Tesla Model 3 PPF Cost, Best Brands, DIY Tips, and More

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 02/06/22 •  14 min read

Wrapping your Tesla Model 3 with PPF is expensive, that’s true.

But is the PPF in itself expensive? No. It’s the labor that will cost you above $5,000.

So if the idea of paying $4K to $8K USD to get a full Tesla Model 3 PPF (paint protection film) done is burning money for you, hold your horses.

You can get it all done in less than $2,000 — or even $300 (like an owner did; coming up later in the article).

I’ll discuss everything from the PPF costs to DIY tutorial and best brands in this ultimate guide to Tesla Model 3 PPF.

Whether you’ve got a $200 budget for a DIY project or you’re willing to pay for a full-coverage $5K PPF wrap, read on.

Benefits of Wrapping Your Tesla Model 3

Here are a few benefits of wrapping your Tesla Model 3, especially with PPF:

An Overview of Tesla Model 3 PPF Cost

If you want a reputable, Tesla-experienced installer to do the job, prepare your wallet.

Coverage options by XPEL

A partial front-end PPF isn’t enough for most Tesla owners, but the fact that it’s much more affordable makes it appealing.

The sweet spot coverage choice is a full front end, which includes:

Tesla Model 3 PPF Full Front End
Full front Model 3 coverage. Credit to Exclusive Wraps.

I’d also consider wrapping the rocker panels given the stories of the Model 3’s paint quality issues in those areas.

Here’s an example of what a full front end with rocker panels looks like:

Jump to 10:44 to see full front + rocker panel XPEL protection. Done for CA$2,800 @ Film My Ride.

Make sure to shop around. Quote the job with several installers near you to get the best price.

DIY Cost of Wrapping Your Tesla Model 3 with PPF?

Professional installers charge a lot of money for a reason:

Wrapping a car is time-consuming.

It’s a manageable task, but not an easy one by any means.

(Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.)

But if you decide to go the DIY route, it’ll cost you anywhere from $200 to $2,000 (Depending upon your decision to fully or partially wrap your Tesla Model 3). 

For DIYers, enough by-the-foot film material for a full front-end PPF costs as little as US$200.

Without prior experience and a $300 budget, some have taken the challenge and done partial Model 3 PPF wraps successfully.

How this first-time DIYer job ended up. Starts at 2:44.

If you also want to save thousands of dollars, I’ve compiled the best tips and installation videos in this article — they’re meant to make your DIY project much, much easier.

What Is the Best PPF for Tesla Model 3?

Best Overall: XPEL Ultimate Plus (Gloss) & XPEL Stealth (Satin)

Side-by-side comparison (Ultimate Plus left, Stealth right) on Model X. Credit to Freedom101.

All fingers overwhelmingly pointed to XPEL as THE best Tesla Model 3 PPF wrap to choose.

Overall, Tesla owners love the glossy Ultimate Plus for white and red vehicles, while the preference for black, blue, and silver models is mixed — either wrap makes the car look fantastic.

Including examples for every possible color + wrap combination will make this section too long.

Google “{your color} Tesla Model 3 + XPEL {Stealth or Ultimate Plus}” to preview which one suits your car’s color and preferences.

Here are my favorites, though:

Tesla Model 3 PPF on black Model 3.
Sick, sick look. Credit to OC Detailing.
Shiny, mirror-like blue
Interesting… Credit to Like Tesla.
Dude… THAT looks fantastic.

I prefer the glossy finish overall, though — and here are three more reasons I’d pick Ultimate Plus over Stealth’s satin, matte-like finish:

Your final choice will be based on the look you’re after — and your budget.

Call several installers in your area to get the best price.

Also, consider looking for the installer’s profile on Yelp or Google Reviews to verify whether they’ve done PPF jobs in Teslas before.

It’s important that Tesla’s sensors don’t get wrapped.

Any reputable shop knows this, but ask around to be sure.


Fits: Universal, in-bulk film

✅ Remarkable word of mouth
✅ Superior self-healing properties than more affordable alternatives
✅ 10-year warranty
✅ Available in pre-cut & by-the-foot form


❌ Needs cut to measure

Best Pre-Cut PPF Kit for Model 3: Full Front End 3M by North Tints

Tesla Model 3 PPF Pre-Cut Kit by North Tints.
Credit to North Tints

Bearded Tesla Guy (and the positive reviews this product has) has proven this PPF kit works surprisingly well for its price.

With its pre-cut film, it’s a dream come true for Tesla owners who want to save on their paint protection costs but have never done anything similar before.

If you want to protect your paint without breaking the bank, this is the way to go.

The kit also comes with a squeegee that customers admit is more than good enough to work with.

A particular customer admits the hood and fender cuts may not be entirely perfect, but at a very affordable price, it gets the job done.

Compared to buying by-the-foot material, you get to skip the cutting step.

But don’t be fooled: cutting is one of the easiest steps anyways.

Plan to dedicate an entire afternoon to the job — because although the difficulty drops a bit without the need to cut the film to measure, the installation is virtually just as time-consuming.


Fits: 2016 – 2020 Model 3.
Consider this for the 2021 Model 3.
Also available for Model Y.

✅ Save 80%–90% compared to professional installations
✅ Get to skip the cutting step
✅ Comes with a squeegee
✅ 5-year warranted 3M film


❌ Fairly new product
❌ Hood and fender cuts may not be perfect

Best Tesla Model 3 PPF on a Budget: By-The-Foot 3M

Only going for a partial wrap or specific parts?

This is exactly what SDA Dan Cars did — and the 3M product he ordered.

Although not as good as XPEL,  the widely available and affordable 3M PPF gets the job done, but it usually comes in standard cuts (e.g., 12″ x 96″, 12″ x 180″, 12″ x 300″).

Now that’s somewhat of a problem.

You’ll get all the material you need for much cheaper, but since it doesn’t have custom lengths, you may need multiple cuts for big single parts like the hood.

That introduces a risk of leaving unprotected lines or stacking films on top of one another.

Cutting and aligning the multiple film cuts will add complexity to an already-tough process.

If you opt for this roll, this tool kit (described below) is a great addition.

It’s the cheapest option of all — but given the inconveniences of this particular product, you’re better off going buying a partial front-end wrap.

Either a 12″ x 300″ roll to cover the bumper and roughly half of the hood, or a 12″ x 96″ roll, which, cut in half, can cover both rocker panels and part of the doors (up to 6″ in height).


Fits: Universal, in-bulk film

✅ Most affordable choice. Save up to 90%+.
✅ Can be used on kitchen surfaces and other home applications
✅ May come with detailer/squeegee


❌ Needs cut to measure
❌ No seller instructions
❌ May not be as durable

DIY Tesla Model 3 PPF at Home [Tutorial]

The Material You’ll Need

Don’t worry. I’ve done the work for you and estimated the exact amount of material needed to do a full front-end.

I’ll explain it assuming you get the PPF from XPEL (which you should!).

With its 10-year warranty, remarkable word of mouth, and superior self-healing properties, XPEL has eaten some of 3M’s lunch when it comes to Paint Protection Film.

XPEL isn’t the cheapest film. But by buying in bulk, you can get it for a reasonable price.

Assuming full front-end coverage, compare the cost of an XPEL Ultimate Plus pre-cut kit versus by-the-foot material:


You’ll only pay about US$305 for a partial front end by splitting the film material roughly in half and cutting it, as seen below.

Estimated material (48″ x 7′) needed for a partial-front end with half the hood.
What a partial front end may end up looking like. Credit to MyTeslaMiami.

Order the 72″ wide x 7′ roll instead to fully cover the hood —

Estimated material (60″ x 7′) needed for a partial-front end with half the hood.

An additional 60″ wide by 5′ long film to cover the fenders, mirrors, headlamps, and fog lamps —

Going a bit further back… Plus you’d be able to protect your headlights and fog lights (not highlighted in the image).

And the full front-end material gets closer to US$750.

With bulk film, you’ll have more leeway for error, the flexibility to order specific parts, and lower costs.

XPEL’s pre-cut kit doesn’t make much sense — it comes at just about what it’ll cost you to get it done through an installer.

But if you’re willing to buy by-the-foot material and cut it, you’ll have the best Tesla Model 3 PPF in the market for a deal of price.

The Tools You’ll Need

The tools you need to do the job are the following:

  1. The film itself
  2. A squeegee
  3. A utility knife (unless a pre-cut kit is purchased)
  4. A small bottle of Johnson’s Baby shampoo
  5. 8 oz of 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
  6. Two 32 oz / ~950 ml spray bottles
  7. A microfiber cloth

DIY Tutorial

The most in-depth DIY tutorial comes from Bearded Tesla Guy (BTG):

Tips start at 5:48. Jump to 8:36 to see the preparation & installation process.

Key Tips

Aside from his tips, consider the following:

Where to Get the Necessary Tools for DIY Tesla Model 3 PPF Job

For your slip and tack solution — as well as your cutting process if you go for a bulk film — you’ll need some tools to get the PPF done as professionally as possible.

To save you time, I’m including the best-selling and/or best-value products in their respective categories, but you’re free time to shop around in your nearest convenience store.

Squeegee & Cutting Tools

✅ #1 best-seller in its category
✅ Everything you need to cut and install PPF wrap
✅ Useful for window tint and other wraps
✅ DIYers’ perfect starter kit

Professional-Grade Microfiber Cloth

✅ #1 best-seller in its category
✅ Lint-, scratch-free cloth
✅ Recommended by professionals
✅ Available in 3- and 12-pack

32 oz (950 ml) Spray Bottles

✅ Amazon’s Choice
✅ Proven reliable by customers
✅ Quality, affordable alternative to Chemical Guys or Meguiar’s

70% Isopropyl Alcohol

Consult your nearest drugstore.

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Consult your nearest convenience store or supermarket.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Model 3 PPF

Which is better, ceramic coating or paint protection film?

While ceramic coating primarily makes your car easier to clean and water-repellent,

Paint protection film prevents rock chips and most scratches from damaging your original paint.

Unlike ceramic coating (which is a liquid solution), PPF is a thin but tangible barrier.

That fact makes it harder to install but gives superior protection overall.

Both typically work better together.

Credit to AvalonKing

Many Model 3 owners looking to save money either:

  1. Get a partial front-end PPF through an XPEL installer and then apply ceramic coating on top themselves.
  2. Or roll up their sleeves and DIY both.

How much material do I need to wrap each of my Model 3 parts?

Should you want to cover specific parts,

Here are my dimension estimates, coupled with their as-of-this-writing price for by-the-foot XPEL material.

PartEst. Material Needed*Price**
Hood (partial)24″ W x 7′ L$154
Hood (full)48″ W x 7′ L$308
Front bumper24″ W x 7′ L$154
Fenders, mirrors, headlamps, and fog lamps60″ W x 5′ L$275
Headlamps (individually)24″ W x 2′ L$44
Fog lamps (individually)4″ W x 2′ L$7.33
Rocker panels (both sides)5″ W x 16′ L$73.33
Total partial front (partial hood + bumper)N/A$308
Total full front (full hood, bumper, fenders, mirror, and lamps)N/A$737
Total full front (plus rocker panels)N/A$810
*Disclosure: I did my best, but measure your model to verify dimensions.
**Pricing may vary.

Can I combine paint protection film with ceramic coating?


In fact, they help each other in many ways.

Here’s an excerpt from XPEL’s site about the subject:

Can I Apply A Ceramic Coating On Top Of The Film And How Does It Affect The Self-Healing Feature Of XPEL?

Yes, coatings can be applied to films.

Adding a coating does not stop the film from self-healing. Coatings can add a protective layer over the film, which depending on the coating can provide different properties. Once the coating wears down and deteriorates, the self-healing qualities of XPEL Ultimate Plus will remain.

Taken from XPEL Frequently Asked Questions.

Read more on Ceramic Coating »

Is there a specific situation when you wouldn’t recommend paying for PPF at all?

Yes. If you check at least two out of the following three boxes:

Final Thoughts: Tesla Model 3 PPF Guide

It’s clear: Tesla Model 3 PPF costs a lot of money.

The easiest and most convenient choice is to find a professional XPEL installer to do the work.

Shop around to see how close you can get to the lower-end prices (~$4,000 for a full wrap, $1,200 for a full front-end).

If you’re going to pay a professional, I wouldn’t suggest any less coverage.

If you’re up for the DIY challenge, though, the most straightforward choice is North Tints’ 3M pre-cut product.

Save yourself hundreds of dollars and give them a shot.

And in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m affiliated with neither eBay nor XPEL — so I don’t get paid for either purchase.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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