Paint Protection Film: the price and costs for a professional installation
It seems when it comes to thing related to cars, the old adage “you get what you pay for” really is true. This can be said of different brands, different tyres or even engine oil. When speaking about Paint Protection Film, the damage that can be done by an amateur is not worth the risk and the costs to put right the mistakes and errors can be huge. It is already known that quality comes with a price but, even so…
We know how you feel about the cost of Paint Protection Film
Because of this, we decided to approach the subject of price/quality ratio and give you an idea about which are the factors that influence the final costs of applying PPF on your pride and joy. Also, at the end of this article you will find some figures obtained after a UK market analysis has been done.
There are four main factors that influence the final price of a paint protection film installation:
1. The condition of the vehicle
The role of the PPF is to preserve the paint of your vehicle in a pristine finish. Desirable, this is a finish that is swirl free, chip-damage free, and which is flawless, close to perfection. Even if your vehicle is a brand new one, it may have swirls, holograms, marks in the paint, minor scratches and other imperfections that need to be removed in order to correct the paint. So the first step in the PPF installation is the paint correction.
What is the cost of that? If your vehicle’s paint is near to flawless, then the costs will be kept to minimum. If the paint, however, requires intensive paint correction, then it is going to take more time, to involve more resources, so the costs are somewhere between £0 and £2000 just for paint correction only.
- Usually, for a paint correction that requires a 65-75% level of correction, the costs are between £500 and £800; in this case, the paint correction process is done in 1 to 2 different stages, through which light imperfections are removed and the paint gloss factor is enhanced. This level of paint correction is usually recommended to new car owners.
- For a paint correction that requires a 75% – 85% level of correction, the costs are between £850 and £1500; in this case, the paint correction process is done in 3 different stages, through which light and medium imperfections are removed, the paint gloss factor is enhanced and all the metal compounds are rejuvenated and the glass is specially treated with specific detailing products for obtaining a better clarity. This level of paint correction is usually recommended to if your car has been constantly used and the paint imperfections are visible.
- For a paint correction that requires over 85% level of correction, the costs can go over £1500; in this case, the paint correction process is done in 3 to 5 different stages. This level of paint correction is usually recommended for your vehicle if your car’s heart beat so fast that it almost had several heart-attacks in the last few years – so is expected from it to have highly visible flaws in its paint.
2. The desired level of coverage
One of the most important factors in pricing is the coverage you want for the vehicle. In terms of coverage, there are clients who opt to cover only the most vulnerable areas of the vehicle – like medium edges of the hood, the bumper, the mirrors etc.
There are clients who want to go just a small step ahead and opt for a partial front kit; even so, most of our clients opt either for a full front or complete coverage. To see more details regarding our FULL front and ULTRA Complete PPF coverage services, read our website section on the subject.
The desired level of coverage impacts:
- the amount of labour required for your PPF job. There are many strategies used within various companies in order to put a price on the labour involved, yet a common method is to take a percentage of the material costs (since that is reflective of how many square inches of film are going to be applied and, therefore, how much time it is going to take);
- the quantity of the film that is used. Obviously, the price varies significantly according not only to the quantity, but also to the quality and type of the film. For instance, the stealth film is slightly more expensive than the glossy one; also, the film that has a self-healing and/or a hydrophobic layer is more expensive than a simple one.
In terms of paint protection, is a recognized fact that films offer the best protection and durability; they also resist staining and fading. There are many types of paint protection film available, including films with clear, matte, or satin finishes and films with self-healing properties and/or hydrophobic layers.
Among various kind of films available on the market, the most well-known are Xpel, Suntek, Llumar and 3M. Stek, DuraShield, Avery Nano Fusion, Premiumshield, ArgoGuard also represent widely used PPF brands. Among all these, the visual difference is small – it is mostly down to the chemical make-up of the material, the thickness and the brand behind the product. Their price varies accordingly. At Dragon AutoShield, we decided to use XPEL because it is one of the most trusted brands in the automobile protection industry, while their products are designed to provide customers with an unparalleled level of quality backed by excellent warranty protections.
Also, there are shops that require an extra-price for converting your vehicle from a gloss to matte finish.
The installer’s material cost also involves the use of various licensed software. Most installers will be using software from their film manufacturer that lets them select the make and model of your vehicle and the kits you want on your vehicle. Then that will tell them what their material costs will be.
3. The complexity of the panels you want to be covered/ the difficulty of covering them
Another factor that goes in the installation price is the level of difficulty – a two-dimensional product is given a specific shape and it has to be wrapped on a three-dimensional object. Some vehicles are really complex in their curves and contours. The difficulty in getting this done, the specific skill in perfectly moulding the material on the contours, the time and the quantity, quality and type of the film involved in doing this represent a measure of cost.
This means that exotic handmade cars (like Pagani Zonda or Ferrari Enzo, for instance, where the shape of the panels from the left is always slightly different than the shape of the ones from the right of the car), cars with dramatic design features or very sharp contours are more difficult to install PPF on, and therefore take more time. This factor definitely is another piece of the PPF labour-cost puzzle. Some shops (in addition to using a percentage of overall material costs) will factor in the installation difficulty on your specific vehicle. And usually their software will give them an installation difficulty when they select the kits.
On top of this, there are specific car models for which the patterns are not digitized. There are skilled installers who own the equipment, software and knowledge needed for creating custom patterns in order to ensure maximum coverage and protection for your pride and joy. We pride ourselves for being one of the few paint protection film installers able to provide you an ultra-complete coverage for your car, without cutting on its paint. If you want to know more about how custom pre-cut PPF patterns are obtained or if you want to know more regarding the differences between pre-cut and hand-cut paint protection film patterns, read our articles on the subject.
There are some other services or products that add protection to your vehicles – like ceramic coating applied over the paint protection films another add-on may be windscreen protection, window tint or a leather coating. If you are interested in those services, it is nice to have it done all in one place – yet this is going to impact your final bill.
What’s the price for PPF?
Now that you have an idea about the costs involved in a professional PPF installation, here are some figures for full front, full front and sills and complete PPF coverage within the UK market:
If you would like to consider Paint Protection film for your vehicle, consult with multiple companies before engaging. Feel free to contact Dragon AutoShield for further information. More information regarding our PPF packages: full front, ultra complete or custom coverage.
If you want to know more about what differentiate us from other PPF installers, read our article on the subject. To explore the advantages of having PPF installed on your vehicle, head over to our “7 reasons why Paint Protection Film is a good investment” article.
What would you choose?
Good, Cheap or Fast? Pick only Two, because:
- Good + Cheap = Won’t Be Fast
- Fast + Good = Won’t Be Cheap
- Cheap + Fast = Won’t Be Good