Having a car wrapped in paint protection film (PPF) is becoming more and more popular for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of regularly waxing and polishing their car. But before you fork out hundreds at your local detailing shop, make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
Consider these 6 points before you hire a paint protection service.
Do They Use Real PPF?
It’s not widely known, but most detailing shops don’t use actual paint protection film – they only use decals. The actual protection film is made of polyurethane, while most automotive wraps are made from vinyl, which doesn’t offer the same level of protection.
When looking at a shop’s website, they specify that they use actual protection film and not vinyl.
Do They Have Insurance?
Insurance may sound like an obvious point, but it is often overlooked. Despite how careful you are, accidents happen – especially when there’s a large amount of money involved.
Ensure the car detailing company has insurance to cover accidents and damages incurred during the installation process.
How Long Has the Company Been in Business?
Make sure you choose a car detailing and protection company that has been in business for at least 2-3 years, with no history of complaints or claims against them.
Not all car wrapping companies are equal when training their employees. Before you sign on the dotted line, ensure the car detailing and protection company’s staff are fully trained to perform expert installations.
What Is the Warranty?
Make sure you get a warranty with your car detailing service; that way, there are no unexpected costs should something go wrong after installation. Look for a reliable business that offers full warranties on their products and labor for between 5-10 years.
What Is Their Turnaround Time?
Ideally, protection film should last around five years, so look for a supplier who offers a guaranteed service level agreement of at least 90 days. If they can’t guarantee a quick turnaround or offer you a discount on additional applications once the first application starts to fade, you may need to look for a different service.
What Types of PPF Do They Use?
There are two kinds of protection film: wet-apply and dry-apply. The main difference between the two is that wet-applied PPF needs to be heated with a particular machine to activate, while dry-apply does not.
With dry-apply PPF, the film is cut and placed onto your car’s surface, then smoothed out using a squeegee or roller before it activates. The entire PPF application process takes around 10 minutes to complete.
With wet-apply PPF, it’s much harder to install because you need to use heat guns for around 15 minutes before installation. If the film you’re purchasing doesn’t come with a guarantee, make sure to ask if it’s wet- or dry-applied.
While most detailing shops use vinyl wraps, car detailing companies use real PPF – made of polyurethane and doesn’t fade in the sun as vinyl does. Make sure you choose a car detailing service that specifies they use actual protection film made of polyurethane.
Where Is the PPF Installed?
Once you’ve chosen a car detailing service provider with all of the above criteria met, it’s time to look at other factors, such as where the PPF is installed.
Most companies install PPF on garages or warehouse premises, but some also have mobile installation teams which perform the work onsite. Mobile PPF installations are highly convenient if you have a hectic lifestyle.
If you’re still unsure which paint protection service to hire, check the ratings on review websites, or ask your friends and family members who they use for the PPF application. The quality of the solutions and films they use is essential to consider.