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Having Your New Car Ceramic Coated: Detail Shop vs. Dealership

Updated: Feb 17

Choosing Between a Professional Detail Shop and Dealerships for Ceramic Coating Your New Car.

When you're thinking about protecting your car's paint and keeping it looking great for years, ceramic coating is a great choice. But where you get it done can make a big difference in how well it works.

When it comes to protecting your car’s paint and maintaining that showroom shine, ceramic coatings have gained immense popularity. These coatings provide a durable layer of protection against environmental contaminants, UV rays, and even some minor swirls or light scratches depending on the coating applied. But where should you get your ceramic coating applied? Is it better to visit a detail shop or opt for the dealership’s offering at the time of purchase? Let’s dive into the details.

Understanding Ceramic Coatings.

Before we compare, let’s understand what ceramic coatings are.

Ceramic coating is a revolutionary form of protection for vehicles, gaining significant popularity due to its ability to enhance visual appeal and prevent paintwork degradation. Utilizing nanotechnology, this advanced liquid polymer forms a molecular bond with the paint, creating an impermeable layer that shields against environmental pollutants and damage. Acting as a sacrificial shield, it absorbs the impact of harsh environmental elements like UV rays, oxidation, bird droppings, and even some very minor swirls and scratches.

Performance Qualities.

Coatings with higher organic content typically found by accredited installers offer a hard barrier against scratches, wash, dry marring, and other friction-based effects. Alternatively, coatings with stronger hydrophobic qualities result in a better 'self-cleaning' effect. This means that dirt and contamination are repelled, making vehicle washing easier, and unwanted substances like tree sap and tar are less likely to bond to treated surfaces.

In essence, ceramic coatings provide a durable shield that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of vehicles but also simplifies maintenance and protects against various environmental threats, ensuring a lasting shine and finish. Learn more about the ceramic coatings we offer at Exclusive Auto Detailing HERE.

Now let's get into the comparison of dealership coatings vs. pro detailer.

Dealership Coatings: What You Get.

When you’re finalizing your car purchase at the dealership, the salesperson might offer you an additional protection package. Here’s what you’ll likely get:

  • Warranty: The primary selling point is the warranty. Dealership coatings come with a warranty, which can be reassuring, but there’s always fine print.

  • Quick Application: Dealerships work on volume, aiming to get cars off the lot swiftly. Unfortunately, this rush affects the quality of preparation and overall application. This leads to a quantity>quality approach.

  • Limited Preparation: Dealership detailers don’t have the luxury of time, nor do they have the proper training or experience. They’ll wash the car, maybe apply an iron remover, but rarely use a clay bar to remove all contaminants, nor will they polish the paint which is an absolute necessity prior to any coating application.

  • Sub-par Coatings: Most car dealerships often partner with big commercial brand vendors who will provide them with these "coatings" for little to no cost. Because of this, the quality of the product 9/10 times is a sub-par gimmick product leading to poor result and finish. This is when they'll utilize the warranty mentioned earlier. If you, the customer, realize shortly down the road that the coating isn't performing as expected, they will likely offer to redo it as a warranty for you, still leaving you with the same result.

Sure, dealerships are synonymous with convenience and brand assurance, but there’s more than meets the eye. If you have bought a new car recently, then the dealer might have offered you a ceramic coating as a purchasable extra, taking advantage of working the cost into your financing and leveraging the idea of protecting your newest investment.

But how does this all compare to professional ceramic coatings at a detail shop?

Professional Detail Shop Ceramic Coating.

While dealership offerings promise protection, professional ceramic coating stands out for its proven durability and effectiveness. Consumer feedback overwhelmingly favors professional ceramic coatings done by independent detail shops for their enduring performance and superior results, making them a prudent investment for protecting your vehicle.

What’s more, when you work with a detailer, you receive unmatched expertise, customization, and, above all, a professional touch.

Now let’s explore the advantages of visiting a professional detail shop:

  • Quality Preparation: Detailers take their time. They make sure all of the required steps are done meticulously prior to applying ceramic coating. This includes decontaminating the paint, ensuring a clean surface for the coating to bond effectively, paint correcting or paint enhancement polish to remove defects and really make sure it looks its best before locking in the finish with your ceramic coating of choice.

  • Professional-Grade Products: Detail shops use high-quality professional grade ceramic coatings that outperform dealership offerings, most only available to accredited installers. These coatings are a completely different formula than most offered and because of that the overall quality surpasses most available to the regular consumer.

  • Customization: Detailers can tailor the coating to your needs, adjusting the number of layers for optimal protection and longevity, add-ons such as other surface coatings like wheels, glass, trim and lights, and offer different levels to fit your budget.

  • Expertise: Accredited detailers understand the nuances of application, ensuring a flawless finish that will truly last many years, and can offer personal after sales support to help you continue to maintain that finish.

The Price Tag: A Detailed Comparison.

Dealership coatings often come with an average price tag—usually in the range of $800 to $1,500 or more depending on vehicle size. While the "warranty" part of this protection package seems valuable, and the option to just add it to your financing is appealing, the actual product’s longevity falls short of professional-grade coatings and more times than not it leads to damage and more cost to have a professional fix it. We DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Detail shop prices vary based on the vehicle size, condition, coating brand, number of layers, and add-ons. However, you’ll likely get better value for your money. Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for a professional ceramic coating depending on the longevity chosen and potential add-ons. BEST CHOICE!

Detailers All Day, Every Day!

In the battle of dealership vs. detailer, the DETAIL SHOP emerges as the WINNER. If you want a truly long-lasting, high-quality ceramic coating, choose a reputable detail shop near you. Your car deserves the meticulous care and expertise that only a detail shop can provide.

Protect Your Car Today!

At Exclusive Auto Detailing, one of the premier auto detailers and ceramic coating installers in the Hudson Valley area, our highly experienced team is dedicated to safeguarding your vehicle. Specializing in ceramic coatings for cars, trucks, and other vehicles, we work closely with each customer to deliver exceptional results. When you choose our team, your vehicle receives our undivided attention, ensuring it's treated with the utmost care.

To learn more about our range of services and how we can protect your car, contact our team today!

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