No matter if you have a vintage collector car, a luxury car, or have just bought a brand new vehicle, one of the last things you want to deal with is rock chips, scratches or other forms of superficial damage that can affect your car’s appearance or even its resale value.
Some car owners take the proactive step to protect their vehicle by getting paint protection film, but for some you may be wondering if it’s worth the money? The short answer is yes! Paint protection film (also called PPF) is definitely worth it. In this article we’ll go over why it’s worth the investment, the cost and other factors.
Why is Paint Protection Film Worth it?
Yes, PPF is absolutely worth it! PPF is a transparent film that has self-healing properties and can go over any exterior surface on your car. This film protects your car and its paint job from damages like light scratches, rock chips, chemical stains, hard water spots or swirl marks.
Back in the day, car owners used to only protect the front end of their vehicles with materials like leather which was called a bra. Now, with the advancement of technology, there are “clear bras” that can be applied to not only the front end but any other vulnerable part like the headlights, side mirrors, fenders, and even the grill.
Paint protection film is a safe and effective way to protect your car and can be easily removed by professionals if you wish. This film provides long-term, invisible protection and will keep your vehicle looking shiny and new for years to come.
How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?
Generally speaking, most paint protection films will last five to ten years when installed properly.
Now that being said there are a variety of factors that can determine how long your PPF will last. Environmental factors like if your car is parked in a sheltered facility like a garage or parkade will last longer than films that are left exposed to factors like UV rays, dust or rain when left on the street.
But the most important factor that will determine how long your PPF lasts is how it was installed. By having it installed by professionals you can avoid common issues like peeling, yellowing and air bubbles.
How Much Does Paint Protection Film Cost?
Similar to many other car related things, the cost of PPF can vary. If you park your car outside on your driveway or on the street, the cost of paint protection film will easily cover itself and be worth it if you choose to sell your car later on. But if you prefer to just have a basic level of protection against paint damage and aren’t overly worried about stain resistance and UV protection, there are more cost effective options.
When it comes to determining the cost of paint protection film, some of the following can affect the price:
- Whether you wrap the entire car or just apply a clear bra
- The level of experience of the detailer applying paint protection film
- The brand and quality of paint protection film
How to Maintain Paint Protection Film
Once you’ve decided to make the investment on PPF, it’s important to keep your vehicle in the best condition by properly maintaining the PPF installation.
Some tips include:
Don’t wash your car after paint protection film installation
After you get your PPF installation done, the film needs to settle and cure. Things like pressure washers can affect the overall appearance and effectiveness.
Don’t touch the film after installing PPF
Now as mentioned, the film will need to settle and cure, it’s best to avoid driving (if you can). This will help keep pressure off the PPF, but don’t worry it’s only for the settling period.
Avoid going to commercial car washes, instead use a DIY bay
If you want to avoid damaging your freshly installed PPF, it’s best to steer clear of your usual car wash and opt for a DIY car wash bay instead. Pressure washes, dirty soap brooms and hard industrial cleaners can damage the top layer of your car’s protective paint film.
Use high-quality cleaning products
This tip will require a little more reading on your part, you’ll want to avoid low-quality products that can contain harsh chemicals that will damage your film. This can range from using the wrong type of cleaning cloth to soaps and shampoos. You’ll want to make sure you are buying ones specifically for auto care.