The Best DIY Car Window Tints [2023]

  • Post last modified:April 10, 2023
  • Post category:Sun Shades
chart demonstrating the different shades of window tint

Advantages of Tinting Your Windows?


Tinting your windows can add a massive upgrade to the style of your vehicle. Window tints come in different shades as well as different colors allowing you to personalize your vehicle to match your individual style


Tinting your windows ads an extra level of privacy to your vehicle. It will block people from being able to see what is happening inside of your car while you’re using it. But when you’re gone it will also give thieves less interest in breaking into the vehicle since they won’t be able to see if there is anything of value in the car.

Heat Reduction

A good window tint will reduce the amount of the sun’s heat rays that get into your car. This means that it will keep your car much cooler. No more burning your hands on the steering wheel or seatbelt in the summer. If you get a window tint made with ceramic you can reduce the interior temperature of your car by up to 25 degrees.


Window tint will block UV light from entering your car, protecting your skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. It will also keep the UV rays off of your car’s interior. Excessive sun exposure is known to fade and crack vehicle dashboards and seats as well as degrading the life of electronics like GPS and radar detectors. By using a high-quality window tint you can protect your car’s interior and your electronics.

Window tint can also protect you during an accident. By adding an extra layer of protective film to the glass it is less likely to shatter and come into the vehicle. The tint will hold the glass together keeping it in one piece even if it breaks.


Window tint will reduce the intensity of the sun’s light keeping the sun out of your eyes keeping you more comfortable and safer while driving. These tints will also reduce the amount of glare reflecting off of objects during the day as well as the glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic at night.

Different Types of Window Tint

Factory Tint

Factory tint also called privacy glass is something car manufacturers do at the factory. Using a process known as “deep tinting” they actually dye the inside of the glass. This tint cannot be removed and has a low visual light transmission. Because of this, it is only applied to the rear of a vehicle so it doesn’t ever have to worry about complying with changing windshield tint laws. This tint is called privacy glass because that is basically all it is good for. It doesn’t provide very good UV protection or heat reduction but the dye does make it harder for people to see into the vehicle.

Dyed Tint

Dyed tint has three layers. The adhesive that sticks to the glass, a layer of dye, and then a layer of polyester. This is essentially budget window tint. It will lower the intensity of light coming in as well as reducing glare but it is not good at reflecting UV rays or heat. This is also a tint that will fade from black to a darker shade of purple over time.

Metallic Tint

A metallic tint is called such because it has a layer of metallic film inside the tint. This is usually a four-layer tint that includes an adhesive side that sticks to the glass. A layer to block incoming UV light. The metallic layer to block heat and a protective polyester topcoat. This tint is great because it is durable, and it won’t fade.

It has a total solar heat rejection rating of up to 61% with newer tint technology keeping your car cool. As well as being able to reduce glare by 91%. The only problem with metallic tint is that can interfere with GPS, cellular, and radio signals trying to enter the car. It also gives a more reflective mirror type look to the window due to the metallic film.

Carbon Tint

Carbon tint is great at blocking UV light being able to reject up to 99%. It also does a good job of keeping your car’s interior cool on hotter days as it is able to block up to 72% of incoming infrared light and up to 66% total solar energy rejection. This tint is extremely durable and it won’t fade like a dyed tint or block incoming signals like a metallic tint. This is a great higher-end option with a matte style look.

Ceramic Tint

Ceramic tint is the best tint you can buy if you want a tint that also gives your windows a darker color. It features non-conductive particles that can block up to 99 percent of UV light protecting you, your car’s interior, and your electronics from sun damage. It can also keep your car cooler than any of the above options as it blocks up to 99% of infrared light and 70% total solar heat rejection.

It can also protect your eyes by blocking 95% of incoming glare. And like a carbon tint, it is extremely durable and won’t fade or interfere with any of the signals used by your electronics. This is the best window tint you can buy if you’re wanting good quality with a darker non-matte appearance.

Crystalline Tint

Crystalline tint is the best tint you can buy without making your glass and darker. It is a multi-layer tint that combines 200 layers while remaining thinner than a piece of paper. It has the highest UV and heat reduction of any window tint being able to block 97% of infrared light and up to 60% of the heat that gets into your car. And it does all of this while still allowing in almost 90% of outside light.

Making this an amazing option for those who want to keep out heat without changing the look of their car. That’s because this tint isn’t dark charcoal or black like other window tints but is instead more of a clear bluish color. This allows the glass to remain clear for better visibility both during the day and at night. This is also one of the most expensive types of tint due to its amazing clarity and performance.

Understanding Window Tint


Ply refers to the number of layers of polyester film used when making the tint. 1 ply window tint is a tint that only contains a single layer of film. 2 ply is using two layers of polyester film to make it thicker. This also means that 2 ply will usually last longer and holds up better in more extreme climates.


The thickness of a window tint is rated in “mil” with an average window tint being rated at 1.5mil. A mil is equal to 1/1000 of an inch (.001″). But window tints go as low as 1mil all the way up to 12mil. So does a thicker film mean a better or longer-lasting window tint?

No, thicker does not mean better tint is based on the materials and producer so the thickness of the tint does not inherently mean a higher quality product. What the thickness of the tint does mean is that it will be easier to apply. So for that purpose, if you are inexperienced and trying to apply your own car window tint then I would opt for something that is a little bit thicker.


VLT stands for visible light transmission. This is the amount of visible light that is able to pass through the tint. So 10% VLT means that 10% of visible light from outside is able to pass through the tint. A lower percentage of VLT usually means a darker colored tint and less light coming into the car. Keep in mind that the less visible light coming into the car, the harder it will be to see out of when driving at night.


TSER stands for Total Solar Energy Rejected. This is the gold standard and international way of measuring heat rejection. TSER measures the amount of visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light that passes through the tint film. The higher percentage of Total Solar Energy Rejected the higher the heat rejection so higher TSER means a cooler car.


IRR stands for infrared rejection or the amount of infrared light that the tint will block. This is a measure that some companies use to talk about the heat-rejecting abilities of their tint. While this is true because infrared light is a big factor in heat production it is not as reliable a measure for heat rejection as TSER which measures all three wavelengths of light.


UVR stands for Ultraviolet Rejection. This is how much ultraviolet light that your tint is able to block. In today’s market most tints are able to block up to 99% of UV light. This is great because UV light is what damages your eyes and skin and causes a car’s interior to fade and crack over time.

What To Do Before You Tint Your Windows

Before you tint your windows make sure that you have all of the necessary tools you need to apply the tint correctly. If you need to remove your old tint before applying your new tint then you can learn how by using our step-by-step guide on how to remove old window tint.

Also, be sure to check your state and local laws to ensure that the tint you plan to apply is legal! You can check your particular state’s requirements here.


Best Precut Window Tint

MotoShield Pro Premium Precut Ceramic Window Tint

The best-precut window tint on the market is the MotoShield Pro Premium Precut Ceramic Window Tint. This tint is embedded with nano-ceramic particles to block up to 99% of both UV and infrared light. This keeps the sun from fading or cracking your car’s interior as well as staying up to 25 degrees cooler, protecting sensitive electronics, and making it more comfortable for the driver. This tint has the best heat rejection of any tint on our list.

Its ability to reduce glare is based on how dark of a tint you choose but the darkest option boats an incredible 95% reduction in glare. This precut tint kit comes with all side windows back windscreen and windshield! This is important because most precut window tints do not include the windshield.

These window tints are machine cut for a custom fit and cover all of the glass on your vehicle excluding sunroof. This company is also amazing because they let you customize the darkness for each window as you’d like. This is beneficial because people often like the windshield to let in more light than the side windows so that they can still see clearly when driving in the dark.

This tint is color stable for the life of the product and does not contain metal, dye, or carbon so it will not interfere with radio signals. This tint is also backed by a lifetime warranty.

Best Uncut Window Tint

MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint

Our favorite pick for uncut window tint is MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint and also happens to be the same brand we chose for precut window tint. That is because these guys are simply amazing! They make a ceramic window tint at an affordable price.

It has a 99% UV rejection so that you remain safer and your car’s interior is guarded against fading and cracks that UV light causes over time. As well as 99% Infrared rejection keeping your car up to 25 degrees cooler. This tint is 2mil thick which makes it a little bit easier to apply on your own. It is also color stable and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Best Headlight / Taillight Tint

VViViD Air-Tint Extra-Wide Headlight Taillight Vinyl Tint Wrap

The best headlight and taillight tint on the market is the VViViD Air-Tint Extra-Wide Headlight Taillight Vinyl Tint Wrap. VViVid has been manufacturing headlight tints for years and this newest innovation is one of their best. This tint is specifically made for headlights and taillights and is specially designed to easily contour to odd shapes.

They made their tint out of vinyl so that it is safe for headlights plastic housings. As some other tint materials will eat away at the plastic over time. But unlike traditional vinyl that has a rough orange peel look this vinyl is made with a slick glossy exterior to enhance the look of any vehicle.

They also have a specially designed adhesive that allows you to install the tint dry for easy application right out of the box. And the Air-tint technology makes the tint stretchy so it’s easy for even inexperienced DIYers to install this tint without air bubbles or creases. Lastly, this tint can be stretched and easily formed to any housing with heat.

It is now thicker than ever so that it can better withstand scratches and chips from rocks and road debris. As well as being self-healing meaning that if it does get a scratch you just apply some heat to the tint and it will fill in the scratch like it never happened.

Best Super Dark Tint

Black Magic Midnight Black Window Tint

The best ultra dark window tint that we could find was Black Magic Midnight Black Window Tint. This tint only lets in 2.5% of visible light. Because of this, we don’t recommend using this as a full window tint on your car because it is more than likely not legal in your state and will cause it to be extremely difficult to see out of your windows at night.

That being said this can make a great brow which is a small strip applied only to the uppermost part of your windshield. That way you can block intense light and glare from the sun. This also works well on home or office windows where you would like to reduce light and increase privacy. This tint is metallic so if used on windows it may interfere with radio signals.

Best Colored Tint

JNK Networks Reflective Shield Window Tint

The best colored window tint out there is JNK Networks Reflective Shield Window Tint. This is a ceramic window tint so it has good heat rejection as well as blocking 99% of UV light. This tint is extremely reflective with a mirror-like finish so you can barely see inside. But it does this without the use of any metallics so there’s no need to worry about any disruption to radio signals.

This tint comes in 7 different colors and has an extremely low 12% visible light transmission so be aware of that before using it on any daily drivers as it will significantly impair night vision.

Budget Pick

window tint

Our Favorite Window Tint is the LEXEN 2Ply Premium Ceramic Window Tint. This is a 2Ply 1.5mil Premium Carbon Automotive Window Tint with an excellent wet or dry heat shrink ability. Lexen makes extremely high-quality window tints with Particle Technology Film containing Carbon Pigments. This gives the tint film better heat rejection that its competitors as well as color stability that will last the life of your car.

This tint is scratch resistant and has the ability to block over 99% of UV light from coming into the car protecting you and your car’s interior. It also blocks up to 95% of incoming infrared light to keep your car’s interior cool in the heat. Lexen is so confident in their tint film process that they back all of their products with a lifetime guarantee.

Best Kit for Applying Window Tint

window tint application kit

Ehdis 8 piece Window Tint Installation Kit

Video on How to Apply Window Tint

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a Professional Window Tint Cost?

A professional window tint shop using a cheap tint will charge you around $100 for a full tint on your average 4 door sedan. If you want a more expensive tint for things like heat rejection, then it could be anywhere from $200 to $400.

How Long Do Tinted Windows Last?

Your standard cheap tints like dyed or factory tint will usually last about 5 years. Higher end tints like those using Metal, Carbon, or Ceramic should be good for up to 10 years.