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With hundreds of tints on the market, I think you'll agree with me when I say:
It's damn hard to find a good one.
Luckily for you, I've made a pick of 5 tints that really are worth the money they cost.
I've even made a cool comparison between them to help you buy the perfect one for your needs and budget.
Another key thing to consider is whether the tint you want is legal in your state or not.
The sun may make your car look good when it’s freshly washed and waxed, but it’s hard on you, your passengers and your interior.
Done right, window tinting not only adds a sleek, professionally customized look to your car, but it also protects interior surfaces, upholstery, and your skin from the harsh UV and IR radiation of the sun.
If you want the best results for your money though, you need a quality tint film installed for your windows, and you need to ensure that the fit is perfect.
Professionally installed tint can be expensive, but there is another solution for DIYers: precut ceramic tint film.
These precision cut films arrive ready to install on your windows quickly and easily, and they will last for years to come.
Our pick for the budget conscious custom car person is the MotoShield Pro Precut Ceramic Tint Film.
You can shield your interior and passengers from 99% of the sun’s most harmful rays, and have your car look great without spending extra money.
Using precision cut tint film fitted according to factory specifications for your make, model and year makes a tint upgrade fast and easy. Here’s why we think you’re going to love this tint film.
You want blackout tint on all four sides? MotoShield Pro literally has you covered with up to a 5% visibility rating for side windows and rear windshields.
Want to shad your window tint to match your paint job? Not a problem, just include it in your order.
Best of all, this tint film uses ceramics rather than metal flakes, so it won’t interfere with wireless signals to or from your vehicle. That’s important for fully functional mobile phones, stereo remotes and keyless entry/remote starter kits.
If you haven’t installed window tint film before, you may want to check out some tutorials or practice with a cheap film on a glass pane first.
Having precut films makes installation much easier, but you should still practice applying tint smoothly before attempting DIY installation.
Precut films are also non-returnable, so you want to make sure you get it right so as not to lose your investment.
Custom cut to the precise factory specifications of your vehicle
Blocks 99% of IR radiation at 5% visibility
Uses ceramics instead of metal to eliminate wireless signal interference
First time installers may want to watch a few tutorials online or practice with some inexpensive tint film on glass to get their skills up to par
Precut films cannot be returned, so make sure your order is correct for you vehicle and install with the utmost care
Adding window tint to your car makes sense from the perspective that you are preserving your car’s interior from sun damage, providing yourself with added privacy and keeping your interior cooler on hot summer days.
Choosing a tint film is a bit trickier, as you want to get a quality product that will last for years to come without cracking or fading.
For car DIYers on a budget, Install Proz Double Ply Window Film is a cost-effective option that lets you tint your windows and protect your car’s interior and your privacy.
It’s double ply, so it doesn’t peel, fade or turn purple with constant exposure to the sun.
At 20% visibility, it’s also in compliance with automotive window tint codes as outlined by local government authorities, too.
Here’s our review of Install Proz Double Ply Window Film (36x100’)
Even though it’s double ply, this window tint film is easy to work with year round thanks to the unique substrate added during manufacturing.
Highly stable dye prevents fading, bubbling and spotting
Install Proz backs this film with a limited lifetime warranty for adhesive failure, peeling, cracking and fading.
This roll has enough window tint film to cover the windows and rear windshield of a sedan.
Cut to fit your car’s windows and rear windshield quickly and easily
The substrate of this film is non-metallic and non-ceramic, so it’s not all that great at reducing internal temperatures in your car or blocking UV and IR radiation.
This film does not come precut, so a steady hand and good measurement skills are a must.
20% visibility may not be enough privacy for some, and they may find that this window tint isn’t dark enough for their taste.
No installation tools or kit is included with this roll.
Easy to install year round
Guaranteed with a limited lifetime warranty not to peel, crack or fade
20% window tint for added privacy
Filters sunlight to help reduce sun damage and internal temperature on hot days
Non-metallic and non-ceramic materials make this film less effective at cooling and UV/IR protection
All film must be custom cut by the user, adding the potential for damage or wasted film during installation
Skilled installation is important for maintaining the warranty
Update: This used to be a great tint. Sadly, quality has consistently been dropping over the last months and it's NO longer recommended. I haven't yet found a good dyed tint worth making this top 5 to replace Gila. If you know one that's top of the class, please leave a comment below. Cheers!
This is probably the best dyed film for the price.
They also have films specially meant for curve windows (like rear windows) which will make the tinting process easier
Two Year Limited Waranty, deep dyed technology for the longest color retention.
Keeps the vehicles interior cooler.
Rejects up to 78 percent glare.
Glass breakage protection.
Available in 35%, 20% and 5% VLT.
The lowest percentages aren't legal in many states. For further infromation on this regard check our list of window tinting percentages per state.
The performance is the highest in dyed films at a extremely low price which will make tinting the whole car a very inexpensive procedure.
If you want to tint your windows yourself, check the video at the bottom of this page to see a step-by-step example done by a professional.
Closing this best 5 list, we find Black Magic films.
We usually do not recommend metalized films because it interferes with signals like radio, GPS, phone and etc, but we thought we should include black magic as it is the best metallic film on the market.
It will help keeping the car’s inside cooler. Big deal if you live in places where summer sunlight feels like fire.
Block harmful UV rays (one of the causing factors of premature skin aging, cataracts, and skin cancers)
Reduce inside’s brightness and glare, reducing eye fatigue. If you drive long miles, this is vital.
Give you more privacy, specially on the backseat area.
Increased glass resistance to shattering (the adhesive layer will keep the glass pieces together)
You probably already had in your mind some of those advantages and maybe you didn’t know some of the others.
What is the best tint film material?
There are three main types of window tint, each one of them with its advantages and disadvantages, being some of the latter something to really consider before deciding what to install on your car.
Dyed window film is made by placing a layer of dye between an adhesive layer (that sticks on the window) and a protective polyester top coating.
It provides a flat and opaque look from the outside, and good visibility from the inside regardless the tint percentage.
Less expensive option.
Dyed film produces the darkest effect, and it’s non-reflective.
Dyed film does not block radio waves.
This film blocks unwanted glare from headlights and other bright lights.
Easy to leave bubbles when installing.
Offers the least heat and UV reduction of all tints.
Under high heat, it can delaminate, with layers separating from one another.
Over time, the UV rays will age the dye, fading it, and turning the color from black to purple-ish.
The second type we’re going to analyze is metallic or metallized tint.
It consists in a multi-layered film, with a base adhesive layer, a layer treated to block UV radiation, a metallic layer that reflects light and a protective outer layer.
The visual look is metallic.
Fantastic heat reducing performance and UV reduction.
This type of tinting film will not fade over time.
Metallic tinting film is extremely durable.
Metallic window film interferes with radio waves as well as other electronic signals. It may block your cellphone signal, cause bad GPS reception, and interfere with tire pressure monitoring systems among other problems. Goodbye in-glass antennae.
More expensive than dyed film
Ceramic film somewhat recent in the film industry.
It is the highest performing film.
It is not dyed and contains no metal particles, but rather ceramic particles that are non-conductive.
It comes in different looks depending on the manufacturer.
It provides with temperature isolation both ways, keeping the temperature of the car’s inside as desired.
It blocks up to 99% of UV radiation.
Reduces glare the most.
It does not fade over time.
It does not cause interference with electronic signals.
The most expensive option from all three.
How to install window tint
The best window tint won’t look like the best if it is installed the wrong way.
But don’t worry! It really isn’t that hard.
You just need the right tools and someone to show you the step by step method.
In the following video, Ralph Van Pelt from FlexFilm shows in great detail how to install window tint.