Why is ceramic coating so expensive?

The ceramic coating its self is usually not all that expensive. When you purchase a ceramic coating, you are buying the service, and there is a lot of work involved in preparing the car, so you are essentially spending a lot of man-hours. The coating also has to be applied in a controlled environment and lots of expensive equipment is used. Car detailers who apply ceramic coatings have much bigger overheads than somebody who works out of the back of a van.

There is also an element of risk involved in applying ceramic coatings. Things don't often go wrong, but if they do go wrong, correcting the problem can be time-consuming and/or expensive. A minor mistake could result in having to spend hours polishing with coarse compounds, or in the case of serious problems, respraying the car.

In every business, sooner or later, something will go wrong, and this cost needs to be accounted for.