Should I buy a paint protection plan?

imgres-2When buying a new or used car, you will, as part of the deal, typically find the salesman trying to sell you a paint protection scheme. The question is should you buy it? Nowadays all cars from new have anti-corrosion warranty's and won't rust and deteriorate they like used to and the paint jobs are now several layers of paint think. Gone are the days when you'd buy a lovely new red Ford Mondeo, wash it a couple of times and then start to notice it going a strange shade of pink.

What Paint Protection aims to do in particular is to stop things like bird droppings marking your car and blemishing the paint work. Bird droppings can contain a lot of acid and if left untreated on the paint work, especially in the heat, you will see nasty patches appearing and become almost impossible to get rid of. It's not just birds that paintwork needs protection from but also acid rain and UV sun damage. Acid rain is a particular issue if you live in a busy city centre. The effects can be devastating to the paintwork. UV sun damage is another significant issue whereby it starts to effect the cars paint lacquer by contracting it. When dirt and pollution contract with it the marks become obvious and not even a t-cut will get it out.

So how does paint protection actually work? Well, although the paintwork on your car looks smooth and perfect, under a microscope it's anything but smooth. The paint work actually has loads of little grooves in it which is where bird droppings, pollution and general dirt get stuck. Over time, these grooves continue to build until larger patches begin to appear causing the blemishes. What paint protection does is to fill all those tiny grooves with a clear filler and applies a smooth overcoat essentially giving the paintwork an extra bit of treatment. This smooth coating then prevents any dirt getting into the paint grooves and, in tern, stops dirt and pollution from entering.

You'll often find a salesman in a car dealership demonstrating how paint protection works. They regularly come out with two bits of material, one treated with paint protection and the other without. They'll then add a coloured liquid to both pieces of material. The piece not coated in paint protection will absorb the liquid the other will not and you'll see the liquid bead on top and then drop off. This mimics what would happen with anything landing on your car. A car treated with paint protection and with the extra layer of clear lacquer will not hold dirt, water and general pollution as it will just run off keeping the paint in tip top condition.

All in all, paint protection is a good product if you can get it at a good price. It's simple to apply so there's no need to get the dealership to apply it as you could do it yourself. If you don't fancy doing it yourself, you'll have to get a professional to do it for you which will cost extra. Buying a kit yourself should cost around £60 and having a dealership applied kit can cost around £300. At £300 from a dealership would be pretty expensive so you may want to haggle a bit and settle at around £150. This would represent a fair price considering the kit costs very little and a professional can have it applied within half an hour. It's also worth noting that professionally applied paint protection kits do come with some form of warranty which could be useful if it gets applied and marks appear in the future.

There are a plethora of companies out there offering paint protection services but some of the best and most trusted are listed below.

  • Supagard

  • GardX

  • Autoprotect

  • Diamondbrite

  • 3M

  • Gen-3

Check out this video which shows how to easily apply paint protection to your car.