Vehicle wrapping refers to the installation of vinyl films to overlay the car paint. The vinyl wrap is used to personalize or customize the appearance of the car.
Private owners prefer car wrap since it has a wide range of designs and has a longer lifespan in comparison to car paints. Regardless of the cost of the vehicle wrap, it has many benefits, especially for protection and advertisement purposes.
The commercial usage of car wrap can greatly boost brand awareness especially used in delivery trucks and vans. Also, almost all of the company cars have logos and information which can be considered an advertisement.
In comparison to other mediums, vehicle wrapping is the cheapest mode of advertising that can harness a great number of brand awareness. It also has the longest term without renewal cost or recurring fees besides repair and maintenance.
Car Wraps Average Cost
There are two components for how much does it cost to wrap a car, namely, the material cost and installation cost. The tools necessary for DIY installation of the vinyl wrapper is around $0.75 to $45 per component. For the vinyl, the average cost is around $30 to $1,315 for 5×5 feet up to 5×100 feet film.
There are tons of auto wraps near you that can provide professional grade design and installation services. Providers offer a complete package that includes material and labor cost.
For the full wrap, the cost of the service is around $1,395 to $7,250 or more depending on the surface area and type of material. Partial wrapping costs around $350 to $2,600 with coverage between 40% and 90%. The costs for small logos, lettering and fleet panels are around $180 to $600.
Vinyl Film Stores
For those who are interested in DIY and intend to buy the materials by themselves, here are some suppliers of wrapping materials and tools. Car Wrap Supplier is an online shop without a physical store but offers a great range of high quality and branded films.
The online shop has included in their prices the shipping fees and able to deliver throughout the United States.
|Squeegee||$4 to $30|
|Felt tip for squeegee||$0.75 to $5.50|
|Generic Gloves||$6to $10|
|Magnet for Wrap Install||$8 to $28|
|Tack Reducer Car Wrap||$34|
|Wrap Cut – Edge Cutting Tape||$30 to $45|
There is a 7-day replacement/acceptance period to replace defective vinyl, wrong color, and insufficient roll length for free. The store offers authentic vinyl products of 3M and Vvivid. But there are also available economy products in the store’s selection.
|Vinyl Wrap Films||Price||Size|
|3D Carbon Fiber||$30 to $470||5×5 feet to 5×100 feet|
|4D Carbon||$70 to $500||5×5 feet to 5×100 feet|
|TechArt Carbon Fiber Gloos||$95 to $1,100||5×5 feet to 5×100 feet|
|Matte||$60 to $470||5×5 feet to 5×100 feet|
|Brushed Chrome||$95 to $1,100||5×5 feet to 5×100 feet|
|3M Carbon Fiber||$189 to $1,312.50||5×10 feet to 5×75 feet|
|3M Brushed||$189 to $1,312.50||5×10 feet to 5×75 feet|
|Economy Matte or Carbon Fiber||$120 to $350||5×16 feet to 5×99 feet|
Note: The prices indicated on the table may vary over time.
Another shop that also offers the vinyl film for vehicle wrapping is Teck Wrap USA. The shop sells car wrapping products around $300 to $600 for 5×59 feet films. There is no shipping fee within in the USA. There are also vinyl films available at Amazon with brands ranging from Teck Wrap, Vvivid, LZLRUN, DIYAH, TC Bunny and more.
Buying Tips for Car Wraps
Make sure to find auto wraps near you that are certified by the film’s manufacturers. 3M awards service providers a certificate as a guarantee of professional grade installation of their product. Trained labor is a good indication of security and protection of your investment for a vehicle wrap.
Vinyl Ink Custom Wraps and Graphics in California provides vehicle wraps for advertisement purposes. Also, they are a certified installer of Avery Dennison and 3M products. They have provided an estimated cost of commercial vehicle wrap for a different type of vehicle. You can also request a detailed quote based on the actual model of your car.
|Wrap Coverage||Standard Cargo||Small Cargo||SUV/Minivan||Sedan/Coupe|
|Full Wrap||$2,600 to $3,000||$2,400 to $2,900||$2,900 to $3,300||$2,500 to $2,900|
|90%||$2,200 to $2,700||$2,000 to $2,600||$2,600 to $3,000||$2,200 to $2,700|
|60%||$1,700 to $2,400||$1,200 to $1,900||$1,900 to $2,500||$1,500 to $2,300|
|40%||$900 to $1,600||$700 to $1,200||$900 to $1,900||$700 to $1,700|
|Windows Only||$180 to $250||$180 to $250||$600 to $800||$300 to $600|
|Cut Decals||$300 to $700||$300 to $600||$300 to $700||$250 to $600|
Here are more service providers that offer vehicle wrapping from lettering, partial wrapping, and full wrap. They also use popular brands of vinyl film and certified as a product installer. They have sufficient experience in providing the car wrap service and adequate portfolio of past projects for references.
|First Class Auto Sports||Starting at $350 to $400|
|Absolute Perfection||$140 to $,1600|
|Wrap Guys America||$495 to $2,495|
|BB Graphics||$2,500 to $5,000|
|Lucent Wraps||Starting at $750|
|North West Auto Salon||$4,200 to $7,250|
Car Wrap Cost Factors
Some factors can affect how much does it cost to wrap a car and make the price vary greatly based on the decision of the car owner. Therefore, make sure to request a quote from at least two service providers to cross-check potential cost of the service.
- Surface Area
The surface area is the most impactful factor and has a direct connection to the overall cost of car wrapping. A large area will yield a higher cost for material and labor. The serviceable area is categorized based on the coverage such as a full wrap, partial wrap, or logo only.
|Absolute Perfection||Wrap Guys America|
|Full Wrap||Starting at $1,600||Full Wrap||$1,395 to $2,495|
|Half Wrap||Starting at $800||Partial Wrap||$495 to $1,695|
|Lettering or Logos||Starting at $140|
Note: Reference for an estimated cost based on coverage.
Type of Vinyl Material
There are two general types of vinyl, namely, calendared and cast vinyl. The calendared vinyl is an old technology which is best suited for flat surfaces but has issues with temperature and shrinkage.
Meanwhile, cast vinyl is a newly created film that is more durable and has a higher temperature tolerance. Even though calendared vinyl is cheaper in comparison to cast, the majority used in the industry as of now is the cast vinyl.
There are also designs and colors available that can affect the cost of the material. Chrome, matte, and brushed color are expensive in comparison to solid color vinyl. Printed vinyl is the most expensive since it will yield additional cost for design, printing and clear film overlay.
Type of Vehicle
Different types of vehicle have varying area and complexity of the details. Trucks and vans are the most expensive vehicles to vinyl wrapped since they have a larger surface area. Some cars can also be tedious especially on the detailing of the car’s assembly, bumper, jambs, and fleets.
|North West Auto Salon|
|Type of Vehicle||Base Price||Including Door Jambs|
Expertise of the Professional
The experience of the installer can increase the overall cost. Professionals with product training, design, certification and years of experience can affect their labor cost.
But regardless of the increased pricing, it is more important to take note that professional grade installation of vinyl can prolong the lifespan of the wrapping and better aesthetical result.
It is highly recommended to clean the car’s surface and makes it free of dust or debris. Make sure to avoid using any wax or oil products since it can hinder the film’s adhesive. Some of the providers offer free cleaning and preparation. But most of them charge additional fees since labor is involved.
Guarantee and Warranty
The manufacturers offer warranty for their film products that can replace defective films free of charge. Meanwhile, guarantee takes into two components, installation and quality of the product. Manufacturers assure customers that shops with certification are trained and good at installing the films.
Lifespan and Sustainability
The average lifespan of the vinyl is around 5 to 8 years with proper maintenance and care. The lifespan of the vinyl can extend up to 10 years or more with minimum exposure to extreme conditions. In regards to sustainability, the vinyl is replaceable from panel to panel.
Therefore, you can replace the damaged panel only without removing all the vinyl. Therefore, in case of an accident or external damage, the cost of the repair will become minimal.
Vehicle wrapping requires a lot of patience, preparation, and planning. Also, invest in DIY tools such as edge cutter, heat gun, measuring instruments, and squeegee. The vehicle must be clean thoroughly and free of wax a day before installation. Remove in advance the mirrors and molding for ease of the installation. Make sure to plan the installation of the wrap through sectioning. It will be easier to measure, cut and place the film section by section.
During the installation, stretch the film to assure that no air will be trapped when applied to the surface and to make sure it will fit properly. Make use of the heat gun and squeegee to remove the bubbles while smoothening the surface of the applied film.
The adhesive of the film can last for 24 hours which makes it flexible for repositioning. Lastly, cut all the excess edges and adjust seams as you go on from one section to another.
Benefits of Car Wrapping
- Can be personalized or full customization
- Effective advertising medium
- Protects the paints work
- Removable without damaging the paint
- Long lifespan
What Else You Need to Know
When changing the appearance of your vehicle, make sure to inform the local government in charge and the insurance company regarding the changes. Even though vehicle wrapping is less regulated, informing the local government is the most preferred action to be taken especially for advertisement purposes.
Lease cars are also applicable for vehicle wrap since the film can be removed afterward without damaging the original paint. But make sure to check your lease contract and inform the leaser regarding the car wrap.