When it comes to market leaders, Xpel is the first name that comes to mind within the Paint Protection Film (PPF) industry. Over recent years Xpel has dominated the market and is probably the one company who has changed the game in leading the PPF evolution.
A lot has changed over the recent years and as of 2021 Xpel has introduced some amazing products around the Paint Protection Film sector. Everything from ceramic coatings specifically designed for PPF to antimicrobial infused films which inhibits the growth of microbes, great for interior touch screens and trims.
In this guide we are going to run through everything Xpel, from their latest products to what makes their film so good, and why you should choose Xpel for your next brand of PPF.
Founded back in 1997 at their San Antonio, Texas headquarters, with a dream of bringing paint protection film to everyday automotive uses. Paint Protection Film had already been around since the 1950s when it was fist developed for use on helicopter rotor blades during the Vietnam War. Helping to cut costs on expensive blade replacements, and adding a level of security to everyone on board.
Xpel's vision was to utilise this old film technology to create a clear protection film that would protect vehicles paintwork from rock chips, scuffs, and scratches. Slowly but surely they developed a PPF that could contour and stretch around complex curves and shapes, which eventually paved the way for pre cut patterns.
With the introduction of a self healing feature in 2011 brought huge amounts of attention to the PPF market, this really was the turning point for Xpel. The self healing properties they developed signified that the PPF now had the ability to self heal light scratches, this lead to a Paint Protection Film that would always look like new. Old PPF was easily scratched and looked unsightly, this eliminated that problem and set a new benchmark in the industry.
Fast forward 20 years and Xpel now have one of the largest (if not the largest) installer networks in the world, with installers based on every continent. With roughly 600 installers alone in the UK, their presence is huge and you would find it hard to locate a ppf installer who hasn't used an Xpel product.
Xpel Design Access Program (DAP) hosts one of the largest pattern databases in the world, with over 80,000 templates for just about every vehicle make and model. DAP is now running on the 11 generation, well established and fine-tuned, this cutting software has a ton of features at the installers disposal.
Endless ability to edit these patterns enables each Xpel Certified installer to resize, join, add wrapped edges, combine patterns, and add just about any shape you could think of.
It's not just Paint Protection Film patterns, DAP also has a huge window tint database too. Which is great as it provides a smooth, precision cut pattern that does not need to be trimmed down or manipulated.
Some of DAP 11's features include a brand new job scheduling system, this is a great way for companies to assign, schedule, and display jobs to each of their installers. This provides a more streamlined service and allows for a more efficient system, not to mention more time to perfect those installs! You can check out the full list of features by visiting Xpel's DAP site here.
When it comes to cost there are a few factors to think of when looking to purchase Xpel Paint Protection Film. Pricing usually varies due to the following factors, professional installer experience, complexity and size of the vehicle, geographical location, colour of vehicle, company overheads, and the amount of coverage.
Installing paint protection film is an art which takes years to perfect and as the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". If your looking to get Xpel PPF as cheap as you can then expect the quality of install to be reduced dramatically.
As a rule of thumb we would always recommend visiting the company you are looking to go with to get a better understanding of the product, to see current work, test their knowledge, and to see those all important insurance documents.
We can't stress enough how vital it is to check they have valid and adequate insurance cover, after all the last thing you need is your car being damaged and not being able to file an insurance claim!
So down to the actual pricing, as explained above there are many factors to think about but in the current market (2021) expect to pay anything from around £450 for a front bumper on a 2021 BMW M3 Competition, and anywhere up to £12,000 for a one off custom design kit on a 1959 Ferrari 250 SWB.
Check out our pricing table below where we have broken down some average prices gathered from around the UK.
Prices below are for a middle sized vehicle with a medium install difficulty rating. Based on average quotes from companies within the UK, VAT inclusive.
Whether you have opted for XPEL Ultimate, Ultimate Plus, Stealth, or Armour the care and maintenance is pretty much the same across all products. Manufacturer recommendations are to clean the film at least 1-2 times a month, preferably using a wash mitt with a two bucket grit guard method.
Avoid using any petroleum based cleaning products or harsh acids, and opt for pH neutral products instead. When using a high pressure power washer we would advise keeping the nozzle around 4-5 feet away from any edge. Getting too close could potentially lift the film or blow water underneath it.
Always follow up with a spray liquid wax after cleaning, and try to apply a wax coating at least once a month. This will maintain a glossier finish and increase the lifespan of the film helping to protect against bug splatter, iron fallout, rubber, tar, bird poo, and general contaminate from sticking to the surface.
We would not recommend using a paste carnauba wax as this can build up on the unwrapped edges and will leave white lines that can be hard to remove if left for a long period of time.
All of Xpel's films can be machine polished if needed to remove some very light etching but this should always be done by a professional. The self healing top coat does a great job at removing light scratches and swirl marks, but this can become damaged if it is polished too far or by using the wrong products.
If you have Xpel Fusion or Fusion plus ceramic coating applied on top of the film all of the advise mentioned above is suitable for both these products. Xpel always recommend using their own aftercare products, these are specifically designed for the Xpel paint protection film line and are the best products for keeping your film in top condition.