Now is the time when people are starting to plan their spring break trips and summer vacations, and with gas prices remaining low, many are opting to finally take that road trip they've been talking about for years. That might be the drive from Massachusetts to Florida to visit the grandparents, the stunning, coastal trip from San Francisco to San Diego in California, or even a cross-country expedition.
These soon-to-be travelers are booking hotels, researching the "must-sees" along their route, and compiling a complete “To Do” list before hitting the road — which can really be great news for you.
A top priority for all road trippers is ensuring their cars are up for the hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles ahead. Over the next few weeks, body shops across the country will start hearing from customers interested in new tires, oil changes, and maybe even a new entertainment feature. But there's one fix customers are likely overlooking that may not only boost the efficiency of their cars, it may also better protect their passengers. And if you're not already offering it, it could be a very easy addition to add to your shop's offerings.
Automotive window tint
Automotive window tint (also known as window film) is a thin layer of advanced window coating that blocks up 99 percent of harmful UV rays from passing through car windows. This is in major contrast to untreated vehicle windows, which only block about 25 percent of UV rays. While many assume UV ray blocking tints are pre-applied to vehicles purchased directly from dealers, that is not usually the case, even with darker privacy glass.
There are many types of solar control and safety automotive window films that come in different shades and colors. Because the tint is a thin piece of coating, it can be installed on nearly any window, from large windows to small.
In its simplest form, window film is composed of a polyester substrate with a scratch resistant coating on one side and a mounting adhesive layer with a protective release liner on the other. For application, the tint film rolls out of a box (much like a thicker kitchen plastic wrap), is cut to fit the desired shape of the window, and is then adhered to the window using a squeegee and sometimes with the aid of a heat gun.
Today's window tints are designed so they do not interfere with GPS, cell phone, or radio signals, and professionally installed window film can offer consumers a number of other benefits. With the sunny, summer months just around the corner, consumers will be interested to learn that window film can prevent 55 percent or more of solar heat from entering a vehicle, which may boost air conditioning efficiency, especially in cars with smaller engines. Window tint can also help reduce sun glare, improving visibility from harsh sunlight and ultimately helping drivers avoid eye fatigue and protect their eyes from direct sun exposure.
Finally, for those car enthusiasts who treat their vehicle like beloved children, customers may be interested in hearing that window film may help prevent the fading and cracking of automotive upholstery by blocking 99 percent of the sun’s damaging UV rays from entering the vehicle.
Why should your customers install It now?
Things are starting to heat up across the country - the days are growing longer, and the sunshine is getting stronger.
As consumers, we are constantly reminded to apply and reapply sunscreen when we are outdoors. Stay in the shade. Wear sunglasses. Do whatever you can when you are outside to protect yourself from the cumulative effects of dangerous UV ray exposure. The warning that most often escapes consumers is the reality that indoor, and more specifically, automotive sun exposure is every bit as damaging.
According to research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, nearly 53 percent of skin cancers occur on the left side, or driver's side, of the body. In other words, for every two people diagnosed with skin cancer, one of those individuals will have it on the drivers' side of the body.
There is no way around it; untreated windows allow many of the sun’s dangerous UV rays to enter a vehicle and ultimately affect the driver, passengers, and the car's interior. In order to ensure families have continuous safety and protection for their loved ones while traveling in the car during these sunny months, it is important window film be professionally installed before they hit the road.
As the eager road-trippers stop by your business over the next few weeks, be sure to share these facts and encourage them to consider a professional installation before their next trip.
What's in it for you?
By now, you are likely curious as to just how profitable window film can be for you and your body shop. In many instances, offering window tint can fit nicely into the revenue model you likely use for other installed product offerings. By partnering with a local window film dealer, you can price point the product and the installation in order to introduce a whole new revenue stream for your business without even adding the overhead and staff which normally is required.
It is important to keep in mind that window tinting laws vary from state to state and province to province. Many jurisdictions have legislation in place that specifies what you can apply and where to the windows of personal use vehicles. A window film's tint-level, is known as its visible light transmittance (VLT). This rating indicates just how much light can pass through the tint and how much visibility there is both inside and outside of the vehicle.
Before applying any window tinting materials, installers should familiarize themselves with their state's regulations as well as local enforcement policies to insure compliance with all applicable standards. For more information on tint laws in both the United States and Canada, please consult the Automotive Window Tinting State Law Charts available on the International Window Film Association's website (www.iwfa.com).