RSA regulations and Automotive Window Tinting

RSA regulations and Automotive Window Tinting

Published on 25th October 2017

In this blog I’m going to write a short piece every week or two. What will be on the blog?  Subjects may be vary but it would be connected with the services we do every day which means graphic design, sign writing, printing, car wrapping and window tinting. You’ll find here a piece about most recent vehicle transformation, interesting design, answers for frequently asked questions and everything which in my opinion might be interesting for you


RSA regulations and Automotive Window Tinting

I have a few customers every week which ask me about law restrictions for window tinting.

Rules for the windows on the back section which is rear window and back sides are very simply. There is no VLT ( Visible Light Transmission) limits for them. So it doesn’t matter which tint you will choose limousine black or light tint, you’re still ok for NCT  and you can’t be stopped by Garda for that.

 “There is no limit on the tint level in the rear window and rear side windows.” 

Front windows restrictions are different and I know they can confuse. Rules say that VLT for front sides should be 65% and from my own knowledge I know a lot of new cars like Insignia, Focus, Audi A4/A6 have slightly tint on the window done by the manufacturer and they’re already 65% VLT. That means whatever we fit on this window it won’t meet RSA rules. Even very light tint like 80% or 90% VLT would be illegal in that case.

Some cars like old Mercedes A Class has clear windows so we could fit 60-65% VLT Film and it was perfect for all laws. Anyway that was the only car I found with windows like that for the last 6 years…

Only window film which can be used on front side windows is Anti bandit/ Anti shatter film which is clear but it reduces  99% of harmful UV protection. So if you’re looking for something for sharpening the look of the car it won’t be the right choice.

Usually we use it for special purpose vehicles like Garda Siohana, Fire Brigades, Convoy. There is few different thickness of anti bandit film but this is the story for another article…

“The glass in the windscreen and front side windows will be required to have a light transmission level of not less than 65% in order to pass the NCT test.   Tinting of these windows must not be greater than 35%.Unfortunately the National Car Testing Regulations do not allow for any exemptions in this regard.”

Restrictions for windscreen are more strictly. Allowed VLT is 70% and there is no way you can tint them. We can do sun visor/ sun stripe on the windscreen but there is no clear rules about how low you can go on the RSA website.  Also I’ve heard few opinions from NCT staff members and they are neither clear nor consistent. Some of them: “sun visor can’t go lower than the wipers’ area”- which means none in some cars; “should be 17% of total high of windscreen”;  “shouldn’t be lower than the visor inside the car”, etc.

From my own experience I can advice that you can go 5-6 inches from the top of the windscreen and you shouldn’t have any problem with NCT or Garda and ( what is most important for me) it won’t decrease visibility.

At the end I would say  you should be advise by the window film fitter about all rules and restrictions and everything you accept on the front windows it is done at your own risk.

If you need any other informations related to window tinting law restrictions or you would like to make appointment please do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail or Facebook or simply call us on 087 904 5953 or 057 932 9847