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Should I buy paint protection?

By Tom Fraser and David Morley, 25 Jul 2019 Car Advice

Should I buy paint protection?

Offered as the first line of defence between the outside world and your paint, is ceramic paint protection worth it?

You'll often get asked to consider paint protection and rust preventatives during the new car purchasing process, but what does it actually do, and more importantly - is it worth it? 

Ceramic-based paint coatings are designed to be applied wet, and harden up after drying to act like a layer of glass-like protection between your paint and harmful contaminants. It doesn't take much to imagine the kind of damage that can be done to a car's paint by bird droppings, leaves, dirt and stones. 

Read: Do automatic car washes damage your paint?

New car dealerships try and slip in the up-sell of paint protection during the pre-delivery process, which can often cost upwards of $1000. But is the add-on worth it in the real world?

"Unfortunately the dealership paint protection doesn’t live up to the promise. With incorrect prep work and untrained applicators the end result is not worth it," said Damon Lawrence from Auto Attention

However if you want the peace of mind of a ceramic paint coating, get it applied by an authorised installer rather than a dealership car washer. "It's important to ensure you get the most out of a professional grade product."

A main selling point in favour of paint protection is its ability to repel dirt and its glass-like nature that makes washing easier. 

READ NEXT: How to properly clean, wax and detail your car

"Paint protection is handy for keeping your car clean without having to always wash the car. It can protect against some harmful effects, but the car wash process also becomes easier, with dirt washing right off."

So why are you being offered these expensive coatings that can't deliver on what they promise? Basically, because it adds easy dollars to the dealer's bottom line. 

Maybe, in older cars, when cars weren’t made as well, rust-proofed as well, or made from the same quality materials as they are today, all those protection systems might have been a bit relevant. If a dealership is trying extra hard to sell you on paint coatings, maybe it's worth considering the quality of the product in the first place. 


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