October 10, 2019

How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car

Read more about Cars

Wrapping a car can cost as little as $2,000 or as much as $10,000. Whether you want to advertise your business, protect the paint job, or customize its look, read on to learn how much a car wrap may cost you.

How Much Does It Cost?

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In general, it costs $2,000—$5,000 to wrap a full car.

If you want a specialty vinyl wrap, it could cost $10,000 or more. Wrapping parts of the car, such as the hood or roof, typically costs $300 and up.

Read on to find out more.

What Factors Affect the Cost?

Wrap Coverage
Full wraps cost more than a partial car wrap, such as wrapping a hood, trunk, or door.

Size of the Vehicle
Larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, cost more to wrap than sedans and coupes.

Quality of Vinyl
You can choose between different types of vinyl. Some last for as long as 10 years, while others are temporary. Higher-quality wraps that last longer will cost more.

Complexity of the Job
Flat vehicle surfaces, such as trailers, are easiest to wrap. Curved vehicles, such as a pickup truck or sedan, require more labor, which results in a higher cost.

Can You Save Money with a DIY Car Wrap?
Wrapping your own car could potentially be cheaper since you only have to pay for materials and not the labor.

But if you don't own the tools necessary to properly wrap the car or you wrap it incorrectly, it could end up costing you more money than having it done by a professional.

Wrap Materials

The cost of wrapping your car varies depending on the material you choose. Options include:

Carbon Fiber
Many people use a carbon fiber wrap on the hood of their car. Its textured finish gives the car a unique look. You can typically purchase carbon fiber wrap for around $3–$7 per square foot.

Vinyl Matte
This less common wrap has a flat finish that does not reflect sunlight. Vinyl matte typically costs between $2.00 and $3.50 per square foot.

Vinyl Gloss
The gloss material makes the vinyl look as if it's part of your car's paint and reflects the sunlight. Vinyl gloss typically costs between $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot.

These wraps are trending of late. They're also the most expensive wraps per square foot. Expect to pay up to $8 per square foot depending on the quality of vinyl that you purchase.

Paint vs Wrap
A basic paint job with only a coat or two of inexpensive paint may cost less than wrapping your car. If you want anything unique or prefer a different option, painting can wind up costing more.

If you have your car wrapped, you can have the wrap removed and changed easily—and for a much lower price.

Advertising with Car Wraps

Commercial car wraps can be a great way to help you advertise on a limited budget. The average cost-per-mile (CPM) for a vehicle wrap is $0.77, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

Car wraps earn 30,000–70,000 daily impressions. In an RYP & Becker Group study:

  • 97% of people who saw vehicle ads remembered them.

  • 98% thought the ads had a positive influence.

  • 96% of respondents thought that vehicle advertisements were more effective than billboards.

What Are the Benefits of Wrapping a Car?

Wrapping a car offers many benefits, including:

  • Lower cost than painting
  • More color and style options
  • No need to wait for it to dry
  • Can be easily removed if needed
  • Protects your car's paint from chips and scratches

What Are the Disadvantages of Wrapping a Car?

There are a couple of pitfalls to watch out for.

  • May not last long
  • Can show discoloration if scratched or dented
  • Hard hard to choose between thousands of options of colors and styles

How long does a wrap last on a car?
High-quality car wraps, such as 3M, can last as long as 7 years. However, the longevity of any wrap will depend on the proper care. Handwashing the car and keeping it out of the sun when not in use can help make it last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to wrap a car?
On average, you can expect it to take between 1 and 5 days to wrap your vehicle. The time it takes depends on the size of the car, the complexity of the wrap, and the necessary cure time, which can vary between 12 and 24 hours.

Does wrapping a car damage the paint?
No. In fact, it helps protect it, especially if it's the factory paint job. Wraps protect against fading, scratches, and weather damage.

Can you apply a car wrap over scratches?
Your car's paint should be in Like New condition before having a wrap installed. Thin vinyl tends to take on the shape of the vehicle. If there are scratches or dents, the vinyl could accentuate those areas rather than hide them.

Does vinyl wrap prevent a car from rusting?
A wrap can protect the car's surface and prevent rust from occurring. However, if your car already has rust, vinyl won't stop it from spreading.

Does vinyl wrap fade?
Vinyl wrap can fade if you don't care for it properly. Leaving it out in the sun or neglecting to wash your car can let environmental pollutants build up on the vinyl, which can eventually cause it to fade.

Bottom Line

Wrapping a car can be a great way to advertise your business, customize your car, or just protect your car's paint.

Find a reputable auto body shop with extensive experience that uses high-quality vinyl for best results. It's always a good idea to shop around for quotes from a few shops to see how the costs compare.

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Best Time to Buy a Used Car

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