Paint Protection Film Pros and Cons: Is PPF Right for You?

If one of your priorities is keeping your vehicle looking nice, you may have wondered if you’re doing everything you can to protect its finish. Parking in a garage and getting your car detailed regularly can only do so much.

Have you heard about something called paint protection film? This application may be just what you’re looking for to help extend the life of your paint job. 

We’ll explain how PPF works and give you a list of what we consider to be its advantages and disadvantages. Then we’ll let you decide for yourself if you think paint protection film is worth it.

Table of Contents

paint protection film

How Does Paint Protection Film Work?

As the name implies, paint protection film is a substance applied to your vehicle that provides an extra safeguarding layer for the paint job. PPF can help your car maintain its polished and sleek look.

Paint protection film is generally made up of two main components (although this may vary by manufacturer). It has an acrylic adhesive that is designed to bind the PPF to your car’s clear coat and a thick and flexible urethane. When a foreign item such as a rock or pine cone hits your car, the urethane flexes and absorbs the impact. This keeps the paint from chipping.

Urethane is also resistant to oxidation, UV rays, and all kinds of airborne pollutants that could affect the paint job. It does an outstanding job of protecting the car’s finish.

For even more protection, some of our customers choose to have ceramic coating installed over the PPF. This can help extend the life of the paint protection film even further.

paint protection film pros and cons

6 Advantages of Paint Protection Film

PPF is great because it protects your vehicle’s paint job. But let’s delve into some of its specific advantages so you’ll truly understand how much this product does.

#1: It Protects Your Vehicle from Scratches, Marring, and Stone Chips

From rocks kicked up by surrounding traffic to debris falling from transport vehicles to dings caused by careless people in parking lots, there are many things that can harm your car during everyday use. That’s perhaps the biggest reason why paint protection film is so useful.

This product was initially developed for military transports before the automotive sector saw its value and adapted it for everyday vehicles. If it was designed to protect helicopters from shrapnel, you can rest assured that it will help keep your car’s paint from getting scratched and chipped.

#2: It’s Self-Healing

If the thermoplastic polymer of the PPF’s outer layer does get any scratches, scuffs, or scrapes, it can actually heal itself! If it sits outdoors in temperatures over 80 degrees or is treated with a heat gun, this layer becomes malleable and blends back in to refill the gaps.

Please note that the PPF’s ability to heal itself will lessen over time and isn’t guaranteed for the lifetime of the paint protection film installation.

#3: You Can Customize Your Look

One of the coolest new innovations in PPF is the ability to apply different patterns and finishes. Loupe Detailing Service is certified to install fashion films made by STEK USA

Your paint protection film can be matte, gloss, or semi-gloss and have different looks from carbon fiber to Damascus steel to red wine patterns. If you want to take your car’s look to the next level, this is a great option.

pros and cons of paint protection film

#4: You Can Choose Your Coverage Level

Depending on your coverage goals, you can choose to get different areas of your vehicle treated with PPF. Partial front-end and full front-end installations are designed to protect your car’s impact zones. These are the areas that are most susceptible to scrapes and chips.

There are also “track packages” that apply the film to places you would get stone chips when racing your car.

If you have a newer car that hasn’t sustained any damage yet — and you want to keep it that way — you may want even more protection. Contact us today with any questions you may have. Once we determine what parts of your car most need covering, you can book an appointment. 

#5: It’s Low Maintenance

Just as bird droppings, fallout, bug guts, and the like will mar a regular paint job, they can also eat away at the finish of your PPF. That’s why it’s so important to keep your car clean.

Once PPF is cured and in place, the maintenance is minimal — all you need are regular washes to keep your car looking nice.

#6: It’s Easy To Remove

Since paint protection film doesn’t last forever, it will need to be replaced eventually. Fortunately, once the PPF has reached the end of its useful life — generally 5 to 7 years with proper maintenance and care — it can be removed by professionals without damaging anything and leaves no traces behind.
pros and cons of paint protection film

5 Disadvantages of Paint Protection Film

We think the perks of PPF definitely outweigh any of its downsides, but we want to address any concerns you may have before deciding to have paint protection film installed.

#1: It Can Be Expensive

You may look at the cost of installing PPF and think it’s on the pricey side, but we consider it an investment. After all, you get what you pay for, and we provide a quality service that’s worth every penny. We have perfected the paint protection film installation process and guarantee a seamless, finished product every time.

Our partial front-end installation package starts at $1,600 and includes:

  • Full exterior wash
  • Bug and iron deposit removal
  • Clay bar treatment
  • 2-stage paint correction
  • Full hood
  • Mirrors
  • Headlights
  • Front bumper

The full front-end package starts at $2,100 and includes all of the above, plus:

  • Full front fenders
  • Fog lights

When you look at everything you get and consider all the years your car will be protected, it doesn’t seem too expensive after all.

#2: It Takes a While To Install and Cure

PPF installation generally takes about a day and a half, so you will need to leave your vehicle with us overnight. That may be an inconvenience, but we consider it to be a mild one — especially when compared to all the benefits you’ll gain once the process is complete.

Additionally, the PPF has to harden fully and can be susceptible to damage before that happens. The pros at Loupe Detailing Service will share instructions on how to care for this new finish, so just make sure you follow their directions carefully.

#3: It May Require Careful Cleaning, Especially at First

You can’t use soap to wash your vehicle until the first two weeks have passed, which is how long it takes for the PPF to completely cure.

After two weeks, you still have to be careful about what you allow to touch your car’s exterior. Don’t use any products that contain naphtha or kerosene, which can eat through the finish. You also shouldn’t allow anything containing dye to touch the surface, as this will stain the transparent film.

You also must be careful about the way you spray water on a vehicle with PPF. Be sure to keep your distance and aim away from the edges of the film.

#4: It Must Be Properly Installed

If you decide that paint protection film is your best option, ensure that your investment is protected by having a reputable shop apply it. No one wants dirt, dust, or bubbles under their new PPF. 

You may want to ask the shop the following questions:

  • What kind of training did your shop receive for PPF?
  • How long have you been applying this protective layer?
  • How long should I wait to drive my car?
  • What does maintenance for PPF look like?

Loupe Detailing Service employs highly-trained installers who will get the job done right every time. This is just one of the reasons we have a 5-star rating on Google!

#5: It Isn’t Permanent

PPF won’t last forever, so if you love the results, you’ll eventually need to have it reapplied.

To ensure the longest possible life for your PPF:

  • Maintain regular cleanings
  • Keep your vehicle out of the elements as much as possible

When you follow these recommendations, PPF can last a while, making it worth its cost. Generally, paint protection film installation lasts 5-7 years with proper maintenance and care.

pros and cons paint protection film

Is Having Paint Protection Film Installed Worth It?

Yes! We believe that PPF is worth every cent. 

If you want to mitigate the risk of damage to your vehicle’s exterior, paint protection film is the answer. PPF can help reduce:

  • Light scratches
  • Rock chips
  • Chemical stains
  • Bug splatter
  • Hard water spots
  • Swirl marks

If you care about your car’s appearance, paint protection film is an investment you should be interested in making.

Contact Loupe Detailing To Learn More About Our Paint Protection Film Installation Services

Driving in a clean car feels so good. Not only does looking after your vehicle help maintain its appearance, but it can also enhance its body by protecting it.

Loupe Detailing Service strives to stay on the cutting edge of technology and is always looking for new ways to help your car stay clean and protected. Whether you come to our Amherst shop or take advantage of our mobile detailing, we’re here to give you the best.

Now that you’ve read about car paint protection film pros and cons, contact us for more information. Protect your vehicle from chips and scratches while showcasing a sleek, polished look.

Book an appointment to take advantage of all our services, including:

  • Interior packages
  • Exterior packages
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Paint protection film packages

We take our job seriously, and you can trust us to care for and enhance your vehicle.

paint protection film pros and cons