If you want to give your car a fresh look that makes it stand out from the crowd, vinyl-wrapping is something everyone is talking about right now.
Car wraps have become highly popular in recent years because you can use them to completely change the appearance of your car. In addition, they provide long-term protection.
Whether you know a little or nothing at all about car wrapping, this post is for you. Primarily, we’ll answer the question, “How much does it cost to put a wrap on a car?” However, we’ll also explore what it means to have your car wrapped.
What is a Car Wrap?
A car wrap is made up of several large vinyl decals custom-cut and applied to the panels of your car. The decals are applied to the hood, door, fenders, roof, bumper covers, and decklid. They cover every inch of a car’s body.
If a car wrap is applied correctly and looked after, it doesn’t damage or alter the original paint on your car and can even protect it.
You can customize a car wrap however you want. Choose from a range of colors and matte or glossy finishes. If you prefer, you also have metallic and chrome color options.
The car wrap decals are computer designed so there is an endless number of graphics and designs you can use and give your car a unique style.
What are the Benefits of Wrapping Your Car?
If you’re not sure whether you want to wrap your car, discover some of the benefits of this process below:
- It makes your car look cool and unique.
- The process is quick.
- It protects your pain from dents, sun damage, scratches, gravel, dust, and debris.
- Vehicle wraps are easy to clean and maintain.
- You could save money compared with an expensive paint job.
- Vehicle wraps are easy to remove.
- Vehicle wraps are great marketing tools you can use on a company car.
- They provide a quick upgrade.
- Wraps look just like real paint.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
While car wraps bring many benefits, not every vehicle is a good candidate. You won’t be able to use a wrap to hide dents, holes, or dings. Vehicles with chipped or flaking paint and oxidization are also poor candidates for a car wrap.
As long as a vehicle is in good enough condition, you’ll be able to wrap it. When it comes to the cost, the main considerations are the make and model of the vehicle. There are also a few more factors that affect the cost of vehicle wrapping. They include:
- How much work is required on the body to make the car good enough to wrap
- Extra work may be required before the wrap is applied such as removing tail lights, headlights, and the bumpers. This will be more difficult for certain models.
- There are different qualities of wrap. Metallic or textured wraps tend to be more expensive than transparent ones. Wraps that have advertising or special designs cost more than monochromatic ones.
How Much Does it Cost to Vinyl Wrap a Car?
The cost of wrapping a car varies considerably. The cost of the actual vinyl costs between $5 and $15 per square foot. The cost of installation is generally between $3 and $4 per square foot.
If a vehicle is in poor condition or it’s difficult to take apart, the cost of a vinyl wrap will be higher.
Let’s give you a rough idea of how much it will cost to wrap different types of vehicles:
- Luxury car: $5,000 to $10,000
- Exotic car: $10,000 to $12,000
- Family sedan, small SUV, coupe: $2,000 to $3,000
- Full-sized SUV, van: $3,500 to $4,000
- Commercial vehicle: $3,000 to $5,000
- Truck: $2,000 to $5,000
If you only have a partial wrap, it might cost between $500 and $1,000.
Factors That Determine the Cost of a Car Wrap
Many factors can affect how much it’ll cost to wrap a vehicle. The make, model, and year of the vehicle are primary factors, but let’s look at some more.
The Color and Finish of the Vinyl Wrap
Monotone wraps are slightly less expensive than multi-colored wraps. The price also depends on whether you choose a solid color with a matte finish or a more expensive version. Prices range from $2,500 to $3,500 for a standard car. For a truck or SUV, prices range from $3,500 to $5,000.
A chrome wrap is typically the most expensive. It’s also the most difficult to install. Prices for chrome wraps start at around $6,000. You might have to pay more depending on the size and complexity of the job.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the other types of wraps and their associated costs.
- Gloss: The most common and sought-after vinyl finish. Prices start from $3.40 per square foot.
- Matte: This is the most budget-friendly finish. Prices start from $9.88 for 1 foot x 5 feet.
- Satin: Not highly shimmery or completely matt. Prices start from $17.99 for 5 square feet.
- Metallic: This delivers a highly shimmery vinyl finish. Prices from $11.99 for 5 feet x 1 foot.
- Carbon fiber: This type of wrap gives a textured finish that’s slightly glossy. Prices start from $12.99 for 5 feet x 1.5 feet.
Additional treatments are available once you’ve installed your favorite wrap. They are recommended if you want extra protection to ensure the longevity of the wrap. Liquid Nano-ceramic coating, for example, acts as a durability enhancer and protects the wrap from water damage, minor scratches, and UV rays. For a compact car, such a treatment might be $1,500. For an SUV it might cost an extra $1,800.
The Quality of the Vinyl Wrap
There are various levels of quality in the world of vinyl wrap. However, the saying, “You get what you pay for” stands true.
If you want the wrap to be durable, long-lasting, and offer proper UV protection, opt for a high-quality wrap. The initial cost will be higher, but overall, you’ll be saving money compared with a low-quality wrap.
Low-quality wraps look very attractive when first applied, however, the low quality soon shows through when the wrap wraps around the edges, forms bubbles, and possibly even cracks. When you try to remove a low-quality wrap, it might also damage the paint which can work out to be costly.
A calendared wrap is something else to be aware of. It’s a thicker vinyl that is applied with an aggressive adhesive. It will look good when first applied, but in a short time, it will be shrinking and bubbling at the edges.
The Size of the Vehicle Being Wrapped
The bigger the vehicle you want wrapping, the more material is needed, leading to an increase in cost.
It’s not just the size that makes a difference either. The make and model also matter because some have very complex body shapes which cost more when wrapped.
A large van with lots of flat surfaces won’t cost as much as a sports or custom car that’s got lots of intricate curves and jagged edges.
The Condition of the Vehicle
Before a vehicle can be wrapped, it must first be prepared. The vehicle surfaces must be clean and smooth. On the surface, there must be no contaminants or dirt.
Trims, accessories, taillights, headlights, and bumpers must be removed before wrapping, which adds to the cost of installation.
Custom Design and Commercial Wrap
Wrapping is commonly used by businesses when they want a custom look for their vehicles. More intricate wraps that are for the whole of a vehicle, require more material and labor. The result is a higher price.
Location and Climate
The final factor is location. If you live where the climate is cold, a car wrap installation will cost more because it takes longer for the heat to set in and for the wrap to heal.
How Long Does it Take to Wrap a Car?
The process of wrapping a car is quite complex. It can’t be rushed, but on the other hand, it might be completed in just a few hours.
At the most, you can expect it to take two to three days, depending on the areas the decals have to cover.
Once the wrap has been installed, you have to give it time to heal and dry properly.
How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car Yourself?
While it’s advisable to hire a professional to wrap your car, it is possible to take the DIY approach. You can expect to pay anything between $1,000 and $2,500, which is considerably lower than a professional installation.
However, before you order your vinyl, think about whether you’ve got the patience, expertise, and perseverance for such a job. As well as the vinyl, there are also some critical tools you’ll need close at hand. They include:
- Wrapstick flex
- Heat gun
- Infrared thermometer
- Surface cleaner
- Microfiber cloth
- Small magnets
- Cutting tape
- Snitty blade
- Tape measure
- Masking tape
- Spray bottle
- Clay bar
- Isopropyl alcohol
If you get it wrong, you’ll be left with an unsightly and possibly damaged car.
What Care is Required?
Where you live can affect how much care you need to lavish on your newly wrapped car. If you live in an area where temperatures are high, the wrap will break down over time because of the sun. Ideally, you should keep your wrapped car under the cover of a garage, or at the very least protected from the elements using a cover.
There are also challenges with colder climates, especially in snowy areas. The salt used on icy roads is hard on vinyl.
Now you know the answer to the question: How much does it cost to have a wrap put on a car? With all the additional information, you’re now able to make a more informed decision about whether a car wrap is right for you.
How much does it cost to wrap a car in California?
The cost of a car wrap in California depends on the size and specifications of the vehicle. Generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,495.
How much does it cost to wrap a car matte black?
Prices for having your car wrapped in matte black start at around $500 to $3,000, depending on many factors.
How long does a car wrap last?
As long as it’s applied correctly, you can expect a car wrap to last from three to seven years. For the maximum life span, you should protect the vehicle from the sun, park it in a covered space, and wash it after driving in snowy conditions to remove any salt.