The new car dealership is a volume based operation. They need to sell as many cars as they can as fast as they can to operate profitably. That means they are more than likely going to do what is best for them vs what is best for you the customer.
So what does that mean when it comes to the paint protection offering at the dealer? Quite a lot. The dealer typically has the amount of time that you sit in the Finance office, where you are sorting out payment and lease options, where they offer you the paint protection, to perform the actual installation. This is typically no more than an hour to two. This means that they are going to push the coverage package that they can get done in that very short timeframe as the “best” option. And what I mean by coverage options is the “size” or the amount of area covered on the car. From the dealer, this will more often than not be a partial coverage strip across the hood and fenders, the door cups, and the door edge guards. All great things to have protected, but is it enough based on how you intend to use the car?
In Colorado, where we have heavily contaminated roads and rock chips are a real issue, the partial coverage of the hood and fenders is not enough. The rule of thumb is that the faster the car is driven, and the more frequently it is driven at speed (highway use or enthusiast driving) the further back on the vehicles finish we are going to find road debris impact. Lets look at this 2015 Audi S7 as a perfect example. It has the partial coverage across the hood and fenders applied. We can clearly see major impact damage well past where the film stops. The paint protection film is not doing its job, and this level of coverage is a complete waste of money.
The next area to look at is the front bumper. The front bumper is a difficult and intricate area of the car to properly apply film. So there is no way the dealer can get it done well in that short time frame. So they tell you that you don’t need it. They tell you that because the bumper is not metal, the paint won’t chip with road debris impact. Well we can clearly see that is not the case.
If you are going to invest in to a new car you care about. And you are going to invest in protecting the finish of that car so that it looks its best while you own it, so that you have more fun driving the car knowing the finish isn’t being damaged, and so that you’ll receive the highest value at trade in or resale, then invest in the proper protection done by a professional shop that specializes in large area coverage.
Now the dealers are not blind to the fact that large area coverage is the right thing to do and that it is becoming more popular. So they are attempting to offer the larger coverage options in house. We’ll dig deeper in to these pitfalls and why you should choose a specialist in another article. So stay tuned!