Do You Really Need PPF for Your Tesla Model 3? Benefits Explained

Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a film painted on the surfaces of cars to protect from external harm. It protects the vehicle from scratches, toxins, UV light, grime, and many more, preserving the car’s original paint. 

You don’t really need PPF for Tesla Model 3 unless you live in an area where paint abrasion is likely to occur. However, if you drive on rural roads with lots of dust and gravel, you’ll need PPF to protect the Model 3’s paint. 

In this article, I’ll take you through PPF’s benefits, application, and cost to give you a better understanding of whether you’ll need it on your car. Additionally, I will explore ceramic coating as a cheaper alternative to PPF. 

What Are the Benefits of PPF on Your Tesla Model 3?

Teslas are notorious for having skinny clear coats that wear off quickly, exposing the paint to the environment. Therefore, many Tesla owners wonder whether it’s worth investing in the added protection that PPF offers.

The benefits of PPF on your Tesla Model 3 are:

  • It protects from light scratches & abrasions.
  • It protects the paint from harmful UV radiation. 
  • It prevents rust. 
  • It facilitates car washing. 
  • It maintains the car’s aesthetics. 

On a similar note, I wrote a related article called: “Should I Rust Proof My Tesla?” This will add some additional clarity to this topic. Check it out!

Tesla owners driving in rural areas will enjoy the benefits of PPF more than Tesla owners driving in urban areas. 

Loose rocks can wreak havoc on the paint near the wheels and the bumpers. Some Tesla owners driving on non-gravel roads also report paint abrasion. 

PPF is a thick transparent layer of polyurethane fitted on your car to protect the paint, hence the name clear bra. It’s about 3 to 11 mil (0.003 to 0.01 in) thick, giving your vehicle near-bulletproof protection (it was initially used in military helicopters before Nascar opened it up to commercial use). 

In all honesty, PPF doesn’t stop bullets. It does, however, protect your car’s paint from most hazards you’ll encounter when driving – rocks, tree sap, salt, bugs, bird droppings, UV radiation, you name it. 

PPF’s efficiency lies in its self-healing properties. It can’t prevent damage or scratches from happening, but if they do, they’ll quickly disappear over time.

By the way, I also wrote a related article called: “10 Best Tesla Touch Up Paint Colors Compared (With Pictures)“. Check it out when you’re done here!

Does Tesla Recommend PPF?

For those looking to obtain Tesla’s approval before proceeding with any modifications related to your car, this section is for you. Using only Tesla-recommended extras is wise: it guarantees car integration and preserves that precious warranty. 

Tesla hasn’t expressly recommended PPF, but its willingness to provide PPF in some cars means that it doesn’t object to the product. Tesla has stated its intention to provide PPF for vehicles in areas prone to paint damage.

In certain regions, Tesla offers extras to customers to protect their cars from damage caused by the environment. For instance, in November 2019, Tesla provided new All-Weather Protection Kits to Tesla owners. 

The kits – which Tesla offered to Model 3 owners – included two mud flaps with installation hardware. The purpose of these flaps was to protect the cars from paint chips that occur in winter due to salt, gravel, and sand.

In 2021, Tesla went a step further by testing the installation of PPF on the Model Y in select markets. The Model Y is particularly susceptible to paint chips, making it the best Model for Tesla to test this feature on. 

The campaign to have PPF available as standard hasn’t rolled out in most regions worldwide. However, Tesla’s willingness to incorporate it shows that the company acknowledges the protective benefits PPF offers to cars. 

Another suggestion for other articles written; I also wrote a related article called: What Is A Clear Bra For Tesla. Have A Look. In this article I advise the best options for you to choose from.

Is PPF Expensive To Install?

Cost makes many people avoid car extras that can benefit their cars. However, some additions can prove to be worth every dime. 

PPF is expensive to install. Coating your entire Tesla in PPF can cost you between $5,500 to $10,000, depending on the size of your vehicle, labor costs, and product quality. 

PPF is expensive due to the benefits it offers your car. Furthermore, you won’t need to reapply PPF for another five to ten years. 

If you go for PPF, always go for the best brands available. Purchase clear coating with a lengthy warranty (10 years or more) and a thickness of at least 8 mil (0.008 in). Additionally, ensure that the PPF has self-healing properties. 

PPF installation can take a while, especially if you opt to have PPF on your entire Tesla Model 3. 

Hohofilm Ppf Car Paint Protection Film Self Healing Automotive Vinyl Wrap Clear Gloss Vinyl Sheet Self-Adhesive,60&Quot; X20Ft Roll
The installer starts by preparing the paint’s surface to remove any contaminants that may hinder the PPF’s adhesion to the surface. A soap and water mixture known as slip is then sprayed on the surface. Click on the image for more info on Amazon.

Slip facilitates stretching of the PPF on the car’s surface and prevents adhesion before the technician applies the film correctly. Once the technician positions the PPF correctly, they let the slip solution out, allowing the PPF to adhere to the Tesla Model 3. 

Those on a budget can opt not to have the entire Tesla Model 3 coated in PPF. You’ll have the option of applying the material only on specific parts that are more susceptible to scratching or abrasion.

Parts that are highly susceptible to abrasion include the hood, bumpers, fenders, and mirrors. ONLY Coating these parts can reduce the cost of PPF significantly. 

Does PPF Increase the Tesla Model 3’s Resale Value?

One might consider PPF worth the cost if it will increase the Tesla Model 3’s resale value. However, not all car extras and modifications can increase their value.

Having PPF on a car won’t significantly increase a Tesla Model 3’s resale value. Buyers and trade-in centers consider aesthetics when valuing your car, but having PPF won’t result in a significant bump in resale value. 

Resale value goes far beyond car aesthetics. Therefore, if your car looks good on the outside but its interior and mechanics are poorly maintained, you won’t get a good price for the vehicle. 

So don’t invest in full-body PPF thinking that you’ll recoup the costs during resale. Invest in PPF solely because you value maintaining your Tesla Model 3’s aesthetics. 

MonsterGadgets on YouTube uploaded a video titled ‘2021 Tesla Model 3 PPF – is it worth the investment?’. In the video, he explains that installing PPF on your Tesla won’t increase the resale price. You might recoup a fraction of the money you spent installing PPF, but it’ll still amount to a loss. 

MonsterGadgets concludes by stating that he wouldn’t install PPF on his Tesla Model 3. 

Is Ceramic Coating an Alternative to PPF?

Ceramic coating is a chemical polymer applied to the car to prevent degradation of the clear coat. Like PPF, it prevents degradation of clear coat and improves the car’s aesthetics. 

Ceramic coating is a temporary alternative to PPF. It doesn’t last as long as PPF and doesn’t offer the same protection levels. The ceramic coating protects your car’s paint job for a limited period. 

Car owners looking for protection from external paint damage usually use a ceramic coating. It prevents grime, dirt, and stains from sticking onto the car’s exterior. It also allows water and dirt to streak off the paint’s surface, producing some impressive results after a car wash. 

The ceramic coating offers some of the advantages of PPF at a reduced cost. You might be wondering then: why not opt for ceramic coating for my Tesla model 3?

The issue with ceramic coating is that it benefits lean more on aesthetics rather than protection. Furthermore, ceramic coating degrades with every wash and exposure to the elements. 

If you’re unsure Which Color Tesla To Get, check out this article that I wrote. I revealed the most popular choices.

Gtechniq - Exov4 &Amp; Crystal Serum Light Bundle - Ceramic Coating To Protect Your Paint, Add Gloss, Resist Swirls, Repel Dirt And Contaminants, Ultra-Durable, High Gloss, Slick Feeling (50 Milliliters)
Its application may be cheaper than PPF application, but ceramic coating might cost you more in the long run. Click on the image for more info on Amazon.
PPFCeramic coating
It offers protection from dirt, grime, UV rays, and rust.It offers protection from dirt, grime, UV rays, and rust.
It offers long-term protection against paint abrasion.It offers temporary protection against paint abrasion.
It has self-healing properties. It has no self-healing properties.
It is expensive to install. It is cheap to install.
It doesn’t increase resale value.It doesn’t increase resale value.
It can last for over 10 years. It lasts a maximum of five years. 
This table offers a comparison between PPF and ceramic coating.

If you really care about your Tesla Model X’s aesthetics, pair PPF with ceramic coating. 

It will force you to dig deeper into your pocket, but in the end, you’ll get the protection of the PPF and the shine provided by ceramic coating. Your Tesla Model 3 will surely stand out from the rest. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Install PPF at Home?

You can install PPF at home by using a store-bought kit, but I recommend leaving it to the professionals. It takes a lot of practice to install PPF correctly.

How Much Does PPF From Tesla Cost?

PPF from Tesla for the Model Y costs $50. The company provides PPF for the rear fenders as part of their weather-protection kit. However, for custom coverage, you’ll likely have to pay much more.

If you install PPF at home and fail to do a satisfactory job, don’t attempt to remove the PPF. Chances are that you’ll remove the PPF along with some paint. If you mess up, leave the rest to the professionals.

Tesla states that the PPF protects from debris, sand, salt, snow, and stone chips.

EV Speedy’s Take

PPF is expensive to install, and you won’t recoup the money spent during resale. 

Ceramic coating can offer adequate protection and is cheaper to install than PPF. Even though It doesn’t offer the same level of protection it’s still a viable alternative. 

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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.