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Paint Protection Film (PPF) & Clear Bra: How Long Will it Last?


Many people have a misunderstanding of PPF/clear bra and how long it will last. They believe that a manufacturer warranty has them worry-free for X number of years and the ongoing care doesn’t matter much.

A warranty covers you against manufacturer defects and obviously the installer is accountable for labor/craftsmanship issues. Manufacturer defects would be top coat/adhesive problems, cracking, discoloration and the like.

But here’s the thing, all film will age over time. What is not covered is normal wear and tear/exposure.

A warranty does not mean film will “last 10 years”. It means the manufacturer is accountable for defects for 10 years. What accelerates wear and tear? The care and exposure as outlined here. In short, and just like pretty much everything else in life, the better care you take of your film the longer it will last and look great.

To be clear. When I talk about how long the film will last, I am also talking about how long it will look acceptable (or good). For car people, those are synonymous concepts. Kind of like coatings and how long they “last”. If it looks like garbage but is still present what is the purpose? These technologies are there to protect but just as importantly, they are there to look good with excellent aging characteristics.

Every owner has their own lifestyle with their car. Some are just looking for convenience and some are chasing perfection 24/7. This bell curve chart gives you an idea of what you can expect given your long term care and exposure levels. Bottom line, there is no single answer to the question posed: How long will paint protection film / clear bra last on my car? The best answer is that it will commensurate with your level of care.

For some car tips, check out this article from Ian Howard.

How long will PPF last bell curve

Jean-Claude Corcoran
Jean-Claude Corcoran
Detailed Designs Auto Spa
Atlanta, GA

2 comments on Paint Protection Film (PPF) & Clear Bra: How Long Will it Last?

  1. Mike Flier says:

    good chart, in my real life experience fairly accurate. Last car was 2012 Buick GS with front, A pillars and mirrors. good to excellent care taken with the vehicle, washed weekly and regular upkeep but vehicle was kept outside. 4+yrs and 86k miles later the flat surfaces still just ok and based on that alone would have kept PPF on one more year possibly. The edges though, not so much.. based on edge condition if I would have kept the car replacing the PPF with new would have been a priority. If i purchase again… wrapped, no edges! I have also had PPF on my 98 Cobra. I took it off because it simply didn’t have the clarity and shine that matched the rest of the paint. It was earlier technology though. (took it off around 2010, don’t recall when it was applied)

  2. Alice says:

    Totally agree that PPF do not 100% lasts 10 years.

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