Humans can change wardrobes, hairstyles, skin patterns (hello, the author’s tattoos), and living situations easily and quickly. Our car’s style? Not so much. But with the advent of vinyl car wraps, and professionals skilled in the art of sticker applications, now you absolutely can.
Vinyl wraps have become a hot trend among automotive enthusiasts, as they are relatively easy to install and far cheaper than repainting your car. Wrapping also benefits from its temporary nature, helping those maintain their car’s resale value while offering nearly limitless colors and patterns.
Yet, with so many options available, it can be quite confusing to the average consumer of what vinyl wrapping is and how much it costs. Thankfully, you have Car Bibles to guide the way.
What Is a Vinyl Wrap?
Vinyl car wraps are essentially big stickers that adhere to your car’s exterior and offer customers the option to change the color of their car without repainting it. They are also commonly used on vans or company vehicles for advertising.
How Much Does It Cost To Wrap a Car?
As with everything, doing it yourself will save you money. However, if you’ve never wrapped a car before, or done any exterior modifications, it might be time to call in the professionals. Car Bibles has broken down how much you’ll likely pay for an array of professional services versus attempting the job in your garage. Take a gander.
Always choose a reputable company with experience for added reassurance.
- Sports Car
Starts around $5,000, though select cars can reach into five digits.
- Family Sedan
Starts around $3,000.
- Compact Crossover
Starts around $3,500.
- Full-size SUV
Starts around $4,000.
Starts around $4,000.
If you want to do it yourself, here are some costs you should know. Rolls of 3M’s 2080 Series Gloss Black vinyl wrap cost $17 for 5 square feet, $36 for 10 square feet, $60 for 25 square feet, $113 for 50 square feet, $217 for 100 square feet, about $325 for 150 square feet, about $420 for 200 square feet, and about $620 for 300 square feet.
Pricing will obviously depend on design, color, length, brand, and retailer, though.
If you choose to wrap a car yourself, you’ll also need to account for buying very specific tools such as a heat gun, felt-edged squeegees, lintless gloves, and several other items.
How Long Does a Car Wrap Last?
An average full-vehicle wrap is good for about 5 years when properly maintained. Obviously, the world’s weather and debris can factor into the length of its lifespan.
Repaint or Wrap Your Car? Pros and Cons Explained
Let’s talk about the upsides and downsides of wrapping your car vs. painting it.
Repainting Your Car
- If you get a reputable painter, it’ll look factory-fresh.
- You won’t have to replace it after 5 years, which is the average life of a wrap.
- It’s permanent, unless you spend thousands of dollars (or days) sanding it all off later on.
- Repainting your car is expensive and typically costs far more than wrapping.
- It’s no longer original.
Wrapping Your Car
- It isn’t permanent, allowing you to change the look and style of your car easily and cheaply.
- It’s less expensive than repainting a car.
- Wraps protect your car’s paint hidden underneath.
- Wraps only last about 5 years before you have to replace them.
- Depending on who wraps your car, it may not look as factory as you’d like.
- Weather fading could detract from the wrap’s shine or look.
- No simple fixes such as touch-up paint in the case of small accidents.
Is It Worth It To Wrap Your Car?
It absolutely can be! Wrapping your car can prevent rust and damage from the world’s dirt and debris. Wrapping is also a great inexpensive way of changing your car’s look and style without committing to a full repaint, which could cost several thousand dollars and could affect your car’s resale value when you decide to get rid of it.
Car Wrapping FAQs
Have your burning questions answered by Car Bibles.
Q: Can You Wrap a Car Yourself?
A: You can! Just know there are a lot of steps with a lot of detail work and some cutting. You’ll need to have patience and room to do it as well.
Q: Does Wrapping Ruin Your Paint?
A: It doesn’t, and wrapping your car will actually protect the paint underneath, as the world’s dirt, debris, and environment won’t find your paint. That said, your paint can still be damaged through the vinyl by hazards.
Q: Do You Wax a Wrapped Car?
A: You won’t have to. Wash it regularly and dry it with a squeegee or a microfiber towel. Matte and chrome finishes, however, may require different washing techniques.
Q: Does Wrapping a Car Prevent Rust?
A: It does and it doesn’t. If your heap is already rusty, it’s not gonna do anything for you but protect the non-rusty parts. If your car is beautiful and rust-free, though, it will prevent rust, so long as nothing penetrates the vinyl. If moisture works its way underneath the vinyl, that’s a major issue that likely requires a new vinyl application.
Q: Does a Wrap Fade?
A: Your vinyl wrap won’t fade as most modern high-quality wraps are designed to reflect the damaging UV rays of the sun.