Revealing The Hidden Costs: How Much Does It Really Cost To Wrap Your Car

Need to be happier with the appearance of your car? Looking for a change? Or are you concerned with the damaging bodywork of your vehicle? There are a few options available.

However, getting an entirely new paint job can be a costly job, costing thousands of dollars. And until recent years, a paint job was your only option. 

Vinyl wrapping your vehicle has become affordable and popular for car owners. But is it a good idea?

And how much does it cost to wrap a car? We’ve done the research to find out the pros and cons of vinyl wrapping your car and the estimated cost. 

Vinyl wrapping your car will cost between $2000 and $10,000. Wrapping a standard-sized vehicle will cost between $2,000 and $3,000.

Larger cars, such as SUVs and Trucks, will range between $3,000 and $5,000. Wrapping a luxury car varies wildly and can range between $5,000 and $10,000.  

What is Vinyl Wrap?

Although you might not have known what it was, you will have seen vinyl-wrapped cars in the street. For example, if you have seen cars with crazy graphics, odd patterns, or strange luminous colors, you probably saw a vinyl-wrapped car.

They are usually eye-catching compared to your standard painted car.

Vinyl wrapping transforms the looks of your car by applying large sheets of pressure-sensitive vinyl. The vinyl is applied to each individual panel of the vehicle. It can only be carried out by highly trained professionals with specialized equipment.

Vinyl wrap is hard to apply, as you must ensure no trapped bubbles or creases. However, wrapping a car will totally change the appearance of your vehicle and will protect your paintwork.

How Much Does It Cost to Vinyl Wrap a Car?

Most of the cost of vinyl wrapping a car comes from labor. Vinyl wrapping is hugely time intensive and requires a highly skilled professional to correctly complete the job. Therefore, the price will vary depending on the vehicle being wrapped. 

Here is a general price guide to vinyl car wrapping:

  • Compact car or coupe: prices generally start at around $2,000.
  • Family sedan: fees run at approximately $3,000.
  • Compact crossover: around $3,500.
  • Jeep: Depending on whether it’s two or four doors, it will cost between $3,00 and $4,500.
  • Commercial vehicles: the average cost of a full wrap on a commercial vehicle, such as a van, is between $3,000 and $5,000. 
  • Full-size SUV: prices start at around $4,000.
  • Luxury sports car: prices start at around $5,000 but can reach up to $10,000. 

Could I Wrap My Own Car?

If money is a concern, consider wrapping your own vehicle. And although technically doable, we do not recommend wrapping your own car.

The likelihood of wrapping your own vehicle to a high standard you’re pleased with is very low. 

However, you will save some money if you feel your skillset, know-how, and tools to do the job. Generally, a standard DIY car wrap will cost you $500-$700 in materials.

However, the cost will vary depending on the retailer, car size, wrap design, and color.

Pitfalls to Avoid When You DIY a Vinyl Wrap

Here are a few tips to bare in mind when wrapping your own car:

  • Thoroughly clean the car before wapping, ensuring all traces of oil, film, dust, and debris are gone. Even microscopic levels of dirt and debris will interfere with applying the vinyl wrap.
  • You will need to heat the vinyl to the right temperature. The ambient temperature must also be correct to retain the right amount of heat in the vinyl. The temperature of the vinyl should be between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, as should your workspace. 
  • If the vinyl is too cold, it will not adhere, and the piece will be wasted. If it is too hot, the vinyl may overstretch, and the color will change. 
  • Be extremely cautious when trimming the vinyl. A split second of unsteadiness when trimming could result in an entire vinyl panel needing removal. 
  • Take care when cutting around rivets and corners. These are often the most challenging parts, resulting in many frustrated DIYers re-doing sections dozens of times. 

Why Use Vinyl Wrap?

There are a few reasons to consider vinyl wrapping your vehicle. And there are several benefits of using vinyl wrap instead of paint. 

The following are a few reasons to choose to vinyl wrap your vehicle instead of painting it:

Better Quality

Although the quality of a vinyl wrap will depend on the provider and the paint or vinyl, you choose. Generally, vinyl wrapping your car will yield a higher quality end product.

It’s easy to get a poor-quality paint job that will scratch, fade and crack over time. Paint jobs more easily suffer damage than car wrapping.

Additionally, painting your car does not protect the body against the elements as much as vinyl. Vinyl adds an extra layer between your car and sun exposure, harsh weather, and road hazards.

Conversely, a good vehicle wrap will keep your vehicle looking better for longer. This is because wraps don’t fade as quickly as paint, won’t chip, and offer a more impressive visual for longer.

Lower Cost 

A standard paint job will cost you between $3,000 and $10,000. In contrast, a vinyl wrap will cost between $2,500 and $5,000. So although the range is similar, the average cost of a good paint job is around double that of a good vinyl wrap. 

The cost to maintain a good paint job is also higher than that of a vinyl wrap, saving you money.

Longer Lasting

Unfortunately, getting a poor-quality paint job is too easy to do. And a bad paint job will chip and wade within two years of its application.

A good paint job can last between 5 and 7 years but is still susceptible to scratches, weather, and environmental damage.

Conversely, a good vinyl wrap can last up to 10 years and offers more protection. Additionally, many vinyl wraps are UV-resistant and keep the car color vivid for years. 

Overall, you’ll get a better-looking product for much longer using vinyl wrapping.

More Design Options

If you want an eye-catching design, vinyl might be your best option. With a vinyl wrap, you can choose from crazy patterns, striking colors, and even holographic. So if you’re looking to stand out, vinyl is the way. 

Faster Installation

This may not be that important to you if you don’t mind your car being out of action for a few days, but those who can’t be without their vehicle might prefer to get a vinyl wrap.

A new paint job can take weeks due to the time each coat takes to dry. In contrast, a vinyl wrap takes at least a few days. A speedy turnaround for such a significant change! Some companies can even offer a single-day turnaround. 

Higher Vehicle Resale Value

Vinyl-wrapped cars hold a higher value than painted vehicles. This is because the vinyl protects the original paint, so the next owner can remove the vinyl and be left with the original manufacturer’s color.

Therefore, a car featuring the original paint in good condition is incredibly valuable. 

Vinyl wrapping your car is an excellent option to preserve the original paint while changing the car’s appearance. Then, when reselling the vehicle, you can remove the vinyl and sell it at a higher price.

Easier to Remove

Removing paint can be tricky and result in scuffed panels and dozens of hours manually sanding. Removing the wrapping from a car is much easier and can be peeled off by hand. 

Typically, if the vinyl is removed within the manufacturer’s recommended 10-year time frame. It won’t damage the paint underneath and should be removed relatively easily. 

Vinyl wrapping is becoming increasingly popular, and fortunately, it’s also becoming very affordable. Unfortunately, wrapping your car will most likely cost at least $2000.

Of course, the DIY approach is much more affordable and may only cost around $400; however, the result will vastly differ. Car wrapping is a great way to change the look of your car, preserve the original paint, and protect your vehicle from external elements.