The Differences Between XPEL vs 3M Paint Protection Film

Every time you drive your car, gravel, bugs, and road debris can do damage no amount of polishing can get out, leaving you with dings and scratches that can run you as much as $2,500 to fix.

If you want reliable protection against the hazards of the road, consider adding a protective film over your paint job. With several brands out there, it can be tough to decide which one to choose for your car. If you’ve narrowed it down to XPEL vs 3M brands, you’re off to a good start.

Let’s take a look at the two and how to choose a paint protection film for your vehicle.

3M Paint Protection Film

3M produced one of the first-ever paint protection films on the market and continues to produce high-quality films that work for any vehicle type. Their films are commonly used by new car manufacturers that offer films as an add-on.

When you consider the pros and cons of 3M paint protection film, keep in mind the company makes two different films. VentureShield is the most popular choice, providing good protection against the occasional wear and tear an everyday driver gets.

The Scotchgard Pro line provides great quality and performance in a thicker film. It’s the one used to protect the custom paint jobs on NASCAR vehicles as they dash around the track at 185 miles per hour.

XPEL Paint Protection Film

A relative newcomer to the market, XPEL paint protection film shook things up by offering films with self-healing properties. Just the heat from the sun can smooth out scuff and scratches in the film within 30 minutes.

The company provides software with vehicle templates to use for cutting out their films. This keeps knives away from your paint surface when the film is applied.

As you consider the pros and cons of XPEL paint protection film, make sure you compare across the four different lines the company offers. Ultimate is the top-of-the-line version with a super-slick surface that gives you a high-gloss finish. Stealth offers a satin finish that matches the sheen of factory matte paints.

Armor comes in as the thickest and strongest, looking a bit like a spray-on bed liner. It’s great for vehicles that get rugged use in off-road or heavy-duty commercial settings. Xtreme is a thin, clear film with minimal visual impact that lets your custom paint job shine through.

Choosing XPEL vs 3M For Your Car

Both brands deliver scratch resistant surfaces that can last for more than seven years. They go on invisible and shouldn’t turn yellow over time.

The differences between them start with XPEL’s self-healing feature, something it alone has on the market. XPEL offers a longer warranty than 3M — 10 years vs seven years — but can come in at a higher price than 3M with the premium lines.

Ready to Protect Your Paint?

If you want to keep your car looking new, you have to go a step beyond regular washing and waxing. Applying a protective paint film keeps sharp rocks and squishy bugs from damaging your car’s paint during regular driving. The best paint protection film for you comes down to the level of protection, length of warranty, and price.

Did you find this article helpful in choosing between XPEL vs 3M films? Check out others on our site that cover other auto-related topics.

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