ATD Blog

I Just Bought a New Car. Should I Get Film or Ceramic Coating?

Keeping your new car looking gorgeous as the miles roll by requires an upfront investment. But how can automotive enthusiasts get maximum protection for their paint job without blowing their budget? 

If you’re torn between paint protection film (PPF) and ceramic coating, the detailing experts at ATD are here to help you understand your options for keeping your new vehicle’s paint sleek and glossy. 

start with ppf for new carPPF vs. Ceramic Coating

In a perfect world, drivers would schedule both PPF and ceramic on their automotive pre-orders so that their new vehicle would be fully protected before it ever hit the road. 

When ceramic coating is applied on top of PPF, the two work together to provide fresh paint with optimal protection against the daily hazards that can dull your car’s luster, like: 

  • Road salt and grit
  • Door dings
  • Accidental scratches during washing
  • Bug splatter
  • Tree sap
  • UV damage
  • Rock chips

Despite the advantages, budgeting for paint protection film and ceramic coating to be applied at the same time isn’t always feasible — especially right on the heels of the expense of a new car. If you find yourself needing to choose one service and delay the other, here is what you need to know about the individual benefits of each. 

Paint Protection Film

PPF is a very thin layer of self-healing polymer that can be applied either to your entire vehicle, or to vulnerable areas like the bumpers and doors. When protected areas get scratched or scuffed, the damage will dissolve with sunlight or warm water. 

If you are facing a choice between PPF and ceramic coating, know that film provides an excellent base for any future protective services. When properly installed, PPF forms a barrier against some of the most common road hazards that drivers can expect to last for 7-10 years

Ceramic CoatingPPF and ceramic coating for new car

Ceramic coating is a kind of rigid nanoglass that chemically bonds with your car’s surface. Unlike PPF, it can’t simply be peeled away. 

Professionally installed ceramic eliminates the need for waxing and makes it easy to wash away bugs and sap without scrubbing. It also provides an excellent shield against UV damage, oxidation, and any corrosive substances you may encounter on the road. 

Why start with PPF?

If you must choose between ceramic coating and paint protection film, always prioritize PPF.

Because of the way that ceramic coating reflects light, the best way to achieve an eye-catching, glass-like finish is to apply it on top of pristine paint. In fact, experts recommend that scuffed or scratched vehicles undergo paint correction before ceramic is applied to get the most attractive finish. 

 The best way to prevent this damage before it happens is to have PPF installed before you hit the road. Not only does the film guard against blemishes — it also ensures that any future ceramic coating will lay easily over your car’s surface.  

Giving your vehicle’s exterior a smooth, porous base will help you get the most from ceramic should you decide to install it in the future. 

Have Questions for the Pros?

When in doubt, ask the experts. Make time to discuss your new car purchase with a certified installer to gain a better understanding of the products, benefits, and timeline for installation prior to the delivery of your new vehicle so you can choose the options that are best for you. 


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