A car wrap is like a temporary tattoo for your car

Quick notes

– The car wrap industry is expected to reach $10.8 billion by 2025

– Car wraps can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000+, and there are a few things you can do to make it last as long as possible.

Chances are you’ve seen quite a few wrapped cars on the road, and you might be wondering if it’s worthwhile for your own. After all, car wraps allow you to change the look of your ride without making a long-term commitment.

Car wraps are a rapidly-growing trend in vehicle customization with expectations to increase nearly tenfold from $1.6 billion in 2015 to $10.8 billion in 2025.

Before you decide, there are a few things you need to know about vinyl wraps, like how much it costs to wrap a car, what condition your car needs to be in, and how a vinyl wrap is installed. Some car wraps can turn out horribly, so it’s important to answer these questions before you dive in and make sure your car comes out the other side looking like perfection.

What is a car wrap?

With a car wrap, you can place vinyl decals over the body panels of the vehicle and significantly alter its appearance. You can choose to wrap a car fully or just wrap individual sections, and ultimately, the only real limitations to what kinds of designs you can do are your imagination and budget.


The most significant difference between a wrap and a paint job is that you can remove the vinyl decals later without damaging your original paint (if the wrap is installed and maintained correctly).

Wrapping the car involves fully detailing the exterior of the car and removing surface imperfections as best as possible before removing bumpers, headlights, and taillights and applying the wrap. A heat gun and squeegee are used in the installation process to get the adhesion right.

What car condition is required?

There’s only so much that a car wrap can cover over. For example, if you have a bad paint job, extensive scratches or dings, then you can expect that to stick out like a sore thumb in the finished product.

Even though they’ll be under your wrap, imperfections will always show up on the surface, so don’t expect it to be perfect unless you get the scratches or dents fixed beforehand (which is highly recommended!).

How much do car wraps cost?

The more frequently your car is exposed to the elements, the shorter your wrap will last. It’s common for vinyl wraps to last up to five years if they are properly maintained. But make sure to keep your car in a garage and out of the sun as much as possible.

Car wraps can vary from anywhere to $3,000 to $12,000+

Parking your car on the street and letting dirt accumulate will shorten your wrap’s lifespan, and it might end up only lasting a year or less.

How long can a car wrap last?

Car wrap cost can vary from anywhere to $3,000 to $12,000+, and the reason for the big gap typically boils down to what type of material you want to apply. Matte and satin finishes tend to be cheapest, while fancier wraps like chrome can make the price climb significantly.

“If you have a high-end car, expect a high-end price tag on your wrap.”

Another major factor is your car itself. If you have a high-end vehicle, expect a high-end price tag on your wrap. Installers tend to be even more careful when it comes to luxury vehicles and removing panels, so the process often takes longer and adds up to higher labor costs.

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