Paint Protection Film (PPF) vs. Ceramic Coating – Which Should I Get First?


Many clients want to protect their vehicle with Paint Protection Film (PPF) while also making their vehicle easier to clean and be more hydrophobic with Ceramic Coating. But which should you get first?

When possible, we do recommend having both applied at the same time. If budget or schedule requires that you need to install one service at a time, we recommend installing Paint Protection Film (PPF) first.

Why Do We Recommend Installing Paint Protection Film (PPF Coating) First?

Honestly, because ceramic works so well. PPF literally cannot stick to the Ceramic Coating. One of the properties of a high quality Ceramic Coating is its ability to make the surface of your vehicle very slick. The liquid polymer in ceramic bonds with your clear-coat and makes the surface extremely smooth to the touch. This quality makes it hard for anything to stick to a ceramic coated surface; this includes Paint Protection Film (PPF).

Is The Quality Of A Paint Protection Film (PPF) Install Affected By The Age Of A Vehicle?

Yes. Paint Protection Film (PPF) is best installed on a brand new vehicle. PPF can be installed on a vehicle of any age, however, the more wear and tear on the exterior surface, the more noticeable the PPF becomes. Think of it like putting a screen protector on your phone. If your phone screen sustains cracks or scratches, you can obviously still protect it but the scratches and cracks will still be noticeable.

Does Paint Protection Film (PPF) Cost More If Installed On A “Non-New” Vehicle?

Normally, no. The cost of Paint Protection Film (PPF) is typically based on a combination of labor and materials needed. The quality of the install is the only variable that tends to change with a new vehicle vs a used vehicle.

Is The Quality Of A Ceramic Coating vs PPF Install Affected By The Age Of A Vehicle?

Not unless there is permanent damage to your used vehicles paint. The process of Paint Correction brings the paint and clear-coat to a “nearly perfect” condition. Ceramic Coating then locks in this condition. Both brand new vehicles and used vehicles will require paint correction prior to Ceramic Coating.

Does Ceramic Coating Cost More If Installed On A “Non-New” Vehicle?

Typically, yes. A used vehicle will have more swirls and micro-scratches. While this does not normally affect the final result once the vehicle is ceramic coated, the additional wear and tear on your existing paint may require additional levels of paint correction. This means that while the Ceramic Coating itself will not cost more for a used vehicle, the Paint Correction process may add additional cost.

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