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How Long Does PPF Last?

Paint protection film (PPF) is a fantastic way to put a barrier between your vehicle’s paint job and potential scratches, scrapes, and dings. Drivers who are considering investing in PPF expect their protective film to last a long time, and when properly installed and maintained, it certainly can. 

Here is what savvy automobile owners need to know before having PPF installed so they can get the most out of their protective film and keep their paint job looking showroom ready for many years. 

paint protection against weatherWhat is PPF and what does it do?

PPF is made of a super-thin, flexible polymer that forms a second skin on the surface of your vehicle when installed by a professional. This film can be applied to the areas of your vehicle that are most susceptible to damage or over the entire surface.

When properly applied, PPF acts as an invisible shield for your paint job, safeguarding it from hazards like highway salt, loose gravel, and hard water spots. It offers excellent rock chip protection, and can safeguard your paint from chipping in the event of a door ding. One of the best features of PPF is that the covering itself is self-healing.  Any damage to the surface of the film seamlessly dissolves when you wash your vehicle in warm water or expose it to sunlight. 

What are the benefits of PPF?

If you feel sick at the thought of a careless driver bumping your vehicle with their car door, PPF can offer you valuable peace of mind. Many auto enthusiasts find that they enjoy the experience of owning their vehicles more knowing that scratches and dings are no longer a constant threat.

Paint protection does more than help you hang onto that new-car feeling for as long as possible. PPF can increase the resale value of your vehicle by helping you keep it in like-new condition even as the miles tick by. 

What is the lifespan of PPF?

Speaking generally, properly cared-for PPF can be expected to last between 7-10 years. Given that car owners sell or trade in their vehicle every 8 years, on average, many clients who choose to install PPF enjoy its benefits with no issues for the life of their vehicle. 

The longevity of your PPF is heavily influenced by how you use your vehicle. Work trucks and track vehicles that spend a lot of time out in the elements or rough terrain are likely to require a PPF replacement sooner than is typical. On the other hand, a collector’s car that only leaves the garage for shows would probably only need to have its PPF replaced in the rare event of a transport accident.

For daily drivers, the most typical cause of a PPF reinstall is a traffic accident. Fortunately, this expense is often covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. It’s a good idea to consult with your insurance provider about their policies regarding aftermarket and protection services before you invest in PPF. 

How to help PPF last longer

PPF is made to last, but there are a few steps you can take to help extend the life of your protective film (and ultimately, your paint job).

Practice good aftercare.How long does PPF last? Protected vehicle

How you care for your PPF in the days that follow the installation can determine its lifespan. 

  • Don’t try to smooth out any bubbles under the film’s surface. These are normal and disturbing them can disrupt the curing process.
  • Never pick at the edges of the film. This will disrupt the adhesive.

Clean your vehicle the right way.

Once your PPF is fully cured, keep it looking pristine by following your installer’s guidelines for washing your vehicle. 

  • Avoid pressure washing, particularly at a close range.
  • Use soft materials to wipe your vehicle, and be mindful of the film’s edges. 
  • Wash your car regularly (every 1-2) weeks, and remove any bird droppings or bug splats promptly. 
  • Make sure any waxes or glosses are compatible with your PPF before you use them.  

Consider investing in ceramic coating.

PPFs with a built-in ceramic coating come at a premium price, but they offer some additional protections. A ceramic coating helps your vehicle repel water, protecting the surface from blemishes and making dirt and grime easier to wipe away. Less scrubbing during washes can extend the life of your PPF.

The best PPF depends heavily on your driving habits and the purpose of your vehicle. Contact a reputable PPF installer for advice on how to protect your paint from life’s hazards so you can enjoy the ride. 


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