Vinyl Wrap: An Overview

Posted by Jacob Semanco


What is Vinyl Wrap?

A vinyl wrap is a highly durable adhesive film that is used to either protect the paint on your car or changing the color of your car, typically for cosmetic purposes. Vinyl wrapping is the top alternative to getting a brand new paint job on your vehicle. Vinyl wraps help protect your vehicle's paint from rocks and other debris that gets kicked up from the road to your car. The film keeps the original paint from taking damage that occurs from daily driving.

Benefits of Vinyl Wrapping a Car

There are numerous benefits that come with wrapping your vehicle. Here are three of the most important:

1) Low Cost: Vinyl wrapping your car is much less expensive than getting your car fully painted. A quality paint job typically costs anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000. A full vehicle wrap typically costs a fraction of that.

2) Less Downtime: A complete paint job with average body work takes 40-80 hours of work. With vinyl wrap, most professional installers will take 2 to 3 days. After installation, there is a 12-24 hour rest time that needs to take place to allow the wrap to sit.

3) Variety of Choices: Vinyl wraps offer you a wider array of options than paint. Any color you can paint your car can be handled with vinyl wrap, not to mention the more custom and camouflage wraps that are not available with paint. There's even brushed, textured, chrome, and leather vinyl wraps that you will not achieve with paint. The possibilities with vinyl wrap are endless!

There are many different brands of vinyl, including but not limited to, 3M, Avery Dennison, KPMF, Orafol, and Hexis. These are the leading brands in the vinyl wrap industry, as of 2021.

How Much Vinyl Do I Need to Wrap a Car?

The simplest way to find out how much film you will need to wrap your vehicle is multiplying the length of your vehicle by 3, for the two sides and the top of your vehicle. This includes a little extra for bumpers and to cover any mistakes that may occur throughout the wrapping process. Some basic guidelines to use when choosing the amount of material you need to wrap a vehicle:

• 60 inches by 45 feet for compact cars (i.e., Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic, Mazda3)

• 60 inches by 60 feet for standard cars (i.e., Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata)

• 60 inches by 75 feet for trucks (i.e., Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Chevy Silverado)

Please keep in mind that the amount of material you need depends on your skill level. If you are a beginner to the intermediate-level wrapper, we recommend ordering more to cover for any potential mistakes made in the wrapping process.

How Long Does Vinyl Wrap Last?

Essentially, the less your vehicle is exposed to the elements, the longer your wrap will last. For example, prolonged sun exposure can cause wear on your wrap. On average, a well-installed vinyl wrap will last for 3-5 years, but some wraps can remain in excellent shape for 7 years or longer. Some factors that determine how long your wrap lasts include:

1) Type of Material Used: Major brands of vinyl wrap last longer than non-major brands. A few reputable, major brands of vinyl wrap include 3M, Avery Dennison, Hexis, KPMF, and Orafol. A few non-reputable, non-major brands of vinyl wrap include VViViD, Teckwrap, and other China-made films.

2) Keeping Your Wrap Clean: If you plan on driving your wrapped vehicle everywhere you go, like most people, you will need to maintain your wrap more often than you would with a standard painted vehicle. Grease, bird droppings, and other contaminants, can wear down the vinyl relatively quickly compared to painted metal surfaces. We recommend washing your wrapped vehicle frequently. Our partner Mfinity Coatings also sells ceramic coatings and application supplies that are perfect for keeping your wrap in the best shape possible.

3) Weather Conditions: Both very cold and very warm temperatures will affect how long your wrap lasts. Hotter temperatures will make your wrap malleable and prone to damage while freezing temperatures can cause the wrap to crack. It's best to try and limit the amount of time your wrapped vehicle will sit out in more extreme temperatures.

How Much Does It Cost to Wrap a Car?

The cost of vinyl wrapping a vehicle depends on a few factors that need to be taken into account, including:

1) Type of Material: Different brands of wrap material have different pricing options, sometimes for the same color and finish. Finish and color play a major factor in determining the price of the film. For example, color shifting and textured wraps will run at a higher price than a simple gloss wrap film.

2) Amount of Material: Naturally, the more material you need will require more material for a full vehicle wrap. Also, if you own a car with a custom body kit, you will need more material to wrap the body kit. Strictly hood and roof wraps will run you less, as there is less of a surface to wrap than wrapping the full vehicle.

3) DIY or Professional Installer?: If you choose to wrap your vehicle yourself, you won't need to pay someone else to wrap your vehicle. Depending on your experience level, you may need to purchase more material to cover for any mistakes made along the way. Please keep in mind that hiring a professional vinyl wrap installer will typically run you anywhere between $1,500 - $3,000. These prices do not reflect all installers, it is only an estimation. Please visit www.wraplocal.com to search for professional installers in your area.