If you want to install the darkest legal tint on your car, there are a number of technical considerations you need to understand or you risk ending up exposing yourself to financial risks and possibly even criminal charges. In this article Professional window tinter Brad Maguire from Precision Window Tinting Perth explains the some little known pitfalls with installing the darkest legal window tint.
In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint legally allowed on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which is not allowed to have any window film except for a visor strip across the top). The only exception to this is in the NT and WA. In the NT you are permitted a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.
So here’s where things can get a little tricky. Most cars already come from the factory with a slight tint in the glass in their windows, which needs to be considered when adding tint after-market tint. Heres an example. If the factory windows on your car already block 30% of light, then when a film with the “darkest legal tint” in Australia (ie35%) is added to this glass, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT reading will be impacted by the combination of both tint ratings. That means your VLT will be higher than the grade of film added.
If this situation eventuates your car will be deemed as un-roadworthy, which means you can’t drive the car again until it has been put through a roadworthy test, and if this happens, your illegal tint will have to be removed before you can drive the car again.
But even worse, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident and your illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, your insurance policy could be declared void, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. And if that’s not bad enough criminal charges could apply if property is damaged or people are injured.
That’s why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you’re selecting the appropriate tint for your car. So when it comes to window tinting, make sure you use a quality installer that has the right equipment and expertise to be able to offer you the best solution for your situation, and get the darkest legal tint, legally. That way you’ll end up with a range of benefits from installing after-market tint, rather than a number of ongoing risks.