MoneySuperMarket warns viral Tik Tok video showing cheap car window tint hack could leave motorists in trouble
A viral Tik Tok video, which shows drivers how to tint their car windows for less than a tenner, could land motorists in trouble warn insurance experts.
The clip, which has been watched more than 100 million times and received six million likes, shows someone self-tinting the front window of a car using nothing more than maple syrup, toothpaste and cling film.
Life hacks as they've become known, are a popular trend on social media in which people are shown how to improve aspects of their lives with very quick and simple tasks. With tutorials on everything from improving the shine on your kitchen sink to how best to pack a small suitcase for a holiday, the videos streamed on platforms including TikTok, Facebook and YouTube show those watching how to save time or money or how to cut corners on a project that could make their lives better.
But one such video described as 'what maple syrup and toothpaste does to windows' has caught the attention of insurance firms.
In the 22-second clip, layers of maple syrup and grey charcoal toothpaste are painted onto the car window using a thick paintbrush before being left to dry and set under a layer of cling film. When the window is then washed and the sticky mess rinsed away it appears to those watching to leave a black sheen on the window that gives the impression it has been professionally tinted.
But comparison site MoneySuperMarket is reminding drivers that making any modifications to a car, such as attempting your own window tinting, can risk invalidating insurance policies or higher purchase agreements while also landing drivers in trouble with fines and licence points if the new look is found to be illegal.
According to the government's official website, vehicles first used on April 1, 1985 or later must have car windscreens that let at least 75% of light through while front side windows, like those seen in the viral TikTok video, must let at least 70% of all light through.
Which means DIY tinting hacks, like any of those being shared across the internet, could cost drivers a fine of up to £100 and/or three penalty points plus a potential appearance in court if they were tempted to give any of the tips a go and they changed the appearance of the window past what is legally permitted.
Alongside adding tints to car windows - fitting louder exhausts, alloy wheels and spoilers to the back of vehicles are also among the modifications popular with drivers.
But insurance experts at Money Super Market caution against drivers making any changes without first checking with insurers and manufacturers - as any unauthorised changes could risk police intervention if they don't meet current motoring laws, while simultaneously making insurance policies invalid or breaching the terms of any finance agreement attached to the vehicle that is in place.
Jo Thornhill from MoneySuperMarket said drivers need to be very careful.
She explained: "You need to let your finance provider know of any changes to the car, no matter how small. That’s because you don’t actually own the car while paying your finance instalments on PCP or HP. As long as you are within your contract, the car belongs to the finance company and is their security for the loan.
"Therefore, the finance company can place restrictions on the car while they are the owner. If they need to recoup their losses due to you not being able to make repayments, they can take the car and sell it. But modifications to a car can affect its value; they can either improve it or lower it. In your eyes, you might have improved it, but the finance company may think differently."