Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Car Insurance / Articles / Car Paint Protection Film (PPF): Importance, Types and Advantages

Car Paint Protection Film (PPF): Importance, Types and Advantages

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Are you a car owner who takes pride in keeping your vehicle spotless and shining? If yes, you might be interested in a product known as Paint Protection Film (PPF). It protects your car’s paint from damage (scratches, weather and UV rays). If you’re curious about how it works and want to know its importance and benefits, read on as we dive into all the details about car Paint Protection Film.




What is a Paint Protection Film?

A Paint Protection Film or PPF is a clear or tinted film applied to a vehicle’s exterior surface to protect the paint from various forms of damage. It is usually made of a thin layer of Urethane, which is transparent and self-healing.

PPF, also known as Anti-stone Film, offers protection from road debris, rocks and gravel, which may cause damage to the vehicle if splashed against the car’s body. It also protects from insects, limescale and resins, as it has high hydrophobic properties.

Importance of Paint Protection Film for cars

The PPF for cars is a vital investment for car owners who want their vehicles to be in top-notch condition. Protecting the car’s exterior surface against damage from gravel, road debris, and environmental hazards can help mitigate scratches, chips and other forms of damage that can be expensive to repair.

With PPF, if there’s a scratch or other minor damage to your car, you won’t have to replace or repair the whole car part or get it repainted. A professional will efficiently remove the existing PPF from the damaged part and reapply a new film over it. However, if the damage is significant, PPF won’t be able to protect the paint.

Features of the car Paint Protection Film

Here are the key features of PPF for cars.

  • Self-healing: Scratches and scuffs can accumulate in the PPF. However, the film has self-healing capabilities because it is made up of Urethane, a thermoplastic polymer which can soften and become pliable when heated. These minor abrasions can go away, and the PPF can return to its normal state after being cleaned with hot air treatment or warm water.

  • Stain resistance and discolouration: The PPF protects the car’s exterior paint from discolouration and stains. It remains clear under the harshest conditions.

  • Highly durable: PPF for cars can last up to 10 years, ensuring the car’s paint looks brand new. This also adds to the resale value of the vehicle.

  • Does not turn yellow: The PPF will not turn yellow from UV exposure. While it may seem like a regular plastic sheet, the PPF does not discolour or turn yellow over time.

  • Damage protection: The primary aspect of using a PPF on a car is that it protects your car’s body paint from minor abrasions and maintains the colour in its best condition.

  • Easy to maintain: Maintaining the PPF does not require complex procedures. You can clean it with regular water and car wash soap solutions.

Types of damages Paint Protection Film can prevent

Here are some of the damages PPF can prevent in a car.

  • Scratches

  • Chips

  • Scuffs

  • Abrasions

  • Bird droppings

  • Acid rain

  • Tree sap

  • Insect stains

  • Mineral deposits

  • Water swirl marks

  • Other environmental hazards

Benefits of the Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Here are the benefits of a Paint Protection Film.

1. Produces enhanced finish

PPF application on your car's exterior surface enhances the existing paint's outlook. It instantly creates a brilliant and customised exterior look and appeal.

2. Superior protection against corrosion

The healing capabilities of the PPF provide a layer of material that blocks harmful contaminants or chemicals from penetrating. It also protects against stubborn stains and reduces paint damage from gravel chips.

3. Instant healing of minor scratches

Since the PPF has self-healing capabilities, minor scratches can be repaired by a professional car detailing expert by applying heat to the PPF.

4. High-temperature resistance

The PPF can resist the adverse effects of UV rays. It can withstand high temperatures, protecting the paint from fading sooner than expected.

5. Ease of repairability

Applying heat to the film can quickly repair minor abrasions or scratches. Since it has self-healing properties, these minor scratches can be repaired without much effort or cost.

6. Preserves the resale value

As the PPF can protect the paint from scratches and minor abrasions, the colour remains new, maintaining the high resale value of your car.

How does a Paint Protection Film work?

A PPF shields the paint against damage from flying debris, gravel, insect stains, and environmental hazards. It forms a protective layer that protects the car paint from damage and allows it to shine.

Functions of different PPF layers

PPF comes in rolls of ready-to-use material. There are different layers, each having its functions. Here are the functions of different PPF layers.

  • Top layer: It protects other layers and keeps them clean until installation is complete. When it is time for the installation, this layer is removed.

  • Middle layer: It has an adhesive that bonds the film to the clear coat but remains stuck in the film, making it removable without damaging the paint.

  • Urethane layer: The thickest part of the layer is the urethane layer. It will flex when impacted by debris or a flying stone chip, absorbing most of the impact and spreading out the rest to a broader area. This means the paint remains protected.

  • Last layer: It features a thin clear film, which seals and protects the urethane layer from contaminants.

Types of Paint Protection Films

Here are the types of common PPFs available in the market.

  • Gloss PPF

  • Matte PPF

  • Coloured PPF

  • Cleared mask

  • Clear bra

  • Rock chip protection

  • Clear wrap

  • Car scratch protection film

PPF installation process

Typically, PPF is installed by professional car detailing experts. While you can install it independently, it is time-consuming due to its complex procedure. Here is how usually the PPF is installed in a car.

  • Car body panels are cleaned thoroughly because any contamination will reduce the life of the PPF. It can also lead to defects.

  • The panels are sprayed with soapy water to help position the film on the car's surface and restrain the adhesive from sticking to the panels.

  • The PPF is laid out carefully on the panels, ensuring no bubbles are formed. More soapy water keeps the surface slippery for easier application and inhibits the adhesive.

  • Upon correctly positioning the film on the panel, the professional pushes the soapy water out, and the PPF gets locked to the paint.

  • Once the PPF is installed, the professional will trim the excess material, ensuring an excellent finish to the installation.

Limitations of PPF on cars

Here are some disadvantages of installing PPF on cars.

  • PPF has a limit: High-impact collisions can be severe, and the damage can be significant, possibly damaging or breaking the film.

  • Can be expensive: PPF is slightly more expensive than other car paint protection products such as ceramic, waxes and sealants.

How to maintain a car Paint Protection Film

Here are some tips for maintaining car PPF.

  • Use a gentle soap and water solution to clean the car’s surface.

  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners.

  • Try to avoid high-pressure water to clean the car.

  • Inspect the car’s surface for any signs of damage, scratches, or chips.

  • Get the damage, if any, repaired or replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the car’s paint.

Trivia about Paint Protection Film

Here are some interesting facts about PPF.

  • The usage of PPF dates back to the 1950s when the US military used it on their helicopters.

  • With the US military finding the PPF useful, automotive companies began using it in their cars, especially the premium car manufacturers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to common questions about car Paint Protection Film.


When to replace the car PPF?

Car PPFs typically last for several years, depending on the quality of the film and the level of exposure to the elements. Inspecting the car PPF regularly and replacing it if it becomes damaged or begins to show signs of wear and tear is recommended.

What is the cost of a car Paint Protection Film?

The cost of a car PPF varies depending on different factors, including the car's size, the film's quality and the installation's complexity.

Does the PPF damage new car paint?

The PPF is considered safe compared to other protective products. Since its application is secure and requires no changes or tinkering work on the body panels, it is considered safe for new car paint.

Can you remove the car PPF?

Yes, you can remove the PPF. However, once it is removed, you can’t re-install the same on the car’s surface.

Can you apply PPF to car headlights?

Yes, you can apply PPF to car headlights and on high-exposed areas such as the front end, the fender, bumpers, side-view mirrors, and fog lights.

Which is the best car insurance policy?

The Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy is considered ideal since it offers wide-ranging benefits, including coverage for third-party liabilities and damages to your car. It also covers theft and offers the option to include add-on covers to enhance the coverage.

Explore More:

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please review the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content before making any insurance-related decisions.


Want to post any comments?


Upto 85% off on Car Insurance!

Buy or Renew Car Insurance in 2 Minutes ⚡

Car number

Looking to insure brand new car?

Zero commissions, big savings

quote icon

Get Quote

quote icon