When buying new....
I highly recommend speaking to a local Professional Detailer if you are considering any form of Paint Protection offered from the Dealerships. Believe it or not, every new vehicle will require some level of preparation to the paintwork before the L.S.P (Last Stage Protection) is applied. The paintwork on any new vehicle is NOT perfect, and in the rare situation that is it almost flawless, it will still need, what we call in the industry....'Decontamination'. This is the removal of 'Fallout', mainly iron particles that have settled on the car, which happens during transportation. And if we are being totally honest, the level of preparation given by the Dealerships, through their In-house or third-party Valeters will be....... lets just say... QUESTIONABLE.
Back to what is offered.
No doubt you will of be given information on Guard-X, Lifeshine or similar products.
Be clear.... THIS IS NOT A CERAMIC "GLASS" COATING! and personally i think its not worth the cost.
Again, approach a professional Detailer.
What to ask a Professional Detailer....
What is the preparation process?
How long does the process take?
What Ceramic Coating is used?
Is it a Glass Coating, a Water-based Ceramic Coating, or a Ceramic Wax Coating?
Are they Trained/Accredited Installers for the Brand they use?
What is the life expectancy/warranty on the coating?
Is the above achieved by a Single Layer of Coating?
What is the best form of Maintenance for the Coating, and are there any Do's & Dont's.
AND ALWAYS CHECK THE DETAILING COMPANY'S INSURANCE POLICIES.
Here is what you should expect in response...
Full De-contamination Safe Wash including the Clay Bar process, followed by a thorough Machine Polish to remove ANY imperfections, and in our process, using a Si02 based Primer Polish to aid the adhesion of the Coating.
Depending on the size of the Vehicle... and whether or not the Detailer uses Infrared Curing lamps, you need to allow at least 2-3 days.
Variable... We use only Shine Supply's Beadlock Coating range
Beadlock coatings are 100% Silica Ceramic Coatings
Absolutely! Ceramic Coatings can be improperly applied, and, if incorrectly done, it can mean a total lack of performance and in the worst situation, removal and re-application is needed. Removing a Ceramic Coating will mean using either a heavy cutting compound, or in the most extreme circumstances, fine grade sand paper.
We conservatively say 2 years for a Single Layer of Beadlock Pro & 5 years for our combo of Beadlock Marine as a Base-coat, Beadlock Pro as a Top-coat. Proper maintenance should extend the life expectancy.
We emphasise the use of 'Pure' cleaning products. In other words no wax/polymer based products. If used, these will not damage the coating in any way, but they will not level down properly and will hamper the finish and performance of the coating. Ceramic Coatings will also need professional attention, once annually, to rejuvenate and achieve life span.
What can i expect to pay?....
For a 2 year coating you need to budget between £400-800 maybe more in certain areas of the country. A 5 year coating between £700-1200.
Wheel coatings, Glass coatings Interior Coatings etc, would be add-ons to the above prices.
If you think the offer a Detailer is offering is 'Too Good To Be True' it probably is.
I have found in recent years many Companies low-balling the prices, sub £300, just to get the project through the door. They then apply a product that is no better than a 'Ceramic based' (used losely) Detail Spray or wax, so technically not lying, but its not what you should be expecting in the form of a permanent coating.