When done properly, new car paint protection is the solution to stop rocks and stones from chipping your paint. It can also be a way to make your vehicle stay cleaner longer and make it easier to wash. If you’re really lucky, it could do both.
When installed poorly or sold unethically, new car paint protection is a gimmick and used as a fancy buzzword to separate you from your hard earned money. And unfortunately, when done badly, new car paint protection can make your vehicle look worse.
Let’s take a deeper look at new car paint protection to provide you with some more information to make an informed decision and buy the correct paint protection for you and your new car.
New Car Paint Protection Simplified
In the world of paint protection, there are really only two types that are worth your investment and require professional installation.
Paint Protection Film (PPF) - this is a clear polyurethane film with an impact layer applied to your car to stop paint chips. Think about the clear screen saver that you put on your smartphone. Same concept but applied to your car, truck or SUV.
Ceramic Coating - this is a chemical liquid solution applied to your car, truck, or SUV that helps make your vehicle stay cleaner for longer. When applied, it bonds to the particles in your vehicle’s paint, curing into a protective shield. Think about using a non-stick coating pan vs using a traditional uncoated pan.
To simplify even further, don’t worry about other products, brand names, terms, or false claims about new car paint protection. Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating are the best place to start and put you in a great spot.
New Car Paint Protection is Valuable
For the car guys and gals out there that love the way a new car looks and want their vehicle to look great for years to come, new car paint protection is very valuable.
The ability to go and drive whenever to wherever you want without worrying about having the ideal road or weather conditions is possible with paint protection. Clients find a lot of value in having that peace of mind.
And logically, a car whose paint still looks brand new will command a higher resale value. In most cases, paint protection pays for itself down the line when the car is sold or traded with a higher trade-in value. Better yet, what if you keep your car longer and avoid the car payment altogether? You’re more likely to keep a car longer when it looks new.
Why Would You Buy New Car Paint Protection?
There are a whole host of great reasons to buy new car paint protection. Rationally and logically, you buy new car paint protection because you just spent a lot of money on a new vehicle and you want to avoid paint damage. Emotionally, you buy new car paint protection because you want to drive a clean vehicle, you want to drive a new look all the time, or you enjoy the compliments and even the jealous remarks your friends make about having such a nice car all the time. Maybe you're the active, successful person on the go that needs and demands things to look just right. Or maybe you're a busy parent and you want to know the car is clean inside and out for your kids.
When To Buy New Car Paint Protection
You guessed it, the best time to buy new car paint protection is when your car, truck, or SUV is brand new. For paint protection film, you want to install it immediately. Everytime you drive your car you’re risking paint damage that is preventable with paint protection film. But if you wait to have it installed, you may spend more money on fixing the paint damage and installing paint protection film rather than saving money down the line.
For ceramic coating you can wait - but the downside to waiting is that oftentimes more paint correction or machine polishing is required on an older vehicle. More paint polishing requires more time, and more money.
Where To Buy New Car Paint Protection
You can buy it from the factory, the dealership, or from a dedicated paint protection shop. Some manufacturers such as Toyota and Lexus offer paint protection film as an option. But if you just bought the car you know this - and if you’re in the process of buying beware - the last big sales push in the car buying process is done by the finance manager, not the sales guy. But know that there are other options for installing paint protection such as an independent or specialized paint protection shop.
There are pros and cons to buying from each type of seller. To simplify the decision, I’d recommend going to the specialized shop first. If you can’t go there, then buy the factory installed paint protection. But being a professional, I would recommend asking a lot of questions about buying paint protection at the dealership. Better yet, ask the dealer if you can come back later to buy the paint protection after you’ve had time to do research. Their answer should tell you volumes. Personally, anytime I have bought something right away in a high pressure scenario, I’ve always regretted it.
Now, who should install new car paint protection? Again, there are pros and cons at each type of installer. I have seen paint protection film from the factory ranking from an okay installation to a really good one. If it’s from the factory, you can reasonably assume it’s going to be good. And if it’s already on the vehicle before you take delivery, look for yourself and see if you’re happy with the quality.
At dealerships, some are using high quality, legitimate products or employing their own. This leads to a great PPF job. But I’ve seen first hand many dealerships use paint protection as the “add-on” or “upsell” to boost their profits. In these cases, they sell you an expensive paint protection package that’s really just a cheap wax or sealant that’s quickly applied. They can get away with this because they are technically selling you an insurance product.
More consumers have been learning about the value of paint protection, creating an increased demand. There’s a full range of business models here; anything from the side hustler posting free marketplace ads, the family owned independent shop, and the large corporation franchise shops. Picking one type of shop over the other won’t guarantee either a great or terrible job.
How Do I Select a Paint Protection Company?
You’re already doing the right thing by reading this blog, so continue researching. First, understand what paint protection options are available. Decide which new car paint protection best suits your needs. Next, find some suitable shops and schedule a consultation. A high quality shop will spend the time with you to determine which paint protection is best for you and your vehicle.
How Much Will New Car Paint Protection Cost?
Many factors determine the price. A one price fits all is not possible. And buying on price alone is a sure fire way to be disappointed or ripped off.
Speaking for our shop alone - we have transparent, hassle, and haggle free pricing. If you are shopping around or outside of our service area, feel free to use the pricing as a guideline to help you decide.
What Type of New Car Paint Protection Should I Buy
Another way to look at this is to question what paint damage you want to avoid.
If you want to stop paint chips, you need paint protection film. If you want to make your car easy to clean and glossy, then you want a ceramic coating. If you don’t want to compromise then do both paint protection film and ceramic coating.
If you only can pick one - we recommend buying paint protection film first - for the simple reason that every time you drive, your paint can get chipped.
You can buy a ceramic coating at a later date - the downside is that it will be more difficult to wash your vehicle in the meantime and it may require more paint correction and be more expensive to install at a later date.
Summary - New Car Paint Protection
In summary, research is the most important part of buying paint protection for your new vehicle. Look into reputable shops in your area for Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating. Because when your new vehicle is protected, you can drive worry free.
About the author: Bill Fetter’s passion for cars started at an early age, as he loved anything with wheels. Through his childhood, Bill observed his dad’s work as a mechanical engineer turned marketing manager and proud lifelong employee of General Motors. During high school, Bill honed his passion for cars by hand-washing and detailing his neighbors’ vehicles. Knowing he wanted to be in the automotive industry, Bill earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. He’s worked as an engineer in the automotive manufacturing, medical device, steel industry, and pharmaceutical manufacturing fields.