PPF or Vinyl Wrap? How to Choose the Correct Film - Aegis Paint Shield (2023)

When it comes to customizing and protecting your vehicle, multiple options are available. Our shop specializes in Paint Protection Film Wraps and Vinyl Wraps, so we often receive multiple questions as to which wrap option is the best, and how the two compare. In this blog post we are aiming to answer one question, – what’s better, PPF or Vinyl Wrap? We are hoping to help you find the film that works best for your specific needs.

We would like to begin the comparison between the two by first explaining what PPF and Vinyl Wraps are.

What is PPF:

PPF, which stands for Paint Protection Film (also known as clearbra) is a virtually invisible, typically 8 mil thick self-healing urethane film which is applied to the surface of your vehicle. It offers superior impact protection, keeping the paint of your car safe from scuffs, scratches and rock chips. In addition to impact protection it also helps keep the paint of your car from negative effects of the environment, such as oil spills, bird droppings, and water marks. It also keeps your car safe from negative effects of the UV light, protecting the paint from fading.

PPF or Vinyl Wrap? How to Choose the Correct Film - Aegis Paint Shield (1)

What is Vinyl Wrap:

Vinyl wrap is a thin and flexible material, made out of PVC. It is typically 3-4 mil thick, and it comes in different colours, finishes, and textures. Vinyl wrap film comes with a specially formulated adhesive in the back, which allows the material to safely adhere to the surface, and take the shape of whatever it is applied to. Vinyl wrap is mostly used for the purpose of altering the look of your car. Due to an extensive variety of colours and finishes your options are pretty much limitless. Vinyl wrap can also be used for accent pieces, meaning only certain part of the car are wrapped. One of the most popular partial wraps is a chromedelte, when all chrome surfaces of the vehicle are wrapped in vinyl (usually black, however options are not limited).

PPF or Vinyl Wrap? How to Choose the Correct Film - Aegis Paint Shield (2)

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Now when we gave you a little bit of background of what each film does, it is time to move on to the comparison itself.

PPF or Vinyl Wrap Purpose:

As mentioned previously, PPF and Vinyl Wraps serve slightly different purposes. PPF’s main purpose is to protect the paint of the vehicle from damage. Since the film is clear (although different coloured variations of PPF are entering the market now), it does not make your vehicle look different. It might make it slightly more shiny, however, you wont see any major differences in appearance. Because the film is designed to protect the surface, it is thicker than vinyl, in order to be able to actually protect the paint from impact.

Vinyl wraps, on the other hand, drastically change the look of your car. Transformations that can be achieved with vinyl wraps are incredible. You an go from white to black, add custom accents, cover chrome areas, or add custom graphics. The main purpose of vinyl wraps is to customize the appearance of your vehicle, so the film is designed with this goal in mind. For that reason it is thinner than PPF, and is slightly more flexible.

Surface Protection:

While PPF is still the best way to protect the car from exterior damage, Vinyl Wrap can also serve similar purpose. Although not as thick, it still covers the paint of your car, creating a slight barrier. Obviously, vinyl wraps will not protect the paint from a deep scratch or a scuff, but they will protect it from minor rock chips, bird droppings and negative effects of UV light.

To put it simply, PPF is perfect if you are looking for an extensive protection. It is perfect for an off-road or highway driving. However, if you are mostly driving in the city, vinyl wraps are able to provide a degree of protection as well.

PPF or Vinyl Wrap Packages:

PPF and Vinyl Wrap Films offer slightly different packages, based on areas to cover. Since PPF is transparent, there is no problem in partially covering the car. In fact, the most popular PPF package is a Full Front package, which covers only the front of the vehicle (bumper, hood, fenders, and mirrors).

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Vinyl wrap , on the other hand, is typically applied to the whole vehicle, unless a client is looking for a custom design.

Price:

PPF jobs usually cost more than vinyl wrap jobs. You can expect to pay around $5000+ for a full PPF wrap on a sedan. Meanwhile, a full vinyl wrap will typically cost you around $3400 for a similar sized vehicle. It is due to the material cost, which is much higher for PPF, and installation process, which can be a bit more complicated.If you are looking to get a quote for your wrap job, get in touch and we will be able to help you!

Installation:

PPF and Vinyl Wraps are installed differently. PPF uses wet installation, meaning the film needs to be wet in order to adhere to the surface of your car. Installers typically use a mix of soap and water, or an installation gel.

Vinyl wrap, on the other hand, installed dry. In fact, any water during installation process can make wrap job fail. The film does not stick to wet surfaces at all.

Another major difference between the two is how the material is cut. PPF films typically use special cutting software, which comes with a variety of patterns that fit each part of the vehicle. PPF is cut by a plotter, specifically to fit the part it is being applied to.

Vinyl Wraps are cut by hand. Installers normally cut a piece big enough to cover required area, and then trim it once the material is installed.

(Video) Vinyl vs Paint Protection Film (Clear Bra)

Paint Condition:

It is important to make sure your paint is in good condition prior to installing any type of wrap on your car. Since PPF is clear, it will show any paint imperfections that your car might have. We always recommend to get paint correction, if the paint is in bad condition. The ideal time to apply PPF is when the car was just picked up from the dealership. That way you can ensure you are protecting the paint which has not yet been damaged. Applying PPF after the car has been driven for some time will not give you the same results. It will protect the car from future damage, however it will not mask any damage that was previously done.

Vinyl wraps are a bit more forgiving. Since Vinyl Film is not transparent, it will hide any visual imperfections. However, if your car has rock chips or is missing paint, it will show through the film. Any textured imperfections will be noticeable through the vinyl.

Longevity:

Both, PPF and Vinyl Wrap Films, when installed properly, will last for a while.

Typically, when cared for properly, Paint Protection Films will last for about 10 years.

Vinyl wraps, if cared for properly, will last for about 5 years.

Both films, if they come from reputable manufacturer, will not damage your paint if its original condition was good.

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Things To Keep In Mind:

There are several things you should keep in mind when making your decision on which film to go with.

Although PPF is transparent, overtime you might notice the edges of wrap are beginning to show more. PPF is typically not wrapped around the edge of the panel, so overtime the cut line might start to accumulate dirt and become slightly more visible. It is especially noticeable on partial PPF wraps, like partial hood for example.

In terms of Vinyl Wraps, you should always keep in mind that the original colour of paint might show through in the gaps between panels in some instances. Black Cars are usually the easiest ones to wrap, and this difference is not noticeable. However, if your car is going from white to black, you might still see some white peeking through the gaps. It happens because some areas between panels are simply not reachable, and there is no way to wrap them. We do, however, cover as much of the original colour in gaps as possible. We always aim to create a paint looking finish.

Conclusion: PPF or Vinyl Wrap?

In short, there is no way of saying which film is best. Both are great and are serving slightly different purposes.

If you are looking to change the look of your vehicle, and slightly protect it while driving in the city, Vinyl Wrap is your choice! It adds some level of protection, and allows you to save a couple extra thousands of dollars.

If you do need that full protection against pretty much anything the road can throw at you, and you do have the budget, – PPF is your choice! It is best to apply PPF on your car as soon as you pick it up from the dealership. That way you can ensure the original condition of your paint remains pristine for years to come!

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FAQs

Is PPF better than vinyl wrap? ›

A vinyl coating is great for shielding your car from harmful UV light, surface-level damage (like minor rock chips), and stain resistance. But, if you are looking for superior impact protection, PPF is the better choice. Because paint protection film's barrier is thicker and stronger, your paint job will be safe.

How do I choose a paint protection film? ›

Find a Film With Excellent Longevity

The longer a film lasts, the longer it will keep your car and its paint job looking great. Some paint protection films have a warranty for a full ten years after the point of installation. Make sure to choose a paint protection film that will last for many years.

Why is PPF more than wrap? ›

Because the film is designed to protect the surface, it is thicker than vinyl, in order to be able to actually protect the paint from impact. Vinyl wraps, on the other hand, drastically change the look of your car.

Do you need PPF over vinyl wrap? ›

That means, the colored film will be protected from rips and stains for the life of your paint protection film, which is typically 10 to 15 years for most brands. However, for any complicated or layered vinyl wraps, we suggest putting vinyl wraps on top of PPF.

What are the disadvantages of PPF coating? ›

Paint protection film can cause damage on the car's paint job IF it has not been maintained properly or had been left too long on the surface. For instance, if the film has been there for 10 years, then it will be difficult to remove it without chipping the underlying paint.

Does PPF make your car shinier? ›

Paint protection film (PPF) truly does have the magic ability to heal swirls and scratches with heat, leaving your paint glossy and shiny. It also has the ability to absorb impact and preserve your paint from rock chips.

What is the best PPF thickness? ›

PPF with a thickness of about 6 mils (not including the adhesive, clearcoat, or release liner) is recommended to provide top-tier protection.

What is the best paint protection for the front of a car? ›

We recommend using ceramic coating due to its longevity. Waxes and sealants need constant application and aren't usually applied often enough to offer constant protection. Ceramic coating lasts a long time and offers the best protection.

How much does full PPF cost? ›

You can expect the cost to put paint protection film on the front of the car to be between $900 and $2500, depending on how many panels you want to be covered and the condition of your vehicle. If you want to protect your entire car, expect the cost of full body paint protection film is anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000.

What is better than PPF? ›

After PPF, ELSS is one of the most tax friendly 80C investment options. ELSS capital gains of up to Rs 1 lakh in a financial year are tax free. Capital gains in excess of Rs 1 lakh are taxed at 10%.

Do PPF bubbles go away? ›

Air bubbles will evaporate over several days (or weeks, depending on weather) when the film is exposed to heat. If air bubbles are still on the film, the only way to remove it is to suck the air out with a needle. Expect these things to happen right after a PPF installation.

Do you wax over PPF? ›

Can I wax SunTek PPF? Waxing is recommended to help maintain the appearance and surface protection. For gloss finishes, wax with a non-abrasive car wax once or twice a year.

Can PPF go on windshield? ›

Typically a film that is installed like PPF needs to be stretched to fit the windshield, which may cause it to have higher distortion than a film that is moulded to the windshield using heat.

Should I polish my car before PPF? ›

Is it worth having paint polishing completed prior to having PPF or coatings installed? YES! The benefits of paint correction are worth the cost. Removing swirls, marring, and other defects even on new vehicles makes the paint clearer, deeper, and glossy.

How long does PPF wrap last? ›

Longevity of PPF is realistically around 5 to 7 years depending on driving conditions, wear and tear, and the method of care. The Self-Healing properties will diminish over time. It's just natural, due to wear and tear.

Is PPF worth the money? ›

Absolutely! The paint protection film is practically invisible, has self-healing properties to keep swirls away, and includes a ten-year warranty. The coating helps prevent the appearance of rock chips, pitting, scrapes, and scratches, preserving your vehicle's value.

Is it worth it to put PPF? ›

PPF is definitely worth installing after having the car repainted. PPF will protect the vehicle's new paint job from future damage, so your investment in repainting will keep your car looking great longer. If the paint is already in decent condition and you want to preserve it, then PPF is a worthwhile investment.

Is PPF coating worth it? ›

Rock chips, scratches and nicks will be a thing of the past with this PPF coat. PPFs can be applied anywhere on your vehicle to protect it from damaging elements in the environment. These films have superior clarity which does not alter the colour of the vehicle.

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