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Does Your Auto Need a Car Bra?

8/20/2013 3:10:36 PM | by Tiffany Olson

Car Care Products

Let’s face it, when car fans finally purchase the car or truck of their dreams they become almost fanatical about keeping the body paint away from dings, scratches or chipping. To prevent these problems, some individuals buy a car bra to protect the front end, and other crucial parts of the car. But is a car bra the right solution for you?

 

Quality and pricing
Clear car bras come in different price ranges and are typically made from polyurethane film. The quality and thickness of this film; the amount of coverage you want for your car, and the labor costs for installation gives you the bottom line for total cost.

 

A compact car that has clear film protection for the fender, hood, side mirrors, front fascia, and front-end lighting, and the rest of the body may cost $900 or more including labor. For basic protection, just for the fenders, hood, and mirrors can start around $400 and up plus labor.

 

But these are only guidelines for pricing, and the actual costs for your particular setup may differ significantly due to the make and model of your car, shop costs, the coverage needed, and the brand of car bra you buy.

 

Self-installation of this clear film is doable and may save you a good amount of cash in shop labor costs, but this can void the warranty of some products. Unless you are a car expert and understand the ins and outs of applying this material, it may be better to leave it up to the professionals to do the application.

 

The benefits
The most obvious reason for buying a car bra is to protect your car’s paint from little missiles that come in the form of pebbles, rocks, and other debris. But if you’ve ever taken a leisurely cruise down long stretches of freeways or country roads during warm weather, you know there is a high possibility of running into a swarm of bugs.

 

These little critters self-destruct onto your windshield and into your car’s front end. Bugs can damage your paint due to the acidic properties of their bodies, and getting them off the paint can be pretty difficult. But if you have a car bra installed, you can remove them with some soap and water, and a bit of elbow grease.

 

Compared to the cost of sending in your car to the auto body shop for paint repairs for minor paint scrapes and bruises, you can save money by taking steps to prevent the damage by installing protective film. The upfront cost may seem expensive for a car bra, but if you’ve ever seen repair bills for a moderate paint job repair, you know it can get very expensive.

 

Aesthetically speaking, clear film protection keeps your car looking great and can also maintain the value of your car, if and when, you sell or trade it in. Car dealers want trade-ins that are clean because it means they won’t have to put in a lot of money for detailing. You’ll be able to get better trade-in value if the condition of your car is good.

 

Should you or shouldn’t you?
Many people think car bras are only for people who own expensive or rare cars, and certainly, this demographic makes up an important segment of sales for these products. But those who own “regular” cars can also benefit from film protection.

 

Should you buy one? It all depends on whether you feel the benefits of using these products outweigh the costs. But a good majority of those who have a car bra installed swear by them and report that they pay for themselves in the long run by saving them time and money from expensive body repairs.

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