Car wraps provide an almost unlimited number of options for customizing your vehicle. Many people choose a wrap because it can offer much more flexibility and customization than a traditional paint job. You might decide to use a vehicle wrap for advertising your business or simply adding some custom effects to your car. Today’s vinyl wraps can also be used to protect your vehicle’s paint and finish. Whatever the reason, a car wrap can be a great option for anyone wanting to improve the appearance of their car. But how much does a car wrap cost? The answer varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the color and finish of the wrap that you select. Keep reading as we give you all the details on how much it will cost you to have your car wrapped.
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How Much Does A Car Wrap Cost?
So, how much does it cost to get a car wrapped? On average, you can expect a basic car wrap to cost you somewhere between $2,500 and $3,500. This price includes both the cost of the wrap and the labor charges for installation. Larger vehicles will cost more because they require more vinyl material and more time to install. For an average sedan, the material itself will cost $500 to $750 in most cases. For an SUV or truck, the cost of the material can exceed $1,000. Similarly, the material finish affects the cost. If you opt for a matte finish or an exotic color, the cost of the material can increase significantly.
If you are wrapping an SUV or truck, you can expect to pay around $4,000 to $5,000 for a basic wrap. Remember that installing these wraps requires a great deal of experience and expertise. Therefore, the labor charges associated with a wrap install are fairly high. High-end luxury vehicle wraps can cost you upwards of $7,500, and the cost can even exceed $10,000 in some cases. If you plan to wrap your Lamborghini, you should be prepared to pay for it!
What Is A Vehicle Wrap?
A vehicle wrap consists of a thin layer of vinyl material being placed around your vehicle. Think of the process sort of like shrink-wrapping your car. In the early days of car wraps, they were mostly used as a method of mobile advertising. Businesses would wrap their work vehicles so that everyone on the road could easily see their contact information. However, vehicle wraps today have become a great way for people to add their own personal touches to their cars.
Wraps are available in a variety of colors and finishes, and we will discuss those options more in the next section. Some people choose to wrap their entire vehicle, while others might choose to wrap only the front bumper of their car with a clear protective wrap. A wrap will typically last anywhere from three to five years before it needs replacement. When you get ready to remove the wrap, you simply peel it off like a sticker. Wraps can be easily removed in most cases unless they have remained on the vehicle for too long.
Car Wrap Color & Finish Options
The color and finish options available for car wraps today are almost endless. You can achieve many more options with a wrap than you could with traditional car paint. Wraps are available in nearly any color you can imagine. You can go the traditional route with black, white, red, or blue. You can also choose more expressive options like yellow, lime, orange, or purple. In some cases, you might choose to print a graphic onto the wrap or opt for a carbon fiber look. High-quality wraps can be created with custom graphics and used as decals, and partial wraps can be used on specific car parts, like your hood, door panels, or trunk. Some people even choose a clear wrap or a paint protection film to help protect the original paint of the vehicle from chips and dings.
Not only can you choose from a wide range of colors, but there are also many different finishes available on today’s wraps. You can select from high-gloss wraps, chrome wraps, matte wraps, metallic wraps, and color change wraps. The type of wrap you select will affect the wrap price. The average cost of material for a vinyl car wrap ranges anywhere from $2 to $10 per square foot. An average coupe usually requires around 250 square feet of material, while a full-size SUV might require over 400 square feet. A solid color will also be cheaper than a printed wrap.
Tools Needed To Wrap A Car
Professionals who apply full car wraps have a variety of tools available to assist with the process. Without the proper tools, the wrap job is not likely to turn out as you expect. There may be bubbles or blemishes in the wrap, and nobody wants a wrap on their vehicle that has been poorly applied. The car must first be fully cleaned and prepped before the wrap is applied, so the technician will need items like a clay bar, surface cleaner, microfiber cloth, and car polish for this part of the process.
Once the application begins, many other tools will be needed. The wrap must be precisely measured, cut, and even heated in some cases to stretch to the proper shape. The tools needed for this part of the process include a heat gun, masking tape, vinyl cutter, tape measure, squeegee, and a spray bottle. Professionals often spend years obtaining the know-how to properly apply a full vehicle wrap, and the proper tools are an important part of the job.
Car Wrap Application Process
As mentioned above, the first step in applying a car wrap is to completely clean the vehicle’s surface. This might include a wash, clay bar treatment, and even power washing. Any dents, dings, or other blemishes can affect the final outcome of the process. Once the car is completely clean, most professionals choose to remove some body panels to make it easier to apply the wrap. This may include removing bumpers, headlights, or other items so that the wrap can be easily tucked around the edge of the body panels.
Now for the application. The wrap is applied like a sticker, and a heat gun is typically used to help form the wrap precisely to the curves and contours of the vehicle. An exotic sports car will usually require more time and effort than a small SUV, for example. The sports car likely has many curves and crevices, while the small SUV is likely much more square. The size of the vehicle and type of vehicle also greatly affect the amount of time it takes to apply the wrap.
Once the wrap has been applied, the technician will typically use a squeegee and spray bottle to help remove any final bubbles that might be present. This process is similar to removing any bubbles during the window tinting process. Once the wrap has been fully applied and smoothed, it should be allowed time to completely dry and adhere to the vehicle. So, how long does a wrap last? In most cases, a car wrap will last three to five years without any issues. Most shops that apply car wraps will provide a warranty with their work as well.
Reasons To Choose A Vinyl Car Wrap
So, why would you choose a vinyl car wrap vs paint? There are a few reasons that people may choose to wrap their vehicle instead of getting a new paint job. While both options can change the look of your vehicle, a wrap provides many more possibilities. You can choose from various colors and finishes, and you can even create custom wraps to personalize your car even more. Paint does not provide this many possibilities. Next, a wrap is usually a little cheaper than a paint job. While some wraps can be costly, an average wrap usually costs less than an average paint job.
Next, a vehicle wrap will provide excellent paint protection for your vehicle. Wraps can protect your car from dings, chips, and even UV light from the sun. A wrap is a great way to keep your original paint looking great. Finally, wraps are easily removed. You cannot easily undo paint jobs, but you can remove a wrap pretty easily. In most cases, you can have the wrap removed and return to your original vehicle color for just a few hundred dollars. This is much quicker and easier than repainting the vehicle.
Tips For Wrapping A Car Yourself
First, you should know that wrapping a vehicle is not usually a DIY job. Wraps should be installed by professionals with the proper tools and expertise. However, if you still decide you want to attempt the job yourself, here are some important tips you should know. The vehicle surface needs to be as smooth and clean as possible. Any blemishes on the paint will become extremely obvious once the wrap is applied.
Next, make sure you have the proper tools. A heat gun, measuring tape, and sharp vinyl cutter are critical. You will need to heat the vinyl to properly apply it around curves and contours on the vehicle. Take your time and make sure there are no creases or bubbles as you apply. Working at a slow pace will help ensure that the finished product turns out as you expect.
The Bottom Line
Vinyl car wraps provide a great way to customize the look of your vehicle, and they also provide long-lasting durability. The price ranges from $2,500 for a basic wrap on a small car to over $10,000 for an exotic finish on a high-end sports car. Applying a wrap is complex, and installation should usually be left to a professional. It would be a shame to spend money on the wrap and ruin it by attempting to install it yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cheaper to get a car wrapped or painted?
On average, it is cheaper to get a car wrapped. An average wrap may cost you around $2,500, while the cost of an average car paint job is likely in the $3,500 range. You can obviously get a paint job cheaper than this, but you might not be pleased with the results. The best way to make a decision is by getting quotes for each service. You should also make sure that you check the reviews or look at work samples from each shop.
How long does a wrap last on a car?
Most car wraps will last three to five years. However, environmental factors can significantly affect how long your wrap will last. If your wrap is exposed to sunlight and rain, then it will need replacement more quickly. It is advised to store a wrapped vehicle in a garage or under a cover when it is not being driven. Similarly, if you live in a cold climate that requires salt on the roads in the winter, your wrap will not last as long. The salt will begin to corrode the wrap, and this will lead to a shorter lifespan.
What are the benefits of getting a car wrapped?
Car wraps provide many benefits. The first is that they provide an excellent layer of protection for your car’s paint. Whether you choose a clear wrap or a printed wrap, the paint will be protected either way. Next, there are almost an endless number of possibilities for customization with a wrap. You can use a wrap to achieve practically any look you want on your vehicle. Finally, you can easily switch back to your car’s original look if necessary. Unlike a paint job, a wrap can be easily removed so that you return your vehicle to its original look and color.
How do you remove a car wrap?
A car wrap is removed much like a large sticker would be removed. You will need to start at the edges and begin peeling away the wrap. You are likely to need some special tools, like a heat gun, to help with the removal process. If the wrap has become heavily bonded to the car’s surface, then it might require more intense removal procedures. You should usually allow a professional to remove a wrap so that the car’s paint is not damaged during the removal process.