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  • Writer's pictureSam Gibbons

Wax? Ceramic? PPF? Which paint protection is best?

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

When purchasing a new vehicle one of the first tasks we think of is protecting the paintwork; but with the flurry of options available today where do you begin? Here at The Detailing Specialists we offer a range of vehicle protection services - but let's start by explaining what you need to consider when choosing the best option for your vehicle.

You need to decide what you are trying to protect against which will be determined by how you use your vehicle and the environmental factors around that. If you are driving lots of open road kilometres you may want to stop stone chips; or if you are mostly driving around the city then general UV and environmental protection might be more up your alley. Whatever your desired outcome have a look at the main features of each option below.

Wax ✓ Cost effective option for all vehicles ✓ Provides general UV protection ✓ Repels dirt, dust and debris ✓ Not chemical resistant (strong wash chemicals can strip waxes) ✓ Options with longevity of 1-3 months generally ✓ Excellent when budget conscious or for vehicles that get little use

Ceramic Coating ✓ Leaves a hard layer bonded to your vehicle ✓ Suitable for paintwork and other surfaces ✓ Provides general UV protection ✓ Repels dirt, dust and debris and leaves a hydrophobic finish ✓ Chemical resistant (pH 2-11 resistant) for a more durable bond ✓ Options with longevity of 1 year to 10 years ✓ Cost-effective and provides a strong layer with a semi-permanent bond

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

✓ A thick clear film that is applied to painted surfaces ✓ Stops stone chips from damaging vehicle paintwork ✓ Stops scratches from damaging vehicle paintwork ✓ Provides general UV protection ✓ Repels dirt, dust and debris and leaves a hydrophobic finish ✓ Warrantied for 10 years ✓ A higher cost option than wax or ceramic but with added benefits

Which should you choose?

Daily Drivers If you have a daily driven vehicle and mainly drive in the city then we recommend a wax or ceramic coating. The wax option is cheaper while the ceramic coating will last a lot longer. City driving doesn't pose much risk of chips or scratches and so we recommend saving the $$ the PPF will cost you and putting that towards future detailing and minor stone chip repairs if required. If you do a lot of open road driving or spirited driving then PPF on high impact areas could be a good option. Paint protection fim will stop chips and deep scratches but comes at a far higher cost than ceramic coating (about 4 - 5 x the cost). You should consider PPF if you want to keep the paint original.

Weekend Drivers

If you have a weekend driver you need to consider whether that is subject to spirited driving or not. Weekend drivers (such as classics) that are used more as cruisers are best protected with a wax or ceramic coating as the risk of chips and scratches is low. Weekend drivers (such as performance cars) that are driven in a more spirited way could be at higher risk of stone chips and scratches; which would present a good case for considering PPF, paint protection film. Paint protection film keeps original paint in good condition at a higher initial cost of protection.

Still unsure?

We're here to help! With over 15 years combined experience we've seen a wide range of vehicles and made recommendations for a wide range of vehicle uses and customer outcomes. Get in touch with our team to learn more and discuss your requirements. Click here to contact us today or click here to book a workshop visit!


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