Vinyl wrap is increasing in popularity as a way to update the look of a car. Here in this guide we look at the top ten vinyl car wraps on the market as well as looking at some considerations to take into account when buying car wrap, or auto wrappen as it is sometimes known, in addition to some tips about how to apply it.
The Best Vinyl Car Wrap
This is a high quality black vinyl wrap made by the reputable VViViD. It has been manufactured, specifically with those that want to put vinyl on their own cars in mind, yet is still incredibly long lasting and durable. If car drivers want to add advertising to their cars, this is a great vinyl to choose for all their marketing needs. It is lightweight and extremely economical, especially when compared to paint.
It is 3.9mils in thickness and can be stretched and moulded around all a car’s curves, while still maintaining try color throughout. This vinyl does not show up discoloration that comes from stretch marks easily. For those that want to lengthen the life of this already long lasting vinyl, the manufacturer recommends using a 3M 94 Primer and a 3M edge sealer that will really help the vinyl adhere to a car’s surface while maintaining the texture and protective nature of the vinyl itself.
Uses a solvent based adhesive that allows for repositioning
Dry carbon texture and feel
Adhesive won’t damage paint or car surface.
- Weight4.8 ounces
Great for those who want to wrap their car themselves
Can last for up to seven years
Unfortunately comes with a strong vinyl smell at first
One of the big positives about this auto vinyl wrap sticker is the fact that it has been designed with air channels on the sticky underside so that it can allow for an easy installation that is almost guaranteed to be both bubble and wrinkle free. The adhesive that the vinyl uses also allows users to install the vinyl wherever they want in the car and reposition it until they are happy. Importantly, the vinyl is flexible enough that it can be used in a variety of places in and around a car.
This vinyl won’t harm a car’s paint job either and the rolls of vinyl itself come with an incredibly helpful grid backing so that users can cut and trim the vinyl to the exact size they want with no fear of making any mistakes.
Can be repositioned during installation
Grid pattern on backing paper allows for precise cutting
Comes in a variety of sizes
- Weight0.32 ounces
Easy to use
Can last up to 10 years inside a car
Sadly, durability drops to a 5 year life span when used on the outside of a car
This 3M vinyl wrap is a great option for those that are looking to cover large sections of their car – either inside or out, though it was designed to be durable enough to last in all weathers, even without the need for an over laminate. The adhesive that it comes with is actually pressure activated so there is no need to apply any heat like with other vinyls. Plus it also allows for slideable, repositioning until you have the vinyl in exactly the right spot.
3M have also made this black vinyl wrap come with non visible air release channels which ensures and aids users to apply their vinyl with no creases or bubbles. This saves on time as it makes the vinyl far more malleable, yet never at the expense of a car’s paint work.
High quality carbon texture finish
Comes in wide rolls
Easy to stretch and position to a car’s every curve
- Weight5.6 ounces
Allows users to cover large sections of the car
Dry to install with no heat needed
Can scratch easily
The high gloss finish on this vinyl by VViViD allows users to cover sections of their car in a highly professional way that is incredibly affordable. It comes in a variety of sizes and widths so that car owners can choose the best amount of vinyl for them and their car’s needs. It is an ideal kit for first timers and diyers.
VViViD have produced this vinyl to be a strong competitor in the face of paint and with a 4.3 mil thickness with this high gloss example, they are well on the way to achieving that. Their vinyl is a good alternative for those that want to cover up any scratches in their paintwork quickly and painlessly.
Dry adhesive makes for a clean application
Can last up to seven years outdoors
The adhesive VViViD uses won’t damage your car paint
- Weight2.4 ounces
Highly resistant to stretch marks
High gloss finish makes it very susceptible to scratches
This 3M vinyl wrap is an example of their high quality vinyls that are fantastic for giving a car a new lease of life with this matte black vinyl wrap finish film. Plus, their vinyls are incredibly durable as well as scratch resistant. Whilst it may be a little fiddly to apply correctly so that it is as durable as possible, it can cover every curve of a car when demanded. It is malleable and very stretchy when asked.
Importantly, it has been designed in such a way that it has two color layers which gives the vinyl an increased stability and durability as well as a depth of color so that the vinyl has the best possible finish. The adhesive the kit comes with allows the vinyl to be repositioned as and when it is required while the final step of attaching the vinyl comes with ironing out any bubbles and creases with a squeegee.
Comes in a variety of widths and lengths
No need for sealant to add to its lifespan
0.1 mm thickness
- Model1080 Series
- Weight2.24 ounces
Double colour layer
Can be fiddly to apply
This quirky vinyl is produced to let car drivers show their personalities through the outside of their cars by updating the headlights or rear tail lights in unusual colors. While it may not be for everyone, the vinyl from Atmomo does at least protect a car’s lights from scratches and other damage.
The vinyl itself is easy to apply and comes with a robust set of instructions that make its application almost idiot proof. It is also water resistant adding further protection to your car in inclement weather conditions. Some heat is needed when applying the vinyl itself to the headlights but it is a quick and easy job, especially given the small amount of surface that is being covered. It’s ideal therefore for a quick update to your vehicle.
Superior transparency, allows up to 90 percent light transmittance
Ideal for headlights and tail lights.
- Weight4.2 ounces
Allows users to add a unique touch to their car
Comes in a variety of colors
Some States do not allow headlights to be tinted
F&B have produced a high quality vinyl here in an attractive 3D twill weave carbon fiber style finish. It is highly textured so looks far more professional than many other vinyls claiming to have a carbon pattern finish. Customers find it easy, therefore to transform an aging car into one that looks a great deal younger and slicker.
It is also incredibly easy to apply with a self adhesive backing that allows users to reposition it until the weave pattern is in exactly the right place. It looks great on the outside of a car as well as the inside for an instant update to any woodwork or plastic finishes on dashboards or handles. It is long lasting and easily cleaned with water so maintains its looks for years after it has been first applied.
Carbon fiber finish
Highly resistant vinyl that protects your car’s paint job
Each weave is about 0.20 inches and the sheet thickness is about 0.015 inches
- BrandF & B LED LIGHTS
- Weight4 ounces
Inexpensive way of giving your car a carbon fiber finish
Self adhesive so easy to apply
Weaves need to be used the same way for the most professional of finishes
This textured, bright red vinyl from VViViD is a great choice for those that are looking to update the interior of their car quickly and easily. Like all VViViD vinyls, this one is easy to install as it allows for multiple repositioning attempts due to its dry adhesive. It is a high performance vinyl that has been used in some F1 racing cars.
The 4D visual effect is a unique characteristic that will really make give a car some added personality, but the aesthetics have not affected the performance of the vinyl itself. It is strong, but lightweight and will protect the interior of your car from damage. It can also be used inside boats and airplanes.
Chic bright red color
Comes in a variety of sizes
3.9 mils thick making it highly resistant to stretch marks and scratches
- Weight14.4 ounces
Easy to apply
Can last up to 7 years
Bright red color may not be to everyone’s taste
Should only be used inside a car
Teckwrap have a produced a thick, 5D high gloss carbon fiber finish film that looks seriously slick and professional when applied to the interior of any car – especially ones that are starting to look a little tired and dated on the inside. It’s easy to apply without any need for difficult adhesives so customers can reposition the vinyl as and when they need. A squeegee can be used to help to apply around fiddly corners.
This car vinyl is also resistant to scratches which is unusual for a wrap that has such a high gloss finish. It also stretches around curves well without producing any unsightly stretch marks, however it works best on flat surfaces.
Black vinyl wrap with a high gloss 5D finish
To be used on the interior of a car
Comes with air release channels for bubble free application
- Weight6.4 ounces
Users should be aware of direction of pattern when applying
This car wrap comes in a 5D finish that is incredibly glossy making it look very professional when applied either to the interior or exterior of a car. It is easy to apply thanks to the self adhesive backing that has been designed with air release channels so that even automotive vinyl wrap beginners can achieve a bubble free finish.
It is easy to remove and will not damage a car’s paint job in the process of removal. It can therefore also be easily moved and repositioned until the user has it in the correct spot for their car. It helps to use a heat gun and squeegee in application, but once completed, it is hard to tell the difference between this auto vinyl wrap and real carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber finish
Self adhesive backing
Stain and UV resistant
The finish make the vinyl quite thick
Best Vinyl Car Wrap Buying Guide & FAQ
Why Should You Wrap Your Car?
Wrapping your car allows you to modify it and put your personality on it without taking too drastic a decision - especially if you choose a car vinyl that is easy to remove. Additionally, it is a great deal cheaper to vinyl wrap your vehicle as opposed to having the whole car resprayed. Plus, if you have an old banger, you may not want to invest as heavily in it as a spray job would cost you.
Car vinyl also helps to protect a car and its paint job against scratches that come from general wear and tear and stone chips.
Plus, it’s ultimately easy to replace so if you don’t like it you can change it again quickly.
Ways to Wrap Your Car
There are several ways to wrap your car to alter the overall finish that you want for the final product, but the process is broadly the same regardless of whether you choose a wrap with a pearlescent finish, a matte finish or are simply applying a stencil cut out to one of your doors.
- Plan how and how much vinyl you will need to coat your car. Try to buy that little bit extra for any mistakes that could be made.
- Inspect the surface of your car and identify where the difficult parts to wrap are located. The problem areas will be the parts that have the most curves. Also, look at trying to fill any scratches or chips as these will be magnified with the addition of a chrome vinyl wrap or a car vinyl with another finish.
- Get your tools in place. This is not like plastic wrapping food. You will need to have by your side a heat gun, cutting knife, squeegee or sponge, cleaning solution, gloves and a measuring tape.
- Prepare your car and clean it. It is best to remove all parts that could block you from smoothly applying the car vinyl wrap and also to clean your car first so that no dirt or debris will be caught underneath the wrap itself. This will show up in the final finish if it has not been removed first. It’s also a good idea to make sure you are working in a clean area too.
- Measure the parts you want to cover and cut the wrap appropriately. This means that you need to add about 6 inches or 15 cms all around the area you need.
- Lay the wrap. Try starting on the smallest area first until you get into a rhythm. It also helps for this area to be flat. Start in the middle and lay the vinyl as smoothly as possible, easing out any air bubbles as you go. Use your squeegee to smooth the surface down one last time before applying the heat gun. If air bubbles appear at this stage, smooth them out as best you can.
- Cut the wrap but not your car. Once you have a smooth surface of vinyl, it is time to cut the excess material. Do so leaving about a quarter of a centimeter around the vinyl wrap
- Tuck in the edges. Now tuck in that extra quarter of a centimeter to set off your car wrap.
- Set the vinyl wrap by applying heat. Heating the entire panel one last time is a way of setting the car wrap in place. Apply your heat gun evenly across the surface of your car. Reapply parts as needed.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
Car wrapping can be a complicated process and sometimes it is just easier to use a technician that try to do it yourself. A technician will have the right tools available to prepare the surface of your car for the vinyl so that the car wrap cover adheres to your car’s surface as well as possible. From their they will apply the plastic to every panel you want and ensure there are no kinks, creases or bubbles. If your chosen vinyl has a patterned finish, your technician will also marry up the edges seamlessly.
Doing it yourself, however, is perfectly possible - especially with the whole host of repositionable vinyl wraps that are listed above. Plus, many of them come designed with the DIY car lover in mind so that the finish will be bubble free if enough time and patience is spent on it. It’s not easy, nor is it really a one person job if you are covering large parts of your car, but it is definitely achievable and cuts out a huge cost of updating your car too.
Vinyl Car Wrap Types
There are several ways that you can wrap your car.
- Colored vinyl wrapping
This is perhaps the most common way to vinyl wrap a car as it can really update a car’s look and feel. Many people love to use colored vinyl wrap to personalise an old car or even a brand new model at the fraction of a cost of a paint or spray job. Plus, colored vinyl comes in a variety of finishes like matte, high gloss, 5D or even pearlescent. Many vinyl wrap car advocates do not even wrap their entire car, they just like to add color to the bonnet or roof for example.
- Stencil Cut Outs
Those that do not want a solid block of color added to their car, can simply buy a vinyl stencil cut out of a picture that they would like to add to one of their car doors or car hood.
- Clear vinyl wrapping
This is commonly used simply to protect a car from stone chips and scratches. It is a great option for those that live in an area where road surfaces are not pristine tarmac at all times. As a consequence, when you come to sell your car, the paint job will be immaculate.
- Advertising wraps
This is a popular choice for those that use their car a great deal for business, or if a business wants to build a brand through advertising. It is possible to have a design made and printed in car wrap vinyl and then emblazon it on one car to a whole fleet should you wish.
Best Vinyl Car Wrap FAQ:
Q: What is a vinyl wrap?
A: Vinyl wrap is a method of protecting a car by completely covering it in a layer of malleable plastic. Automotive vinyl wrap is perfect for this therefore and comes in a variety of colors and finishes. For those that are purely interested in protecting their car, clear auto vinyl wrap is available to buy which will not change the color or look of a car once it has been installed.
Vinyl wrap can also be used as a way of personalising a car’s interior and exterior.
Q: How should I prepare my car for vinyl wrap?
A: Always clean your car before you attempt to vinyl wrap it. Any debris that is left on the surface will show up once the vinyl wrap has been installed which will make for a poor final finish. If you can afford to, take it to a professional cleaners or valet surface, but don’t have it waxed. Plus, think about ways to diminish any scratches or stone chips as this will also be magnified whenever vehicle wraps are usedd - they won’t simply be hidden.
Q: How do I remove vinyl wrap from my car?
A: Removing car wrap vinyl should be easy, just make sure you have the right tools at your disposal before you start. In the main, all you should really need is a heat gun. Also, it is a good idea to look at your car wrap vinyl’s manufacturer website to ensure there is nothing special you need to know about removing their vinyl from your car.
Heat the vinyl to the recommended temperature and try pulling it away from your car, with both hands at a 45 degree angle. Make sure you do this slowly and do not tug the vinyl as this can cause the vinyl to come away from its laminate which will make the vinyl almost impossible to remove cleaning.
That should be all there is to it. If any problems are encountered, it is best to take it to an auto shop as you could damage your car’s paint job if you try to fix the problem yourself.
Q: How to wrap car interior trim?
A: If you want to update the inside of your car and its trim, vinyl wrap is one of the easiest ways to do it. It just takes a little time and effort, but car wrap is often designed with the interior of a car in mind as well as the exterior. Simply follow the same steps as you would with the exterior of a car and as directed by the car wrap that you choose. Car vinyl comes in a countless amount of finishes and colors so the choice is limitless in terms of what and how you want to personalise the inside of your car.
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Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best vinyl car wrap is the VViViD XPO Black Carbon Fiber. We rate it owing to the high quality finish it has in classic black carbon fiber. It is easy to apply and install as well as being long lasting and durable in many weather conditions. Those that want a sleek, slick look added to their car will not have to look any further than this car vinyl wrap that is highly affordable yet has a luxury finish.