When looking on the market to protect your car, there is often two options that shine above the rest. A ceramic coating and paint protection film.
Option One - Protect with a Ceramic Coating
The most cost effective protection method is applying a ceramic coating. In short, think of your car as a non stick frying pan once treated. Cleaning will be easier, dirt doesn't stick as much, the gloss is great and the water beading is fantastic.
Each week we protect 2-3 brand new cars with our new car protection package. It covers a ceramic coating application to the paint, wheels, glass and interior. Costs can be anywhere between £500-950 depending on the options and durability of your coating.
We always advise customers to keep away from dealer products such as life shine or guard X, these products are often not applied professionally and results can last as little as 2 weeks. Last week we had a client who visited us after thinking his dealer applied £500 coating wasn't working. We confirmed that it wasn't performing and when speaking with the dealership, they truthfully told him that they didn't even apply the product. Compare that with a coating that can last 2-3 years and it soon becomes evident as to why professional detailers charge a little more than the dealer option.
Option Two - Protect with Paint Protection Film
Unlike a ceramic, PPF is a physical clear plastic which therefore provides much more abrasive protection. PPF can stop stone chips, scuffs and road debris damage which is why it is so popular for sports and supercars.
First we use a database to find the vehicles pattern and then print this using our in house plotter. The film is applied to the car with a soap solution and is squeeged into place. Once applied it is 99% invisible and gives you the peace of mind when driving behind cars, on B-roads or perhaps a track day.
In our opinion, full front end PPF and a new car ceramic package is the sweet spot for most cars. However, with more prestige brands or luxury SUV's full car PPF is a no brainer. The film also benefits from being self healing, this means you can scratch the film and when left in the sun the film will heal back to a perfect condition.
PPF can vary in price, but expect to pay in the region of £1400-£1750 for front end coverage depending on vehicle complexity.
When on the search for a company to apply PPF to your vehicle we would advise finding an XPEL dealer. We have previously used all of the 4 big brands of film and found the adhesive to not be as strong as XPEL. This is important as you want the PPF to still look good with no peeling after a good few years on the road. It is also the adhesive itself that stops the chips from penetrating into the paint, so the thicker the better. Another benefit with an XPEL dealer is their access to the DAP which is an online database exclusive to XPEL. The patterns available on here are by far the best on the market without question, you'll find them to be extremely tight to the edges, no gaps or unprotected areas.