The Pros and Cons of Wrapping Your Vehicle

Car wrapping has become extremely popular, but before getting your vehicle wrapped you need to be well aware of the pros and cons.

Car wrapping is a unique way to customize your vehicle, but there are plenty of things to consider. Check out this article for more information.

Car wrapping is the process of covering your vehicle’s original paint partially or completely with a vinyl wrap. 

Vinyl wraps have become popular and affordable choices for people who want to customize their car and give it a unique look. Just like any other modification or customization, car wrapping comes with its own set of pros and cons. 

It’s important to know how effective vinyl wraps are and whether they have any critical flaws.

If you wanted to know more about car wrapping, here’s a resource that compares vinyl wrap and car painting.

How Much Does It Cost to Wrap a Car?

Before going to the nearest shop, you should know a little more about the cost to wrap a car. For most cases, the price will depend on the size of the vehicle, type of car, installation process, and design of the wrap.

For instance, installing a vinyl wrap on a car that is about the size of an average muscle car or a classic Porsche will cost you around $4,000.

There are also different types of wraps. Satin or matte wraps can cost less, whereas metallic or chrome wraps can cost significantly more. Chrome wraps can cost about $7,000 to $8,000. If you have a bigger and fancier vehicle like a Rolls-Royce, prepare to pay about $12,000 to $15,000. The more complicated the body panels, the more you will have to pay.

Different Types of Car Wraps

There are multiple wraps you can choose from, and each of them has its perks. The most common ones are:

Glossy Wrap

This one offers the least customization and does not change the original paintwork that much. It offers an extremely smooth finish and comes in a variety of different colors. 

Satin Wrap

Satin wraps are comparatively less glossy, but you could still see your reflection on the wrapped surface. The reflection is also lower than a glossy wrap, but it offers a more professional look with sleek designs.

Matte Wrap

Matte wraps are not reflective and offer a matte finish. Matte wraps do not reflect any light. They are unique in their way. They offer a more flat yet luxurious look.

Chrome Wrap

Chrome wraps are multi-layered films that are usually six to ten millimeters thick. They do not have any kind of lamination layer, and the films don’t have to be applied directionally. They can be installed and removed easily.

The Pros 

Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of having your car wrapped.

1. Offers a Wide Range of Customization

Car wraps bring in a whole new level of customization. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wraps. Each vinyl film is custom-made to suit the size, design, and texture of your vehicle. 

You can add a combination of colors, one-of-a-kind finishes, messages, and a variety of textures to completely change the original look of your ride. You can even add underlayers to further enhance the appearance, or if you want to go overboard, use color-shifting wraps that appear to change their colors depending on the angle of light and reflection.

You can transfer your unique vision onto your vehicle and add a unique yet personal touch.

2. Is Budget Friendly

Custom paint jobs are extremely expensive. Vinyl wrapping will only cost a fraction of that. However, vinyl wraps are not necessarily cheap. They also have different price points depending on their design and material. 

Wrapping allows you to test out a new design and color at a much cheaper price, but it offers almost the same if not better appeal.

3. Protects the Paint

Vinyl wraps work as an added layer of protection to protect your vehicle from dents, dings, small scratches, and chips. High-quality wraps can prevent your car from the damages of sun exposure.

If somehow your car gets scratched, you can just install a vinyl wrap to maintain the same color and appearance. This saves the cost of respraying the entire vehicle.

Vinyl wraps usually last for three to five years. Once you install your wrap, the paint underneath it stays protected and intact. So if you decide to sell your car after a few years, you will still get a good resale value since the original paint job will remain unscratched.

 4. Requires Minimum Downtime

Custom paint jobs require a lot of prep time. The entire process of priming, drying, and coating can take several days, if not more, depending on the material and complexity.

Vinyl wraps are significantly easier to apply. Even the most complex designs can be installed in a day or two. As for prep work, all you need to do is give the car a good wash and keep it squeaky clean before installing the wrap.

5. Easily Removable 

The last benefit of using vinyl wraps is that they can be removed easily without damaging or scratching the paint underneath. If you change your mind and want to get rid of it, you can take it to your nearest professional and have them peel it off. 

Removing it is a slow and delicate process, but if done properly, it won’t damage the surface at all. Professionals use heat guns or a slow peel approach to gently remove the wrap.

The Cons

Let’s talk about a few disadvantages of wrapping your car.

1. Can Easily Deteriorate Depending on Your Location

The market is filled with different types of wrap, and some of them are weatherproof. However, most of the average wraps are vulnerable to heat or cold. 

Even though you have to use heat to install the wrap on your car, too much heat is a problem. UV and extreme heat can impact the adhesiveness and appearance of the wrap.

If you live in a tropical area or somewhere that has scorching heat throughout the year, you may want to reconsider wrapping. Constant exposure to the sun and excessive heat can significantly damage the vinyl film and reduce its lifetime. 

The same goes for places with extremely cold temperatures. Salt is often used during the winter to melt the ice on the roads. This mixture of salt and chemicals can quickly eat through your vinyl wrap. 

Then there’s the problem with snow and ice. You have to make sure snow does not freeze and turn into ice on the surface of your car. Snow is easier to brush off, but ice will stick firmly to the vinyl wrap. If it gets stuck, don’t try to scrape it off harshly. It will only scratch and damage the film.

2. Changes the Original Color

If the wrap gets damaged or scratched, it will lose its protective properties over time. The original paint may even fade and lose its finish.

3. Not All Wraps Are Good

The market for vinyl wraps is extremely popular, which increases the likelihood of cheap rip-offs. You have to be careful in selecting the right material and shop before choosing to wrap.

However, cheap wraps are not going to last long even with professional installation. You will get what you pay for. If you go for cheap wraps, they are only going to cost more to maintain over time.

How to Take Care of Your Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wraps are not high maintenance, but they need maintenance from time to time. 

For starters, if you often drive through dirt and debris, wash your car at least once every week. Do not use abrasives or hard bristle brushes. Instead, use a piece of soft cloth or a sponge. 

For spot cleaning, use isopropyl rubbing alcohol and rinse the area with cold water afterwards.

During the summer, park your car in the garage, under a canopy, or someplace where it won’t be hit with direct sunlight. And in the winter, if ice sticks to the surface of your car, do not use scrapers. Use a soft piece of cloth and cold water to remove the snow and chunks of ice. 

Lastly, make sure to cover up your car when you are parking outside. A weatherproof cover will protect it from sunlight, UV, rain, dust, and debris.

Final Thoughts

Vinyl wraps are customizable options that can enhance the appearance of your vehicle. However, if you want to wrap your vehicle, make sure you go to a professional and buy a high-quality wrap. You will also have to take care of it to make it last longer.