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PPF vs Vinyl Wrap: What’s Better? | Calgary PPF

Which Car Film to Pick

When you want to protect and customize your car, choosing between paint protection film wraps and vinyl wraps isn’t an easy decision to make–particularly if you aren’t privy to the world of car wrapping and films. Which kind of film is best? Is one more affordable than the other? And what wrapping is most durable to keep your car secure? These are only a few of the questions that will inevitably become a pressing concern when you begin to contemplate wrapping your car.

Decipher which car film will work best for your long-term maintenance needs, budget, and vehicle. 

Vinyl Wrapping

Vinyl wrapping is meant to change the look of your car for decorative purposes. Custom changes you can purchase with vinyl wrap include changing the colour of your entire car or just certain areas and adding graphics to amplify customization. Vinyl wrap is made from a thin material called PVC. This material comes in various colours and textures, making personalized options boundless. Vinyl wrapping has a specially made adhesive on the back, where you can stick it safely to any surface without it coming off easily.

Vinyl wrapping can be purchased from any qualified manufacturer that usually offers a waterproof car film and is UV, scratch-resistant, and can also protect against scratches and chipping from small rocks. Vinyl wrapping can also be easily modified for accent pieces on a car to add smaller and less expensive customization options to specific areas of your vehicle.

Vinyl Wrapping Costs and Maintenance

Before you get your vinyl wrapping installed, fixing your car of any overt imperfections can enhance its visual appearance after the vinyl wrap is applied. Large dents and deep scratches will show through the vinyl wrapping if they are not repaired before installation.  

Keeping your vinyl wrap well maintained will contribute to the longevity of your car customization. If you care for your vehicle and the film covering it, the vinyl wrap can last about five years. Because the material is so thin, vinyl wrapping can be susceptible to scratching and scuffing that will show through the film. Damaged vinyl wrap can be fixed with a little-to-no cost if you purchase the film and installation from a reputable manufacturer that offers an extended warranty. To get full vinyl wrapping by a professional, expect the estimated cost to be around $3400 for a small vehicle, keeping in mind that this price will increase for larger cars.


Paint protection film is transparent and made from thermoplastic urethane that is installed on the surface of your vehicle. Its self-healing layer over your car will serve as a protective force against scuffs, scratches, dents, damage to the paint, and impacts of varying degrees. Using PPF on your car can also help avoid watermarks and colour fading on your car due to UV light. While vinyl wrapping is typically installed for decorative purposes, PPF is applied to cars for protection and is thicker than vinyl.

Application of PPF is often placed onto high-impact areas on a vehicle, such as the side mirrors, the hood, bumper, and car doors. Although you can pick where the application of PPF goes on your vehicle, customization is not a feature when choosing this film, as PPF is clear. It will not make your car look much different except that it will enhance the colour of your car with its signature glean.

PPF Costs and Maintenance

Many PPF manufacturers offer a warranty that can last for 5-10 years to assist with maintenance and repairs for any damages the PPF on your car endures. Unlike vinyl, PPF is incredibly durable against many incidents that will cause damage, so maintaining this vehicle film isn’t too difficult. Much like vinyl wrapping, before you get PPF applied to your car, you should make sure the original paint job is in good condition and damages are not visible, as these details will become significantly pronounced after the application of PPF. After applying PPF onto your car, you can expect it to last for a good ten years because PPF is more durable and has a longer lifespan than vinyl wrapping. Because of these long-lasting qualities, getting it applied costs a bit more. PPF can cost upwards of $5000 if it is professionally applied and the cost will further vary depending on what areas of your car you get the PPF applied.

The Best Option for You

Making a decisive choice on what car film you want depends on what you are looking for. If immense protection isn’t a concern, but customization is, vinyl wrapping is what you will want to get. For increased protection on your car that will last you many years, paint protection film is an application that you will want to look into. Both serve their distinct purposes with a cost. With the merits that come with acquiring either vinyl or PPF, purchase the car wrapping that best suits your environment, your needs, and your vehicle!

At Calgary PPF, we are your exclusive source for genuine 3M automotive products and truck accessories! We are certified and endorsed by 3M Canada to install only genuine 3M premium products such as 3M Pro Series PPF, Ceramic Car Coating, 3M Colour Stable, 3M Crystalline Tinting films and 3M Hyper Shield Ceramic Coatings! By providing 3M Pro Paint Protection, custom vehicle wraps, windshield protection film and a team of Tesla 3M Specialists, you can expect the very best from Calgary PPF. Contact us today at (587) 324-1993.

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