How Much is Paint Protection Film?

How Much is Paint Protection Film?

Paint Protection isn't exactly cheap.  Whether you let us install PPF or not, the old saying “you get what you pay for” really is true.

While this can be said of many things in life, but when it comes to Paint Protection Film, the damage done by an amateur is not worth the risk (think of knife cuts on your car, let alone a $70,000 car) and the costs to fix it can be much more.

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Bad PPF installation on a Tesla Model 3

We know quality comes with a price, but we we know how you feel about the cost of Paint Protection Film and you just can't grasp the idea of the paying that much for what looks like a clear piece of plastic on your car, and it looks like saran wrap!

Because pricing is all over the place, we have decided to approach the subject of price and the quality ratio and to give you an idea what the factors are that influence the costs of applying PPF on your car. There are four main factors when it comes to pricing paint protection film installation:

#1 The Condition of Your Car

PPF is a sacrificial layer and was designed to preserve the paint of your vehicle. Preferably, the is finish of your paint should be swirl free, rock chip free, and free of any imperfections. Even if your vehicle is brand new, it may have swirl marks, holograms, defects in the paint, minor scratches and other imperfections that needs to be removed before PPF. If your vehicle has existing damages, installing PPF is like putting lipstick on a pig or painting a dirty house. What's the point? The first step in any PPF installation is the Paint Correction process.

What is the cost Paint Correction? If your vehicle’s paint is in good condition, then a Single-Step Polish will suffice and the costs could be kept to a minimum, somewhere between $300 to $400.

If the paint has swirl marks and deeper scratches, it will require a Multi-Step Paint Correction and is going to require more time, which could range between $600 to $1,000.

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Porsche Macan BEFORE Paint Correction
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Porsche Macan AFTER Paint Correction

#2 The Type of Coverage

The most important factor in pricing, is the coverage you want for your car. When it comes to coverage, most will opt to cover only the most vulnerable areas of the vehicle, such as the front bumper, the hood and the mirrors.

Some will only want minimum coverage, and this could be due to infrequent driving of the vehicle or just want something simple to protect the paint, which makes the Partial Front End or the Bumper Only coverage extremely popular. However, almost of all of our clients prefer the Full Front End coverage.

The type of coverage will impact the price on the following:

  1. The amount of time and labor required to install. More coverage, equals more labor involved.
  2. The amount of material being used. The price may vary depending on the type of film being used. For example, premium film brands with hydrophobic properties such as S-TEK DYNOShield is slightly more than SunTek Ultra or XPEL Ultimate. Stealth or Matte film will be priced significantly higher than clear, glossy ones.

Paint Protection Film is the best protection money can buy for your vehicle, offering protection against rock chips, staining and fading. There are many types of PPF available, including clear and glossy ones (most popular), matte, or satin finishes, carbon fiber and colored PPF.

With all the different brands in the market, the most popular ones are XPEL, SunTek and 3M. Smaller companies such as Clear Guard Nano, S-TEK, DuraShield, Avery Nano Fusion, PremiumShield, Llumar and ArgoGuard also widely popular among other PPF installers as well.

While this maybe confusing, all PPF will protect your vehicle the same way. There is a slight visual difference when compared side by side, it is mostly down to the chemical make-up of the material, the thickness and the brand behind the product.

We have been long term XPEL installers, however, we have decided to only use SunTek and S-TEK. SunTek is owned by multi-billion dollar company, Eastman and is one of the most trusted brands in the PPF industry. S-TEK is our premium film that we offer to our clients looking for the clearest film in the market.

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Partial Front End Coverage
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Full Front End Coverage
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Full Car Coverage

#3 The Complexity of the Coverage

The level of difficulty is going to affect pricing. Paint Protection Film is a piece of flat, two-dimensional film and installers are given a three-dimensional panel to be wrapped. Certain vehicles have really complex panels, curves and contours.

PPF installation is very difficult, time consuming, very intricate, and costly. The material isn't cheap and if there is dirt, hair or silvering (film that is stretched too much) means that piece has to be replaced.

Complex cars such as the BMW M3, Dodge Hellcat or even exotics like Lamborghinis and Ferraris, cars with complex design features and sharp contours are much more difficult to install PPF on, and therefore take more time. The complexity of your vehicle is definitely a huge factor when it comes to pricing. There is no one size fits all.

While modern PPF installation utilizes softwares and digital patterns, there are specific makes and models that aren't available within the PPF software. This will require the installer to have the knowledge to create custom patterns and ensure maximum coverage and protection for car.

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#4 Additional Coverage

On top of popular coverages such as the Front Full Front End of Partial Front End, some of our clients opt for additional coverage as well. This could be the luggage strip, A/B pillars, or the rocker panels. This will add-on additional cost to PPF installation.

Now that you have an idea about the costs involved in a professional PPF installation, here are some figures for a Partial Front End, Full Front End, and Full Coverage. Partial Front End ranges between $700 to $1,100 and includes the Full Bumper, Partial Hood, Partial Fenders and Side Mirrors. Full Front End ranges between $1,700 to $2,300 and includes the Full Bumper, Full Hood, Partial Fenders and Side Mirrors. Full Car Coverage ranges between $5,000 to $9,500.

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Acura NSX

Final Thoughts

Paint Protection Film is expensive, we understand that. It's a large up front investment. Truth is, you could go cheaper. Is it worth the risk? That is entirely up to you. Our most precious commodity is time. We have over a decade of experience in installing Paint Protection Film, Ceramic Coatings and paintwork, leveraging our experience will condense your time frame in terms of research, worrying about a bad job, headaches and not having to deal with "fly by night" shops disappearing. We believe in the work we do, and if something’s wrong, we fix it.

Pick two.

If you are shopping around to get your car protected, we put together a quick guide with 9 Essential Questions to ask. Click here.

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