Whether you are considering tinting your car windows for the appearance or to cut down on the sunlight, it’s important to examine the costs before getting started. How much does car window tinting cost?
In this guide, we will examine all of the average costs by car type. These prices will be estimates based on what it would cost to have the tinting done by a professional. We will also look at the factors that adjust the cost and discuss how much can be saved by doing it yourself.
How Much Does It Cost to Tint Car Windows?
You could spend anywhere from $50 to $1,000+ to tint your car windows, with an average cost of $300. The cost depends on the type of car you drive, what kind of window tint you want and where it will be applied. It’s also cheaper to do the window tint yourself, but it may not look as good in the end.
The coupe is generally going to be the cheapest to tint because of its smaller windows. If you were to tint a single window, you might only spend $50.
To tint all of the sides and rear window, the price could be $200 to $600. Adding the windshield to that might tack another $100 to $300 to the total bill.
The prices for your average sedan are going to be similar to most coupes because the windows aren’t that much larger. However, there could be more windows or slightly larger ones than those found on the coupe. For one window, you could also spend $50 to $150.
Additionally, having all of the sides and the rear window tinted might also be $200 to $600. If you put the windshield into the job, expect the bill to rise another $100 to $300.
The car tinting prices depend on how big your truck is and how many windows need to be done. If you have a standard cab truck, you might spend $150 to $450 to have the sides and back tinted.
An extended cab truck could cost $200 to $550 for the same job, while the crew cab might be $250 to $600. If you also want to have a windshield tinted, you could spend another $150 to $300.
The tinting on an SUV will vary widely in price based on the size. A smaller crossover might cost the same as a coupe or sedan, while a larger SUV could easily add to the bill. Some large SUVs can be bigger than trucks or vans.
On average, you might spend $200 to $800 to get the sides and back window tinted. Plan on spending another $100 to $350 to get the windshield done as well.
If you drive a large passenger van, your cost for car tinting can get a little pricey. Depending on the size, tinting the sides and back window can run anywhere from $250 to $1,000.
You can also have the windshield tinted if it’s legal in your state. This additional charge might add $150 to $350 to your total bill.
Factors Affecting Car Window Tinting Cost
1. Vehicle Type
You’ve already seen the breakdown by vehicle size. It shows that the smaller the windows are, the lower the cost will be. The reason for this is because less material is needed and there’s less labor involved. However, that’s not always the case, as there are some vehicles that are simply more difficult to work on even though they are smaller.
For example, the Tesla Model 3 contains a glass roof which can be pricier to tint than an average sunroof. Additionally, some older vehicles can add some time to the labor if the installer isn’t able to get a template for the plotter and they need to be hand-cut. In some cases, the shop itself won’t charge you extra for these inconveniences, but you can certainly expect the car to be in for installation longer.
2. Tint Type
There are different kinds of tint to choose from, each with a different price point. You can spend less by using a dyed window tint versus ceramic or carbon options, but it isn’t as high-quality. You will get a better result from the higher-quality automotive tint, which adds to the cost. At the top of the line, ceramic is the option for most luxury automobiles.
There’s also the brand of the automotive tint to consider. You will find plenty of brands that are low-cost, but you get exactly what you pay for. In just a few years, this cheap window tint will fade or start to pull away from the window, causing you to seek out help to have it done again.
Does this really save you money over spending a little more upfront? We don’t think so, which is why it’s recommended to choose a high-quality automotive tint from a reputable brand and just pay a little more. In return, if you decide to sell your car down the road, you will get a better price for it, further increasing the value of the tinting job you had done.
3. Tint Removal
Most people don’t consider what has to be removed from the car windows first. If there is factory tint or you had the windows tinted before, it has to be removed.
It can be difficult to remove some types of tint with all of the glue and sticky substances. The technician will need extra time to deal with this removal. If there’s no window tint on the car currently, the workers have a much easier job, just requiring them to clean the surface first.
The place you take your car for auto tinting will have a dramatic impact on the cost. If you choose to do it yourself, you are going to save some money, but there are downsides with this route that we will discuss more in a minute.
It’s important to interview various installers to decide who is best. Not everyone has the experience to do a great job. When you interview, ask to see some of the previous work that was done there and ask for references that you can contact.
If you go to a larger shop, you will be paying for some of that overhead. The professional shop isn’t going to use a spray bottle and a squeegee only. They will have torches, special lights, high-quality knives and all of the equipment to complete the job with precision. This shop will also need to pay a team of technicians, ensuring your tinting gets done as quickly as possible. This experience and the high-quality supplies will guarantee that you are happy with the results, which is priceless.
DIY vs. Professional Car Window Tinting
It’s tempting to go to your local auto parts store to buy some cheap window tint and do the job yourself. After all, it’s easy to get a roll of tint for as little as $10. If you are short on cash, it’s understandable that you would take this route, but is it the best option? While it might seem ideal upfront, you may not be happy with the results and the tint may not last, so these are factors to consider.
Putting on a DIY tint kit still requires some special tools and a small level of expertise. It’s helpful if you have detailed vehicles in the past. Additionally, you will be responsible for making sure what you apply is legal in your state, where a professional shop would have already known this information. There’s also the chance that your tint job is going to look terrible when you are done, with bubbling and imperfections that make your vehicle’s appearance worse in the end.
Additionally, you want to consider the frustration level. If you aren’t used to tinting your vehicle’s windows, there are sure to be some words that shouldn’t be repeated as you struggle to figure it out. You will also want to add some extra material because some of it might need to be thrown away as you make mistakes. Keep all of this in mind as you determine if the added cost of a professional shop is worth the expense.