Maybe you want a dark tint to match your chrome deletes. Maybe you want your windows to be as protected as your newly applied ceramic coating. Maybe you just want to not have UV rays damage your skin.
No matter the reason you are looking at automobile window tinting, the amount of cash you need to put down is probably one of the first things that cross your mind. Shopping prices is useful, not only to decide what you can or are willing to afford but also to gauge the quality and respectableness of your prospective installers. Shopping prices is not very valuable if you are unsure of the industry norms in your particular area. With that in mind, here are the expected price ranges and considerations when looking to install tint on your automobile in the Los Angeles area.
Quality of Tint Product
Depending on what type of tint you want, your estimated price will differ. A dyed tint is likely the cheapest option, such as Llumar’s Formula One.
With this option, you will be able to pick the darkness to California’s limits, get some heat reduction, be protected from the sun’s UV rays, and diminished glare. For an average-sized 4 door car with typical windows, you could expect a price of around $180 for all windows. Unfortunately, this option may become discolored with time, and once it does it will need to be replaced. Tint jobs that utilize ceramic are pricier and will run you around $230. At the higher range, there are protective films that also provide UV protection such as Madico’s Automobile Window Films.
For the same reason that you may install SLiPLO to prevent damage to your vehicle from potholes, you want your window’s tint to help protect your windows, not just look nice. With installation running around $250, this option filters out 99% of UV rays that fade the interior of your vehicle and damages your skin, protects your vehicle from flying hazards, keeps your vehicle cool, reduces glare, and is warrantied. Another high-end tint that is a great option for vehicle owners in Los Angeles is 3M’s Crystalline Series because it keeps out more heat and UV rays without making the windows excessively dark and violating California law.
If the price for a tint job is too good to be true, it likely is. California has a fairly strict grip on automobile window tinting regulations. A minimum of 88% light transmittance is required unless your tint is being applied on top of factory tinted windows. In that case, a 70% light transmittance is required.
An abrasion resistance equivalent to AS-14 glazing is also part of the requirements and the manufacturer of the tint itself must have purposely designed the product to prevent exposure to long-wave ultraviolet rays. A reputable dealer will know and abide by these laws, as well as know if the products they are using meet the necessary criteria. This assurance is not present when having your windows tinted in someone’s garage at a discounted price.
To top it off, by law, the driver must have a certificate that has been signed by the installer stating that the tint installed meets the criteria set, and this certificate has to include the manufacturer’s full name and address. When paying for professional installation, this will all be appropriately handled for you.
Although there are many do it yourself options out there at a much-reduced cost, you will likely end up with a tint job that needs to be replaced in a few years or worse, need it replaced immediately to meet the guidelines dictated by California law.
At the additional cost of going to a professional shop, you also reduce the likelihood of bubbles and peels that may occur if a non-professional installs the tint. Better yet, at a typically small additional charge, an installer’s warrantee can be added on top of the manufacturer’s warranty.
This way all discolorations, bubbles, and peels will be covered by one of the warranties. If an installer does not offer a warranty, it is best to find another installer because it does not give much credence to their professionalism. Trustworthy installers will likely also charge more if your windows are an odd shape or if your back window is curved or slopes steeply, so also keep this in mind.
All Deals Bad Deals?
Does this mean that all discounted offers are bad offers? Of course not. Some reputable installers will install tint at a lower price. If you see an estimate of $80 its probably best to leave it on the table, but some reliable dealers do offer discounted tint jobs. For example, JJ Window Tinting in North Hollywood often discounts their tint jobs, such as their $125 special which takes about one hour on average.
You could even bring your Porsche 911 convertible into this establishment and trust that it will be taken care of. The things that were analyzed when determining reliability are factors like the business serving the Los Angeles area since 1990, the owner having over 26 years of experience tinting automobile windows, and the fact that he also offers tint training.
This business provides a series of tinting products and is certified to install them with these products including those from Madico, SunGard, and 3M Crystalline. The next thing to look for when looking for specials and deals is the number and quality of good reviews. Paul W. and Clair G. are a few of many customers who had exceptional experiences with this company. Claire G. said that she had “just had these guys tint my Jeep and it’s perfect.
They were extremely knowledgeable, professional, showed me examples, didn’t pressure me, & the final result is absolutely perfect.” As Paul W. simply stated, “if you are like me and love hotrods and high end cars, you are a fool to not take it here” and “by far the leader in the industry always on time and you will be so happy for years with their work”.
The Bottom Line
When you are looking at prices for getting your vehicle windows tinted, you have to keep many things in mind. Regardless, it’s hard to tell what is a good deal, what is a rip-off, and what is simply paying more for a better product if you don’t know the industry average in your area. For a sports car that is only 2 doors, you should expect to pay between $150 and $200. If you own a typical 4-door vehicle, the cost will likely be between $200 and $250. For larger vehicles with more surface area covered with windows, the price can range from $250 to more than $400. Remember, unusual window shapes, steeply sloping and curved rear windows, high-quality tint products, and warranties can vary these estimates.