Ceramic Coating Cost: 7 Things You Must Know

by Esteban   |   March 10, 2021
ceramic coating car cost

So you’re looking for ways to keep your car’s paint job shiny and new, right? And maybe you’ve heard about ceramic coating – a way to add a protective layer that can help extend the life of your car’s paint job by up to five years. 

How much does ceramic coating cost? It’s not so simple – when it comes to adding a creaming coating, the costs can vary widely. But don’t worry – I’ve broken it down for you.

Before you commit to a ceramic coating, there are seven key things you should keep in mind that affect your price. Here they are:

  1. There’s a big difference between DIY and professional ceramic coating cost
  2. Your car size and color make a difference in ceramic coating car cost
  3. It matters whether your vehicle is new or used
  4. The ceramic coating itself isn’t the only cost involved
  5. Maintenance and upkeep also cost money
  6. The cost of NOT using a ceramic coating may be higher than you think
  7. You have lots of options

Now let me review these in a little more detail.

There’s a big difference between DIY and professional ceramic coating cost

Are you fairly good at DIY projects? Then you might choose to apply your ceramic coating yourself. Not so comfortable with DIY? Then getting a professional ceramic coating application may be better. What’s the cost difference? Pretty considerable. 

When going the DIY route, you’re looking at costs around $20 to $150, plus your own sweat equity. But when you’re choosing a professionally applied ceramic coating, you’re buying materials, plus paying for the labor to apply them. Most professionals will charge an hourly rate for the work it takes to apply your ceramic coating. So at the other end of the price spectrum, a professional ceramic coating generally costs between $500 and $3000. 

Bottom line: think carefully about whether you’d rather pay for your ceramic coating in dollars or elbow grease.

Your car size and color make a difference in ceramic coating car cost

This one’s a no-brainer, right? The larger your vehicle, the more ceramic coating product you’ll need, and if you’re paying a professional, you’re also paying for more labor hours since you’re dealing with a larger surface area. 

But what about the color? As it turns out, color can have a big impact on how much labor it takes to apply your ceramic coating. 

Darker paint colors, for example, show defects more easily than lighter colors, so they may take more preparation time before your ceramic coating is applied. Translation: if you’re paying for your ceramic coating to be professionally applied, this means more labor hours you’ll be charged for.

ceramic coating cost

It matters whether your vehicle is new or used

This shouldn’t matter, should it? But it does. A ceramic coating for a new car generally takes fewer labor hours to apply since the paint job is fairly undamaged and requires less prep work than an older vehicle. 

Whether you do the work yourself or hire a professional, the older and more damaged your paint job, the more prep work will have to be done before your ceramic coating can be applied. If you’re using a professional, it’s a good idea to take your vehicle by for an estimate – without seeing the extent of prep work that should be done, it’s hard for a professional to give you an idea of the final cost.

The ceramic coating itself isn’t the only cost involved

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Just put a coating over everything. But not so fast – you need to make sure the surface of your vehicle is prepared before you apply a ceramic coating. If you’re doing the ceramic coating application yourself, you still might need to purchase additional materials – think car shampoo, clay mitts or bars, microfiber cloths, isopropyl alcohol and more – to make sure you’re getting your car’s surface clean and buffed so that it’s ready for the coating. 

And if you’re getting your ceramic coating applied professionally, you’ll have to pay for the hours of prep work the team puts into getting your car ready for the coating. 

What might this look like? Depending on the condition of your car’s paint, you might end up paying for 20 hours of prep work and only two to three hours of work tied to applying the coating.


Maintenance and upkeep also cost money

I know what you’re thinking: you’ll pay for the ceramic coating and then no more maintenance costs, right? No more regular washing and waxing, so you don’t have to worry about future costs. I wish that were true – but even with a ceramic coating, you’ll face regular expenses associated with maintenance and upkeep to make sure your car is looking its best. 

Once your ceramic coating is applied, you’ll still need to wash your car regularly, and if you get your ceramic coating applied professionally, many installers advise using a topper/booster spray, or some other kind of aftercare product, that generally should be applied every couple of months. A bottle usually costs between $50-$75 and lasts for a couple of applications.

ceramic coating headers cost

The cost of NOT using a ceramic coating may be higher than you think

If you don’t like to spend money, you can just skip the ceramic coating, right? Well, maybe, but think about your other costs associated with upkeep. With no ceramic coating, you’ll likely be paying for more frequent professional washes, waxes and polishes, which add up surprisingly quick. And if you skip those, you may be paying for a whole new paint job.

You have lots of options

The great news? No matter what price point you’re comfortable with, you have options. There’s a wide range of good DIY products on the market – and no shortage of reputable professionals who can work with you on a ceramic coating package that makes sense for you.


So here’s the bottom line: a ceramic coating can be a great way to add an extra layer of protection to your vehicle, keeping its paint glossy and your car looking like new for much longer than if you left your paint job unprotected. 

And even with all costs included, having a ceramic coating applied is still much less expensive than paying for a new paint job because yours is faded or damaged. Just make sure you’re familiar with all the costs involved before you choose which ceramic coating route is right for you and your car. 

Give us a call today at Freedom Classic – our outstanding team of professionals can answer all your questions about ceramic coating costs and give you an estimate for applying a beautiful, long-lasting ceramic coating that will keep your car looking its best. 

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