Choosing the Right Car Armour: PPF Vs Ceramic Coating

ppf vs ceramic coating

  • Paint Protection Film
  • Ceramic Coating
  • Common Ground
  • The Ideal Duo of PPF and Ceramic Coating
  • FAQs

Safeguarding your vehicle’s exterior is a top priority for enthusiasts and casual drivers alike. Among the different types of car coating films, Paint Protection Film (PPF) and ceramic coating, stand out as the popular choices for those looking to shield their cars from the outside elements. Each comes with its set of advantages and drawbacks, making the decision-making process complex. 

To end the PPF vs ceramic coating debate and help you make an informed decision regarding your car’s pristine finish, we have jotted down the pros and cons of these two coating types.

Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Film, commonly known as PPF, is a transparent layer of urethane material applied to the exterior surfaces of a vehicle. This film acts as a sacrificial layer, absorbing the brunt of road debris, stone chips, bug splatter, bird droppings and other contaminants, preserving the underlying paint.

Application of Paint protection film on a car
The paint protection film absorbs the impact of road debris and other elements to maintain the pristine look of a car


The process of applying paint protection film on the car’s surface includes the following steps:

1. Surface Preparation

Before application, the vehicle’s surface is thoroughly cleaned and prepared to ensure optimal adhesion.

2. Film Application

PPF is carefully applied to the vehicle’s body panels, conforming to the contours of the surface.

3. Trimming and Finishing

Skilled technicians trim and fit the film precisely, ensuring a seamless and nearly invisible protective layer.

Pros of PPF Coating

The advantages of using PPF coating for car surface protection include:

Physical Protection

PPF provides an unmatched level of physical protection against rock chips, road debris, minor abrasions and other environmental contaminants.

UV Resistance

The film is designed to resist UV rays, preventing fading or yellowing of the vehicle’s paint.

Self-healing Properties

One of the distinct feature of PPF coating that requires attention in this PPF vs ceramic coating comparison is that PPF formulations have self-healing properties, where minor scratches and swirl marks disappear with exposure to heat. 


PPF typically lasts several years, offering durable protection for an extended period.

High Durability

PPF boasts exceptional durability, ensuring that the car’s paint maintains a brand-new appearance. Being less durable is one of the factors that lower your car’s resale value, but with PPF, the value of your vehicle remains intact. 

Cons of PPF Coating

Apart from the many benefits PPF coating offers, it has certain cons as well. They include:

Visible Edges

Despite advancements, PPF may still have visible edges, especially on darker paint colours.

Installation Cost

Professional installation of PPF can be more expensive compared to other protective solutions.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating, also known as nano-coating, is a liquid polymer. It chemically bonds with the factory paint after curing, creating a protective layer against contaminants, UV rays and minor scratches.

Ceramic coating liquid
Ceramic liquid coating is applied evenly as part of the coating process


Here’s how you can apply ceramic coating to your car’s surface.

1. Surface Preparation

Like PPF, the car’s surface is cleaned and decontaminated to ensure a pristine base for the coating.

2. Application

The liquid ceramic coating is evenly applied to the vehicle’s exterior surfaces using applicators and then it is left to cure for a specific period.

3. Buffing and Polishing

After the coating has cured, a thorough buffing and polishing process is often performed to enhance the shine and ensure an even application.

Pros of Ceramic Coating

The many benefits offered by ceramic coating include:

Enhanced Aesthetics 

Ceramic coatings provide a glossy and hydrophobic finish, enhancing the overall appearance of the vehicle. 

UV and Heat Resistance

Offers excellent protection against UV rays and heat, reducing the risk of oxidation.

Low Maintenance 

In the debate of ceramic coating vs paint protection film, the hydrophobic nature of ceramic coatings makes it easier to clean and maintain the vehicle’s exterior.

Chemical Resistance 

In the ceramic vs PPF coating comparison, the former one chemically bond with the car’s paint, providing a lasting protective layer. These coatings offer resistance against harsh chemicals, preventing paint damage.

Cons of Ceramic Coating

The drawbacks of ceramic coating are as follows:

Limited Physical Protection 

While effective against light scratches, ceramic coatings may not offer the same level of impact resistance as PPF.

Professional Application 

Achieving optimal results often requires professional application, adding to the overall cost.

Common Ground – PPF and Ceramic Coating

The PPF vs ceramic coating comparison brings about many differences between the two types of coatings. However, they both share a common goal of preserving your vehicle’s aesthetic appeal and protecting the car paint from environmental hazards. They both offer an additional layer of protection against UV exposure and chemical contaminants, ensuring your car maintains its shine for an extended period.

The Ideal Duo: PPF and Ceramic Coating

There is no need to play favourites in the quest for ultimate car protection. The dynamic duo of paint protection film and ceramic coating can coexist harmoniously, combining their strengths for a comprehensive shield against the elements.

Auto expert placing paint protection film over a car
The duo of PPF and ceramic coating serves as a stronger shield to protect the car’s paint

How It Works 

Let’s find out how the dynamic duo of PPF and ceramic coating work together.

  1. Apply PPF to vulnerable areas – front bumper, hood, fenders, side mirrors, rocker panels and rear wheel arch.
  2. Next, cover the entire vehicle with ceramic coating, bonding with both factory paint and the already applied PPF.


PPF absorbs physical impacts such as rock chips and repair minor scratches, while ceramic coating enhances the visual allure and simplifies maintenance with its aesthetic and hydrophobic layer.


How does the application process of PPF and ceramic coating differ?

The application processes differ in that PPF involves the physical application of a protective layer, whereas Ceramic Coating forms a chemical bond with the vehicle’s paint surface.

How long do PPF and ceramic coating last before reapplication?

PPF typically provides durable protection lasting several years. Whereas, ceramic coating may require more frequent reapplication to maintain optimal effectiveness and reduce car paint damage.

Can the ceramic coating be removed?

Yes, ceramic coating can be removed, but it requires professional intervention. The process involves abrasive techniques and may affect the underlying paint, making it crucial to consult experts for proper removal.

Can PPF and ceramic coating be applied together?

Yes, PPF and ceramic coating work as an ideal duo when applied together. By combining their strengths, the physical protection and aesthetics are improved, providing a robust defence for your vehicle.

All in all, the age-old debate of PPF vs ceramic coating does not necessitate a winner-takes-all scenario. The ideal strategy is a combination of both, that is PPF for physical impact and ceramic coating for aesthetics and additional defence against chemical etching. Whether you prioritise resilience or elegance, this dynamic duo ensures comprehensive protection for your vehicle, allowing it to confidently navigate the challenges of the road. 

However, if you are not intrigued by the either PPF or ceramic coating, here is another comparison of ceramic vs wax coating to help you choose the one that suits your preferences.

Moreover, you may sift through these used cars for sale in the UAE if you are on the lookout for switching to another pair of wheels.

For more information on car parts and accessories, stay tuned to the dubizzle auto blog.


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