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Do I Need a Screen Protector for My Tesla? 4 Best Ranked

Whether you need a screen protector for your Tesla depends on a few factors. So, the 3 most common reasons you would need a screen protector for your Tesla are:

  1. Fingerprint smudge elimination.
  2. Overal protection from wear and tear.
  3. Glare removal and screen visibility improvements.

Check out the rest of the article to find out why exactly you need one and which screen protector is best suited for you.

Screen Protector For Tesla Model 3 / Y, Xingna 15&Quot; Center Control Touch Screen Car Navigation Tempered Glass

Why You Need a Screen Protector for Your Tesla

One of the first things I purchase after getting a new phone or tablet is a screen protector. Screen protectors reduce glare while keeping valuable devices free from fingerprints and scratches. A device’s screen also stands fewer chances of breakage after a fall with a screen protector.

But does a Tesla’s touch screen really need that much protection? It’s not like something you keep in your pocket or carry around that can get scuffed or dropped. So, will a screen protector in a Tesla just serve to lessen glare and fingerprints?

Just because a Tesla’s screen rests on the dashboard, it doesn’t mean it’s immune to scratches. It isn’t hard to find scratches on the interior of any car, particularly those with glossy black plastic trims.

A Tesla’s touch screen does have a certain degree of resistance to scratches, but it isn’t scratch-proof. And given its size and how much you rely on the touch screen to control most of the car’s functions, the likelihood of scratching it isn’t exactly far-fetched.

This video below shows you what it takes to scratch the screen of a Tesla.

Without a screen protector, a Tesla’s touch screen can get scratched by sharp or metal objects. Considering how we operate the touch screen with our hands, we can potentially scratch the screen with a ring, a diamond, or a watch as well. 

Aside from protecting your touch screen from scratches, using a screen protector will also reduce glare. Tesla touch screens are highly reflective, and the glare can make it difficult to see the display, aside from serving as a driver distraction.

Lastly, I’m sure Tesla owners would greatly appreciate not seeing a build-up of fingerprints on their massive touch screens. Tesla’s minimalist and futuristic design makes the interior a sight to behold, and seeing a bunch of oily fingerprints all over the screen doesn’t do much for its aesthetic. 

The 4 Best Screen Protector for You and Your Tesla

If you’ve decided that leaving your Tesla screen unprotected isn’t worth the risk, you have to decide which type of screen protector is right for you.

There are a handful of different screen protectors you can purchase for your Tesla screen, and each of them has its own benefits and drawbacks. 

1. PET Plastic Protector

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film is the most basic protection for your Tesla screen. This is the film you see on your touch screen when your car rolls out of the dealership.

Some Tesla owners choose not to peel the PET film off the touch screen for protection. However, plastic film protectors are very thin and offer minimal scratch resistance. PET film screen protectors will only resist scratches from fingernails, coins, and keys. Sharper objects can penetrate the plastic and damage your screen. 

Tech Armor Matte Anti-Glare Screen Protector Designed For Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Control 15 Inch Center Control Touchscreen Car Navigation 2 Pack
Over time, PET film can also look very dirty since it is not resistant to fingerprints and may undergo discoloration from exposure to the sun. You may save a few bucks on using a PET screen protector, but it won’t offer much value for protection and feel.

PET film is installed on touch screens by almost all car manufacturers to ensure the customer gets the vehicle in pristine condition, which may leave the impression that such screen protectors are effective.

However, you also have to bear in mind that there’s hardly any interaction with a car’s touch screen before it is sold so you would be better off with another screen protector in real-world conditions.

2. TPU Screen Protector

Another screen protector is TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane). Compared to PET screen protectors, TPUs will provide a better feel and more protection. 

TPU is more transparent than PET film and has elastic properties, making it more effective in absorbing minor impacts. The elasticity also gives TPU a self-healing ability, but a harsher impact may still leave dents.

TPU screen protectors also have some degree of resistance to oil, grease, and abrasion, making them a better choice over screen protectors made of PET. However, TPU screen protectors will not feel as smooth as glass and are a far cry from what leads the pack when it comes to protection.

3. Matte Screen Protector

If you have a pet peeve for fingerprints and find glare extremely annoying, then a matte screen protector might be precisely what you need. Matte screen protectors have a frosted finish and diffuse light instead of reflecting it.

The texture of matte screen protectors also feels less sticky compared to glass, making them more resistant to fingerprints.

Carwiner Matte Screen Protector Compatible With Tesla Model 3 Model Y 15&Quot; Center Control Touch Screen Car Navigation Tempered Glass Accessories 9H Anti-Glare Anti-Fingerprint

The downside of matte screen protectors is that their light-diffusing properties also affect clarity. Since the matte material transmits less light, the screen’s brightness is compromised to some extent, and the images on the screen may seem a little fuzzy.

And despite how effective matte screen protectors are in reducing glare and fingerprints; purists may not appreciate them since they won’t have the same look and feel like a stock touch screen.

4. Tempered Glass Screen Protector

With screen protection, tempered glass is a popular choice since it ticks all the boxes. Tempered glass may fall on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it offers unparalleled protection and some resistance to glare and fingerprints.

Showev Tesla Model Y/3 Screen Protector Matte Anti Glare Fingerprint 15&Quot; Center Control Touchscreen Navigation Touch Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Spigen Tempered Glass Screen Protector [Glastr Ez Fit] Designed For Tesla Model 3 / Y Dashboard Touchscreen - Matte/Anti Fingerprint

Tempered glass is made using controlled thermal and chemical treatments, giving it superior strength. Most tempered glass screen protectors have a hardness of 9H, giving your touchscreen the best in class protection.

Another benefit of tempered glass is that it’s anti-reflective, which helps reduce glare, and it usually has an oleophobic coating, making it slightly resistant to fingerprints.

The bonus of using tempered glass is that you maintain your touchscreen’s original look and feel.

Anyway, while you are here, check out this somewhat related article that I wrote called: “Best Glass Cleaner for Your Tesla – With Neat Tips“. You could also apply this to your screen protector.

Screen Protectors Ranked

If you’re convinced that you need a screen protector but still on the fence about which one to get, the table below will show how each screen protector ranks in terms of cost, clarity, and ability to provide protection and reduce glare.

ProtectionAnti-GlareFingerprint ReductionClarityCostOverall Ranking
Tempered Glass1st2nd2nd1st4th1st
Matte Screen Protector2nd1st1st3rd3rd2nd
TPU Screen Protector3rd3rd3rd2nd2nd3rd
PET Screen Protector4th4th4th4th1st4th
A ranking table shows that the best screen protector is a toss between tempered glass and matte.

However, the choice should be clear depending on whether you prioritize protection and clarity or resistance to glare and fingerprints.

Consider Your Lifestyle Before Purchasing a Tesla Screen Protector

Screen protectors will protect the screen against many types of damage, as well as wear and tear. However, some people simply aren’t interested or are willing to accept the risk. 

If you are generally careful with your Tesla, keep the car clean, don’t haul a lot of stuff, and don’t ride with passengers very often, the risk of damaging the screen is probably very low. 

On the other hand, if you are frequently hauling stuff or riding with passengers, particularly children, the likelihood that something or someone accidentally scrapes or hits the screen is probably a lot higher. In this scenario, a screen protector might make you less worried. 

That said, screen protectors are relatively inexpensive, and the cost of a screen protector is a lot better than a costly repair to the touch screen. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Tesla Screen Protector Be Reused?

Some screen protectors can be reused, but it isn’t advisable since their adhesives can accumulate dust when removed, compromising how well they stick to your screen.

Will a Tesla Screen Protector Affect Touch Sensitivity?

Generally speaking, screen protectors will not affect how well your screen responds to your inputs, except for those with low quality.

EV Speedy’s Take

When it comes to the protection of my Tesla screen, I think that a screen protector is relatively useless and cannot be compared to phone screen protectors. Phones are prone to fall all the time and undergo way worse wear and tear. Unless you are a butcher and streaming live YouTube videos from your car all time, this is almost pointless.

But I do find that screen protectors that eliminate glare and remove the smudginess factor do make the products worth it! We all have busy lives and having a clean screen without having to clean it all the time does really help.

If the matte screen protector makes it even easier to see, I would definitely look for one that has the best combination of smudge avoider and glare eliminator.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.