As with almost everything in life, there are upsides and downsides to buying a new car. The upside is that you get a new car out of your efforts, which is likely to be a newer model and therefore a smoother ride with better acceleration and an improved all-round performance. The downside is all the hours of ‘sorting things out’ that you’re going to have to endure to get to the prize of bringing home your new vehicle. What do we mean? Well… think about it. Do you have a price range? Do you know your average miles per year? Do you have any idea as to whether the kinds of cars you might want to buy are economically viable over the distances you require? What about things like does the car have parking sensors and enough storage for any regular trips you might need to make, ranging from grocery shopping to hiking trips and family days out.
There is a lot to take in and consider when it comes to your car, and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming with all the different options. Take your time and think about what it is you want and need exactly, as the likelihood is you will have your vehicle for quite some time, so you want to ensure you look after it properly. This way, it should look and perform to the best of its ability for as long as possible.
Everybody’s situation is different, and it’s a minefield trying to find something that ticks every single last box. Something you may not have expected to be a consideration is protection for your paintwork (we’re going to go into this, but feel free to check out more info on avalonking.com). This can come out of the blue at the last moment before buying the car. The salesperson will just throw it out there, expecting you to have an in-depth prior knowledge of all things paintwork. Do you want a wax coating? A sealant? A ceramic finish? Who knows, right? Well, you will know by the end of this article…
Wax (bottom of the range option)
Wax coatings are cheap and fast and don’t last a long period of time. They are the least durable option and also offer the shortest time frames regarding life span – you can expect wax coatings to lose most or all of their protective abilities by around the six month mark, given average weathering conditions on the vehicle. This is an option for people who are buying cheap cars that they wish to sell on, meaning some protection is needed for resale value, but protecting the paintwork is not a long-term priority. However, if you plan on continually adding protection to your car, over time this method would add up in price, so it could be a better option to select a stronger, longer lasting coating in the first place. Weigh up your options and research what is best suited to your car and lifestyle.
Sealant (mid range options)
Sealants and waxes can be offered at similar prices, with sealants generally costing slightly more. This is because they provide arguably the next level of protection up from wax, with sustained durability against average weather conditions expected to fade after around the one year mark. This is an option again for people buying cheaper cars with a view to selling them at a decent resale value (see car depreciation explained). In the long term, protecting your car sufficiently can ensure that when it comes to selling it on, the effort you put into looking after it is all worth it, as it should increase the amount of money you get from the sale. People want to buy cars that look as new as possible, even if they are second/third hand, so keeping your car in mint condition is in your best interest if you want to attract more buyers.
Ceramic coating (high-spec option)
This option is the preferred option for people buying cars that they plan to keep for 1-3 years, as this is how long the heavy duty 9H rated ceramic coating will last from a single application. 9H is the hardest rating, meaning there is no better protection against the elements and minor interference. Ceramic coatings are right for you if you value your car’s appearance long-term for personal use, as well as if you wish to protect the resale value years down the line. Ceramic coatings repel water, mud and dirt, so even if you use your car regularly, through all kinds of weathers, your ceramic coating should do its job and keep your car well looked after. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to clean your car again but the ceramic coating will certainly make it easier to do so, as these substances won’t latch on and bond to your car.
So, all in all, the ceramic coating is more suited to you and your vehicle if you are wanting premium protection and a long lasting ‘showroom shine’, which is ideal if you’re wanting to keep your wheels for a good few years. Ceramic coating is an investment more than anything, and by looking after your car, you also look after your bank balance, as when it does come to cleaning your car, touching it up, fixing it, or selling it on, it will be in a much better state with the ceramic coating than it would be otherwise. Cars can also be expensive to repair if they become damaged, so prevention is almost always better than cure. Have a think about it.
…what about no coating at all?
Whilst it isn’t absolutely necessary to have a coating on your car, it is generally not advised to go without. If you have little care for your vehicle then go ahead and leave it without protection, but don’t be surprised when further down the line the paint starts to fade and become duller, whilst brittle orange rust spots begin to appear.