There is a wide range of tint options available for the Model Y. The best ones are those that give you the best protection at the best prices and within state regulations.
To give you insight into the different tint types and brands available, I conducted a thorough research so you can make an informed decision.
Fasten your Tesla seat belts because we are going full throttle in ludicrous mode, even though Tesla Model Y does not have one.
I’ll be covering the best window tint brands based on real-life customer reviews and provide you with a list of reputable shops that have been tinting windows on Tesla for years.
I’ll also be comparing the best tint film brands to see which one offers the best bang for your buck.
Our DIY fellows have also been taken into account.
Everything, after this short poetry break…
“Thou art thinking of tinting Tesla Model Y?
Tesla-Tune-Up thine friend hadst arrived”
Ahem, so let’s get into the world of tints.
If instead, you’re interested in tinting the Tesla Model 3, check out this other article on that.
Does the Tesla Model Y Come Tinted from the Factory?
Model Y’s front windows and windshield do not come tinted, though the rear windows are slightly darker. Only the roof comes from the factory heavily tinted with infrared and ultraviolet protection.
Many people online suggest the Tesla Model Y rear windows do have a tint on the rear windows, though.
Owners have gone as far as using tint measurement devices to verify the exact tint percentage – and multiple tests suggest 24% CXT, which would mean it allows 76% VLT (visible light transmission).
However, there’s no official documentation by Tesla that suggests this is the case.
Tesla Model Y Tint Cost Range
A good-quality tint is going to cost you about $350 for all seven windows, excluding the windshield and the roof. More expensive options can quickly rise to $500–$1500 while DIYers can get the job done for less than $100.
It’s also possible to tint your glass roof but that increases the cost significantly. On top of that, some shops refrain from tinting roofs as these have been blamed for glass roof cracks in the past.
I am a DIYer myself, and I love that satisfying moment when you see the end result being much better than you what you initially anticipated. Window tint is one of the things you can consider DIYing.
If you go for the simplest dyed tint, you can do the whole thing for $40 (plus a lot of patience).
If you are willing to spend more on premium tints, you’d have to spend somewhere between $300 and $700.
Tinting the Model Y is a tricky thing as the front windows have a bell-shaped curve to them. If you are not a full-fledged DIYer, this job might become an ordeal for you.
Make sure to have useful DIY instructions at hand before rolling up your sleeves. (We’ll discuss this later.)
Own a Model 3 or Model Y? Earn some extra income by writing about the car you love and helping the Tesla community. Click below to apply.
Tesla Model Y Tint Percentages Advice
Let’s be honest, those super dark tints look stunning. However, we can’t have them due to state laws.
Different tint brands will surely give your Tesla Model Y a different look, but it all boils down to the percentage of light that is able to pass your windows. The lower the VLT (Visible Light Transmission) percentage, the darker it is.
There might be a little bit of confusion when it comes to the State Laws as some websites have outdated numbers.
The tint percentages you will find on the internet might not be accurate. For example, some of these websites will give 70% VLT for California as the allowed percentage when the percentage allowed in California currently is 85% VLT.
Feel free to check out this resource of tint percentages allowed in each state:
Most of the shops would know about the state laws and would apply the tint according to them.
But always double-check your state laws before you have a tint installed on your windows, lest you might end up with a ticket.
Frequent Visitor to Different States? Take This Into Account
You have to abide by the state laws you are driving in even though the tint percentage may be legal in the state the vehicle is registered in.
Some states do give visitor exemptions, but that’s a wildcard.
There are chances of you being pulled over for a tint when you travel to different states. So consider this in advance.
Though chances are slim, you can probably get away with it by quickly lowering the windows before the officer notices.
I am not giving any advice; I am just letting you know a way out (wink). Please don’t hunt me down.
A Quick Look At Different Percentages
Look how much difference the window tint makes in this YouTube video by POGAuto. He ended up getting 5% in the rear window and 15% on the passenger rear windows for his Model Y, which is within US state laws.
However, in the front—the driver side and the passenger side—he had 20%. For comparison, look at this lighter tint on a black Model Y.
If you want to see more pictures, you can visit this website where they have a collection of different tints on the Tesla Model Y.
Don’t forget that not all those tints are going to be legal in your state, though.
How to Get the Darkest Tint and Get Away With It
You can only have the darkest tints available on track builds or drift-built projects. You won’t be able to bring them on the road anywhere in the United States.
However, some skin diseases require you to have a complete black tint, and in that case, the state can make an exception. You’d be required to have a permit made for that, of course.
Tesla Model Y Tint DIY Instructions
Before you get to work, you need to know how much film is required to tint your Model Y windows.
Model Y windows measure about 6.5’ wide and 18” tall when combined on one side. As a result, a 7’ x 4’ roll area should be enough to tint all four windows.
If it’s your first time doing DIY work on your car, order extra just in case.
I recommend pre-cut tint kits as they are easier to work with. Cutting the film to shape is not an easy task. With pre-cut kits, you can save the hassle of cutting – but make sure you don’t mess up as you’ll only have one chance to get it right.
Note: If you have a precut film made for a Tesla Model Y, it might not fit perfectly as Tesla used a bunch of different glass manufacturers and the sizes vary—not so much, but it will be apparent when applying the film. Maybe a couple of millimeters.
Here’s a great video that explains each step in detail. To make things easy, we have made points for all the steps mentioned in the video. Once you are set up and have all the material, you can start tinting your Model Y.
- The first step is to remove the door gasket/panel.
- Then prep the windows by cleaning them thoroughly.
- Put the film on the outside and work your way through to have the inner lining (the sticky side) applied to the inner side of the glass.
- The fingers (the area where the air gets trapped) have to be removed from top to bottom with the help of a heat gun.
- Once the tint layer is applied, squeegee your way through and apply a heat gun to the corners to ensure it is fixed in place.
- Make sure not to have any contaminants while you are using a squeegee as it can damage/scratch the film.
- Soak the area of the sticky side and the glass window. Once the film gets dry, it will become a pain to adjust and work with. So make sure to have a spray bottle to keep things moist.
Tools For The Job: Everything You’ll Need for a Tesla Model Y Tint
Most kits come with both the pre-cutouts and the required tools. You may need additional tools depending on the kit you buy, though.
For convenience, here are tools you will need to tint Tesla Model Y windows. If you don’t have an equivalent product, click to order anything that’s missing.
- The window tint film — duh, obviously
- Spray bottle
- A set of squeegees
- A heat gun
- Plastic prying tool to release the door gasket/panel clips
- Torx T30 Screwdriver
- If possible, a set of helping hands
Exclude the film itself and all of these tools cost less than $75 total. These can also be useful for other projects later on.
Tesla Model Y Tint Shops
If tinting your windows yourself is not your cup of tea, a professional can do the job for you. Many places offer amazing services, and you will get the perfect result by pushing the work on them. But not all shops give you the best bang for your buck.
We researched the shops that have received the best overall ratings and compiled them into this awesome list for you:
|Tesla Model Y Tint Bakersfield||Autotint West|
|Tesla Model Y Tint City of Industry||Aerowerkz|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Los Angeles||Wrap Bullys|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Vancouver||Wrap Guys, Wrap’n’Ride|
|Tesla Model Y Tint San Francisco||Custom Vehicle Wraps|
|Tesla Model Y Tint San Jose||Notorious Wraps|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Oakland||Custom Vehicle Wraps|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Berkeley||AV Custom Wraps|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Fremont||DoubleTake Auto Spa, vinylink, OC Detailing|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Palo Alto||SFG Wraps, SS Customs|
|Tesla Model Y Tint Santa Rosa||Northbay Auto Wraps|
Enjoy. And if you have had an amazing experience with a particular shop, shoot us a message and we’ll add them to the list.
Best Tint Film Brands
From a bazillion tint brands out there, we have shortlisted six to make things easier for you.
- XPEL XR Plus
- Spectra Photosync
- 3M Crystalline
- Huper Optik
- Llumar Formula One
- Suntech CXP 70
Now we will go through each to give you all the good, the bad, and the ugly.
XPEL XR Plus (The Best Overall)
If you want to reduce the heat as much as possible, XPEL XR Plus is your best bet. In XPEL’s XR lineup, the Plus offers a lifetime warranty. It’s not one of those lifetime warranties that don’t even count.
XPEL provides a list of certified dealers who will apply the film and replace it if it gets damaged, including fades, bubbles, peels, or cracks. Here’s where you can find a certified dealer in your area.
When we carried out an in-depth research into all the brands selling window tints, XPEL came out on top in terms of protection. Normally, the Plus tint is going to cost you about $750 at a certified shop. This cost includes the installation as well for seven windows, excluding the roof and the windscreen.
✅ Lifetime warranty
✅ Available in certified shops all over the world
✅ Premium quality
✅ Heat protection
❌ High cost
Spectra Photosync (The Best Protection)
If you are not looking for privacy for the inside of your Tesla Model Y and would only like to have the best solar UV and heat protection, this is your man—I mean window tint brand. It is also regarded as the best film in the Tesla community. Even their darkest tint will allow anyone to peek into the cabin and stare at the futuristic tech you own.
✅ Best UV and IV protection
✅ Heat protection
✅ Within state laws as the darkest of their film is still quite see through
❌ High cost
❌ Not all shops work with Spectra.
3M Crystalline (Budget Friendly)
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands used in the vinyl scene. 3M has a wide range of window tint products that offer protection, but the reviews on their window tints haven’t been so great, and most shops have stopped working with 3M window tints as there have been so many warranty claims.
3M Crystalline is not one of those premium films like the Spectra Photosync, so if any shop is charging you more than $250 for it, it’s not worth it. Less than $200 will be a good bargain. However, the bell-shaped curve of the front windows and the hard 3M Crystalline film might not go hand in hand. So you would have to consider some other option. For flat surfaces, this is the best choice.
✅ Low cost
✅ Comes with warranty
✅ Heat protection
❌ Difficult to install
Huper Optik has been the dark horse of the window tints. Many customers have reported that it offered a lot of heat protection which they didn’t think was possible. You can find plenty of shops working with Huper Optik, but it won’t be as widely available as some of the other brands like Spectra Photosync or XPEL.
Llumar Formula One
Llumar does not offer the best heat protection, but it comes with a lifetime transferable warranty, which gave it the spotlight in our research. It is definitely the most cost-effective of all the other brands. Llumar is going to cost you $260, including the cost of installation.
Suntech CXP 70
The CXP 70 is a hybrid type of window tint that offers a matt black finish (non-reflective). It does not affect radio signals and gives you IV and UV protection. It costs $260, excluding the installation cost.
Different Tint Types: Which One Is The Best?
You might think it’s just a plastic cover, how can there be different types? But no—there are a bunch of tint types, and I am going to tackle each of them in detail so you can have an idea of which one will work for you best.
This is one of the most common and inexpensive tints that you will find on planet earth. You might not be able to find it on Mars. If you want this tint on Mars, let Elon Musk know; he might be able to do something about that.
On the level of 1 to 10, this tint gets 5 out of 10 mainly because it looks cool. In terms of protection, it gives none. This tint will not have any type of UV or IV protection or heat reduction.
Most of the cheap Chinese products will be this type of tint. The biggest drawback of this kind of tint is that it impairs the drivers’ visibility because it’s as dark inside as it is outside. It’s very inexpensive, which is why it has become a popular choice if you want to tint on a budget. The cheapest one available can cost you about $15. Yes, $15, that’s not a typo.
The second one on our list is metallic tint. As the name suggests, it comes impregnated with tiny microscopic pieces of metal, making the color dark. It does not have a color dye, as in the case of the dyed tint. And because of this characteristic, you can expect them to last much longer without fading in color.
The only drawback to this type of tint will be the radio interference which will affect the working of the GPS, which, in the case of a Tesla, is a big NO. You don’t want your Tesla Model Y to have trouble navigating, especially with Autopilot on. Even though this type of tint gives reasonable UV and IV protection on top of heat reduction, it is not suitable for a Tesla.
Hybrid Tint (Combination of Dyed and Metalized Tint)
This is the type of tint that gives the best of both worlds. It has the characteristics of both the dyed tint and the metallic tint. On top of that, you don’t get any interference problems, which is why it might be the best choice for a Tesla Model Y. Although some negligible resistance might be present.
It gives you UV and IV protection. It also gives you heat reduction to be cool when you are inside your cool Tesla Model Y.
Carbon tint uses a bunch of layers made of polymers that help block about 40% of infrared light. This light is the reason why the cabin gets super hot, so once this reason is down to 60%, your cabin will be cooler than before.
This reduction of infrared will also help protect the dashboard from having those cracks, and your plastic trims will remain nice and dark; in short, they won’t fade into the ugly dry plastic trims.
This is one of the most sophisticated types and one of the most expensive. The ceramic tint gives you the ultimate visibility without compromising on anything else. You get a bunch of tint levels from the lightest to the darkest. UV and IV protection is also top-notch. Wondering about heat reduction? You got it.
The only drawback to this tint is the premium price tag. But you get what you pay for. Is ceramic worth it? Well, to be honest, you really don’t need this tint unless you need to have the bragging rights in your circle. It is certainly one of the best you can get.
Even though it’s one of the premium tints, some manufacturers offer ceramic ones at a relatively lower price. You can get this tint installed for about $340, including the labor cost.
This tint is for those who would like to benefit from UV and IV protection of a window tint without having a dark texture. So when you have it, you might not even notice that there is a film covering your windows, but you will certainly be able to block all the harmful light from the sun. Therefore, you get a nice cool cabin.
If you want to know more about the types of tint, here’s a link to one of the online forums where you can become a total nerd in the window tint world.
Safer Alternative to Roof Tints
As mentioned earlier, tinting the roof comes with a risk of damaging the glass.
I have an alternative to prevent all that light from coming in with no risk of roof glass damage. Here is a glass roof Sunshade For your Tesla Model Y.
I reviewed a couple of retailers that sell these Model Y roof Sunshades, and here’s my top pick. It has the best price with the best reviews.
The only drawback, however, is that it sags down from the middle about 3 inches. One of the reviews on this product gave the idea of magnets on both sides so the part where it drops will stay closer to the glass.
Then you also have the option to buy it from Tesla, which does not have the sagging problem, but it will cost a little more.
DIYing is not easy on a Tesla Model Y. The best way to have your Model Y tinted is to opt for a window tint shop that can install the tint for a few hundred dollars.
Our in-depth research concluded that Autotint West is the best place to get your Model Y tinted in California. Their customers’ reviews speak for themselves.
XPEL XR Plus stood out as the best choice for longevity and aesthetics. The simple one (without “Plus”) is easier to handle as it’s quite forgiving, so if you are going to DIY, this may be your best choice.
Double-check your State’s allowed tint percentage, call a reputable shop near you (or roll up your sleeves), and start enjoying the privacy and cool factor of having your windows tinted.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
Own a Model 3 or Model Y? Earn some extra income by writing about the car you love and helping the Tesla community. Click below to apply.