Navigating Car Window Tinting Laws in UK: Understanding Regulations and Compliance

by Barry Cornish Professional Window Film Installers

U.K. police to enforce limits on tinted car windows | Stars and Stripes

In the United Kingdom, many car owners have opted to have their vehicle windows tinted. While this may enhance the aesthetic appeal, tinted windows also offer a variety of benefits, including improved health, beauty, safety, security, and accident prevention and management.

However, it's important to note that the government regulates car tints. Given the seriousness of road safety, the government has established laws to regulate tinted windows for the overall benefit of the public.

If you're interested in the UK's laws on tinted vehicle windows, here's everything you need to know about Car Window Tinting Laws in the UK.


The UK's tinting Law specifies the darkness percentage for front windscreens and front side windows, depending on when the vehicle was first used. If the vehicle was first used on or after April 1, 1985, the front side windows must let at least 70% of light through, and the required darkness percentage for the tint is 75% of light through.

However, for vehicles first used before April 1, 1985, both the front windscreen and front side windows must allow at least 70% of light through.

This Law is in place because dark tints can limit visibility in poor light conditions, reducing the ability to see other road users clearly. The UK government enacted this Law to protect pedestrians, roadside property, and other drivers from potential accidents and damage caused by excessively dark tints.

The potential risk is most pronounced during night driving. Consider driving at night with sunglasses on. Statistics suggest that tinted cars can significantly contribute to road accidents, especially after dark. The greater the tint's darkness, the more it can impede the driver's vision, potentially raising the risk of accidents.

To address this concern, the government introduced a law aimed at safeguarding both drivers and pedestrians, as well as protecting property from potential damage.

This Law is becoming increasingly enforced by both the Police and VOSA, who are equipped with measuring devices to assess the amount of light passing through tinted windows.

Measuring Tint Percentages

Certainly, the enforcement of this Law must be fair. The authorities, the driver, and the Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), acting as vehicle examiners utilize light-measuring equipment to assess window tint. This is to ensure that the vehicles in question adhere to the UK Tinting Law.

Violation and Penalties

If your front side windows or windscreen are found to have excessive tinting, you are in violation of the Law. You may receive an Endorseable Fixed Penalty Notice (EFPN), leading to the endorsement of your license with 3 points and a fine of £60.

If your windows are tinted beyond the legal limit but are close to the threshold, you might receive a vehicle defect rectification notice. This requires you to remove the tint and provide evidence of this action to a police station.

The most significant safety concern with tinted windows arises during nighttime driving. Tinted windows can be used as evidence in cases of careless or dangerous driving, potentially increasing the driver's penalties or sentences.

It's important to note that this Law does not apply to rear windows, including the back windscreen. Remember, these regulations only pertain to front side windows, specifically the driver's door and front passenger door.

What to do if your car tints don't follow the Law?

There's no need to panic! Unless you choose not to take action, you are not a fugitive or a certified criminal. According to experts, if you find that your car does not comply with tinting laws, the best course of action is to have it rectified.

If you recently purchased a new car that doesn't meet the legally prescribed tinting percentage, it's advisable to inform your insurance company. They may consider this a car modification. Failing to disclose modifications to your insurance company could invalidate future claims.

If you bought a used car with tinted windows that you suspect may be too dark, you should:

  • Have the tint removed and replaced with a compliant percentage.

  • Seek the opinion of a tinting company or MOT center.

  • Contact your nearest VOSA test center for an assessment. They will measure the tint level and advise you on the appropriate action to take.

Tinting Express Limited provides professional advice on all aspects of window films for cars and vehicles, conservatories, commercial office buildings, retail premises and shop fronts. We have remained a small family business focused on giving personal and professional service to our regular and new customers.


Q1. What are the exact legal limits for tint on front windscreens in the UK?

The front windscreen must allow at least 75% of light through. This applies to vehicles first used on or after April 1, 1985. For older vehicles, the front windscreen must allow at least 70% of light through.

Q2. Do tinting laws apply to the whole windscreen or just parts of it?

The legal limits apply to the entire front windscreen. No part of the windscreen can be darker than the legal light transmission percentages.

Q3. What parts of the car are exempt from tinting restrictions in the UK?

The tinting laws only apply to the front windscreen and front side windows next to the driver and front passenger seats. There are no legal restrictions on tinting for rear windows or back windscreens.

Q4. What are the penalties for violating car window tint laws in the UK?

You may receive a fixed penalty notice resulting in 3 points on your license and a £60 fine. For excessive tint, you could get a vehicle defect notice requiring tint removal. Tinted windows can also be used as evidence for careless/dangerous driving charges.

Q5. If I get pulled over, how do the police check if my car's windows are illegally tinted?

Police and vehicle examiners use special tint meters to measure the light transmission percentage through the windows. This on-the-spot measurement determines if the tint complies with legal limits.

Name: Tinting Express Limited

Address: Unit 17, Taw Mill Business Park, Howard Avenue, Barnstaple, Devon, UK

Phone NO: 01271 320181

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About Barry Cornish Freshman   Professional Window Film Installers

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Joined APSense since, June 27th, 2022, From Barnstaple, United Kingdom.

Created on Mar 18th 2024 05:08. Viewed 89 times.


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