If you just got a brand-new Tesla, you want to look for ways to protect its gorgeous factory paint coat. One of the best ways to do it is by applying a clear bra, but what is a clear bra for Tesla?
Clear bra for Tesla is a protective layer of clear urethane film applied to the front end of your car. It can protect your Tesla’s paint job from accidental scratches and scuffs caused by pebbles. A clear bra generally refers to paint protection film (PPF) applied only to the front.
The rest of this article will cover what the best clear bra for your Tesla is, whether you need one, how much it costs, and whether you should do it yourself or have a professional shop do it for you.
- 3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film
- XPEL Paint Protection Film
- Llumar Clear Paint Protection Film
- Factory Crafts Paint Protection Film for Tesla Model S 2016 – 2020
- Crystal Shield Tesla Model Y 2020-2021 Rear Door Protection Kit
- Clear Bra for Tesla Comparison
Best Clear Bra for Tesla
Before you get a clear bra for your Tesla, you should know that off-brand clear bras/paint protection films are nowhere near as good. You should only buy a clear bra from a company you trust.
All of them are relatively thick, allowing for superior protection from flying debris. They all have UV coatings and aren’t visible on the car, thanks to high-quality adhesives.
That said, there are few clear bra manufacturers on the market that stand out clearly from the competition. Although there isn’t a single “best” clear bra, there are several great ones on Amazon.com that you can’t go wrong with:
3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film
3M is a famous brand for a very good reason—they make high-quality stuff. The 3M Scotchgard is one of the best and most affordable paint protection films on the market.
They collaborated with VViViD Vinyls to bring us the 3M Scotchgard PPF. If you shop for VViViD PPF, you’ll come across the same product under a different brand name.
One large roll is enough for multiple clear bras, so it’s worth every penny. It’ll protect your paint coating from chips and can even hide existing scratches.
The only downside to Scotchgard is that it’s not hydrophobic. In other words, water, soap, and other liquids tend to stick to it, even more so than on regular car paint.
XPEL Paint Protection Film
XPEL is arguably the most important brand in the PPF industry. Their polyurethane film is 8 mil (0.008 in or 0.203 mm) thick and has a super glossy finish. It’s also hydrophobic, so it’s one of the best materials for a clear bra.
If you want a full XPEL clear bra, you can order a kit or a roll from the XPEL website. You can’t go wrong with it, but you should have a professional install it because it’s very expensive.
Llumar Clear Paint Protection Film
Llumar is another major player in the car paint protection and window tint industry. With a thickness of 10mm (0.010 in or 0.254 mm), Llumar takes the cake on this list for durability. Plus, their products are often cheaper than 3M and XPEL.
It’s also super flexible, making it easy to apply. Lastly, it’s somewhat hydrophobic, making your Tesla easier to clean.
Factory Crafts Paint Protection Film for Tesla Model S 2016 – 2020
Here’s a PPF kit made specifically for the Tesla Model S (2016 – 2020). You can select from a few options, including Full Hood or Front Lights only.
Factory Crafts PPF is 6 mil (0.006 in or 0.152 mm). That’s a bit thinner than premium options like XPEL, but it’s still relatively thick compared to the cheap stuff.
If you’re looking to protect your Tesla Model S, this is a great option.
Crystal Shield Tesla Model Y 2020-2021 Rear Door Protection Kit
If you have a Tesla Model Y, you probably have a few scratches on the rear door already. Due to the unusual front fender shape, small rocks and pebbles hit the rear fender constantly.
This simple two-piece kit by Crystal Shield is something you can install yourself easily. It only covers the most susceptible part of the door, not the whole door.
This kit is actually made of 3M Pro Series PPF, so it comes with all the benefits of their thick, high-quality protection. You also get a cool squeegee for easier installation.
Clear Bra for Tesla Comparison
|3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film||XPEL Paint Protection Film||Llumar Clear Paint Protection||Factory Crafts Protection Film (Model S)||Crystal Shield Protection Kit (Model Y)|
|Easy to DIY||✔||✔||✔||✘||✔|
|Warranty (Length)||✔ (10 years)||✔ (10 years)||✔ (10 years)||✔? (Not stated)||✔ (10 years)|
Do I Need a Clear Bra for My Tesla?
If you’re looking for a way to protect your Tesla’s paint job, you’ll need a clear bra. The urethane film will prevent scratches and stop the paint from chipping. Clear bra can be a cost-effective alternative to covering the whole vehicle with paint protection film (PPF).
It’s worth noting that a clear bra (or any other form of PPF) makes more sense on a new Tesla than a used one. If you already have several scratches, kinks, and dents on your Tesla, it’s too late to get a clear bra.
On a somewhat similar note, I also wrote a complete Tesla Scratch RRed-Tesla-With-Scratch-Marksepair Cost Breakdown. Check it out! This might save you a few bucks! Let me know what you think!
Of course, you could have a detailing shop buff out marks and repaint everything and then apply a clear bra. But you’ll probably spend way more money than learning to just “live with it.”
All in all, a clear bra is a sound investment. If you ever decide to take off the clear bra, your Tesla will look brand-new. This will increase the resale value of your car too.
Cost of Clear Bra for Tesla Model 3
Front-end clear bra kit for Tesla Model 3 costs about $400 – $500. It depends on the brand, thickness, quality, and which parts are getting protection. A professional front-end clear bra installation costs around $800 for a partial installation to over $4,000 for full protection for Tesla Model 3.
The price really depends on where you go and the PPF in question. If you’re doing it yourself, prepare to spend anywhere between $200 to $500 just for the materials.
Most detailing stores like Speed Projects Laboratory, My Tesla Miami, and T Sportline offer several options for the Model 3:
- Partial front-end (Covers front bumper, headlights, front part of the hood, and front fenders) for $500 to $1,000.
- Full front-end (All front body parts up to the door, excluding the front doors) for $1,000 to $2,5000.
- Full body (All painted body parts) for $4,000 to $6,000.
The exact price will vary based on what options you select. I recommend the full front-end option for most people because it also protects your mirrors.
Pro Tip: Can you use a Tesla without side mirrors?
If you ever happen to lose a side mirror in a small accident, you can still use this workaround by turning on and accessing the cameras. That way you’ll be able to see blind spot without needing any mirrors. This will help you out a lot if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Clear Bra for Tesla Model Y, S, X
We already covered Tesla Model 3’s pricing. Unsurprisingly, the price ranges are slightly different based on the model of your Tesla.
Some models, like the Model X, are larger and require more work. Others are harder to work on because they have more grooves or inaccessible parts.
Tesla Model Y
Here’s how much you’ll have to pay for a professional Tesla Model Y clear bra:
- Partial front-end: $800 to $1,200
- Full front-end: $1,750 to $2,500
- Full body: $4,500 to $6,000
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is a sports sedan built with aerodynamics in mind. This makes it harder to work on, so the price is higher than the Model 3:
- Partial front-end: $800 to $1,200
- Full front-end: $1,650 to $2,400
- Full body: $4,500 to $6,000
Tesla Model X
The Model X is a very simple car to apply a PPF to, but it’s an enormous SUV. That’s why it’s typically the most expensive one:
- Partial front-end: $850 to $1,300
- Full front-end: $1,650 to $2,500
- Full body: $5,000 to $7,000
Anyway, on a similar note, I also wrote a somewhat related article about Tesla Model 3 Front Bumper Replacement Costs. Find out why Tesla parts are so darn expensive!
DIY Clear Bra vs. Professional Clear Bra for Tesla
In most scenarios, you should have professionals do a full front-end clear bra for you. Applying paint protection film requires a lot of experience, especially on larger surfaces like bumpers and hoods.
If you only want to protect a small part of your Tesla, for example, mirrors, you can DIY it. If you feel confident that you can do it yourself, you should still ask somebody to help you. Ask your friends to see if they have any experience with PPF.
But before you do anything, you should know what you’re getting into. Watch this video to see how difficult it is to install a clear bra onto a Tesla correctly:
Don’t get me wrong; I love doing everything myself. You can save over a thousand dollars if you do it yourself. However, you’ll spend a lot of time and, if you mess up, you’ll have to start over with a new PPF.
You can source the clear bra for your Tesla yourself. However, I’d advise against it. Most detailing shops won’t offer you a full warranty in that scenario because they’re not responsible for the materials.
EV Speedy’s Take
A clear bra is an excellent way to protect your Tesla’s paint. In general, a clear bra refers to a partial or front-end installation of paint protection film.
It can cost anywhere from $500 to over $5,000, based on the:
- Type of film
- Finish (gloss, matte, or stealth)
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