How Much Does A Ceramic Coating Cost?

Applying ceramic coating on your car will make the paintwork easier to maintain. How much does ceramic coating cost though? Here's the answer.

Ceramic coating adds exceptional protection to your car’s paintwork that will last for years if properly maintained.

A well-applied ceramic coating extends the lifespan of the paintwork and makes your car easier to maintain, and achieves a fresh, clean look.

However, one major reason most people opt not to get a ceramic coating is the price.

Many factors affect the price of a ceramic coating, including the state of the paintwork, the size of your car, and the type of ceramic coating.

We have previously discussed car wax and car sealant, which also offer protection but for a much shorter period and at a much lower price.

When applying a ceramic coating to your car, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1500 to $3000.

The cost could be above or below that range depending on factors that we will explore in this guide.

Let’s jump right into it!

Related:Car Sealant vs. Wax – Which Is Best?

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What Determines The Cost?

ceramic coating

The material used for a ceramic coating only makes up a relatively small part of the total cost.

The highest cost comes from the labor rate, as the process of applying a ceramic coating is very time-consuming.

This is also the reason why the price differs so significantly between cars.

When applying a ceramic coating, you essentially add a layer of protection over the current paintwork.

Because of this, the paintwork must be in pristine condition.

If your car is brand new or has recently been repainted, it will be much easier (and cheaper) to ensure the paint is in pristine condition than a car that has been poorly maintained.

Preparing a car for a ceramic coating requires many steps, including:

  • Prewash
  • Hand wash
  • Paint correction
  • Panel wipe
  • Polish hard-to-reach areas

Of all these steps, the most time-consuming is the paint correction which can take several hours.

After preparing the car, the ceramic coating must be applied, which also takes a few hours.

This is why the size of the car matters. A bigger car will need more time to detail and apply the ceramic coating.

Man Counting Money

In total, preparing and applying a ceramic coating could take 20-30 hours.

Depending on the labor rate of the detailer, the cost will vary, but it will generally be around $1500 to $3000.

The materials also have to be accounted for, which adds even more to the final cost, about $300 to $500.

If you intend to coat your car, it is best to ask for a quote to get a better cost estimate.

Keep in mind that it is much easier to estimate the cost if you take the car to a detailer in person, instead of asking for a quote via the phone or e-mail.

Cheaper Alternative

If you are experienced in car detailing, you can apply the ceramic coating yourself.

This only applies to people familiar with polishing, paint correcting, and other types of detailing.

It is also worth noting that many manufacturers sell DIY kits for their ceramic coating.

Unfortunately, the ceramic coating that comes in these kits is usually much worse than professional ceramic coating.

If you are capable of applying ceramic coating yourself, you can potentially save thousands of dollars, but you will need to commit many hours to the task.

Advantages Of Ceramic Coating

automobile ceramic coating

Many people do not even consider applying a ceramic coating to their car due to the cost involved.

While the cost is a significant factor, the effectiveness and advantages of a ceramic coating should also be considered.

A ceramic coating will protect your car’s paintwork. This includes protection against UV light, oxidation, rust, scratches, and more.

While this does not make your car invincible, it significantly reduces the chances of minor damage.

This is similar to the advantages of car wax and sealants. However, the ceramic coating will offer greater protection for a longer time.

If you properly maintain the paintwork and coating, it should last for about three years.

It is worth mentioning that many ceramic coating manufacturers claim their ceramic coating lasts for ten years or even the car’s lifetime.

While it is true that the coating might still be present on the car, its effectiveness will deteriorate within a few years, providing little to no protection.

Maintain The Ceramic Coating

car ceramic coating

After applying a ceramic coating, maintaining a fresh and glossy finish becomes much easier as dirt and debris are easy to remove when washing a ceramically coated car.

For the ceramic coating to last several years, it is important to maintain the car and the coating properly.

The best thing you can do is wash your car at regular intervals and do so properly.

When washing a ceramically coated car, it is important to use a pH-neutral shampoo and stick to old-fashioned hand washing.

That means that under no circumstances should you take your car to an automated car wash. These can damage the ceramic coating and even the paintwork in the worst cases.

Many manufacturers that provide ceramic coating also produce (or at least recommend) booster sprays that will increase the durability and longevity of the coating.

Using these sprays is a good idea. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, as some formulas can damage certain coatings.


auto ceramic coating

Ceramic coating is an effective but expensive way to add an extra layer of protection to your car’s paintwork.

It will make your car easier to maintain as dirt and debris can be easily removed when washing the car.

In addition, the ceramic coating will protect your car from UV light, small scratches, and rust while providing a nice finish.

While it may seem very expensive, with the right maintenance, it can be far more effective than wax and sealant, as a ceramic coating can last for years.

The majority of the cost is due to the labor-intensive work that is involved, which can ultimately cost as much as $3000.

If you are comfortable with car detailing, you could be able to apply the ceramic coating yourself and save a few thousand dollars.

The cost and time it takes to apply ceramic coating will depend on several factors, which include the size of your car, the state of the paintwork, and the quality of the ceramic coating.

To make the ceramic coating last longer, it is important to maintain it by following a few simple rules. These include regular car washing with neutral pH cleaner and applying booster sprays.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is an ASE-certified master technician and car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars, from common problems and fixes to racing.