November 29, 2022

PPF Versus Ceramic Coating

PPF Versus Ceramic Coating

Hi Again! Today we get to talk about the two main protection options we offer. We'll be talking about the differences between paint protection film ( PPF) and ceramic coatings. I know coatings gets used interchangeably but the two products are very different. Both protect the vehicle in different ways and it can be hard to decide which is best for you and your vehicle.

Paint Protection Film is typically a clear gloss or matte film that is anywhere from 7-10 MILs thick. Essentially it is a big piece of plastic that is applied with a wet solution to stick to paint and protect it. It is meant to protect against things that can impact your paint and cause rock chips, scuffs, scratches, etc. We use XPEL's Ultimate Plus 8 mil film primarily and that is good for most daily drivers. Typically the 10 mil film is used for track cars or vehicles that go off-roading a lot and need a little extra protection. We also offer their Stealth or matte finish film for matte/ satin paint or to do a complete change to the look of the vehicle. All of XPEL's PPF options have a 10-year nationwide, transferrable warranty against cracking, discoloring, lifting and bubbling. If your car is going to be a daily driver, on the highway a lot, or even off-roading, PPF is definitely the way to go.

We talked about ceramic coatings in a previous article, but here's a quick overview. Coatings are completely different in thickness, usually ranging from 2-5 microns. They are a liquid that is applied with an applicator. Ceramic coatings will give you ease of maintenance with water beading and dirt/ dust resistance. Ceramic coatings also provide extreme UV resistance and stain resistance against things like bugs, bird bombs and other environmental contaminants that can etch your paint. And of course, last but not least, the glossy wet look that everyone thinks of when they think of a ceramic coating. We use CQuartz, made by CarPro because they are the most trusted brand in the industry. They have coatings ranging from 1-7 year durabilities and their durabilities are realistic for cars that are driven daily and not garage kept.

Now, lets talk about cost. Pricing for PPF and Ceramic Coatings are different and it varies with brands as well. For this article, I'll specifically be referring to XPEL and CQuartz since those are the products we use. PPF can be applied to separate panels and for that reason pricing will depend on what panels are being covered. Front ends of vehicles are most popular because they are the main impact areas from road debris/ daily driving. A full front end in our area is around $2000 but full vehicles can range from $6000- $10000 or more depending on the size and complexity of the vehicle. For ceramic coatings, there are a few different options with different durabilities. Size of the vehicle and the amount of correction needed play a huge role in pricing. Lets say for the sake of this article that you have a 2022 Subaru BRZ. We classify that as a small/ medium coupe. A coating on a brand new vehicle usually won't need more than a light polish before coating application. Our coating options will all include a coating on the paint, plastics and trim, wheel faces and a sealant on all the glass. Typically you can find quotes for good ceramic coatings starting at $1100 and for the higher level coating options it can go up to $2700. Again a lot of things play into pricing but you can get an idea of the price differences in PPF and coating.

I know it might be hard to make a decision on which option would be best. For that reason, we have a lot of customer that do some sort of PPF, whether it be a front bumper, partial front, full front or even a full car. Then we coat on top of the film and the rest of the painted parts of the vehicle. That way you have impact protection and protection against environmental contaminants as well as ease of maintenance. PPF can actually stain from environmental contaminants if left on the surface for long periods of time but ceramic coatings will help with that tremendously. Speaking of maintenance, PPF and coatings both require different cleaning patterns. PPF is much more scratch resistant and for that reason it won't immediately ruin it to go to a car wash. With ceramic coatings, you definitely don't want to go to any unless it's a touches wash. I know hand washing your car doesn't always sound fun but ceramic coatings will typically give you a 40% quicker wash and dry process, and if that still doesn't sound fun to you there are mobile detailers that are familiar with ceramic coatings that will hand wash your car for you.

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