Beyond aesthetic appeal or association with luxury cars, there are also practical reasons why you should tint your car windows. Here are five ways in which tinting benefits you.
We spoke to two local tinting specialists to find out their thoughts about the process.
The top reasons for drivers to tint their car windows are for UV protection, heat resistance from the sun, and reduce visibility into the vehicles, shares Estelle Chen, Regional Marketing Manager for Wrapstyle Singapore. The majority of her clients are owners of exotic cars, and they don’t like their vehicle’s interior to be visible to passers-by. For Chen herself, though, tinting has more practical implications. “I tint my car windows predominantly for heat resistance against the sun so that I don’t get burnt on long drives,” she shares.
Trent Chan, Owner and Director of Tintsy Cool International, reveals that one other reason is for protection against shattered glass in case the windows break, which is possible should a traffic accident occur. Chan, who mainly works on family cars, also tints his car windows for the practical reason of shielding against the heat and UV rays.
The following are five benefits of tinting your car windows:
Have you experienced being momentarily ‘blinded’ by the sun’s rays? Direct glare from the sun can be a road hazard when it reduces visibility even for a second. Tinted windows reduce direct glare. With a clear view and improved vision, you and yourpassengers, as well as other motorists and pedestrians on the road, remain safe.
2REDUCED ULTRAVIOLET (UV) RAY PENETRATION
UV protection is important to avoid skin cancer from prolonged exposure to the sun. When you and your family are in the comfort of an air-conditioned car, you are not exactly ‘indoors’, as you are exposed to harmful UV rays that pass through the windows. Tinted windows with UV protection are designed to absorb or reflect the harmful rays.
3LOWER IN-CAR TEMPERATURE
Don’t you just hate it when, after you have parked your car under the scorching sun, you open the car door only to have a ‘sauna’ experience, or get burnt by the hot car seat and steering wheel? Some tinted windows can reduce the amount of infrared rays — that’s the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum of the sun that has a heating effect — that enters the car, so you can enjoy getting into a cooler car and not feel like you are entering an oven. Less heat and sunlight also mean that your upholstery lasts longer.
4MAINTAIN PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Do you have a habit of leaving your smartphone, wallet and other valuables exposed on the passenger seat or dashboard after parking your car? If so, then having tinted windows provides a layer of security since people can’t easily look into your vehicle and notice things they can steal. Also, to some people, their car is their castle as much as their home is. Homes have curtains and other ‘barriers’ to thwart prying eyes; similarly, tinting your car windows provides privacy while you’re driving.
5REDUCED RISK OF GLASS SHATTERING
Have you suffered the devastation of a cracked screen from dropping your smartphone, and regretted not installing a screen protector? Now imagine what would happen if you get into a car accident: the impact can shatter your car windows, resulting in flying glass shards that are likely to leave you bleeding. Window tinting involves the application of a thin film on the surface of the glass. This lowers the likelihood of the glass splintering, thus lowering your risk of injury.
PENALTY FOR FLOUTING REGULATIONS
When tinting your windows, make sure that your car windows comply with regulations stipulated by the Land Transport Authority. Tinted glass or films are allowed provided it lets:
- At least 70% of light to pass through the front windscreen and side windows
- At least 25% through the rear windscreen and passenger windows
- All tinted windows must meet internationally recognised standards for safety glass
Vehicle owners can send their vehicle for a light transmittance compliance test at any LTA-authorised vehicle inspection centre. The penalty for non-compliance of these regulations is a $70 fine and submitting to another light transmittance inspection.