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PPF (Paint Protection Film) vs Ceramic Coating: Which is more effective?

Team AckoMar 16, 2023

Paint protection has come a long way. Gone are the days of wax polishing to keep your car looking glossy at all times. Currently, two of the most popular methods of keeping your car shiny are applying a Paint Protection Film (PPF) or a Ceramic Coat. Note that both these methods have advantages and disadvantages concerning cost, effectiveness, maintenance and durability. But don't worry; we will clarify things in this article by explaining these car paint protectors to help you choose the right one.




What is a Paint Protection Film?

A Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a protective layer that can be applied to the car's paint. It is a transparent, ultra-thin film made of Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU), a flexible, durable, and self-healing material. It protects the paint from damage caused by debris, bugs, stones, and other environmental hazards.

The PPF is transparent and virtually invisible, so it doesn't impact the car's look. It is also resistant to UV rays and is easy to clean and maintain. PPF can be removed without damaging the paint job.

What is a Ceramic Coating?

Ceramic Coating is a protective layer that can be applied to the car’s paint. It is a liquid polymer sprayed onto the paint job and then cured to form a hard, durable, transparent layer. It protects against minor scratches, swirl marks, watermarks, and environmental hazards.

The ceramic cost is hydrophobic, which means it repels water, dirt and other substances that can harm the car’s paintwork, making it easier to clean and maintain the shiny look. It is also resistant to Ultraviolet (UV) rays as it forms a protective coating between the paint and the environment.

Paint Protection Film: Pros and cons

Here are the merits and drawbacks of PPF on a car’s paint.


  • It's invisible, retaining the original paint job

  • It has hydrophobic properties to deter water and liquids

  • Easy to remove

  • Glossy finish


  • Slightly more expensive compared to other paint protectors

  • Some films can turn yellowish over time

  • Prone to damage

  • Poor installation can make it expensive to re-apply

Ceramic Coating: Pros and cons

Here are the merits and demerits of Ceramic Coating on a car’s paint.


  • Offers good protection to the car’s surface

  • Lasts longer than regular paint

  • Can withstand heavy shocks and vibrations

  • Easier to clean

  • Better than traditional wax polish

  • Offers a high-gloss finish


  • Expensive compared to some conventional paint protectors

  • The application process is time-consuming

  • If not applied properly, it might look bad

Similarities between PPF and Ceramic Coating

Here is how PPF and Ceramic Coating are similar in their features.

  • Invisible finish

  • Prevents fading and oxidation of the car’s paint

  • Increased chemical resistance

  • Protects the paint from UV rays

  • Protects the paint from acidic contaminants

  • Adds value to the vehicle

Difference between PPF and Ceramic Coating

Despite having some similarities, the Ceramic Coating and PPF have differences too. Here are the details.

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Ceramic Coating

Thicker than Ceramic Coating

Thinner than PPF

Has self-healing properties

Does not boast of self-healing properties

Does not have superior hydrophobic properties

Boasts of superior hydrophobic properties

Absorbs minor scratches

Easier to clean

Prevents swirl marks

Increased shine

Protection against block chips

Lower maintenance

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Level of protection

Here is the comparison of PPF and Ceramic Coating based on the level of protection they offer.

  • Impact resistance: PPF is thicker than Ceramic Coating, offering a higher level of protection against minor scratches. It also boasts self-healing properties, maintaining the paint in its original state.

  • Hydrophobicity: The Ceramic Coating has an advantage over PPF regarding hydrophobic properties, making it easier to clean the car.

  • UV protection: Some inferior PPF materials can turn yellowish, fade or discolour when exposed to sunlight. However, the Ceramic Coating protects the car’s paint from fading due to oxidation.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Durability

Here is the comparison of the durability of PPF and Ceramic Coatings.

  • A superior PPF product is durable for 7 to 10 years, depending on the quality of the product and is professionally applied and maintained regularly.

  • The Ceramic Coating is durable for approximately 2 to 5 years, depending on the quality of the product. That said, some newer and more advanced Ceramic Coatings offer higher durability for up to 5 years. 

The PPF has the edge over Ceramic Coatings regarding durability. Consider using the Ceramic Coating first and applying PPF for better results.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Cost

When you compare PPF and Ceramic Coatings regarding the cost factor, the PPF is more expensive than the Ceramic Coatings. This is because of its superior protection against minor scratches as compared to Ceramic Coatings.

PPF vs Ceramic Coating: Which is better?

Both Ceramic Coatings and PPF offer a higher level of protection and shine to the car's paint. However, there are some factors which set them apart from each other. 

  • If you prefer a deeper shine to your car's paint, Ceramic Coatings offer a higher gloss than PPF. It also has an advantage over PPF regarding the car's ease of cleaning.

  • PPF enables hassle-free ownership since it offers more protection against minor scratches. That said, PPF is expensive compared to Ceramic Coatings.

  • You also have the option to use both paint protection products for optimum protection. You apply the PPF and then apply a Ceramic Coating over it for higher levels of protection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some common questions about PPF vs Ceramic Coatings.


Is the quality of a PPF applied to the car affected by the age of the vehicle?

Yes, applying PPF on brand-new cars rather than older vehicles is recommended. While you can use PPF on older vehicles, it becomes more noticeable when extensive wear and tear occurs on the exterior surface.

Which is better? Third-party Car Insurance Policy or Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy?

For optimum coverage and access to add-on covers, opt for the Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy, which covers third-party liabilities, damages to the insured car sustained due to accidents, and natural and man-made calamities. It also covers theft.

Which should be applied first? Ceramic Coating or Paint Protection Film?

It is recommended that you apply the PPF first, and then you can use the Ceramic Coating on the PPF. While the Ceramic Coating offers gloss and the luxury of ease of cleaning, the PPF protects the car’s paint from minor scratches.

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 go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content, and before making any insurance-related decisions.


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