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Car wraps look great and are real head turners. 

Whether you want to be noticed in a line of traffic in your car or thinking of getting a warp for your business vehicle, there will always be a certain amount of worrying about any possible negative consequences.

We’ll look at all the pros and cons in this article to help you make an informed decision.

Always one of the first questions that get asked about wraps is how long do they last.

How Long Does A Car Wrap Last?

The average life span of a car wrap is five years. However, there are a few factors that can extend or shorten its lifespan. These include the quality of the paintwork and the climate and environment the car will be driven in.

Here we look at those in greater detail.

Condition of Existing Car Paintwork

To get the best life expectancy from the wrap, your paintwork should be in good condition. If the paint is damaged or scratched, it can show through the wrap if not fixed before the wrap is fitted.

A Wrap Won’t Cover Bad Bodywork Paint

Any dents or dings will actually look worse with a wrap on. 

Most reputable fitters will insist on getting the bodywork fixed before they apply a wrap. The last thing they want is a bad-looking wrap leaving their shop. It’s not good for business.

Environment and Climate The Car Will Be Driven In

Sun can fade a wrap over time, so the more exposure to sunlight, the more likely this is to happen. In extreme heat, the wrap also shrinks slightly too and then expands when the bodywork cools.

Have you ever touched a car’s bodywork on a scorching day? It’s almost too hot to keep your hand on the car. Well, if your wrap is continually subjected to this heat, it will have an effect.

Amount of Car Washing

A wrap that gets washed a lot won’t last longer than a car that stays cleaner between washes. Mud and stones chips will take a toll on the wrap over time, so cars out on the road in more rural roads may find the wraps last a little shorter time.

How Often Should My Car Be Washed? [SEASON GUIDE]

Why Would You Want To Wrap Your Car Anyway?

There aren’t many ways to show our individuality – especially when in our car – but a car wrap is one of the most striking ways we can do it.

They are a great way of showing our personality for personal use, but there is another possible reason.

Most new cars are offered in less than ten colors. If you’ve bought your favorite car but didn’t have the option of having it painted in your favorite color, then a wrap can be a great solution. You can choose whatever color you want or let your design ideas go wild and design your own print.

New Cars Paint Colors Can Be A Bit Boring

For companies, car wrapping is an excellent way of standing out in a competitive marketplace. A memorable designed wrap with contact details emblazoned on it is a way of advertising as your going about your business.

It’s much more effective and cheaper than other forms of advertising. Get the design right, and you’ll reap the financial rewards wrap cost many times over.

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What Actually Is A Car Wrap?

Car wraps are vinyl decals that you place over the vehicle’s body panels. They can turn a mundane-looking vehicle into something eye-catching. Wraps are fitted on individual panels allowing the buyer to have different colors on the different panels, so there is plenty of flexibility too. 

With so many wraps designs and materials, such as a matte finish, a complete graphic wrap, or chrome metallic, the choice is massive – depending on how much you’re happy to spend.

Why Does My Paintwork Have To Be In Good Condition?

It would be pretty normal to think that a car wrap could be the answer to a bad paint job or to cover up dings and scratches on your car. 

Scratches Will Have To Be Repaired Before Wrapping A Car

The truth is that won’t work at all well. Any deep scratches can still be seen through a wrap. Also, they can be felt if you were to run your hand over a wrap where the scratch is being covered. A wrap will cover up minor scratches very well, though.

Dings will be more noticeable as the wrap will have to be creased to bond over an imperfect surface.

How Much Does It Cost To Wrap A Car?

The price of a car wrap varies quite a bit. It is determined by the size of the vehicle, the type of wrap, and the time taken for the installation.

A basic matte finish for an average family-sized vehicle will cost you between $2,500 and $4,250. For more detailed wraps, including textured and chrome finishes, expect to add an extra $1,000 + to the cost.

Another factor is the number of individual panels on your car: the more panels, the more cost involved in production and fitting.

How Do You Maintain A Wrap On A Car?

It’s always best to wash a car wrap by hand. 

Car washes – the automated ones – should be avoided as the brushes can cause poorly fitting wraps to lift and peel around the edges. Proper care detailing should be fine as long as the cleaners don’t use harsh detergents – most won’t – as these can also shorten the lifespan of the wrap.

Power jet washes are fine – but don’t get too close with the spray. Usually, 18 inches from the car is the minimum distance, and don’t the jet on the same piece of wrap for an extended time – especially around the corners of the wrap.

The best option, though, is a good old bucket and sponge. As mentioned, use a milder detergent, and once done, use clean water to rinse the soap off. Like a painted car, the wrap can also get water spots, like a painted carThe, so it’s best to dry it down with a soft cloth.

Washing your car in this way will keep your wrap in good condition and take away the dirt and grime that would shorten its lifespan.

Advantages of Wrapping Over A Respray

Quicker turnaround

Once you’ve been through the design stage, a car wrap has a quicker turnaround than a car respray.

With a respray, you’ll probably be without your car for a week – if it’s a simple basic job – but a lot longer if you want a more specialized color and finish. Even most minor scratches typically have to be fixed before the car shop starts the respray.

Car wraps usually are a lot quicker to fit, and you should be able to drive your car away after two days. This not only gets you back on the road quicker but also saves on the hassle of borrowing a friend’s or family member’s car or the cost of a car rental for a week.

Promotional Advertising for Businesses

For business owners that have a lease on their vehicle, a paint job is not an option.

The finance company will want the car back in the same condition as which you received it. If you’ve funded the vehicle yourself or through your company accounts, you’ll still want to sell the vehicle in the future.

The price you’ll get will be very low if you try and sell it with painted advertising on it. So a respray isn’t an option.

Car wraps are one the most effective forms of advertising to reach as many people as possible for a fraction of the cost. 

An advertising wrap will mean your brand will be seen by many people every day as your car drives through the town or city you service.

What’s Cheaper? A Wrap or A Repaint?

This depends.

A basic car paint job will be cheaper than a basic car wrap. However, as with anything, there are many options for both. Where you go to get the job done will play a big part in the overall cost.

The materials for a respray are pretty cheap, but the time spent fitting or painting can be high.

Wraps come in a basic matte finish up to textured finishes, and the price varies a lot.

It’s the same with paint resprays too. Paint comes in metallic and Pearlescent, which is much more expensive than most cars’ basic sold or gloss finish.

Don’t forget, though, if you want to go back to the original paint color one day, it’s easy with a wrap as it can be removed, but if you’ve had a respray, you’ll need another to change the color.

How To Remove A Car Wrap

There will come a time in the future when you’ll want to sell your car. If you’ve got a textured or print wrap design, you might struggle to get a reasonable price as your pool of potential buyers might be smaller. Not everyone has the same tastes.

The good news is that removing the wrap is more straightforward than putting it on. If the wrap has been washed regularly, hasn’t come away from the bodywork, and is in good visual condition, it should only take the fitter two hours to remove it.

If the wrap has failed and it is more difficult to take off, the labor costs could rise. Wrap failure could also affect the bodywork underneath and result in additional work to put it right.

The removal of the wrap is easy if it has not lost its structural integrity. It can take between three and four hours and cost $500 to $600. The cost of a more difficult removal is significantly higher. 

In Conclusion

The lifespan of a professional car wrap is three to five years when it is fitted in a specialized wrapping shop using high-quality materials.

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