Factory Tint Vs Aftermarket Tint (Solar Film)

4x4 example

If you're considering getting a car with tinted windows, then you might be wondering about the difference between factory tint and aftermarket tint (solar film). While they might sound similar, there are some essential differences to be aware of. We're going to run through the key differences and when you might choose one over the other, or a combination of both might be your best option.

What Is Factory Tint

Factory tint is a term that people use to describe car windows that arrive from the factory with colour to them. This colour is only on the back windows. Some people will refer to it as privacy glass. Privacy glass blocks visible light but not much UV light or Infrared radiation (heat).

The factory will only apply the tint to rear windows. The colour of this tint is usually much darker than aftermarket tint. This is because the laws around it are slightly different. Factory tinted windows can have visible light transmittances of as little as 5%.

Factory tinted windows are good for reducing glare. They make the back of your car feel darker, making the ride more pleasant for your passengers but will not provide the heat or UV protection that solar film will provide.


  • Comes Preinstalled
  • Durable
  • Reduces Glare


  • It's usually not customisable
  • It does not block UV
  • It does not prevent heat gain
  • Limited to back windows

AfterMarket Tint (Solar Film)

Aftermarket tint is a layer of film that you can install on your windows. It is best to get a professional to install it to ensure you get the best finish. You apply the tint to the inside of your car window. This means you can continue to wash your car as usual with no extra precautions.

Aftermarket tint comes in a range of options. You can apply it to all the windows of your car. The only limitation is on the windscreen, where it can only be in the top 10% of the windshield. It also can't come below the top reach of your wipers.

With an aftermarket tint, you have more options for the level of visible light it allows through. However, there are limitations on how dark you can go. In most states, the laws limit you to 35%VLT.


  • Provides UV protection
  • Reduces heat gain inside the car
  • It helps hold broken glass together in the event of an accident
  • It can be applied to all windows
  • There are lots of options to choose from


  • Poor quality tints may fade or deteriorate over time
  • Tint installation is difficult - best done by trained professionals
  • It's an additional cost

The great news is that at Tint Mart Strathpine, we only used the highest quality window tint films, so that your aftermarket tint won't fade or deteriorate. Plus our films come with a lifetime manufacturer's warranty. Our staff are experts at fitting window tint, so you can be assured of a hassle-free experience, and a great looking finish that will last for many years to come. And, to top it off, we offer the best value-for-money window tinting available in Brisbane. Click here to check out our range of car window tints at unbeatable prices!

How To Choose

Installation of aftermarket tint to the rear window of a car

If you are choosing a car, it is often not possible to avoid factory tint, luckily we can upgrade the factory tint by applying an almost clear ceramic film to the dark rear glass that offers 99.9% UV reduction and 92% infrared reduction.. We can then provide a closer match for the front 2 door windows by installing a darkest legal ceramic film with the same 99.9% UV and 92% infrared reduction for the best possible colour match.

How Is Window Tint Made?

Privacy glass is made by adding a pigment into the glass itself during the manufacturing process - hence the term 'factory tint'. Although factory tinted windows provide some privacy to rear passengers, it is not nearly as effective as solar film at reducing harmful UV and infrared radiation.

Solar film is made from a polymer, similar to soft drink bottles. It can be dyed, coated or metalized to provide the desired look and performance. Most films are multi-layered with a different coating on each layer. The adhesive contains a UV filter and so can the laminating adhesive in each layer. The end result is that the premium solar films we use at Tint Mart Strathpine are incredibly effective at blocking UV radiation and reducing heat transfer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you remove the aftermarket tint?

It is possible to take an aftermarket tint off a window. However, it's not easy to do it yourself as it's designed to stay on the glass permanently! Luckily, at Tint Mart Strathpine, we are experts at stripping old tint. Bring your car to us for a strip and tint and avoid the frustration and potential for scratched windows from removing tint yourself.

What percentage is factory tint?

Most factory tint is between 15%-20%

What is the best window tint film?

There are many options to choose from, but ceramic films are the most effective at blocking UV rays and infrared heat transfer. With the Australian sun, a ceramic film is likely to be the best option for most cars.

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