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Tinting & The Law

The law concerning vehicle tinting, as presented by VOSA, who contacted SSAF
directly to inform us of the (then) new changes to the European tinting laws.

Vehicle & Operator Services Agency
VI Division
Norwich GVTS
Jupiter Road
Tel: (01603) 408172
Fax: (01603) 482573

 NEWS RELEASE - 8th May 2004


The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) are now stopping vehicles with
tinted windows and checking them for opacity using specialised equipment. If the
windows are found to be over the legal tint limit enforcement action may be taken.
In the most serious cases the vehicle will be taken off the road until the tint is removed.

Motorists who do not rectify the problem will be prosecuted.

The crackdown follows concerns that have been raised over the number of vehicles
being driven with heavily tinted windscreens and front side windows. Many drivers do
not realise that excessively tinted glass will restrict the drivers vision, especially in bad
weather conditions and at night. This may prevent drivers from seeing other motorists
or pedestrians.

Legal tint limits-

The minimum percentage of light that must filter through windows:

Motor Vehicles first used:                before April 1985       on or after April 1985

Windscreen                                                                 70%                                         75%

Front side windows                                                  70%                                         70%


What is excessively tinted glass?

Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 as amended specify the minimum
levels of light that must pass through the windscreen and front side windows. The limits are:

Motor Vehicles first used before 1 April 1985:

The windscreen and front side windows must allow at least 70% of light to be transmitted
through them.

Motor Vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1985:

The light transmitted through the windscreen must be at least 75%. The front side windows
must allow at least 70% of light to be transmitted through them.

If the glass is tinted to a point whereby it lets through less light, then the vehicle does not
meet legal requirements.

Which windows in the vehicle does this apply to?

The windscreen and the front side windows to either side of the drivers head.

How does excessively tinted glass affect road safety?

It restricts the driverís vision, especially in dark conditions. This may prevent drivers from seeing
other road users or pedestrians.  It also prevents other road users and pedestrians from confirming
through eye contact that they have been seen.

What is the purpose of the law?

The purpose of the law is to ensure the driversí ability to see the road is not excessively restricted
by glass tint.  

Legally, where do I stand?

    If you are the driver -

You must not drive a vehicle on the road with the windscreen or front side windows excessively tinted.
You may also invalidate your insurance with this modification, particularly as the vehicle is likely to be illegal.

    If you are a tinting company -

You must not modify, or offer to supply, a part that when fitted to a vehicle means that it does not comply
with Construction & Use Regulations.

    If youíre selling a vehicle with extra tinting applied to the windscreen or front side  windows -

The vehicle may now have glass that is darker than permitted by Construction & Use Regulations, in which
case the vehicle should not be sold. 

Why are tinted windows not included in the MOT test?

Excessively tinted glass is seen as a serious issue but one which currently affects only a small number of the
24 million vehicles tested annually. To include this item in the MOT test would require all 18,000 garages to
incur expenditure on special test equipment and the time taken to carry out an MOT would increase. The MOT
fee would have to be raised to cover the extra time and investment. This extra cost would affect all motorists
- all for a small number of vehicles. With the current levels of offending, roadside enforcement is a better route
as it targets the offenders while minimising the cost and inconvenience to compliant road users. 

Is this a nationwide campaign?

Yes. VOSA staff throughout the country have been issued with testing equipment If the equipment is not
available a subjective assessment will be carried out. If the vehicle is considered dangerous to drive then an
immediate prohibition may be issued.








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