How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?

According to numerous studies, every scratch on your bumper can take a year from your life. It would seem that PPF is the fountain for youth – at least, if you are a car lover.

Learn what paint protection film is, what it does, and why you should buy it.

How Long Does Ppf Last on Average?

What you pay for is what you get. You can choose to pay more for a high-quality product or save money and do your work more frequently. PPF is no different.

PPF will last 7 years on the lower end, for example, a 3M brand. The reason for this is that the adhesive and material used are slightly cheaper.

You’ll find that XPEL, SunTek and other companies charge around $10k per installation for labor and materials. However, your PPF will last over 10 years.

Your budget and the length of time you intend to keep your car before selling it will determine your decision.

The life expectancy of paint protection films is affected by several factors

1 – Thickness

The PPF is thicker, so it will offer more protection for longer in more driving situations. Do you drive your car at speeds over 100mph? You’ll need the thicker PPF if you drive over 100mph.

2 – Quality

Paint protection films are not all the same. Some of the most popular PPFs on the market include:


It is the best PPF available, but at a cost. After XPEL is installed on a brand new vehicle, the cost will be around $8000.

You get a PPF with a warranty and a self-healing feature that prevents surface scratches, as well as a longer life span than you expected from “just a piece of plastic on the paint”.


SunTek is a great option for those who like to show off their new items and get attention, both wanted and unwanted. SunTek is a little less expensive, but it offers more shine and is thinner. It is also harder so will crack a little easier.

The majority of people won’t notice the small differences, but the 5% who will will tell you all about it. After all, luck favors those who are prepared.


Llumar or Llumar Valor Paint Protection Film is a good option for customers who are willing to “buy once and cry once”. It has a ceramic coating with a slight shine and self-healing properties. The manufacturer offers a 12-year warranty. This could be the next step.


STEK comes in two different series: Dyno (10-year warranty), and Pro (5-year Warranty). You don’t have to ask why these names were chosen, they are what they say.


Because 3M is such a large company and because of economies of scale, they are able to produce more PPF at a lower price than all the smaller companies combined. You get what you pay for.

Hot Take: 7-year manufacturer defect warranty, thinner quality but at a lower cost of $1399 you can get 28 years with 3M PPF for the same price as 12 years with Llumar PPF. Which one would I choose?

Clear Bra

Do you consider yourself to be a minimalist? Consider a clear bra. The term “clearbra” is still paint protection film but it only applies to the front of the car. This usually includes bumpers and hoods that are the most susceptible to rock chips.

Surface Preparation

The adhesive process will be greatly aided by a clean surface. In most cases, the surface is cleaned with soapy water and then alcohol is added to the mix to degrease it. Then, using a clay rod, the slip solution is applied.

4 – Installation

Start by applying the PPF to the area where the slip solution has been applied. The adhesive side is placed up. It helps to avoid dirt and other contaminants on the surface. The liner is then removed and the adhesive side is treated with more slip solution. The PPF will then be applied to the vehicle.

5 – Additional Protection

You don’t need it. No. Should you buy it? Maybe. You can add a ceramic coating to the PPF for more protection but it’s not really necessary.

The cost of maintaining your car’s appearance is determined by your budget and your willingness to spend. Washing your hands is an easy method to protect paint. It’s also almost free.

6 – Environment

You’ll cause more damage to the paint, interior, and seals of your car if you park it outside. It is likely that a car in a garage will look better than if it was parked on the street with its converter stolen.

7 – Driving Habits

Once again, physics rears its ugly head. You’ll have more stones fly faster at your paint if you drive fast. It will cause more chips, and your paint will be damaged faster. Your paint will be damaged if you drive through puddles or mud.

When did you hear anyone talk about “the time they drove the speed limit and made sure that their paint was perfect so the next owner could mess it up?”

Compare Manufacturer Warranty

3M offers the shortest warranty (7 years) and Llumar the longest (12 years). Although 3M has a shorter warranty, it is also cheaper. So, vote with your wallet to choose the option you prefer.

Maintenance Best Practices

Washing your PPF will help maintain it. Use the two-bucket method and keep dirt and grit off the surface. Treat your PPF as though it were your dad’s car you borrowed.

When To Replace PPF?

It’s time to replace your flooring if you notice that the surface is starting to crack, dry out, or discolor (depending on the brand).

This post was written by a professional at M Tint. M Tint is your ultimate destination for professional paint protection film Los Angeles. With over 20 years of unparalleled expertise in the industry, we have established ourselves as the go-to specialists for all your window tinting needs. At the heart of our company is Marcos, our esteemed owner, who has dedicated his career to mastering the art and science of window tinting. Under his leadership, M Tint has grown into a reputable and trusted name, synonymous with quality, precision, and customer satisfaction.