It’s your car. You can do whatever you wish to do with it. Now, don’t get us wrong. A car wrap is one of the best modifications you can consider for your car. It usually doesn’t cost as much as a paint job. At the same time, it transforms your car. So, it’s not just the lower cost implication that draws people towards car wrapping.
Seriously, this cosmetic modification can give your car a beauty pageant look on any given day. Your car will mostly stand out even on a giant parking lot.
What is a Car Wrap?
It’s a cosmetic procedure that involves covering the car’s exterior with vinyl. This film coating can be of specific quality, color, and design, which you can choose based on your liking and budget. In theory, it might seem like a simple affair. You might think of a car wrap as just sticking pieces of vinyl decals onto your car.
In reality, it’s a different story than what it looks like on the surface. From precise measurements, correct application technique, and more, a lot goes into professional car wrapping. There’s literally no room for error. The film pieces that are not cut to the correct sizes are removed and redone. Honestly speaking, a lot of material can get wasted during the car wrapping process, especially when the car care worker doesn’t know his job well.
The Average Professional Cost of a Car Wrap
As far as the cost goes, it varies based on the surface area of the car. To a large extent, it also depends on the make and model of your car. For instance, cars will curvaceous bodies will require more labor than usual. Just so that you know, the monetary value is also attached to the vinyl quality.
Yes, you can choose higher or lower quality vinyl to wrap your car. So, you will have to live with whatever you pay for. If careful, car wrapping won’t break your bank, though.
Generally speaking, here’s what you can expect to pay for a car wrap:
- $500 to $1000 for 40% coverage
- $1,500 to $1800 for 60% coverage
- $2200 to $4000 for full coverage
And, here’s what you can expect to pay for different types of vehicles:
As you can tell, a full high-quality wrap can cost as much as a paint job. It’s not often the case, though. Usually, the average cost of a car wrap is significantly lesser than what you would normally pay for a paint job. It’s also important to bear in mind that a car wrap doesn’t take as long as a paint job. For those who don’t know, a car paint job can take up to a week or even more. As for the car wrap, it can be completed within three days.
Car Wrap Options
With respect to car wrapping, the creative possibilities are literally limitless these days. Right from the color scheme, patterns, placement, and even finishes, there’s room for infinite customization. Some color schemes can even change in the light. Keep in mind that there are also many brands to choose from. Really, the customization options are infinite. Depending on the wrapping option you choose, your car can easily be in the public eye.
Can You Wrap a Car Yourself?
Yes, of course! You can easily buy all the raw material online and perform the job yourself. However, it often takes a long time. Plus, your inexperience can work against you. A novice can end up wasting a lot of material. As expected, the cost can quickly add up.
Car Wrap Maintenance
If you need your car to shine like new for long, you will have to take good care of it after the wrap treatment. Ideally, you will be asked to hand wash the car wraps, at least once or twice a week, with a special cleaning agent that’s tailored to the vinyl film used to wrap your car.
Important Note: Keep in mind that automatic car wash can be rough on the film. It can even damage the vinyl wrap. So, be careful at the time of car wash. If the car wash involves spraying and not brushing, the car wraps will remain safe, though.
Can Wrapping Damage Your Car?
If it’s done professionally, you can expect no damage to your car, not even a sticky residue when removed. Generally speaking, car wrapping does two things: cover and protect the car. In the hands of novice car technicians, nothing can be said, unfortunately.
How Long Does a Car Wrap Last?
As expected, the lifespan is not going to be as long as a factory paint job. But then, diligent care can go a long way in ensuring that the car wrap lasts for several years and beyond. In an ideal scenario, a car wrap can last for 6-7 years. Generally speaking, car owners start to witness some degradation by year 5. The color, shine, and feel don’t remain the same as before. Basically, your car will start showing signs of aging as it nears the 5-year mark.
Things You Should Know Before Car Wrapping
- Some people assume that a car wrap will mask all the dents, rust, and other car imperfections. This is not true. The car’s surface needs to be as smooth as possible for the vinyl firm to stick to the car perfectly. Any imperfection will project itself from beneath.
- The car wrap can be removed anytime based on your preference. It’s not an easy-peasy job, though. Seriously, there are times when the removal process can get pretty nasty. Regardless, expect to spend around 4-5 hours at the garage.
- Car wrapping is not for everyone. If you live in a snowy location, the climate can easily take a toll on the vinyl. The same goes when it comes to exposing vinyl wrapping to extreme heat. The material starts to wear out sooner than usual.
Car wrapping lets you play around with the looks of your car without costing you as much as a typical paint job. You can look at it as temporary plastic surgery performed on your vehicle. Of course, it’s totally reversible.