The lowdown on window tint laws
2 Sep 2015
We often get asked to tint front windows and the laws on this can be somewhat confusing at first glance. Hopefully, we can shed some light (pun intended) on the subject...
The current laws state;
Vehicles first used on 1 April 1985 or later
The front windscreen must let at least 75% of light through and the front side windows must let at least 70% of light through.
Vehicles first used before 1 April 1985
The front windscreen and front side windows must both let at least 70% of light through.
A misconception is that a 30% tint would therefore be allowed on some front windows. Unfortunately even these light tints are illegal for road use; The Window tinting Regulation was amended from 1st January 2004 and clearly rules out any tinted films being applied to the windscreen and driver windows (front doors).
Although the regulation states 70% of visible light must pass through the driver's side windows (75% from April 1985), including any other substrate fitted to the glass, many people presume that 70% allows a 30% tint - it doesn't! Glass does not let in 100% of light - clear glass only allows approximately 86% of light to pass.
As standard manufactured glass already has a tint that varies from letting the 70% minimum limit, up to approximately 80% of light pass through, any tinting film being applied to these windows will drop the light transmissions to below the regulation limit.
If your front windows are tinted to any level, you risk being stopped by the police or VOSA (Vehicle & Operator Services Agency), who can easily test the light that passes through your glass with light meters.
If your windscreen or front side windows are tinted too much you could get:
- a ‘prohibition notice’ stopping you from using your vehicle on the road until you have the extra tint removed
- a penalty notice or court summons
- points on your license
Additionally, insurance companies will be highly unlikely to pay out in the event of an accident if your front windows are tinted, as this illegal modification can void your contract. If you have any further questions, please contact the team who will be happy to help!