Cheng (right) and his employee installing a tint film on a car.
PETALING JAYA: With the latest window tinting rules in place, car services shops are already seeing booming business.
Willie Cheng, the proprietor of GLS Auto in USJ7, said his phone had been ringing non-stop since the new ruling was announced last week.
“My customers have been calling me. I was discussing with other tinting service business owners recently about how the new ruling would be good for business,” he said.
Tinted rear windows, he added, were a hot item with car owners to ward off the heat and add a “luxury” feel to their vehicles.
VLT refers to the amount of light that can pass through a lens or glass. The lower the VLT rate, the more light is blocked.
He said the cost of tinting windows depended on the brand of the tint films and ranged from RM800 to RM4,500.
Cheng added that high-quality films would last longer, enable the driver to see clearly and block heat from the sun effectively.
The latest ruling, he said, was a good one as certain imported cars have tinted rear windows below the previous threshold of 30% VLT.
The previous limit, he added, made it hard for the cars to pass Puspakom inspections, with some car owners resorting to having their rear windows replaced just to meet the approved standards.
After the inspection, he said the car owners would then change the rear windows back to the original dark-tinted ones.
“The shops offering these services call it 'renting' windows for inspection and charge about RM650 for it,” he said.
On Wednesday, the Transport Ministry announced that vehicle owners could tint their rear windshield and rear passenger windows as dark as they wanted.
Another tinting shop proprietor in Damansara, Wan Jenn Lin, said motorists could still see clearly out of darkly-tinted windows from inside the car, but said this depended on the quality of the tint films.
“Even at night, a driver can still see clearly through tinted windows with high-quality films unless the car is on a secluded road without lights,’’ he said.
About 40 of his regular customers have already called him up since the ruling was announced.
“We already have stock because we have had customers in the past who wanted darkly-tinted windows, but I will definitely be ordering more now that the ruling has changed,” he added.
Another tinting shop owner, Soon Seng Song, said some customers still had reservations about tinting their rear windows.
“They are worried that the ruling may be overturned in the future, so they are making enquiries first,” he said.
On the safety aspect, Soon suggested that customers driving cars without rear cameras should have rear windows that are not too darkly tinted.