How Much Does It Cost To Put A Ceramic Coat On A Car?

What is a Ceramic Coat?

A ceramic coating is defined as a thin liquid polymer layer that bonds to a vehicle’s factory paint and creates a protective layer. It is made of nano-ceramic particles that form an extremely hard, durable shell over the paint (Ceramic coating definition).

Unlike traditional waxes that sit on top of the paint, a ceramic coating chemically bonds to the surface, resulting in a much stronger protective barrier. The coating’s hydrophobic properties repel water, contaminants, UV rays, and minor scratches. This makes the car’s surface easier to clean and prolongs the life and vibrancy of the paintjob.

Once cured, a ceramic coating forms an optically clear, glossy layer that enhances the paint’s original appearance. The slick surface also improves aerodynamics. Overall, ceramic coatings provide longer-lasting protection and shine compared to waxes and paint sealants, typically lasting 2-5 years with proper maintenance.

Cost Factors

There are several factors that affect the cost of a ceramic coating, including:

Size of Vehicle

The size of the vehicle being coated is a major cost determinant. Smaller vehicles like cars and motorcycles require less coating product and labor time compared to larger vehicles like trucks, RVs and boats. Ceramic coatings for a standard sedan may range from $400 – $1,000, while a full-size truck may be $800 – $2,500 (Ceramic Coating Pricing & Costs).

Number of Coatings

Most professional detailers apply 2-3 layers of ceramic coating, with cost increasing per layer. Some premium packages may include up to 5 coats. The more layers applied, the longer the protection will last (How Much Does Auto Ceramic Coating Cost?).

DIY vs Professional

DIY ceramic coating kits can reduce costs, but require the proper tools and skill. Professional application costs more but ensures optimal results. Professional coating services range from $1,000 – $5,000, while DIY kits can be $50 – $400 (What Is The Average Cost Of Ceramic Coating?).

Prep Work

Proper prep work is crucial before applying a ceramic coating in order to ensure it bonds properly and lasts. The main prep steps include:

Washing the vehicle thoroughly with soap and water is the first step. This removes any loose contaminants on the paint surface. Use a two bucket method and microfiber mitts to prevent swirls and scratches while washing.

Next, you’ll want to use a clay bar to remove any bonded surface contaminants like industrial fallout that normal washing won’t get rid of. The clay bar picks up particles stuck to the clear coat leaving a perfectly smooth surface for the ceramic coating to bond to according to this guide.

Finally, polish and compound the paint to remove any minor swirls, water spots, oxidation, and scratches. This leaves a glossy, defect-free surface for the ceramic coating according to experts at AvalonKing. Avoid aggressive polishing right before a coating, which can reduce clarity.

Proper prep removes all contaminants and creates an ultra smooth surface for ceramic coating adhesion. It’s labor intensive but necessary prep work for optimal results. Consider professional help for paint correction and prep if the paint has moderate defects or little prior care.

DIY Cost

The cost to ceramic coat your car yourself with DIY kits will depend on the brand and formula, but generally ranges from $50-150 (Ceramic Coating Cost: The No B.S. Facts). Many popular options are kits from CarPro, Gtechniq and Armor Shield IX. These include the ceramic coating liquid and any prep solutions needed. You’ll also need some basic supplies like microfiber towels, foam paint applicators and nitrile gloves.

The most important tool you’ll need for a DIY ceramic coating is a DA polisher/buffer which typically costs $100-200. This allows you to thoroughly polish and prepare the paint for the ceramic coat. You’ll also need a plastic paint scraper for removing any bonded contaminants. Other useful tools are a clay bar and clay lubricant for decontaminating the surface.
applying a ceramic coating yourself requires supplies like microfiber towels, foam applicators, a da polisher and plastic scraper.

Plan at least a full day or weekend for a DIY ceramic coat. You’ll need to wash, decontaminate, polish and prep the paint before applying 1-2 coats of the ceramic liquid. Then it needs to cure for 12-24 hours before you can wash or drive the car. The entire process takes patience and attention to detail, but the savings over a professional shop make it worthwhile for many car enthusiasts.

Professional Cost

Getting your car professionally ceramic coated by an experienced detail shop generally costs between $1,000-$3,000 depending on the shop, services included, and the size/type of vehicle. Here are some factors that influence the cost:

Shop Prices

Some detail shops charge a flat rate while others price based on vehicle size and type. For example, Autotrader reports ceramic coating costs around $750 for a small vehicle, $1,000 for a mid-size sedan, and up to $3,000 for a large truck or SUV.

Additional Services

The cost may be higher if the shop includes additional prep work like paint correction or removing existing coatings. Some also offer paint protection film which can add another $1,000 or more.


Established detailers with years of expertise often charge more than new shops. The extra cost comes from proven techniques, training, and high-quality equipment.

Ongoing Maintenance

Properly maintaining a ceramic coating is crucial to ensuring it lasts as long as possible. The main maintenance required is reapplying a top coat every 12-24 months, depending on environmental conditions and usage (Source). Top coat products are sprayed on to refresh the coating’s hydrophobic properties and gloss.

Regular washing with a pH neutral soap is also important, as acidic or alkaline cleaners can break down the coating over time. Use microfiber mitts and towels when washing to avoid putting swirls in the paint. Avoid automated car washes as the brushes can be abrasive. Stick to hand washing with the proper supplies. After washing, a ceramic coating spray wax or detailer helps enhance the gloss and protection (Source).

Only use designated ceramic coating maintenance products, not traditional waxes or sealants. Following the proper maintenance regimen ensures the ceramic coating stays intact and looking great for as long as possible.

Other Considerations

When deciding whether to get a ceramic coating, it’s important to understand the warranty coverage and longevity promises. Many ceramic coating providers offer warranties ranging from 1-10 years. For example, Tint World offers a 7 year warranty on their nano ceramic coatings. Meanwhile, SB3 Coating offers Trinity 7 year warranty and Alpha 5 year warranty depending on the type of ceramic coating.

However, these warranties often have limitations and requirements for maintaining the coating properly. The longevity of the ceramic coating depends on following the proper washing, decontamination, and top coat reapplication procedures. So when reviewing warranty details, pay close attention to the maintenance requirements needed to keep the warranty valid for the full duration.

Is it Worth it?

When considering whether ceramic coating is worth the investment, two key factors to evaluate are resale value and protection benefits.

Ceramic coatings can help maintain your vehicle’s appearance, which may translate to a higher resale value down the road. According to research from, professionally applied ceramic coatings may increase resale value by 4-8% for newer vehicles. This protective barrier helps prevent swirl marks, oxidation, and a dull finish from environmental damage over time.

In terms of protection benefits, ceramic coatings provide a clear, glossy, and hydrophobic layer that repels water, contaminants, UV rays, minor scratches, and more. Consumer Reports testing showed ceramic coatings provided UV protection comparable to that of a high-end wax, along with easier maintenance. So the coating can preserve the car’s factory paint condition longer.

For many car enthusiasts and detailers, the resale value retention and long-lasting protection make ceramic coatings a smart investment for vehicles they plan to own and cherish for years. However, costs vary widely, so drivers should weigh their plans for the car and coating maintenance requirements as part of deciding whether it’s worthwhile for their needs.

New Car Coating

When buying a brand new car, many dealerships now offer ceramic coating as an add-on option. This is a convenient way to get a professional ceramic coating applied right away before you ever drive the car off the lot. Prices vary by dealership, but expect to pay $500-$2,000 or more for a new car ceramic coating from the manufacturer’s dealership. Keep in mind that the coating offered by the dealership is likely on the lower end of the quality spectrum. Aftermarket detail shops that specialize in ceramic coatings will offer more premium options.

You also have the choice of taking a new car to a professional detailing shop to have an aftermarket ceramic coating applied. There are high-end shops that exclusively offer ceramic coatings. The cost for a new car ceramic coating from an aftermarket shop generally ranges from $1,000-$5,000. The specific price will depend on the shop, the particular coating products used, and the level of paint correction done beforehand. Going to a reputable shop that focuses on ceramic coatings can provide a higher-quality, more durable coating versus what the dealership offers.

When researching shops, look for ones that detail the prep process and products used. Opt for a shop that does paint correction to fix any minor imperfections before applying the coating for best results. While the upfront cost is higher, a pro-grade coating from an aftermarket shop provides more benefits and longevity versus a basic dealership ceramic coating.

Ceramic Coating Cost FAQ

Many people have common questions when considering getting a ceramic coating. Here are expert answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the costs of ceramic coatings:

How much does a ceramic coating cost?

Ceramic coating costs range widely depending on the product used, who applies it, the size of the vehicle, and prep work needed. DIY kits can cost $50-150. Professional application costs $400-2000 for sedans and up to $5000 for large vehicles.

What affects the cost of a professional ceramic coating?

The shop’s reputation, product used, vehicle size, and preparation work all impact cost. High-end shops charge more for premium brands like Ceramic Pro, Opti-Coat Pro, and Modesta.[1]

Is a ceramic coating worth the money?

A ceramic coating can be worth it for the shine, protection, and ease of cleaning it provides. However, professional application is a significant investment. Carefully consider the benefits versus cost for your situation.[2]

How much does it cost to get a new car ceramic coated?

New car ceramic coating costs $1000-2000 typically. Some dealerships offer it as an option for $400-1200.Packages with paint correction services can be $2000-5000. It’s often cheaper to wait and have it applied after purchase.

Does a ceramic coating need ongoing maintenance?

Yes, a ceramic coating still requires regular washing and occasional toppers to maintain performance. This maintenance can cost $100-300 per year for DIY care or professional detailing services.

Similar Posts