Difference between ceramic coating and paint protection film

Ceramic Coating vs Paint Protection Film – What is Better?

Let’s admit it – nothing beats the feeling of buying a gorgeous new car and admiring its sleek beauty as the light illuminates it. Sadly, yet inevitably, cars lose their shine and aesthetics due to the natural wear and tear caused by external elements like sunlight, water, or grime. But what if all this could be prevented?

Enter the world of car paint protection! If you’ve already done some basic research on car paint protection options, you must have stumbled upon the terms Paint Protection Films and Ceramic Coatings. So which one is better when it comes to preserving the untarnished gleam of your car? In this battle between Ceramic Coating vs PPF, let’s see what emerges victorious!

Table of Contents

Paint Protection Films: An Overview

PPF or “clear bra” is a wondrous thermoplastic polyurethane film that protects your car from scratches and rock chips, caused by fine debris, dirt, stones, bird droppings, leaves, or bug splatters. It is light, transparent, and easily malleable, which is perfect because PPFs will protect your car without taking away its overall aesthetics and showroom finish!

Moreover, some PPFs come with a soft healing coat, which gives them the unique ability to self-heal, either instantly, or when heat is applied. High-quality Paint Protection Films are resistant to water spots, mineral marks from rain, oxidation from UV rays, and chemical stains.

Ceramic Coatings: An Overview

Coming to Ceramic Coatings, these are liquid polymers that, when applied over your car’s exterior, bond with its factory paint, to form a semi-permanent layer. These are formulated from the same raw material used in glass, and ceramics – Silicon Dioxide or SiO2.  Ceramic Coatings with a higher percentage of high-grade SiO2 like CrystalShield ceramic coatings will add a glossier finish to your car. 

These coatings are known for their hydrophobic properties, which means that most liquids will have a hard time sticking to your car, which makes it easier to wash off smudges and other unwanted marks. It also offers enhanced chemical resistance and UV protection.

Differences Between Ceramic Coating and PPF

Both Paint Protection Films and Ceramic Coatings strive to retain your car’s aesthetics, by protecting and preserving its external paint. In addition to their main goal, these “invisible”  products have some similar features like reducing oxidation damage from UV exposure, hydrophobicity, and protecting the car from acidic contaminants. So where do the differences lie?

Level of Protection

Impact Resistance: Paint Protection Films are thicker than Ceramic Coatings, which gives them a higher impact resistance, against flying debris like rocks, leaves & bugs. Some PPFs also have a chemical composition that allows them to self-heal, and return to their original form after receiving an abrasion, scratch, or indentation. So if scratch protection is a big deal for you, there is nothing like PPF in the market.

Hydrophobicity: This is an area where Ceramic Coatings reign supreme. Ceramic Coatings repel water, which makes it easier to clean your car in a jiffy since your car will not get as dirty in the first place!

UV Protection: PPFs tend to yellow, discolor or fade if it is excessively exposed to sunlight. A Ceramic Coating, on the other hand, is like a sunscreen for your car, which protects its paint from fading due to oxidation. It, therefore, offers enhanced UV protection, ensuring your car remains vibrant. 

Durability

Durability is an important consideration when comparing a Ceramic Coating vs PPF. A high-quality PPF made from aliphatic TPU like Aegis PPF will offer 7-10 years of protection! Of course, it has to be professionally applied seamlessly and regularly maintained. 

On the other hand, a Ceramic Coating will offer 2-5 years of protection, depending on the hardness you choose. A 10H Ceramic Coating, which is currently the best in the market, will easily last for 5 years if the application is done properly, and regular maintenance is done with good quality car shampoos.

The Gloss Factor

Both these paint protection options protect the original paint of your car and help retain its luster. However, Ceramic Coatings add extra sleekness and gloss to your car, for a velvety shine. PPFs also add gloss, especially ones like Aegis SPX which come with a Gloss Enhancing Top Coat. But nothing beats the gloss and shine a good Ceramic Coating provides.

Cost

The cost of both Ceramic Coatings, and Paint Protection Films depends on their quality and the size of your car. Ceramic Coatings cost between Rs 15,000 to Rs 45,000, depending on the grade and durability of the coating you choose. 

PPFs are by far and away from the costlier of the two products. The cost of Paint Protection Films lies between Rs. 1,00,000 – 1,50,000 and varies depending on the quality of PPF and areas of your car to be covered. 

Ceramic Coating Vs. PPF: The Verdict

Making the final decision whether to install a Ceramic Coating or PPF, ultimately depends on three major factors – your needs, how long you plan to keep the car, and your budget. If you want to enhance the shine and sleekness of your car and wash your car quickly and more easily, you may want to choose a Ceramic Coating over Paint Protection Film.

If you frequent country roads, or highways and your main goal is to protect your car’s paint from being damaged by rock chips, dirt, and other debris that can leave unruly scratches, then a PPF is your best bet!

Coming to the next factor, if you’re a second-hand car owner, or change your car frequently (because come on, the latest cars are irresistible to you), then it may be better to choose a Ceramic Coating over Paint Protection Film, as it will cost you less but give you optimal protection for as long as you own the car. 

Of course, your budget plays an important role in settling the Ceramic Coating Vs. PPF debate in your mind. PPFs cost a lot more than Ceramic Coatings, as already discussed. Depending on the budget you have in mind, and the model of your car you can select either a Ceramic Coating or a PPF, from a variety of excellent packages available at your nearest CarzSpa detailing studio!

TIP: What you shouldn’t do is opt for cheap PPFs or PPFs made of PVC/TPH in the hope of getting scratch protection at an affordable price. Substandard PPFs get yellow very quickly, may peel off and in general don’t last long. We’ll cover an alternate option in the next sections!

The Best in Class Solution: Ceramic Coating over PPF

Ceramic Coatings and Paint Protection Films are certainly a dynamic duo when combined – hydrophobicity, impact resistance, UV protection, and an enhanced look.

So if you are looking for the absolute best in class protection, we recommend getting a Ceramic Coating done over a PPF. Yes, it will be more expensive. But hey if you own a luxury vehicle and intend to keep it protected and shining all the time, it doesn’t get better than this.

The Best of Both Worlds: Coverage Options

If scratch protection is extremely important to you but don’t want to burn a hole through your pocket, there is an alternative solution. It is Coverage Options. 

PPFs can be applied to the most vulnerable portions of your vehicle that will be exposed to scratches from road debris like rock chips. These areas include the front bumper, fenders, bonet, and side mirrors. Once these impact-susceptible areas have been protected with PPF, your whole car can be then coated with a Ceramic Coating. 

If you are still confused on what level of protection to get, just get in touch with your nearest CarzSpa studio and we will help you choose the best protection options based on YOUR NEED.

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