Window Tint Percentages: A Detailed Guide for San Diego Drivers

Imagine you are driving around the dynamic city of San Diego on a hot summer day. And suddenly, you realize that your car’s interior feels like a sauna. This leaves you feeling sticky and exhausted. If thoughts of relief from this sweltering experience have ever crossed your mind. In that case, window tinting is exactly what your vehicle needs.

Window tinting not only protects your car’s interior but also improves its overall aesthetic. But choosing the right window tint is a bit hectic and needs a bit of research. That’s why we’ve already written about window tinting, its types, benefits and laws of window tinting in San Diego

But in this blog, we’ll dig into car window tinting percentage, so keep reading below to learn more.

So, What’s the window tint percentages?

The percentage of window tint refers to how much visible light transmission (VLT) is permitted through the car’s windows. The most common types of car window tint percentages are 20% VLT, 35% VLT, 50% VLT, 80% VLT etc. The percentage value indicates the quantity of light that passes through your windows and into your vehicle.

In other words, 50% of the sun’s rays can’t pass through the film when windows are tinted with a 50% VLT. A 20% VLT tint will block 80% of light. The darker tint lowers the percentage.

It’s crucial to be aware of the limitations imposed by lower tint percentages. Be sure to check your state’s rules before picking a particular window tint percentage because every state has different rules.

Pros and Cons Of Car Window Tint 

Aside from the car’s aesthetic, car window tinting also provides benefits. 

Pros of window tint

  • Protection from harmful UV rays or sun rays
  • Glare Reduction
  • Increased privacy for drivers or passenger
  • Helps in heat reduction or climate control
  • Enhance the elegance 
  • Increased energy efficiency or save money
  • Less damage from hail
  • Safe for children and family

Cons of window tint

  • Reduced resale value
  • Easily damaged
  • Non recyclable
  • Reduced visibility
  • Legality issues

How do window tint percentages work?

You’ll see two percentages given when you start looking at different alternatives. VLT (visual light transmission) and reflectivity will be visible. The combination of these two numbers determines how dark the windows will be or how the tint will appear.


When looking for window tinting, you will most frequently find the term VLT cited. Visible Light Transmittance is what it stands for. Accordingly, the ratio represents how much light is let in via the window. Accordingly, the deeper the hue, the lower the number must be; 100% would let all light through, and 0% would result in complete darkness.

Car Window Tint Percentages

Depending on the intended visual light transmission (VLT), window film manufacturers offer a variety of tinting percentages. Consequently, what percentage of window tint should you get for your car? The percentage of window tinting available ranges from 5%-90%. The higher the percentage of window tint, the lighter the tint.

Here are some common window tint percentages:

70% window tint

This is the VLT that most car windows have now. Most people can see through windows with a 70% film, so they don’t offer privacy. However, the people inside the car are safe from the sun’s harshest rays. Clear windows are also harder to control the temperature of than windows with a 70% tint.

50% tint

This is the optimal tint percentage. However, this percentage does not entirely block UV rays nor does it darken the interior of your vehicle. Nevertheless, it is an excellent source for preventing a significant portion of the sun’s UV rays. Additionally, it significantly reduces the quantity of heat inside your vehicle. 

35% tint

35% film offers cars a sleek, sophisticated appearance that many car owners appreciate. Passers-by can still see through it, but their views will be considerably obscured. This is the legal minimum in several countries, therefore it’s a popular choice for automobile owners who desire privacy and UV protection without drastically reducing visibility.

20% tinted

This percentage of hue allows you to see through the windows at close range, but it will be challenging to see objects in the distance. Therefore, the majority of individuals will not opt for this level of window tinting. 

15% window tint

From the outside, the difference between 20% and 15% VLT is negligible. If you prefer the appearance of a jet-black vehicle but reside in a state that prohibits limo tints, a 15% film may be the best option for you.

Limo Tint, 5% Tint

This percentage of tinting is unlawful, however it is permitted in some circumstances, such as limousines. This percentage obscures the entire vision and prevents you from seeing through the windows. This results in a great level of privacy but is still not permitted. 

Though legal in California and New York, two places with strong populations of celebrities, these tints are restricted in numerous states because they significantly reduce visibility.

How to check window tint percentage at home?

You always find a tint meter to check the percentage if you can’t figure it out. Simply roll down your car window halfway before using the meter to gauge the tint. Law enforcement also checks the percentages of car window tint using this technique.

Tips for choosing the best window tint percentage

Consider a number of factors when selecting the ideal window tint percentage. It comprises the tint’s function and applicable laws.

Here are some guidelines for choosing the correct percentage:

Identify why you need window tinting

Whether you want to reduce the sun’s glare or maintain your privacy, window tinting can assist. The reason you’re having a window tint helps determine what film to get. It permits you to choose the optimal window tint percentage for your vehicle.

Get a window film with a window tint percentage of at least 50 percent if you wish to block ultraviolet radiation. Choose darker window tint percentages for complete discretion.

To reduce light-induced migraines, choose a window tint percentage that is lighter. It is sufficient to block light but will not completely darken your mobile windows.

Consider the look of your car

Keep in mind that unless you choose a tint with a noticeably high percentage rating, tinting your automobile will change the way it looks. With tinted windows, your exterior will have a different appearance, and your interior will feel different. To assist you choose what proportion of automobile tint to use, decide on the aesthetic you want to achieve. If you’re concerned that it will appear too black, take extra precautions.

Check window tint rules on your state/area

Here are the San Diego, California window tinted rules

  • Front Windshield: Only the upper four inches of the windshield can be tinted.
  • Rear Windshield: Any tint allowed
  • Front Side Windows: Over 88% VLT 
  • Replacement Front Side Windows: 70% VLT 
  • Rear Side Windows: Any tint is permissible

Get it professionally done

Although it is possible to tint your car’s windows yourself, it is not recommended. If you apply your car window tint with no training background, the film may bubble up. It causes your car to appear run-down, which is counterintuitive to your aesthetic goals.

When installing window tint films, SD Auto Style’s team demonstrates exceptional craftsmanship. We will also assist you in determining the optimal window tint percentage for your vehicle. Never jeopardize your investment, as improper film application will result in a loss of capital.

The right way to tint your car window 

When you know what the VLT percentage is for your state, you may buy the right window film and install it on your car’s windows. Right? Not exactly. 

You shouldn’t try to tint the windows of your car on your own. The job is challenging. If you don’t have the right tools or skills, you may end up shattering your windows. The film may initially seem normal. But after a few days, it may develop bubbles or ripples that can impair your vision while driving. It is worthwhile to pay for professional tinting services so you don’t lose money on a poor job.

Ceramic window tint vs regular window tint

Both offer protection and obstruct apparent light. While ordinary window film merely has an anti-scratch layer, ceramic window film is covered with robust ceramic particles. Ceramic film blocks UV radiation, glare, and heat, but regular film does not.

Confused where to get the best window tint percentage?

Choose SD Auto Style for  Window Tinting in San Diego. There are many reasons to choose SD Auto Style instead of other providers.

  • There are many reasons to choose SD Auto Style instead of other providers.
  • We use high quality window tint, which provides 99% of UV rays protection.
  • SD Auto Style uses ceramic tint particle technology. It performs better than traditional and metal-infused film. 
  • SD Auto Style adheres completely to San Diego’s rules and laws.
  • Customer satisfaction is SD Auto Style’s top priority.


Ceramic window tint is best for Tesla model 3. Choosing Ceramic Window Tinting for your Tesla Model 3 keeps you comfortable while also extending the battery life of your vehicle.

The top 4 inches of windshield tint are prohibited by California law. Light transmission through the front side windows must be at least 70%. Any tint darkness may be applied to the back side windows and rear window.

Yes, window tint can easily remove or replace. But professionals are recommended due to the involved process, special tools, and maintenance. Also, it depends on the quality of tint.

The quality of the film, the method of application, and the atmosphere are just a few of the variables that affect how long window tint lasts. Professionally installed high-quality tints can last for at least ten years.

"SD Auto Style is a company that offers Auto Styling Services for your car. These services can improve the look and performance of your vehicle by changing the color, protecting the paint, and reducing the heat and Glare"