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Tinting your car windows

The windscreen and windows on your car are very important as they provide a clear and unobstructed view of the road and of other vehicles, allowing you to practice safe and ethical driving.

It is a requirement by law under Prohibited Methods on Vehicles About Certain Types of Glasses-1991, that only glass with a certain percentage of light penetration can be used on vehicles.

However, there has been recent increased interest amongst vehicle owners, especially youths, who have made significant car modifications including installation of tinted glass on their vehicles, and the situation has become rampant and uncontrolled. These modification activities are attributed to the irresistible promotions and claims made by car accessory shop owners who mislead customers by claiming that their tinted films are endorsed and approved by the authorities. Do not be fooled!

Essentially, it is not against the law if the installation of tinted glass follows the Light Penetration Rate Requirement. This rate of light penetration, as allowed by the law, is enough to give protection to drivers and passengers from heat, glare from the sun, and protection from UV rays.

The Light Penetration Rate is also an approved rate for drivers to be in control of their vehicles at all times and most importantly, in all weather conditions during day or night.

For the front windscreen, the approved Light Penetration Rate by law is 70% and above, while for the left, right and rear windows, it is 50% and above. Essentially, 70% of light must be penetrable through your front windscreen and 50% of light through your rear, and side windows.

However, to offer additional protection from the glaring heat of the sun, 20% of the front windscreen, as measured from the top, is allowed to have tinted film with less than 70% light penetration.

Vehicle owners should take cautious action and not be influenced by the offers and guarantees from car accessory shop owners as it may cost them a hefty fine by the authorities if their car is pulled over, tested and found to exceed the Light Penetration Rate by law.

Car buyers, especially those of second hand, reconditioned and grey market imported cars should be especially aware that heavily tinted windows are illegal in Malaysia. These buyers are advised not to believe claims made by car dealers assuring potential buyers that the authorities have approved the tinted glass on the respective vehicle.

This is because some irresponsible car dealers actually swap the tinted glass windows with clear glass during inspection at Puspakom and switch it back to the original tinted glass before delivering the vehicle to the customer.

There are exemptions to the case, but these are given to selected individuals as listed in the list of Exemption Methods of Road Transportation.

It would be a step in the right direction if you start knowing the law today, and assuring that your car windscreen and windows are within the permissible Light Penetration Rate allowed by law.

Get to know your vehicle better, because safety begins here!


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