Full Vehicle or Just the Front: How Much Paint Protection Do You Really Need?

Whether you buy new or used, you want your car to look good. And you want it to look good for a long time. Taking care of the appearance of your car can pay off later on, too. You’ll get top dollar on your trade-in when it’s time to change vehicles. Paint protection film can be an excellent investment in the appearance of your vehicle. It will help eliminate the nicks and scratches that occur to the paint over time. That keeps the vehicle looking like new with less cost and effort on your part.

But when it comes to paint protection, how much do you need? Some people claim that doing the front is enough. Others say that if you are going to get it, you may as well wrap the entire vehicle for the ultimate paint protection. After all, paint protection doesn’t just protect against debris that kicks up on the road. It also protects your vehicle from birds, sun damage, tree sap, and so much more.

So what’s the right option? The truth is there are pros and cons to both arguments. What’s right for you could depend on your lifestyle, your budget, and your vehicle. The Elite team can help you decide on what’s right for you and your vehicle.

The Pros and Cons of Paint Protection Options

Protecting the Front of Your Vehicle

  • Pros: The front of the vehicle is the most vulnerable to rocks and other flying debris that can easily chip your paint job. Wrapping the front offers protection in the most critical areas. Because you are only applying the film to these areas, it’s the most affordable option when it comes to paint protection, too. You’ll be looking at costs that start around $500, depending on your coverage and vehicle type.
  • Cons: Wrapping the front is great, but it could leave the rest of your vehicle vulnerable to damage. Rocks can still fly out at the sides and rear of the car and end up causing extensive damage to the vehicle. The sun can still fade the paint on the back. That can mean a hit on your resale value, too.

Protecting the Entire Vehicle

  • Pros: Total protection for your vehicle investment. You get peace of mind when you know nothing can hurt your ride’s paint job. 360-degree protection from rocks and debris. This can give you better protection for your resale value, too, since you won’t have to worry about repairs or repainting before you trade it in. Plus, the film also protects your vehicle from things like bird droppings and tree sap. Neither of which are likely to be on the front of your vehicle only.
  • Cons: The more expensive paint protection options. This can cost $2,000 or more, depending on the kind of vehicle you drive. For some vehicles, this investment may not be worth it.

Is Paint Protection Really Cost Effective?

Most paint protection packages run between $500 and $2,000. Is that really a cost-effective investment in the appearance of your vehicle? Definitely, especially if you consider the cost of repainting your vehicle.

The least expensive repainting option you can get gives you a single coat of paint and no prep work. For this service, you are going to pay at least a couple hundred dollars for the job. Some places may charge you up to $1,000, and that’s the cheap option. High-quality paint jobs with prep work to eliminate dents and rust spots can cost you thousands of dollars. And if your vehicle doesn’t have paint protection film, then you could be facing those big bills multiple times over the life of your vehicle.

Paint protection film, on the other hand, will last on your vehicle for up to ten years. That’s ten years of paint protection and zero repainting costs. The longevity of the product and maintenance-free protection makes this a very cost effective solution to keep your car looking its best.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide

Where do you normally drive your car?

Where you drive your vehicle will play a big part in deciding how much paint protection to get. Cars driven mostly in-town are relatively safe from chips to the paint on their back ends. Their biggest risk is the parking lot. That’s where unaware drivers end up opening their doors into the side of your vehicle. That does damage to the paint along the sides. If you drive a lot on the highways, though, front-end protection is a must. That’s where cars take a lot of damage from debris that kicks up from the tires of the vehicle in front of them.

How much do you want to spend on paint protection?

Budget matters when it comes to your paint protection options. If you don’t have the budget for the full wrap, then you’ll want to cover the places where your vehicle is most vulnerable. That’s the front and maybe the door panels. If you worry about protecting the paint because of resale value, though, then investing in the full body wrap is probably worth your money.

What kind of car are you driving?

If you are driving a vehicle that just rolled off of the assembly line, you probably want to wrap the entire thing to ensure it looks brand new as long as possible. That’s true for collector’s vehicles, too, which often have specialized paint jobs to make them stand out on the road. If you are driving a used vehicle that you aren’t too worried about, though, then minimal paint protection could be the best option for you.

Our Milwaukie Team Can Help With Your Paint Protection Needs

Whether you want the total paint protection package or decide to protect the most vulnerable areas, we can help. Our paint protection team can help you decide what level of protection is right for you. Then we expertly apply high-quality paint protection film to give you the best possible final result. Our teams use state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring you have no bubbles, wrinkles, or other film issues. Our team loves exceeding your expectations when it comes to paint protection. Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do for your vehicle.


Kenley Wallis