Ceramic Coating vs PPF (Paint Protection Film)

When it comes to looking after our car, the clearest message we can send out to the world to show our pride and joy is cared for is nothing to do with the engine or the upholstery, but the paintwork. We need to make sure that the paintwork exudes that gloss exterior in every light. No matter how beautiful your car is, it's going to lose its shine over time. It can be bleached by the sun, get chipped by rocks, or get covered in watermarks, and while you can purchase a car cover to protect the exterior, you need to know how to protect your car's physical appearance in other ways. There are two great products that can make a difference here: paint protection film (PPF) and ceramic coatings. What are these and which is best for your car? 

What Is Ceramic Coating? 

A ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that bonds with the paint, establishing a smooth layer of protection and creating a hydrophobic surface (a surface that repels water). The ceramic coating can repel water but also reduce the risk of specific damage, like chemical stains and oxidation from UV exposure. 

Ceramic coating is an excellent alternative to common car wax because of the combination of enhanced chemical resistance, scratch resistance, heat tolerance, and UV protection. Ceramic coating only needs to be done once, making it cost-effective, time-effective and providing that all-important glossiness to your vehicle. 

What Is Paint Protection Film? 

Paint protection film (PPF) is a thermoplastic urethane film that provides that all-important layer of protection and preserves the quality of the paint. It can reduce the risk of chips, scratches, stains, marks, oxidation or water spots. Paint protection film is invisible to the naked eye, making it an effective technique for protecting any vehicle from chips and scratches. 

When we are looking to protect our vehicle, it's important that we find a good quality product that can repel all the elements. Many people can opt to purchase a car cover, but it's also vital to give your car an extra layer of protection. Choosing PPF can ensure that, over time, the car is protected from the elements, such as UV rays from the sun. When you leave your car parked in a sunspot, UV rays can cause the paint on the car to oxidise, causing it to fade. PPF is a protective layer that protects the paint from the sun to stop any fading from occurring. The top layer of PPF film contains elastomeric polymers, which means that after your car is exposed to any hazards, the film reverts back to its natural shape, preserving the exterior of your vehicle. 

What’s the Difference Between PPF and Ceramic Coating?

Both products keep your car protected by preserving the paint and reducing UV damage or chemical contaminants, but there are some differences between the two. PPF is a thicker material than ceramic coatings, so it provides a thicker layer of protection from the elements and because of PPF’s self-healing abilities, it returns to its original form after any impact, offering an advantage over ceramic coating. 

Ceramic coatings do not provide the same level of protection against water spots or scratches but PPF can be equipped with a hydrophobic clear coat, ensuring it does provide that extra support when driving in heavy rain. 

Which Is Better for You?

With both providing unique benefits, you may wonder which is the best. The best way to answer the question would be to ask yourself what elements you expose your car to on a regular basis. If you are exposing your car to the sun, PPF and ceramic coating both provide protection. However, if you are looking for a little bit of extra protection when driving on different terrains, PPF can absorb small scratches and rock chips from hitting the car. If you are more about preserving the aesthetics, ceramic coatings can make a big difference here. 

But the great thing about choosing between the two is that you don’t have to; rather than opting for one or the other, you can use both. You can apply the PPF first to parts of the vehicle that are more susceptible to scratches, but you can also add ceramic coating on top of those areas. The coating binds to the paint and the film, providing that extra layer of protection, keeping the vehicle free from contaminants and the ceramic coating also helps keep the layer of PPF film clean, which will lengthen its life. 

While you may purchase a car cover to protect your pride and joy from the elements, when you are out and about, you've got to ensure that your vehicle is able to stand whatever the elements throw at it.