Paint protection is very important to keep your vehicle's finish's value and overall look. Why is that? It's important because, in some cases, it can cost more to repaint a car than get a whole new engine. Also, the amount of clear coat is getting thinner and thinner over the years on brand-new vehicles fresh out of the factory. So getting the best protection you can ahead of time makes one's car look even better and gives the best protection and chance of longevity. There are also different forms of protection on the market to achieve it. Two of the best of the best one can get are PPF or a ceramic coating.
Paint protection film (PPF) and ceramic coatings are aftermarket products that can be applied to a vehicle's paint to protect it from various forms of damage.
PPF, also known as clear bra, is a transparent, thin film applied to a vehicle's painted surface. It is typically made from thermoplastic urethane and is designed to protect the paint from scratches, chips, and other types of damage caused by road debris and other environmental factors. PPF can be applied to all of a vehicles painted surfaces, including trim and headlights or just the front end areas. This is very common and can be easily seen. This is done since they can help greatly reduce the amount of rock chips on the front end, such as the hood. PPF does have to be applied professionally.
On the other hand, Ceramic coatings are liquid coatings applied to a vehicle's paint. They are made from a mixture of ceramic and other materials and, when cured, form a hard, protective layer on the paint's surface. They protect the paint from bird droppings, tree sap, road tar, winter road salt, oxidation, and UV rays and help hydrophobic properties to the surface, resulting in water beading and easy cleaning. The way coatings differ from wax is they are meant to bond to the clear coat and not sit on top. In fact if a person doesn't apply the coating correctly, it could leave high spots that would need to polished away.
PPF and ceramic coatings can provide a high level of protection for a vehicle's paint, but they differ in some key ways. PPF is typically more durable and can provide better protection against deep scratches and rock chips, but it can turn yellow over time and be challenging to repair if damaged. On the other hand, Ceramic coatings can be more resistant to UV rays, oxidation, and other environmental factors and enhance the appearance of paint, but may not be as effective at protecting against deep scratches and chips as PPF.
Typically PPF is more expensive and harder to install, even for a professional detailer. Coatings can also be very expensive but can range into different options that can be more budget-friendly. Also, these two can be combined for ultimate protection. If going this route, you would want to have the PPF applied first and then put the coating on top of that.
Some of the different variables to consider when trying to decide on what fits best to your needs are:
1)How long do you plan on keeping the vehicle
2)Do you have a Budget/What is your budget
3)What is the current condition of the paint
4)How do you plan on taking care of the vehicle(Garage kept, how often is it washed, and what is the wash method, etc.)
5)What feature are you most interested in? (UV protection, scratch resistant, easier to wash, chemical resistant...
Ultimately, the choice between PPF and ceramic coatings will depend on the individual's needs, and a professional installer is typically the best person to advise on which one is best for a given vehicle.