When it comes to protecting a vehicle’s paint to maximize its resale value, Paint Protection Film (more commonly known as PPF) is the best possible protection you can get.
Known as ‘clear bra’ by many, PPF is a thin layer of vinyl sheeting that adheres to your car’s paint to protect against:
- Airborne road debris
- Acidic contaminants
- Color fading
They clarify and enhance the paint’s gloss as well, and even self-heal fine scratches. That being said, there’s a lot to know about PPF, so we’ll break it all down in this article.
Why would I want to get PPF?
When driving at higher speeds, it’s not uncommon for rocks and other small pieces of debris to get kicked up and flung at high velocity directly at your vehicle. More often than not, this results in what body shops call a “rock chip”. The paint literally chips off because of the impact the rock made. The only way to guard against this is with paint protection film, which acts a sacrificial barrier for the paint. That way the rock will chip the film instead of the paint.
This is also the case for scratches, as well as acidic contaminants. While the PPF may get damaged, the underlying finish will be protected against any etching from caustic chemicals or scratching from abrading objects. And because of self-healing, scratches won’t necessarily damage the PPF either — heat can make the vinyl material bounce back from fine scratching.
Should I apply PPF to my whole vehicle?
If you’re seriously concerned about the longterm value of a vehicle, full body PPF is the only way to go. It’s the best way to ensure every inch of the paint is protected against damage that can dramatically reduce the vehicle’s value. That being said, not everyone feels that level of protection is necessary. For some, protecting just the highest-risk areas (typically front facing features) is enough. Ultimately it comes down to what your standard is.
Do ceramic coatings protect in the same way as PPF? What’s better? Should I get both?
Ceramic coatings are more about keeping the vehicle’s paint vibrant and easy to clean, while PPF is engineered to stop foreign objects from harming the finish. Conversely, ceramic coatings are not designed to block out rock chips and heavier scratches, and PPF is not necessarily engineered for easy cleaning.
Based on that, the best thing you can do is get both! If your PPF is protected with a ceramic coating, you’ll get both the shielding protection of the PPF and the contaminant/water resistant properties of the ceramic coating. This will keep pesky rock chips away while keeping the PPF itself easy to clean. It also helps to extend the life of the PPF as well! While PPF does inhibit UV rays to prevent color fading of the paint, the PPF itself does remain susceptible to the sun. This can result in yellowing of the PPF and in some cases even breakdown of the adhesive that keeps it on the paint. The Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating we use at Simon’s is formulated with extra UV inhibitors, so the PPF will have protection against these concerns.
How long will PPF last?
PPF can last a decade plus, especially if you’ve protected with Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating. With a ceramic coating applied, you’re far less likely to see the kind of yellowing or peeling that would require a replacement of the film. For that reason we recommend a ceramic coating application for anyone looking at PPF for their vehicle.