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[2023] How to Buy Ceramic Coating + 5 Red Flags in the Industry | Ceramic Coating by Kings Valet

When you search for a great place for a steak dinner, what is your search term? I'd guess "Best Steak Near Me" (or something very close). How'd I do? No, I am not psychic- "__________ Near Me" is the top search term across the board in the United States. I admit I am just as guilty and this post is not meant as judgemental, think more as eye opening.

Ceramic Coating Near Me - Is it really the best search term?

Ceramic Coating requires a high level of skill to install. The application is a very tedious process that can result in permanent damage if not done properly. It is also an investment into the second largest asset you will likely purchase in your life. In this light, doesn't it seem like finding the closest guy or gal to install a Ceramic Coating is a risky maneuver. Likely the only scarier search term is throwing "cheap" in front of this phrase. So what is the best way to purchase Ceramic Coating for your new car?

The Best Way to Buy Ceramic Coating

The one thing Kings Valet encourages is due diligence. Call multiple places even if they are a few miles away. Wait a Ceramic Coating Salesman / Company telling me to call the competition? Absolutely. This is a service worth driving 50 miles for the right experience. Kings Valet wants to ensure you have a great Ceramic Coating experience even if it is not with us. This post is designed to help you spot some of the red flags in the Ceramic Coating industry.

Best Ceramic Coating Near Me - Kings Valet Serving all of Michiana From  Granger to New Buffalo, Including Elkhart and Goshen.
21 Jeep Rubicon with Lifetime Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet

Red Flags When Purchasing Ceramic Coating:

🚩The Ceramic Installer Heavily Markets Their Coating Manufacturer's Brand

I have discussed this before - If a Ceramic Coating Installer is using the brand of their coating as a wow factor, be weary. Professional Ceramic Coatings are virtually all the same. When an Installer markets a coating brand versus their own brand means they are not confident in their services and need a manufacturer's "status" to sell you. Kings Valet has been "Certified" with 4 brands of Ceramic Coating. "Certification" requires a heartbeat and cash; heartbeat optional.

While this is a slight exaggeration, the reality is the better manufacturers require "some" experience with coatings, a business license and insurance to purchase. To offer their brand you drop a couple thousand dollars on a start-up kit. Once you install one of their coatings you send the sales rep a couple photos of the car you used it on - boom certified! Worst part - there is absolutely no way to tell what was installed on said car. Standing in person and comparing two coatings - there is no way to separate which is which. It really isn't as amazing as it sounds. This includes certification with Detailing Organizations - Usually this is just an annual fee and a couple quick quizzes to get a certificate.

Rim Ceramic Coating
Ceramic Coating on the Rims of a '22 Yukon AT4

🚩Our Ceramic Coating Can Stop Scratches and Prevents Rock Chips

I do all the sales for our company. One question I ALWAYS lead with is- 'Why do you want Ceramic Coating Installed?" I am searching for if the expectation has been set properly already. Which expectation is that? Ceramic Coating is NOT designed to stop rock chips or be scratch proof. While Ceramic Coating is a hardened layer atop your clear coat - it is not bulletproof. If your angry ex is running around your car with a key... they will get down to bare metal, even if it's coated. "Is Ceramic Coating Scratch Proof?" or "Can Ceramic Coating Stop Rock Chips?" is a GREAT way to test the honesty / integrity of your potential Ceramic Coating installer. If the answer is anything other than "No" - it is a gimmick.

I would wager most say "The Ceramic Coating acts as a sacrificial layer". While this is a true - Ceramic Coatings bond with your clear coat. If the Ceramic Coating is being sacrificed; either the bond isn't that great - or the clear coat is coming off too. I have always found "sacrificial layer" to be a weird sales pitch.

🚩If they Market "Ceramic Coating increases Resale Value"

While this is "true" it isn't as true as most would make it seem. You drive your brand new BMW off the lot and it went from being valued at 75K to 67.5K - average 10% loss in value immediately after purchase. Within a year your now used vehicle (if it has low miles still) is worth about 60K - average value lost within the first year is 20%. Yes I am sure the $1,500 you spend on a Ceramic Coating is really bringing some of that $15K back.

This resale pitch is usually paired with that they report to carfax. Kings Valet reports to carfax as well. Anyone with a business license can. When companies report to Carfax, a brand of Ceramic Coating is not included by the way. Carfax is HEAVILY against brand promotion within their platform. When we report through our CRM OrbisX - the description is as follows "Paint Protection Installed: Ceramic Coating". Any more than this (including lifespan) and Carfax is likely to flag us and list it as "vehicle was serviced"

Resale value does increase, but it has virtually no correlation with how much is spent on a Ceramic Coating. The vehicle's resale increases slightly because odds are that if you installed a coating you took care of your car. The same could be said about getting oil changes or buying Weathertech mats.

22 Tesla Model S with Lifetime Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet
22 Tesla Model S with Lifetime Ceramic Coating from Kings Valet

🚩No Explanation of Maintenance Required / Tunnel Washes Are Okay

Another great question to ask is "How do I take care of my Ceramic Coating?" - the amount of information your potential installer gives you here will directly correlate with the amount of effort they will give post-installation. If they say it's easy - wash it however you want and it will last forever... they probably are not a good option.

Can you use brush-based washes for Ceramic Coating? Absolutely not! ANY Professional Grade Ceramic Coating's warranty will be voided by using "abrasive wash methods" - IE brush based tunnel washes like Drive and Shine. If your potential installer does not ask how you plan to care for the coating after installation it should raise concern. Education prior to purchase is a must. 'Soft-Touch" will not be acceptable either. Your best method for cleaning will always be a Two-Bucket Wash Method - followed by a touch-free automatic car wash.

An Example of What Poor Wash Methods will do to Ceramic Coating / Clear Coat.
An Example of What Poor Wash Methods will do to Ceramic Coating / Clear Coat.

🚩Steep Discounts on Ceramic Coating

Discounts are great right? Discounts price = discounted experience. Maybe you have found a unicorn, but the odds are not in your favor. If your Ceramic Coating Installer is providing a service for $500 - odds are when that coating fails in six months, they will be out of business. Ceramic Coating not only requires a lot of labor - the chemical itself is $200+ for a sedan.

Another way this pops up is a shop blindly offering to match another shop's pricing. Kings Valet will not price match. We offer a level of value that no one provides locally, for example FREE Maintenance for Life. As for discounts; Kings Valet only offers 2 discounts - Military / First Responder and a Cash Discount. First Responders / Military save $100 and Cash Discount is 3% (it is what we pay in fees).


Circling Back to More Positive Industry News

This post may make it seem like everyone is out to get you. That is not the intent. My goal with this "Red Flag" post is merely to help you find the best option for you. If you know what to look for, you can be vigilant. There are MANY wonderful Ceramic Coating Installers in Indiana and Michigan. I always suggest getting on the phone. It is easy through marketing for a company to look and feel great online, a call lets you get to know who you will be investing with on a Ceramic Coating.

Kings Valet has long marketed "While we may not be the closest or cheapest, we promise an expectation exceeding experience!" We have had folks travel from Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. We even installed a coating for someone from NJ that was moving here about 6 months after having it done. She was on vacation looking for a house and dropped her car off for a Ceramic Coating service.

Before Paint Correction - Kings Valet Protects All Badges, Plastic Trim and Rubber.
Before Paint Correction - Kings Valet Protects All Badges, Plastic Trim and Rubber.

Stephen and I absolutely love what we do. If you have any questions at all - I hope you will send an email ( Have a Blessed Day!

Pssst - Don't Have Ceramic Coating Yet? See More on the Lifetime Ceramic Coating by Kings Valet below.

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