Window tinting is restricted by window tint laws in the UK, which mainly revolve around the percentage of tinting allowed on each window. The key reason behind such rules is road safety. A tinting percentage that is too high on the front windows and/or the windshield can affect driver visibility and potentially cause an accident.
This is particularly true when driving in difficult weather conditions or the dark. Additionally, a darker tint on the front windows can greatly affect a driver’s ability to see the most vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of the current UK window tinting rules and so you can abide by them.
Front windshields are required to have over 75% VLT (visible light transmission). This means that over 75% of light must be able to pass through the glass. This window tint law is intended to avoid restricting driver visibility to a point that may become dangerous as the windscreen is the main point of vision of the driver and therefore the most important.
Front side windows
The front side windows refer to the windows next to the driver and front passenger. They must have at least 70% VLT and therefore allow at least 70% of light to pass through the glass. This is to ensure that drivers have enough visibility, particularly when crossing junctions and using side mirrors to switch lanes.
Rear windows and back windshield
There are no restrictions when it comes to the rear windshield and back windows, which refer to the back passenger windows. You can therefore choose to have a tint that allows a VLT under 70% and can completely black the windows out if desired. This is because heavy tinting on windows that are behind the driver does not interfere with road visibility and can therefore be done safely to any extent.
Vehicles first used before 1 April 1985
The rules are slightly different for vehicles that were first used before 1 April 1985. Both the front windscreen and the front side windows (by the driver and front passenger) must have over 70% VLT. This is becoming increasingly rare as most people do not tend to tint old car windows.
Failure to comply
Failure to comply with window tint laws can lead to a prohibition notice requesting the extra tint be removed before you can get the vehicle back on the road. In some cases, it can also lead to a penalty notice and court summons. It’s also important to note that it’s illegal to fit or sell a car that breaks the UK window tint laws. Therefore, it is important to follow the legalities of window tinting, both for safety reasons and to avoid penalties.
Some newer cars already have a slight window tint incorporated in all windows, therefore getting professional advice and tinting service is essential to avoid inadvertently breaching UK tint laws.
If you are interested in getting your car windows tinted or are looking for further information or advice on getting your windows tinted, then get in contact with us at Fleet Motorglass and see how we can help you.