PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Which paint protection does your car need?

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PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Which paint protection does your car need?


  • We break down what works the best between PPF and ceramic coat and why you should get either or both for the best paint protection on your vehicle.
Both PPF and ceramic coating offer long-lasting paint protection in the long run over the good ol’ wax polish

The good ol’ wax polish has been the staple way to protect your vehicle’s exterior. But there are now significantly improved and more long-lasting ways to protect your paint from the harmful world. Yes, a little wax and some rubbing will keep your paint protected but the process is a recurring one, not to mention time-consuming too. Thankfully, we now have Paint Protection Film (PPF) or Ceramic Coat that offer more effective protection and are more durable too. These are long-term protection processes and reasonably heavy on the pocket. So which one should you go for and why? We break down what works the best between PPF and ceramic coat and why you should get either or both for the best paint protection on your vehicle.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Protection

When it comes to protection, there are distinct differences between Paint Protection Films (PPFs) and Ceramic Coatings. PPFs offer a higher level of impact resistance due to their thicker composition, making them more effective against flying debris such as rocks, leaves, and bugs. Additionally, certain PPFs can self-heal, returning to their original form even after experiencing abrasions, scratches, or indentations. If scratch protection is a top priority for you, then PPF is unmatched in the market.

Ceramic Coating 3M
Ceramic coating has a shelf life of about 2-5 years and may need a touch-up in-between. It also offers a better finish over PPF (3M India)

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Durability

PPF outperforms ceramic coating when it comes to durability. A well-made PPF product can maintain its protective properties for a remarkable seven to 10 years depending on its quality and proper maintenance. In comparison, ceramic coating has a shelf life of around two to five years, which can be extended by applying an additional coat from time to time. PPF is the more durable option, while the ceramic coating is easier to complete.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Keeping it Glossy

Both the paint protection options safeguard the car’s original paint and maintain its shine. Ceramic coating can offer an additional level of smoothness and gloss, resulting in a luxurious shine, whereas PPF enhances the gloss finish but may seem a bit plastic-like in terms of touch. Instead, a quality ceramic coating will have a most natural gloss and shine on the vehicle that certainly looks more appealing to the eye. It also has a better feel. Both work well when it comes to matte paint schemes as well and are highly recommended. Ceramic coats work well for matte exteriors especially due to the repellant property that ensures fewer dust particles and water damage in the long run.

PPF
Customers can choose to cover areas more prone to damage with PPF to help reduce cost (Garware PPF)

PGarware PPFPF vs Ceramic Coating: Cost

There’s no better way to say this but ceramic coating or PPF is reasonably expensive and driven by the quality, vehicle size and the experience of the company applying it on the vehicle. Someone with decent experience will charge a premium but is more likely to offer a reliable finish. It’s also easier to do follow-ups and touch-ups when required. Do consider the kind of warranty car detailing studios provide over their PPF jobs, which could determine more peaceful ownership in the long run.

Prices for ceramic coatings start from around 15,000, going up to 50,000 for a medium-size vehicle. Prices will differ based on the grade and durability of the coating. In comparison, PPFs have a higher upfront cost starting from 50,000 and going up to 4 lakh in some cases. This is particularly true for high-end cars that may need more precision-oriented hands working on them. Then again, the quality of the PPF also makes a difference. The cost will differ based on the surface area to be covered on the vehicle. Some detailing studios offer covering areas more prone to frequent damage with PPF. This helps reduce costs while ensuring key areas are covered. The final cost will always differ.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Which one to get?

When deciding between installing a ceramic coating or PPF, consider three key factors – the duration of the car’s ownership, your specific needs, and your budget.

Toyota T Gloss Studio
Ceramic coating or PPF should be considered immediately after purchasing a new vehicle to protect the original paint for the longest time

A ceramic coating will certainly provide good paint protection while improving the shine and sleekness of the vehicle. It is also easier to wash. This particularly helps if you are driving in the city more often and have a predictable route of travelling that does not involve subjecting the vehicle to too much wear and tear. On the other hand, if you are required to tackle bad roads more often including frequent highway runs and bad patches, the paint will be damaged in the long run from rock chips, dirt, and other debris. In this case, PPF seems like a better purchase, especially in the long run.

Also, consider the time of ownership for the vehicle. If you change vehicles at short intervals, a ceramic coating should do the trick for you, whereas anything beyond five years should include PPF as a viable option. Lastly, your budget will determine whether a ceramic coating or PPF works out best for you.

First Published Date: 27 Jun 2024, 15:57 PM IST

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