There are a plethora of little known risks associated with installing “the darkest legal tint” on your car, truck or work vehicle, and in this article Brad Maguire from Precision Window Tinting discuss the risks involved and how to protect yourself from them.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint legally permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window tint with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception to this is in the NT and WA. In the NT 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. If you are outside of Australia, find out the legal VLT in your area.
Next be aware that many vehicles come with a slight tint in the glass as factory standard, so this should be considered before adding after-market tint to a window. If this isnt managed there can be inadvertent problems. For example, If the factory installed windows on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the “darkest legal tint” of 35% is added to the windows, they will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT reading will be the sum of both VLT ratings.
Understanding this is critical because if your installer accidentally fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine and even worse, if your vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, your insurance policy could be declared null and void, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. And finally, to add insult to injury criminal charges could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.
Another thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle technically becomes un-roadworthy, which means if you are caught and an unroadworthy certificate is issued, you can’t drive your car again until the illegal tint has been removed. That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered by your installer when selecting the appropriate tint for your car.
So what’s the moral of this story? When it comes to tinting windows, 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 an ongoing legal liability risk.