. The 5% or “limo” tint percentage blocks the most light, only allowing 5% through the window. This amount is typically only legal in backseat windows that the driver doesn’t have to look through.
You’ll want to consider how much protection from the sun your window tint gives you. A high quality tint with more UV protection will keep the inside of your car cool and protect your car’s upholstery from damage.
Applying the tint isn’t as simple as peeling off the backing and sticking it to your window. It will take time and require tools. To make application easier, you can purchase an application tool kit, like this Luxiv nine-piece window tint application kit or this EHDIS seven-piece window tint application kit.
Car Window Tint FAQ
Is it difficult to apply a car window tint?
Applying a car window tint requires patience and concentration. The hardest parts are when you are trying to cut the tint to the right size and when you are trying to apply the tint without any air bubbles. You can cut down on potential errors and application time by using a pre-cut tint.
How long will my car window tint last?
Most car window tints last for about five years. However, if your vehicle is exposed to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, it will last less time.
How do tinted windows affect the value of my car?
Because car window tints can be removed, it shouldn’t have much effect on the car’s value. However, you may deter potential buyers who don’t like the tint or are worried about being pulled over by law enforcement. Therefore, we recommend removing the tint before selling your car.
Are there laws about car window tints?
Yes. Each state has different laws on how tinted your windows can be, but all states will limit it to some extent. That’s because it can affect the driver’s ability to see out of the windows along with law enforcement’s ability to see into the car. You should check your state’s specifications before applying a tint.