Your car’s exterior can be damaged by dirt, scratches, or harmful UV rays. To protect your investment (i.e. your vehicle), you may consider having ceramic coating or paint protection film (PPF) applied to your vehicle’s exterior. But many people wonder which is better and what the difference is between PPF and ceramic coating.

What Is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?

PPF (also known as clear bra) is a thermoplastic polyurethane material that is applied to a car’s painted surface. Because it is clear, you can show off your car’s paint job. PPFs are designed to return to their original form after suffering from light damage (i.e. scratches, swirls, dings, etc.). They are also beneficial in that they can protect your car from avid-based contaminants (like road grime, bird droppings, etc.), fading caused by repeated UV exposure, acts of vandalism (like keying), hard water marks or swirls (caused by hard minerals or car washes), and other wear and tear.

What Is Ceramic Coating?

Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer, comprised of silica and other ingredients, that forms a thin layer of protection (coating) to your vehicle’s paint. When applied, the coating will chemically bond to the factory paint of your car and create a protective layer and hydrophobic surface, which helps your car remain clean for longer periods and protects your car from certain contaminants. Ceramic coatings also provide protection against chemical etch marks and staining as well as oxidation (fading) from prolonged UV exposure.

PPF vs. Ceramic Coating: What Are Their Similarities & Differences?

While both a clear bra and ceramic coating can protect your car from elemental exposure, keep the paint looking fresh, and reduce the amount of fading and chemical stains on the vehicle, they have differences that may impact which is the better option for you. Their differences include:

  • PPF is thicker and denser than ceramic coating. While a ceramic coating is thinner than paper (which is 0.05 millimeters thick on average), PPF is 8 thousandths of an inch thick.
  • PPF returns to its original shape when scratched; however, the ceramic coating does not have this ability. Thus, a ceramic coating cannot limit the risk of scratches or chips in your vehicle’s paint.
  • Ceramic coatings enhance the gloss and sheen on your car’s paint, which PPF does not do.
  • Ceramic coatings make cleaning your car’s exterior a lot easier to complete because of their water repellant nature. However, PPFs do not repel water, and cleaning a car with a PPF is the same as cleaning an unprotected vehicle.

Which Is Better for You: PPF or Ceramic Coating?

The answer to this question is entirely up to your preferences, needs, and goals. Many Californians are looking to protect their cars from UV damage, which both PPF and ceramic coating do. So, you may need to ask yourself what other protections or benefits you want?

If you want to protect your vehicle’s exterior with either PPF or ceramic coating, the professionals at Pristine Auto Care are here to help. Schedule a service today by calling (661) 766-5774 or completing this online form.