Can you tint a leased car? — all you need to know
Driving a leased car comes with many perks – you get to drive a new car every few years and don’t have to worry about excessive servicing bills. However, it also prevents you from customizing your car to suit your preference.
So, the natural question of many leased car drivers is – can you tint a leased car? You can tint a leased car, but it might result in a higher charge when you turn it in. To help you understand this problem a bit better, our team investigated everything and listed important things to have in mind in this guide.
Leased car modifications
It’s a common practice for most dealerships to request that you return the car in the same condition as when it was leased to you initially. Tinting the windows and using other modifications can affect the value of the vehicle.
So, it’s even possible for tinted windows to fall under the “excess wear” category which draws additional charges upon returning the car. So, most drivers usually just give up on the first thought and preserve leased cars in their original condition. It also means you can’t install a straight-piped exhaust or other mods on a leased car.
However, you can tint the windows if you want to, but you’ll have to be extra careful to avoid those added expenses. Tinted windows don’t fall under such rigorous groups of adjustments like tampering with the exhaust or using chip tunning to increase the horsepower.
The most important thing is – you should make sure that the tint fits the car and seems like a factory setting. You should hire the best professional you can find to do the job, and eventually, it might even increase the value of the vehicle and the dealership won’t charge you a dime.
Charges for tinting the windows
If you tint the windows without consulting the dealership and turn to a third-party glass tint company, you might end up paying high fees. It also depends on the car manufacturer and the dealership, but most of them conduct thorough inspections before you turn in the car.
That inspection will decide if you’ll have to pay any additional fees or not. If the tint was poorly installed, chances are you’ll have to pay a fee for excessive wear. However, if the inspection concludes that the tint is a long-lasting quality tint that increases the car’s value, you won’t have to pay any additional charges.
Most likely, the dealership will keep the tint on even after you turn in the car for future use. You can check with the dealership by simply inquiring about their policy regarding tinted windows. Also, if the dealership offers tinted windows as part of the lease package, it’s your best shot at figuring out if it’s the right thing to do. The quality of the tint and the time needed to tint a car depends on the contractor and their experience.
Situations where you’ll be charged extra costs
It comes in useful to know the reasons and situations where you might be charged with additional expenses for tinting the windows. As mentioned, most dealerships conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle before you turn it in.
The inspection will show whether you’ll be charged for tinted windows or not. If the inspection concludes that the tint is of poor quality or poorly installed, it will be considered excessive wear. They might conclude that the tint harms the window glass and you’ll need to pay the fee.
Depending on the dealership or manufacturer, you might also need to pay for tint removal and window deep cleaning. So, it’s always best to avoid doing it unless you find a factory-grade tint and professional to do it as it would be done as part of the OEM package.
Removing the tint to avoid the cost
One way you can enjoy having tinted windows and still avoid paying additional charges is to install the tint and remove it before the inspection. You can remove the tint yourself or hire a professional. It’s best if you trust the job to the professional that tinted the windows in the first place.
You’ll likely be charged for tint removal if you return the car with it, so you should consider just removing it yourself before you turn in the car. Also, you’ll be able to examine the windows this way to make sure they are not damaged by the tint.
Manufacturers that allow you to tint the windows
We’ve covered the basics on whether you should tint the windows on your leased car or not, but it also depends on the manufacturer. Your car might not be owned by the dealership but by the manufacturer itself or a finance company.
So, it’s up to them to inspect the vehicle and decide if you’ll have to pay for tint removal and window deep cleaning. Manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, MINI, Nissan, and Mazda don’t have a policy that states that tinting the windows results in excessive wear charges.
Be careful though – even with these manufacturers, the guidelines mostly relate to the leasing agreement, so that might decide whether you’ll pay additional costs or not. It also depends on the manufacturer, since Porsche allows tinted windows by the dealership, but requires that you remove any aftermarket tint before returning the car.
Manufacturers that might charge extra fees for tinted windows
With some manufacturers, you’ll certainly face additional fees for tinting the windows. So, it’s best to avoid doing aftermarket modifications to the windows if you lease a car from these manufacturers:
On the other hand, some manufacturers don’t have clear guidelines regarding aftermarket tinted windows. For instance, Volkswagen and Hyundai will let the inspection results determine if you’ll be held accountable for excessive wear and pay the fees.
Kia might even charge window restoration fees and deep cleaning in case the tint damages the glass. Overall, it’s best to inquire about the possibility of tinting the windows with the manufacturer or dealership to be safe.
Well, that settles it when it comes to the matter of “can you tint a leased car”. Hopefully, this guide has helped understand the possible consequences of placing aftermarket tint on the windows of your leased car.
It’s not worth taking any risks and paying the low cost of third-party aftermarket tinting only to discover that you’ll need to pay high fees. So, the best thing you can do is at least reach out to the dealership and ask them about tinting the windows, or even getting a detailing package that includes factory-tinted windows.
Can I change the color of a leased car?
You can’t change the color of the leased car as it will result in excessive fees for tampering with the vehicle’s factory package.
Can you put window stickers on a leased car?
Yes, you can put window stickers on a leased car, but it’s best to remove them when the time comes for vehicle inspection and turning it in.