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Paint Protection Film or PPF for short is a clear urethane film that is applied to the painted surfaces of a car in order to protect them from chips, scratches, and other types of damage.
Although PPF can be applied to any vehicle, it is most commonly used on vehicles that are driven in harsh conditions or on those that are exposed to a lot of road debris.
Typically, you go for either just the front end of the car or the full car. Some people choose to do specific areas as well.
Advantages of Paint Protection Film
Well as the name sort of suggests - the main advantage of paint protection film is that it protects your car's paint from damage. It’s a sacrificial layer that takes the hits for your paint, and it’s much cheaper to replace than it is to repaint your entire car.
It basically protects it from everyday wear and tear, little rocks that bump up the car as you're driving by, things like that. Essentially, it keeps your car looking better for longer.
Another advantage of PPF is that it can help you keep your car’s resale value higher. If your car has a factory paint job, then keeping that paint in pristine condition will help you get more money when you sell it.
Lastly, PPF can also help protect your car from UV rays. The sun can fade your paint over time, and the film will help prevent that from happening.
When a car detailer who is applying the PPF, make sure you ask them about the guarantees and warranties that are available. Many of the best companies will offer you a warranty that covers replacement film and labor if anything happens to the film within a certain time period.
Disadvantages of Paint Protection Film
Now let's breakdown some of the drawbacks of PPF.
The main disadvantage of paint protection film is that it’s not invisible. Once it’s applied to your car, you will be able to see the edges of the film, and it can yellow over time.
Another disadvantage is that it’s not a perfect solution. It will protect your paint from most things, but it’s not impenetrable. If something hits your car hard enough, it can still break through the film and damage your paint.
Can Be Expensive
Lastly, the paint protection film is not cheap. It’s a significant investment, and it needs to be replaced every few years. Costs vary of course , but you can expect to pay a couple hundred dollars every few years to keep your car protected.
Doesn't Always Cover the Entire Car
One of the biggest disadvantages of paint protection film is that it doesn’t always cover the entire car. There are often crevices and areas where the film doesn’t completely adhere to the surface. This can leave your paint vulnerable to scratches and other types of damage.
Another thing to keep in mind is that paint protection film requires some maintenance. You need to regularly clean and polish the film to keep it looking its best. If you don’t, then it will start to yellow and degrade over time.
Difficult to Remove
Lastly, paint protection film can be difficult to remove. If you ever want to take the film off, you’ll need to use a heat gun and a lot of elbow grease. It’s not an impossible task, but it’s something to keep in mind.
All things considered, paint protection film is a great way to protect your car’s paint. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than doing nothing at all. If you can afford it and you don’t mind the slightly diminished appearance, then PPF is a great option for you.
When Should You Get PPF?
The two most common times to get paint protection film are when you first get your car, or right before you take a road trip.
If you live in an area with a lot of snow, ice, and salt on the roads, then getting PPF as soon as you get your car is a good idea. That way, you can protect your paint from the elements right from the start.
If you’re planning on taking a road trip, then getting PPF before you go is also a good idea. That way, you can protect your paint from all the bugs, rocks, and other debris that you’ll encounter on the road.
Installing PPF is not a DIY job. It needs to be installed by a professional who has experience with the product and knows how to properly apply it.
The cost of PP varies depending on the size of your car and how much film you want to cover. can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2000 for a full car wrap. Make sure to get several quotes before you decide on a provider.
Should You Get PPF?
If you live in an area with harsh winters or if you’re planning on taking a road trip, then I would recommend getting paint protection film. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it to protect your car’s paint.
Plus, if it is a pretty valuable car and you want to do your best to keep the resale value high, then paint protection film is a must.
At the end of the day though it is a personal decision. You have to decide if the benefits of PPF are worth the cost.
The Bottom Line on Paint Protection Film
Paint protection film is a clear plastic film that is applied to the exterior of a car to protect the paint from scratches, scuffs, and other types of damage.
It’s not invisible, and it needs to be replaced every few years, but it’s much better than doing nothing at all.
If you can afford it and you want to protect your car’s paint, then I would recommend getting paint protection film. Otherwise, you might want to consider some other options.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Elin Beck