A viral TikTok video, which shows drivers how to darken their car windows with less than ten, could cause problems, caution insurance experts.
The clip, which has been viewed more than 100 million times and garnered six million likes, shows someone tinting a car’s front window themselves using maple syrup, toothpaste and cling film.
Life hacks as they have become known, is a popular trend on social media where 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 vacation, videos streamed on platforms including TikTok, Facebook and You Tube 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 video described as “what maple syrup and toothpaste do to windows” caught the attention of insurance companies.
In a 22-second clip, layers of maple syrup and charcoal gray toothpaste were painted over a car window using a thick paintbrush before being left to dry and applied under a layer of sticky film.
When the window is washed and then the sticky dirt is rinsed off, it seems to those watching to leave a black sheen on the window that gives the impression that it is professionally tinted.
But comparison site MoneySuperMarket reminds drivers that making any modifications to the vehicle, such as trying to tint your window, can risk invalidating insurance policies or higher purchase agreements while also landing drivers in trouble with fines and license points if the new look is found to be illegal. .
According to the government’s official website, vehicles first used on or after April 1, 1985 must have a car windshield that lets in at least 75% of the light through while the front side windows, such as those seen in the Tik Tok video, must have viral, with 70% of all light through.
Which means manual crayon hacks, like any of those shared online, could cost drivers a fine of up to £100 and/or three penalty points plus a potential court appearance if they are tempted to give any of the tips. They changed the appearance of the window beyond what is legally permitted.
Besides adding tints to car windows – higher exhaust mounts, alloy wheels and spoilers at the rear of vehicles are also among the modifications popular with drivers.
But the insurance experts at Money Super Market caution that drivers make any changes without first checking with insurers and manufacturers – as any unauthorized changes could risk police intervention if they don’t comply with current auto laws, while at the same time rendering insurance policies invalid or Violation of the terms of any financing agreement related to the vehicle in progress.
Joe Thornhill of MoneySuperMarket said drivers need to be very careful.
She explained, “You have to tell your financing provider of any changes to the vehicle, no matter how small. This is because you don’t actually own the vehicle while you are paying your PCP or HP financing installments.”
“As long as you are in your contract, the car is owned by the finance company and it is their guarantee of the loan.
“Therefore, the finance company can place restrictions on the car as long as it is the owner.
“If they need to make up for their losses because you can’t pay, 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 view, you might have improved it, but the finance company might think differently.”