Paint protection - what you need to know
8 Feb 2016
We're often approached for paint protection film (PPF) quotes by customers who are quite rightly shopping around for the best deal. After all, paint protection isn't cheap, is protecting one of your most important assets, and should be a long-term purchase. However, having had many people contacting us who have gone for the lowest quote they could find, and then subsequently booked in with Ultimate Auto to have the film removed due to poor quality or shoddy workmanship, we'd like to help save you valuable time and money before it's too late!
There are many different paint protection films on the market these days. Some will be value films most suited to high turnover (such as fleet) vehicles, as they have longevity issues such as loss of the gloss finish and poorer resistance to wear and tear. Most, such as the brands we routinely use at Ultimate Auto, are premium and designed to go the distance. For a personal or high-value vehicle, we would always recommend that you make sure you are getting a premium film, as it's simply the best value for money long-term.
BUT, one of the most important factors to ensure you're getting quality film, is that it's NEWER film; films manufactured before around 2010 will not have the same manufacturing technology or benefits. Installers can buy older films cheaply, and therefore you may get a cheaper quote for the job, but it's unlikely the film will go the distance or be free of problems such as orange peel effects or yellowing. Modern films will be problem-free, and have much higher clarity, as well as give a great glossy finish.
Good quality films always have a capsulation cover sheet and a plastic backing sheet, which is an important factor in avoiding unwanted effects such as rippling on the film. They are also self-healing. This means after the film surface has been scratched, by applying heat, molecules within the film reform and 'heal' the mark or scratch to restore the finish - important for getting the most out of your paint protection.
When price comparing you need to ask exactly what film is being installed, what coverage is being offered and what warranty is offered. Good installers will talk you through the different makes of film if necessary and will choose the best for your particular vehicle and its shape and contours.
Also, check the installer has been properly trained and has some real experience with applying films - you don't want it being visible at the edges, or lifting at the corners, because it hasn't been handled correctly. Ask for references if you want to be sure, as well as gallery or portfolio pictures of previous work. It can mean the difference between having to return to fix issues constantly over time, losing out on time and money, or getting a seamless experience that truly benefits your vehicle for the length of ownership.
If you have any questions or need advice or info, we're always happy to help!