Silver, White, and Black are the most popular car colors in America according to Kelley Blue Book. Driving down the road you will see car after car with the same boring color scheme, but every once in a while a car passes and you notice “one of these things is not like the others”. What looks like a custom paint job is actually a vinyl wrap. Automotive wraps can change the appearance of a car temporarily, for days, weeks, or months. When a vinyl car wrap is treated with proper care, it can last for years. It is a great way to change the look of your car when you tire of the old one. Depending on the owner’s mood, they can alter their car in countless patterns, colors, finishes, and textures. Without the weight of permanence or costs of repainting affecting the decision-making, creativity can be unleashed. Unlike painting, wrapping a car affords almost limitless customization options. But at what cost?
In this blog, we will look at what is car wrapping, how car wrapping is done, and the average price to wrap a car.
WHAT IS CAR WRAPPING
A car wrap is a series of vinyl decals that are placed over the body panels of the vehicle, letting you drastically change its appearance. The design options include a standard glossy color, gradient color, matte finish, chrome metallic color, and full-on graphics treatments.
CAR WRAP COST VS PAINT
Depending on the coverage area and body prep work needed, repainting a car can cost up to $5000. Many people don’t realize that vehicle paint shops may have to remove everything from the interior of the car during the painting process. This may include the dash, console, and even the seats. There is some risk that these items could be damaged by the painting process and therefore, they’re removed beforehand. Additionally, some steps in the process may be inhibited by the presence of these interior components. With vehicle wrapping, there is less need to remove components of the car since the material is pliable and can be molded and guided into all the crevices and creases of the car. This significantly shortens the time needed for your car to be in the shop and gets you back on the road in a timely manner.
CUSTOM CAR WRAPS
It is important to have realistic expectations with wrapping a car. Sometimes new wrap has the opposite effect. If you want to add wrapping over damage without fixing it properly, a fresh shiny wrap can actually highlight problem areas.
For the best results, the auto body shop should first remove any old paint flakes or wrap residue on the car and fix any damage that is present. Damage can include:
- Rust spots
- Detailing and Post Heating
Finishing, detailing, and post-heating the car is key to styling a new wrap. Without proper attention to detail and correct adhesion, the wrap will look unprofessional, wrinkled, or creased. If the edges aren’t sealed correctly, they could lift up and allow dirt, air, and water underneath the vinyl and cause it to fail.
VINYL WRAPPING YOUR CAR (USUALLY) ADDS VALUE
Having your car wrapped is an investment in many ways. Not only will you treat yourself to a vehicle with a like-new finish, but you will also add to its residual or resale value. By investing in car wrapping, you can get a higher trade-in value for an older vehicle. You can also raise your asking price when selling a used car directly to a buyer. For cars more than 10 years old, you can improve the trade-in value or add the custom car wrap cost to the selling price of the car.
A functional older vehicle can be transformed with a new vinyl wrap. Just make sure that it will be a valuable investment. If the car isn’t in good condition otherwise, wrapping it may turn out to be more expensive than the car is worth on resale.
Some insurance policies cover the cost of bodywork if the vehicle was damaged in an accident. Check with your insurance company to see if your coverage will help pay for the costs of wrapping your car.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET YOUR CAR WRAPPED?
The majority of the cost involved in having your car wrapped comes from the labor cost. Due to the labor-intensive nature of the process, it is recommended that you trust the job to a professional company such as GNS Wraps. The results from a professional installation can be night and day from trying to DIY.
Price approximations are usually based on basic wrap applications. A Tesla Model 3, for example, is one of the easiest cars to wrap given its relatively smooth surfaces, and simple, flat exterior design. Conversely, cars like a Lamborghini Aventador, or Ford Mustang with exterior body kits, hood scoops, spoilers, and cutouts require more work and material thus they cost more.
At GNS Wraps we take three factors into account when calculating the cost to wrap a car: Design, Production Material, and Installation
This is the first and most important step in the process. This step is priced out based on complexity and other factors such as color scheme. Having the final design is essential in determining the price of the full install. Factors that influence the cost of the design are:
- Single color wraps vs full-color custom prints
- Designing from scratch or utilizing customer provided artwork
- Logos or other images that require intensive and precision design
The cost of production includes the price of materials required for the wrap, and the printing, laminating, and cutting process. At GNS Wraps we use only premium long-term brand name vinyl designed for vehicle wraps. All our vinyl comes with a manufacturer’s warranty and is made to the strictest of standards. Other factors that influence the cost of production is:
- Short-term vs Long-term wraps – Some wraps are designed for short term usage such as on promotional vans while others are designed for long-term usage
- The surface area of the vehicle to be covered and the type of vinyl used
- Lamination – We apply a protective coating on top of the vinyl to protect your designs from scratching or abrasions.
- Window coverage – windows can be covered with a perforated film that maintains the design on the outside but allows visibility from the inside.
Installation costs can vary from vehicle to vehicle. A small car with lots of curves such as a VW Beetle, Mini Cooper, or Toyota BZR will take more time and work to install than a large boxy vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler or Nissan Ranger. Other factors that influence the cost of the design are:
- The complexity of the curves and angles to be wrapped
- Paint condition and other surface issues
- Total area to be wrapped
- Bumpers, mirrors, spoilers, and other external body panels
Shops determine the price for a car wrap, based on the style of the wrap, size of the vehicle, and the complexity of installation. For example, a matte or satin finish on a vehicle that’s about the size of a Ford Mustang can run about $3,000 to $4,000. Though no two jobs are the same, the industry average cost to wrap a car or other vehicle are:
- Motorcycle: Starting at about $1,500.
- Luxury sports car: Starting at about $5,000. Some custom wraps on supercars can run into five digits.
- Full-size SUV: Starting at about $4,000.
- Truck: Starting at about $4,000.
- Family sedan: Starting at about $3,000.
- Compact crossover: Starting at about $3,500.
If cost is a factor then a full vehicle wrap isn’t your only option. Partial vehicle wraps can accomplish a unique look and is a viable option to consider. Cars such as the Chevy Camaro look great with vinyl hood stripes while other cars such as the Honda Civic Type R look great with lettering and patterns down the side.
GNS Wraps provides full-color decals and cut letter vinyl that is perfect for marketing purposes or car club labeling. Partial vehicle wraps are calculated as a percentage of the cost of a full vehicle wrap and depend on the same factors set out before.
CONTACT GNS WRAPS TODAY FOR OUR VEHICLE WRAPPING SERVICES
When it comes to car wraps, you get what you pay for. Always look for a reputable company that uses only premium materials. That way your car wrap doesn’t damage your paint or bubble up and peel off from poor installation or exposure to the elements. At GNS Wraps we pride ourselves on providing best-in-class service, and we stand behind our workmanship. All our wraps and decals are of the highest quality and are backed by our customer guarantee. If you’re ready to get your next custom vehicle wrap, call us at 561.502.2605 or visit our contact page.