The Best Vehicle Protection – Is Paint Protection Film Worth It?
Paint protection film has become an increasingly popular option for protecting your vehicle’s paint; rightfully so, it does everything a ceramic coating can do and so much more. Paint protection film (PPF) also known as clear bra, has a high resistance to rock chips, swirls and scuffs. If you do a lot of driving, there’s a good chance you’ll accumulate stone chips, which can lead to rust down the line. Paint protection film is the perfect solution to preserve your paint while also enjoying your vehicle. All of these benefits come with a pretty hefty price tag, which begs the question, is paint protection film worth it?
This is a pretty general question so let’s break down all of the factors; area of protection, type or brand of film, price, installer and more. There are many different protection packages in regards to PPF. The cheapest option is a partial hood and fender kit which usually stops 24” up the hood; some shops will include the mirrors with this package while others will not. A partial kit offers the least amount of coverage but is the cheapest PPF package. This usually costs around $500 depending on the shop installing it and the film used. We’ll discuss this more in detail throughout this blog, or skip there now. You could always opt for a partial front end, which is a partial kit including the full front bumper, headlights and mirrors. This usually costs around $1500.
A partial kit will stop impacts in that area but who’s to say that a pesky rock can’t fly past your 24” kit. Over time your bumper will get peppered and although it won’t rust, it will look quite terrible. With a partial front end, you have most of your high impact areas protected, but not all.
Partial Front End
The next tier of PPF coverage is a full front end. This is generally the most popular protection package because it protects all high impact areas from stone chips; most of our customers get a full front end ppf package, paired with our Ceramic Pro Silver Package. Some would say this is the best way to protect your vehicle. The full front end package covers the bumper, full hood, full fenders, mirrors and headlights. Covering the full front end will protect all of your high impact areas from stone chips that will eventually lead to rust. These packages usually range around $2000-$2500 depending on the shop and film they use.
Full Front End
Very few people will wrap their full vehicle in PPF but it does ensure your entire vehicle is protected from stone chips, scuffs, swirls, bird droppings and more. You will have a sacrificial barrier protecting your paint for years to come. This could cost anywhere from $6000 for small vehicles or up to $10,000 for large vehicles. If anything were to happen to your PPF, just rip it off and replace it for a pristine finish. If you do need to remove PPF, we would not recommend doing it yourself; bring it to a professional. Be warned, PPF removal does come at a risk of peeling paint depending on manufacturer or if the vehicle has been repainted. (This means the adhesive is stronger than the clear is adhered to the paint.)
Full PPF Wrap
What Affects Price?
If you’re in the market for paint protection film you’ve probably already noticed that each quote you get varies in price. Even if you’re looking for the same package, each shop will have their own price based on the brand of film they use, their experience and warranty.
When you are shopping around, it’s important to ask questions about the warranty on the film or guarantee on the install. For example, at our shop, we have a 12 year manufacturer’s warranty on our Kavaca PPF as well as our own shop guarantee; we’ll replace one panel per year for 12 years.
The type of film and area of protection are an obvious factor in pricing but one of the most important factors is the install. A good and experienced installer will be on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. It’s easy to be turned off by a higher price but ask about their install process. Is that specific installer going to wrap all of your edges? Will there be multiple seams? These are all important things to know before making your final decision.
What’s The Best Paint Protection Film?
There are so many options when shopping for brands of paint protection film, it’s difficult to choose between brands. Here are some qualities of a good PPF.
- 10+ years warranty
- 8 mil thick or thicker
- Self healing or instant healing
- Pre ceramic coated
Premium films will have a warranty against yellowing lasting 10 or more years while cheaper films will have warranties less than 7 years.
Is Paint Protection Film Worth It?
If you’re buying a brand new vehicle, now is the best time to get your car wrapped with paint protection film before you get any stone chips. If it is an older vehicle that has pre-existing chips, the shop can usually touch it up; at least it won’t get any worse once it’s protected.
If you don’t care about the condition of your vehicle’s paint, paint protection film is not worth it. If stone chips don’t bother you and you aren’t worried about rust, paint protection film is not worth it. If you are leasing your vehicle with zero chance of buying it out, paint protection film is not worth it. If you’re planning to keep your vehicle for 5+ years and care about the physical condition of the paint, PPF is worth it.
Paint protection film will do everything a ceramic coating can do and more. Although it does come with a much higher price point, we can’t deny that the perks and protection it offers are valuable. Obviously depending on how much you care about your car will change your budget for protection. Most brand new cars are around $30k and personally, I think it’s worth it to spend a little bit more on wrapping the front end. Think of it like Apple care for your brand new iphone; sure it’s expensive but so is your phone! You want to take preventative measures to protect it.
If you’d like to speak with a PPF expert to learn more, please contact us.