What Paint Protection Film is Best For You: Xpel vs 3M

Written by Darren Elia Created on February 22nd, 2023
Categories: Paint Protection

Damaged paint can be one of the most tedious and expensive cosmetic issues that can happen to your car. In Calgary, we know all too well how the environment can affect your vehicle’s paint job on a daily basis. 

Not only does damaged paint look bad, but it can also cause greater issues down the line like making it easier for rust to form.

Thankfully, there are many paint protection options available from automotive protection specialists like The Auto Protectors. These often come in the form of a film wrap that can easily be placed onto your vehicle, known as a “paint protection film” (PPF). 

Two of the main brand options for a vehicle PPF are XPEL and 3M. Although we do not offer 3M PPF, today we will look at the differences between these two popular choices, and which option may be best for you. 

What is XPEL Paint Protection Film?

XPEL PPF is a clear film that is applied to the surface of a vehicle to protect it from damage caused by debris, road salt, and other hazards that can damage a car’s paint. The film is made of a thermoplastic urethane material that is transparent and has a self-healing top coat that can repair light scratches and swirl marks with the application of heat.

It is designed to be a nearly invisible layer of protection on a car’s paint, providing an additional barrier against rock chips, bug stains, and other kinds of damage. This film is designed to fit precisely the make and style of a specific vehicle, and can provide protection for areas such as the hood, fenders, bumper, and mirrors, as well as other parts which are more prone to harm.

XPEL PPF is a popular choice for car enthusiasts who want to protect their investments and keep their vehicles looking great for years to come. It is also commonly used by dealerships and auto body shops to protect new cars from damage during transportation and storage.

The Benefits of an XPEL PPF

XPEL paint protection is a popular PPF option that you can find at many reputable auto protection shops like The Auto Protectors in Calgary. Here a some of the reasons why it is such a common choice for your paint protection needs: 

  • Protection: XPEL PPF is designed to protect a vehicle’s paint from damage caused by rocks, debris, bug stains, and other hazards on the road. The film acts as a barrier between the paint and the outside elements, helping to prevent scratches, chips, and other forms of damage
  • Self-Healing: This PPF features a self-healing topcoat that can repair light scratches and swirl marks with the application of heat, which helps to maintain the appearance of the vehicle over time
  • Aesthetics: It is nearly invisible, which means it does not detract from the appearance of a vehicle. The film is available in multiple variations and can be tailored to the specific parts of the vehicle, making it a popular choice for those who want to maintain the traditional appearance of their car.
  • Longevity: It is designed to last for many years and can help to extend the life of a vehicle’s paint. The film is also resistant to yellowing and discoloration, which means it will maintain its appearance over time
  • Resale Value: Vehicles that have been protected with XPEL PPF may have a higher resale value, as the film can help to preserve the appearance of the vehicle and prevent damage that could affect its value

What is XPEL Paint Protection Film?

What is 3M Paint Protection Film? 

Similarly to XPEL, 3M paint protection film is another clear, thermoplastic urethane film that is designed to protect a vehicle’s paint from damage caused by debris, rocks, bug stains, and other hazards on the road. The film is nearly invisible and is applied to the painted surfaces of a vehicle to act as a barrier, helping to prevent scratches, chips, and other types of damage.

3M PPF is custom-fitted to each specific make and model of vehicle and can be applied to areas that are prone to damage, such as the hood, fenders, bumper, and mirrors. The film is designed to be durable and long-lasting, providing protection for several years.

One of the unique features of 3M PPF is its “self-healing” capability, which allows it to repair minor scratches and swirl marks on its own. When exposed to heat, such as from the sun or a hot water rinse, the film’s top layer can revert back to its original state and heal itself, eliminating small scratches and marks.

3M PPF is a popular choice among car enthusiasts and dealerships for its ability to provide long-lasting protection without detracting from the appearance of a vehicle. It can also help maintain the resale value of a vehicle by preserving its paint and preventing damage.

The Benefits of a 3M PPF

3M PPF is another very common and popular paint protection option that you can find at many auto protection shops. The Auto Protectors do not offer 3M PPF to our clients, but because of how common it is, we feel the need to compare. 

The main benefits of a 3M PPF include: 

  • Protection: 3M PPF provides a durable, invisible layer of protection for a vehicle’s painted surfaces, helping to prevent damage from rocks, debris, bug stains, and other hazards on the road
  • Self-Healing: It features a self-healing top layer that can repair minor scratches and swirl marks on its own when exposed to heat, which helps to maintain the appearance of the vehicle over time
  • Aesthetics: It is nearly invisible, which means it does not detract from the appearance of a vehicle. This PPF can be  in various styles and adapted to certain sections of the car, making it an attractive option for auto buffs who desire to preserve the original look of their cars.
  • Durability: 3M PPF is designed to be durable and long-lasting, providing protection for several years. It is resistant to yellowing, cracking, and peeling, which means it will maintain its appearance and effectiveness over time
  • Resale Value: Vehicles that have been protected with 3M PPF may have a higher resale value, as the film can help to preserve the appearance of the vehicle and prevent damage that could affect its value

XPEL or 3M: Which Choice is Right For You? 

As mentioned before, these two PPF options are amongst the most popular in the paint protection market. Although it might appear that the advantages of both services are alike, The Auto Protectors, being experts in the field, feel the need to explain why we suggest XPEL PPF to our clients.

One of the reasons why XPEL PPF is highly regarded in the automotive industry is its high level of optical clarity. XPEL PPF is known for its transparency and its ability to maintain a clear appearance over time, making it virtually invisible once installed. This is particularly important for car enthusiasts who want to protect their vehicles without altering their appearance.

Another factor that may make XPEL PPF more appealing to some customers is its warranty. XPEL offers a longer warranty than 3M in some cases, with some products having a 10-year warranty. This gives customers peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected for a longer period of time.

XPEL PPF is also designed to be easier to install than 3M PPF. The company offers a range of pre-cut kits and custom designs that can make installation faster and more efficient. This is particularly important for professionals who may be installing PPF on multiple vehicles and want to minimize installation time.

Finally, many people may prefer XPEL PPF because of its enhanced self-healing capability. XPEL’s PPF has a topcoat that can repair light scratches and swirl marks with the application of heat, which can help maintain the appearance of the vehicle over time.

XPEL or 3M: Which Choice is Right For You?

Get Your XPEL PPF Installed by The Auto Protectors Today 

Protecting auto paint is what The Auto Protectors do best. We understand the many reasons why stopping annoying chips or other blemishes from appearing on your vehicle’s paint job is of the utmost importance for maintaining value, appearance, and safety.  

We also understand the importance of installing a PPF to your vehicle correctly, and so we strive to hire only the best PPF installers Alberta has to offer. When you choose us, you can be sure that you won’t have to think about painting your vehicle for a long time.

Contact us today and learn more about getting XPEL paint protection film for your vehicle!

Darren Elia
Auto Protectors, founded in 1983 by Emilio Elia, is a family business. Darren Elia, the current owner, carries on the legacy. We provide advanced auto solutions, like paint protection films and ceramic coatings. Our company has expanded and earned Consumer Choice awards. Passion and customer satisfaction drive their service.