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Everyone wants their car to look as good as it did on the first day they brought it home. However, despite caring for your vehicle and making considerable efforts for its maintenance, you still find multiple chips, scratches and stains on your car. Moreover, after a while, you also notice the color of your vehicle dimming due to lack of UV protection.
A growing number of people are looking for options to protect their vehicles from all sorts of damage. Even though there are multiple ways out there to upgrade and protect your car, such as self-cleaning or paint correction, many individuals are turning towards car ceramic coating.
What is Ceramic Coating for Cars?
There are multiple targeted options for you to use to protect your car. However, car ceramic coating acts as an all-rounder for your vehicle. The simplest way to comprehend what ceramic coating is, is to consider it as a second layer of skin that acts as a protective layer over your vehicle’s clear coat.
Most ceramic coatings utilize nanotechnology— tiny particles that create a very thin and fine line that is completely invisible. Since these particles are ‘nano’ or really tiny, when they are applied to a surface, they seal all its pores. This makes the surface of your car water-repellent and UV-ray, scratch, chemical and graffiti resistant. The most commonly used nano-ceramic coating layer is the 9H ceramic layer.
Car Ceramic Coating Options
Even though car ceramic coatings have been around for several years, they have gained popularity only recently. Due to the prohibitive ceramic coating costs, they were previously only accessible by car enthusiasts or high-end vehicle owners.
Before we get into the costs, if you are looking to get a ceramic coating, there are two options for you to choose from.
- Professional Car Ceramic Coating Installation
- DIY Consumer Ceramic Coating Kits
Professional Car Ceramic Coating Installation
Ceramic Pro or professional ceramic coatings are installed by skilled, trained and certified professionals. These coatings have super-hydrophobic properties to protect your car from dust, rust, water, weather conditions, etc. Car ceramic coating costs can vary based on the equipment used, the amount of labor required and the experience of the labor. This is why professional car ceramic coating installations are costlier than DIY ones.
For professional car ceramic coating, you can expect to pay at least $500 on the lowest end, and this is just for the installation. If you decide to get your car professionally prepped before the application of the ceramic coating, you can add a few hundred dollars more to the price.
Professional Car Ceramic Coating Installation Packages
The time required to complete the ceramic coating process varies. The nano-ceramic coating process can take between 1 to 5 days, depending on three main factors – condition of your car paint, size of your automobile and the package you choose. Ceramic coating costs can vary depending on the kind of package your dealer is offering.
Here are some popular packages offered by professional coating brand installers.
Let’s break it down:
The gold package is the most premium car ceramic coating package you can opt for. This package entails permanent protection with a lifetime warranty. It basically includes a layer of premium and top-of-the-line ceramic coating. The ceramic coating cost for this package depends on various factors such as the size of the vehicle and the preparation work required. A typical gold ceramic package could cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000.
The silver package is the second best ceramic coating option you can opt for. It offers a 5-year warranty plan. This package also entails a layer of top-notch 9H nano-coating product in addition to a layer of some ‘light’ product that is used as a top coating. You can expect to pay between $900 and $1400 for this package.
The last, cheapest and most basic ceramic coating package you can avail is the bronze package. This deal includes a layer of the lightest formulation out there. Plus, the bronze package only comes with a 24-month or 2 year guarantee. This basic ceramic coating costs around $600 to $900.
This was just a basic overview of the different packages you can expect to find at an authorized dealer. These prices aren’t definitive. Professional ceramic coating prices vary on the basis of location or authorized dealers’ personal choice as some keep higher profit mark-ups.
Maintenance of Professional Car Ceramic Coatings
To estimate the total cost of car ceramic coatings, you also need to take into account their maintenance which includes two main things – spray wax and professional car washing.
Spray wax is the most common car ceramic aftercare product used to enhance the life of your ceramic coating installation. This spray wax is usually sold at installation centers as they give dealers a good profit margin as well. So, a can of spray wax can typically cost you anywhere from $50 to $70. However, this product can last you for at least a year.
Professional Car Washing
Furthermore, to maintain your car, you will have to get it washed once every two weeks. If you choose to get your car washed by a professional, then you’ll be paying at least $60 per visit. However, this rate includes exterior and interior cleaning.
Total Cost for Professional Car Ceramic Coating
Assuming that you opt for the gold package, here are some calculations for the next five years after you get ceramic coating:
- $2,000 for the installation
- $60 x 5 years for protective spray = $300
- $60 for a car wash every 2 weeks x 5 years = $7,800
All in all, the total cost of professional ceramic coating will be around $10,100.
DIY Consumer Ceramic Coating Kits
There are a variety of consumer car ceramic coating kits available in the market. These are usually meant for those who are more concerned about protecting their car rather than its appearance. These DIY kits are much less sensitive than professional ceramic coatings as they can be applied with little to almost no experience.
The quality and durability of these products vary on the basis of the company offering the kit. However, all DIY car ceramic coating kits cost more or less the same, yet they are much cheaper than professional installations. Moreover, the economical price of the kits makes them accessible to the average driver. The ceramic coating cost using a DIY kit is based on three main factors – the price of the kit, prep work supplies and aftercare and maintenance.
DIY Ceramic Coating Price
There are numerous DIY ceramic coating products out there. While some are great, some aren’t too good. So, it’s is always good to read through reviews to decide on the best product. The size of your vehicle will determine the number of kits you require.
- For sedans and small SUVs, you will require around 2 DIY kits, which will cost you between $100 and $120.
- For big trucks and SUVs, you will require around 3 DIY kits ,which will cost you between $140 and $150.
These prices are based on speculation. The cost can vary depending on the brand you choose.
Prep Work Supplies
You will need to conduct some prep work before installing the ceramic coating. For this purpose, you will require a few supplies.
Car Wash Supplies
First, you will have to wash your car properly. For car wash supplies, you can purchase a complete kit that includes an automotive shampoo, microfiber mitt and microfiber towels. A kit can cost you anywhere between $70 and $100. You can use the same kit later on, so this will be a good investment.
Clay Bar Kit
Once you are done washing your car, you need a clay bar and lubrication for your vehicle. You can purchase this kit for about $30.
You will need to polish the paint of your car. Hence, you will need an electric polisher, polishing compounds and microfiber cleaning cloths. All these supplies will cost about $150.
The last step is applying the prep spray or IPA (isopropyl alcohol concentrate). This substance is then wiped down with microfiber towels. These two items will cost you around $20.
Considering all the above supplies, you can expect an expenditure of at least $280.
Routine Maintenance and Care
You don’t require a wax spray for DIY ceramic care. So, assuming that you adhere to the DIY concept and wash your car by yourself, you won’t be incurring any costs.
Total Cost for DIY Car Ceramic Coating
Assuming that you have a big pick-up and decide to keep it for 5 years, this is what you can expect to spend:
- $280 for the supplies and prep work
- $140 for (3) kits – including all supplies
- $100 for car washing kit x 5 years = $500
So all in all, you will be spending around $920 for 5 years if you opt for a DIY car ceramic coating kit.
Whether you choose to get professional ceramic coating or opt for a DIY kit, car ceramic coating is a great way to protect your vehicle from any damages!