Everything You Wanted To Know About Paint Protection Film

Bugs, rocks and other road debris can quickly leave their mark on the lower regions of your vehicle. The last thing you want is for your rocker panels, front fascia and other vulnerable parts to get scratched up, especially if you have an expensive paint finish.

Paint protection films are designed to protect those areas from damaging road debris and nearly anything else that would damage the finish underneath. Read on to learn about how these films work as well as the pros and cons of using them to protect your vehicle.

How It Works

Paint protection films, often called "clear bras" because they're commonly used to replace traditional car bras, consist of a high-gloss thermoplastic urethane film that's custom-cut to the surfaces you want protected. The clear film is designed to protect the paint against damage from bugs, road debris and other environmental hazards. The film's gloss also enhances the appearance of the paint underneath, giving it a polished look.


There are plenty of advantages to using paint protection films. The clear film is nearly invisible when viewed at a distance and hardly noticeable when viewed up close. This makes it the perfect way to protect paint finishes on side mirrors, rocker panels and other vulnerable areas of your vehicle.

Using paint protection films also eliminates the need to touch up or otherwise repaint bumpers, fascias and other parts after years of driving. This can help you save thousands of dollars in paint and labor costs, making the overall upkeep of your vehicle considerably less expensive.


Despite being designed to last for several years, paint protection films aren't meant to be permanent. Years of constant exposure to UV rays and weather damage can cause most paint protection films to turn yellow, detracting from your vehicle's looks as time goes on. This depends on the quality of the film itself. The better the film, the more resistant to yellowing it'll be.

Paint protection films can also be surprisingly vulnerable to certain types of damage. For instance, bird droppings and tree sap can eat through the clear bra and damage the paint underneath.

How Much It Costs

The average cost of a paint protection film treatment usually depends on a variety of factors, including the type of film used, the number of pieces used and the amount of time needed for installation. Because of these factors, it's usually a good idea to directly contact your collision repair shop to get a precise quote for your vehicle.