While vinyl wrapping for automobiles came out of the marketing sector, allowing cars to carry advertisements for products, it is now a viable way for car owners to change the appearance of their cars.
If you don’t want the expense or inconvenience of obtaining a new vehicle but want a different look, vinyl wrap is an affordable and viable solution. This guide looks at vinyl wrap, details the benefits of paint protection film, and why vinyl car wrap is an option for car owners to consider.
Vinyl wrap can be used in many ways, including in the home, particularly the kitchen, but it is frequently associated with automobiles. Vinyl wrapping for cars protects the original paintwork with a layer of vinyl coating.
Applying vinyl wrap is a complicated process, but it is best left to a professional. Vinyl wraps need to be cut to each panel and fitted smoothly and seamlessly. If a vinyl wrap isn’t applied correctly, it can look poor and won’t carry the protective benefits.
So, while hiring a professional to wrap a car costs money, the benefits of doing so, and ensuring the job is carried out well, is often worth paying for.
The two main types of vinyl wrap for car owners are:
Clear vinyl wrapping is the most common type of car wrap, and it is purely a protective measure. The wrap prevents minor scratches from occurring, and will ensure you don’t suffer from stone chips. If you like the original colour of your automobile, this style of wrap preserves it.
Coloured vinyl wrap offers the protective measures associated with clear vinyl, but allows you to transform the appearance of your car.
If you have an older car that runs well but has seen better days, this wrap can transform it. You can also try different colours, styles or finishes, such as a matte or gloss finish.
You can apply car wrapping to the entire car, or just sections.
Another style of vinyl wrap are advertising wraps (taking the list to three main types of car wraps), where you can apply information about a business on your car. This is commonly associated with companies, but there is no reason why an entrepreneur or small business owner couldn’t apply advertising wraps to their vehicle to drive interest in their work.
With so many car owners applying a vinyl wrap to their vehicle, there must be reasons to do so, and here are some of the chief benefits:
These benefits make vinyl wrapping an excellent option for many car owners, and if all you want is a paint protection film layer, paint wrap is an excellent option for your entire car.
While there are many benefits to vinyl car wrapping, it is important to be aware of some of the disadvantages:
It is important to be aware of these issues, but they reinforce the need to hire a professional company and experienced vinyl car wrapper.
When the car wrap is applied to a high standard of professional installation, the majority of these problems are not a concern, allowing you to completely change to a different colour or look.
The variety of answers online regarding the durability of vinyl wrap and how long it is expected to last on a car suggests many factors are involved. As a rough guide, a period of two to seven years is the expected answer, but it is possible to improve the lifespan of vinyl wrap.
By hiring a skilled professional with experience of applying vinyl wraps to cars like yours, there is a good chance the wrap will remain in place for some time. Also, caring for the vehicle and wrap, parking it in secure and covered places, will help maintain the wrap. A wrap that is exposed to the elements, and external issues such as bird droppings is at greater risk of looking worn than a car wrap for a vehicle parked in a garage.
With so many factors to consider with the cost of wrapping a car, it is always best to speak to a local expert and get a quote. In fact, it is best to speak with at least three professionals, and with three quotes, you can make an informed decision with respect to the cost of this work.
When arranging a quote for vinyl wraps, do some research on the companies doing the work. Look for examples of past work, and customer reviews. If you like the feedback regarding a company and their work, you will feel more confident about hiring their services.
Cheap services are more likely to tear, or bubbles might appear in the surface or the paintwork. Finding cheaper solutions is a good idea in some cases, but when you want to protect your car and ensure adhesive materials stay in place, hiring a wraps professional you trust is advised. Of course, this approach applies to almost anything, not just adhesive wraps for the surface and panels of a car.
As of October 2022, the Checkatrade website provides an average price for vinyl car wrapping, for a wide range of vehicles. While acknowledging this is just an average and might not be relevant to your requirements, the following information is a great starting point when budgeting for the cost of wrapping a vehicle. Be sure to ask for details about how thin the wrap is, what the finish is (whether you can enjoy a matte or gloss finish), and whether it costs more for individual panel work.
The price of car wraps between £1,000 and £5,000, with the average price of a vehicle wrap standing around £3,000. For a small car, the price runs between £1,000 and £2,300, with the average cost of wrapping a small car standing at £1,650.
To wrap a small car, with textures and a speciality finish, the range runs between £2,000 and £2,750 with the average fee coming in at £2,350.
For a medium-sized car, the range is listed between £1,500 and £2,500, with the average quoted at £2,000. To wrap a medium-sized car with textures and a speciality finish, the range is between £2,500 and £3,200 with the average coming in at £2,850.
As you’d expect, the costs associated with a large car, or even a larger vehicle, are even costlier.
For large car wraps the standard range runs between £2,000 and £3,000 with the average costing £2,500. To wrap a large car with texture work and a speciality finish, the costs run between £3,000 and £4,200, with the average costing £3,600.
If you have a small van, the range of vinyl wrapping is between £1,400 and £3,500, with an average of £2,450. For a medium-sized van, the range runs from £1,500 to £4,500 with an average price of £3,000. For a large van, the range is between £2,000 and £5,000 with the average for a full wrap coming in at £3,500.
Lastly, for large vehicles, expect to pay £5,000 for vinyl wrapping.
Remember, cheap work doesn't always offer value for money, and sometimes spending more on a vinyl car wrap provides a better outcome.
The issue of whether vinyl wrap is better than painting a car is subjective, but there are many reasons why vinyl wrapping is the better option for car owners. It is also important to consider vinyl wrapping against the expected standard of paint.
If paint work is carried out to the highest possible level, it will likely last the lifetime of the automobile. However, for a modest or quick paint job, such as you might expect from many garages, the lifespan of a car wrap is likely to be longer than the paint job. Also, the wrap is less susceptible to chips or dings. A paint respray is okay for a small area, but if you need to preserve the car's colour over a great area, paint protection film and car wrapping is best.
Wrapping a car is also a faster process than painting a vehicle, which is crucial is time is of the essence for you. Add in the ease of changing the entire look, colour or feel of your car with wrapping as opposed to painting, and the reasons to choose vinyl wrap over paint is obvious.
Car wraps are effective for many reasons, and a lot of motorists feel happy and confident with a wrapped car. To achieve the best results with car wraps, please speak with a car wrapping specialist, who can advise you and offer a quote.