Best Window Tints: Stay Cool and Protect Your Car’s Interior

The right window tint cools your car down and gives it a stylistic upgrade.

Best Overall

MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint

Best Value

Gila Heat Shield

Honorable Mention

Lexen 2-Ply Premium Carbon Window Tint

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Tinted windows are one of the first modifications that folks make to their cars, especially in hotter climates. Not only does it change the aesthetics of the car by blacking the windows out, but it also keeps the interior of the car much cooler. Tint actually has an important safety consideration too, preventing UV rays from entering the cabin, protecting you and your skin. Thus, it is important to choose the right tint. Lucky for you, we’ve chosen the best window tint for maximum shade.

Summary List 

Our Methodology

To choose the best window tints on the market, I employed The Drive’s comprehensive research methodology and evaluated dozens of window tints before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by consumer testimonials, expert reviews, discussions on relevant online forums, and my institutional knowledge of the automotive industry.

Best Window Tints: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint

Best Value

Gila Heat Shield

Honorable Mention

Lexen 2-Ply Premium Carbon Window Tint

Best Pre-Cut

Computer Customized Pre-Cut Window Tint

Best Carbon Pre-Cut

Lexen 2-Ply Carbon Pre-Cut Tint Kit

Our Verdict on the Best Window Tints

The MotoShield Pro Premium Ceramic Window Tint blocks 99% of UV rays and can reduce the temperature inside your vehicle by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t fade, and you won’t have to worry about it blocking radio signals. If you’re on a tight budget, check out my value pick, the Gila Heat Shield.

Things to Consider Before Buying Window Tint


The quality of your window tint largely depends on the material that it’s made from. These are the main types of film to choose from: dyed, metallic or metalized, carbon, and ceramic. Dyed film is a good value option but provides the least amount of heat and UV protection and will eventually fade to purple. The metallic or metalized film is good at protecting against heat and UV rays, and it doesn’t fade over time. The issue with metallic film is that it can block radio waves, so will reduce the strength of your cell phone and GPS unit’s signal.

Carbon film is one of the best options as it blocks UV rays and up to 40% of infrared light. This film doesn’t fade and will reduce your vehicle’s interior temperature. Ceramic film is the newest and best form of tinted window film but also the priciest. It blocks up to 99% of UV rays and reduces glare more than any other type of film. Ceramic film also has the best heat reduction properties and can cool the interior of your vehicle by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.


The visible light transmission (VLT) is the measurement of how much light can pass through a tinted window. For example, a VLT of 50% means that 50% of the light outside your vehicle can pass through the tint. The lower the percentage, the less light passes through the windows. The percentage you choose is up to you, but be aware that you will be fined in some states if your window tint goes below a certain VLT value.

Pre-Cut or Rolled

Deciding whether to get pre-cut or rolled window tint film will be a major decision for anyone who’s applying it themselves. If you want to get pre-cut film, you’ll need to tell the manufacturer your vehicle’s make, model, and year of production. Pre-cut window tints make applying the film to your windows much easier and might be the best option for anyone who’s inexperienced. If you’re experienced or planning on getting a professional to apply the film, it’ll be less expensive to buy a roll of window tint film.

Window Tint Pricing 

For less than $20, you can get 24-inches x 6.5-feet of window tint film, but this will be dyed film that will eventually turn purple and won’t provide much UV or heat protection. For less than $60, you can get 20 inches x 10 feet of ceramic window tint film, which will provide better protection than any other type of window tint, but you’ll need to cut it to the right size. You can get pre-cut carbon window tint kits starting at around $100, but the price will vary depending on your vehicle and how many windows you want to tint. 


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Are window tints illegal?

A: Every state has different laws about window tints and revolve around your tint’s VLT. Some states will charge or fine you if your window tint goes below a set VLT value. You can find more information about the laws regarding window tints in your state here.

Q: How do I clean a tinted window?

A: Mix warm water with some dish soap and apply this mixture to the tinted window with a microfiber cloth. Gently wipe the window in one direction with the cloth. Never use ammonia-based window cleaners, as these can dry out your tint. You should also never use anything abrasive to clean a tinted window.

Q: How long do window tints last?

A: The lifespan of your window tint will depend on the type of film you choose, the installation process, and how well you care for it. A high-quality window tint can effectively last for up to 10 years, but a low-quality window tint that isn’t well cared for might only last for one year.


Robert Bacon Avatar

Robert Bacon


Robert is a former Commerce Reporter for The Drive. He primarily creates informational motorcycle and car content, automotive buying guides, and how-to pieces. Originally from Ireland, Robert traveled across Asia and Europe working with automotive dealerships and rental companies.