Protecting your paint is incredibly important. It increases resale value, gloss, and can prevent fading or even flaking clear coat. It is important to start protecting your paint day 1 and not waiting until these problems arise, as that will cost you more money to fix and often times the problems such as flaking clear can not be fixed at all without being repainted.
How do I protect my paint?
You can protect your paint in many ways, such as parking in a garage, washing properly (say NO to automatic car washes! The best way that you can protect your care from harmful UV rays is by having a wax, sealant, or coating installed.
Waxes have been around for ages and are a great cheap option for short term protection, typically lasting 1-3 months. Synthetic sealants are newer but still have been around a while, and while they typically cost more, can last 6-12 months. By far the best protection you can have is a professional paint coating, whether it be a ceramic coating, PTFE coating, or hybrid coating. True pro grade coatings can last 3-8 years if properly maintained (again, say NO to automatic car washes!)
What type of protection is best for me?
Wax is perfect for people on a budget, or simply are fine with the performance wax gives you.
Sealants are perfect for people that want a bit better hydrophobic performance and a bit more gloss.
Coatings are the best option for new cars, or owners that plan on keeping their car for a long time.