How Long After PPF Can You Drive

How Long After PPF Can You Drive

Paint protection film, often known as PPF, is a helpful accessory that can be applied to the body of your car. This helps to reduce paint damage via scratches and degradation as a result of UV rays.

But the application process can be lengthy sometimes, and even after application, you must ensure the PPF is fully dried to ensure the best protection.

In this blog, we will answer the question ‘How long after PPF can you drive?’

The UK automotive aftermarket industry is thriving, ranking fourth in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of size, and turning over an annual £21.1 billion.

The sector supports 345,600 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion each year to the economy. And it is growing: the sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.

That’s why we at Car Specialist Customs are here to provide you with all the information you require to get the best car customisation possible, whilst being as informed as possible.

Can any vehicle get PPF?

Can any vehicle get PPF?

Yes, to a degree, almost every vehicle can get PPF. However, there are some instances in which it may not be the best option. Let us explain.

  • Vehicles in very poor condition: If the paint is already heavily scratched, dented, or has significant clear coat damage, PPF won’t magically fix these issues. It might even make them more noticeable. In such cases, paint correction might be a better first step before considering PPF.
  • Vehicles with matte or textured finishes: PPF has a glossy finish. Applying it on a matte or textured paint job would alter the original look and defeat the purpose of those finishes.
  • Leased vehicles with strict return conditions: Some lease agreements have specific requirements about the condition of the paint upon return. Applying PPF and then removing it later could potentially violate those terms, so it’s best to check your lease agreement beforehand.
  • Vehicles on a tight budget: PPF can be a significant investment. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t necessarily need the top level of paint protection, a good quality ceramic coat might be a more cost-effective alternative.
  • Government vehicles: Unless express permission has been received, a government vehicle will unlikely have PPF applied.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to apply PPF depends on the specific vehicle, its condition, your budget, and your desired level of paint protection. It’s always best to consult with a professional detailer, who can assess your vehicle and recommend the best course of action.

Can you mix PPF and ceramic coating?

Yes, PPF and ceramic coating can be mixed and, in fact, complement each other quite well on a vehicle. Here’s why:

  • Different areas of protection: PPF offers physical protection against scratches, chips, and abrasions. Ceramic coating adds a layer of protection against UV rays, water spots, and environmental contaminants. They work together to provide a more comprehensive defence for your car’s paint.
  • Enhanced benefits: Ceramic coating can actually improve the hydrophobic properties (water repellence) of PPF, making it even easier to clean your car. Additionally, some ceramic coatings can add gloss and enhance the overall appearance of the PPF. 

When it comes to application, apply the PPF first and allow it to cure completely, following the manufacturer’s instructions (usually 24-72 hours). Once the PPF is cured, the surface can be prepped and ceramic coating can be applied.

However, you should be mindful of the following points if you end up applying ceramic coating over your PPF.

  • Check for compatibility: Not all ceramic coatings are specifically designed to work with PPF. Make sure to choose a ceramic coating that is compatible with the type of PPF you have installed.
  • Consult a professional: For best results, it’s recommended to have a professional detailer apply both the PPF and ceramic coating. They will have the experience and expertise to ensure proper application and maximize the benefits of both products.

How long after PPF can you drive?

How long after PPF can you drive?

The recommended wait time to drive after applying paint protection film (PPF) can vary depending on a few factors, but generally falls within the range of 24–72 hours. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Minimum wait: Most PPF manufacturers recommend waiting at least 24 hours after application before driving your car. This allows the film to partially cure and begin adhering to the paint.
  • Optimal wait: Ideally, you should wait 72 hours (3 days) for the film to fully cure and reach its maximum strength. This ensures a strong bond and minimizes the risk of the film lifting or peeling during driving.
  • PPF type: Some high-performance PPFs may have slightly different curing times, so consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific recommendations.
  • Application conditions: Temperature and humidity can affect curing times. Warmer temperatures generally accelerate curing, while cooler temperatures may require a longer wait. If possible, applying PPF in the summer may be the more optimal choice.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for your PPF product. If you are having your PPF applied professionally, the applicator may be able to provide a better understanding based on previous applications.

Fresh PPF should avoid…

  • Avoid washing your car or exposing it to harsh chemicals for at least a week after installation. These chemicals can have an effect on the PPF application, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Keep the car out of direct sunlight for extended periods during the curing process.
  • Avoid high speeds and aggressive driving immediately after installation.
  • Avoid jet washers and car washes that don’t handle vehicles with PPF, this is for the duration of the PPF being on your vehicle. Anything other than the recommended style of washing your car that has PPF can result in the film peeling etc.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your PPF adheres properly and provides long-lasting protection for your car’s paint.

Purchase PPF today

Purchase PPF today

Our team members at Car Specialist Customs are extremely passionate and proud of the multiple services and products we provide for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

As a fully insured and approved installer, catering to the needs of vehicle owners of Greater Manchester and beyond, we are proud to let you know that we offer services for the following:


Wrapping and PPF:

Interior customisation/ technology:


Featuring the brands, Pandora, ScorpionTrak, Meta Trak & SmarTrack, we’ve included affordable, and premium products to suit the needs of our customers. With finance options available, and the option of installation, head to our website to get your quote!

We will always go above expectations to make your car feel special to you. With even more services and options becoming available in the future, Car Specialist Customs is the home of making any car unique, secure and special.

See what we can do for you today, we hope the details we shared have helped you decide to take a step forward in personalising your vehicle with our unique service.

In this blog, we aimed to have answered the question, ‘How long after PPF can you drive?’ Whilst also providing supplementary information that can help you make an informed choice when it comes to investing in customisation options for your vehicle.

Want to get in touch? You can find us right here:


Unit 30

Caldershaw Centre

Ings Ln


OL12 7LQ


Monday to Wednesday – 10 AM—7 PM

Thursday – Closed

Friday to Sunday – 11 AM—7 PM


07523 971347 (Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm)


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