A car sun shade is an auto accessory that is designed to limit UV glare and prevent radiated heat from entering your vehicle through the windows

There are two main types, rear side window sunshades designed to protect your children.  This type of shade can be used when driving and can remain fitted.  They are often see through.  They stop the sun going in your childrens eyes and have a limited heat reducing effect. I say limited as they only cover typically 2 of the average 6 windows in a car.

The second type is larger and for front windscreen shields.  These can only be used when your car is parked but will also protect your car dashboard from long term UV damage and heat cracking.

1. I want to stop the sun going in my baby / child's eyes, what shade do I need for my car?

If you have just one child you may be able to achieve this for free, just sit them on the opposite side to the sun – driving north across the country in the morning ? Then sit them on the left!  Easy.  If you can’t do this there are two main ways to fit rear or side window sunshades, clingy and suction.  Clingy are cheaper, uglier and can fall off easier.  Suction versions are more expensive, attach more firmly and can be a bit more protective.

The clingy models work by the thin shade sticking to the surface of your window.  They must be thin to stay attached hence I say above that they can fall off:


  • Price
  • take up hardly any room


  • Prone to air bubbles
  • Not as much protection
  • Can fall off

The suction models work by using specially designed suction cups to adhere to the window. 


  • Firmer adhesion to window
  • Less likely to be pulled of by your child
  • More adaptable as can be shaped to fit more window sizes


  • More expensive
  • take up more space

You can not open your side window with either model, but you can buy novel designs that you children will love.

2. How do car sun shades work?

According to this article: Car sunshades work simply by reflecting the suns ultraviolet rays before they enter your car.  If you have ever been in a green house you know that they are hotter than out side.  This diagram explains the principle.

Once the UV rays are in you car they will not escape and thus the cumulative heating effect is not dissipated.  This is why your car just gets hotter and hotter.  The shade makes your windows more reflective, deflecting U.V. away.

3. I want to stop my car from baking in the parking lot, how do I protect my front window with a sun shade?

If you want to limit the temperature of your parked car you have two options, the best is to park it in the shade – this is free but I appreciate rarely practical.  If you want to purchase a front windshield sunscreen then you have two choice:

  • The thick accordion fold away model or;
  • the thinner framed pop out models

Thick accordion models are designed to be the same size as your front car windscreen, hence you’ll need to buy the right size or you’ll have problems fitting it correctly.  These models tend to take up a lot more space when not in use than the pop out versions but offer much better protection from UV rays, as they are thicker. 

The thinner framed pops out models have the advantage that they do not take up space when not in use.  They do not tend to be as thick as the accordion versions which mean that they are not as effective at blocking harmful UV rays.  They are perhaps better suited to cars that have limited space for storage.

4. Where can I buy a car sun shade?

A lot of people purchase car sun shades online.  This tends to offer the greatest variety and choice.  You should probably not buy one second hand as they only tend to last for 3 years at the longest.  Local stores tend to stock models for the most common cars.

5. Give me some ideas for a personal car sun shade logo?

If you want to give your car the personal touch you could consider a car sunshade logo, such as printed eyes or a zebra pattern.  You can even get custom made versions specifically for your car.