What is Car Wrap?
A car wrap is an affordable, flexible, and easy way to customize the appearance of your motor. Vinyl wrapping can give your vehicle a totally new lease of life, with an unlimited amount of colors, patterns, and designs to elevate the exterior of your car. Wrap has become the latest craze for those who like to modify, identifiable by its shiny chrome finish.
It involves fitting film onto either the whole car exterior or parts of it, such as hood, bumpers, or doors. Not only does it add a unique touch to your car, but it also acts as a protective cover, ensuring that the paint job underneath is protected. Plus, it could save you potentially thousands of dollars if your car requires a paint job.
Read on as we explain further the benefits of wrap and identify the different types of wrap jobs that are available.
What Is a Vinyl Car Wrap?
A vinyl wrap is fitted to the shape of your car or a particular panel of your vehicle's exterior, such as the bumpers or roof. This vinyl can be removed and replaced at any time without causing any damage to the exterior of the car below.
It is a good way to bring personality to your car, particularly if you run a business and would like to display graphics associated with your job on the exterior. It's also an affordable way to frequently change the color of your motor without paying for expensive paint jobs.
If you're feeling confident or have prior experience, you can wrap your car yourself. Otherwise, you'll need to get your car professionally wrapped.
The Vinyl Wrap Process
The whole process can be broken down into a simple 5 step process, which is as follows 🔁
- You select a design on Vinyl Frog and choose the panels that are to be covered.
- If you opt to get the wrap professionally fitted, your motorcar will be measured, and the wrap will be cut accordingly.
- The exterior of your car will be cleared and made free of debris so that nothing gets stuck between the car and the wrap.
- The vinyl will be laminated and printed to UV-protect the material and also save it from getting scratched during the fitting process.
- The professionals will then expertly fit the wrap onto the flat surfaces of your car. A heat gun is normally used during the fitting process to avoid air bubbles.
Ways to Wrap Your Car
As we've stated, when vinyl wrapping your car, you don't have to get every inch of your exterior decorated; you can instead opt to have your Ford Mustang or other vehicle partially wrapped. These are all the different ways you can get your motorcar wrapped:
Full wrap, as the name implies, is getting your whole car wrapped. Vinyl decals are applied to each panel of your car separately, which appear as a complete piece once the wrapping process is finished. Getting an entire wrap is, obviously, the most expensive option, as it requires both a lot of material and also takes a lot of effort to complete.
Typically, an entire wrap takes between 2-3 days and requires multiple people working on the vehicle at once.
A partial car wrap covers around 2/3 of your car and is a good option if you want to apply graphics to the exterior. It's a more cost-effective way to wrap your car as it can be used to cover up particular patches of your motorcar where the paint has faded. If laid out well, a partial wrap can be made to look like a full wrap job.
The roof of your motorcar is the part that's most regularly exposed to sunlight and bad weather, so it's no surprise that it is the first part of your car to fade.
This is why roof-only vehicle wraps have become popular, to act as a protective cover for the top of your motorcar. If you want to show off the original paint, you can choose a nice black chrome to complement the other panels.
If you want to protect your dashboard, you can choose to vinyl wrap cockpit style. Wrapping the interior of your car has become a popular way to preserve the original appearance of your car, particularly for those who plan on eventually reselling the car. Just like exterior wrapping, cockpit vinyl wraps can be removed without leaving a trace.
Like the roof, the hood of your car is directly exposed to the elements, which could cause the paint job to fade quicker than it does on the doors and other panels. This is why some opt to only get the hood wrapped. You could either choose to match the color of the rest of your car or choose a lighter or darker shade to give your motor a more striking look.
If you've got a particularly expensive car with a chrome bumper, you may be inclined to wrap it to protect it long-term. Even if you have a standard metallic or even a plastic bumper, wrapping the bumper area can protect it from general wear and tear.
It's worth getting your door wrapped to protect it from everyday scratches, but it's recommended to get wrapping to match the rest of your vehicle. It's also worth noting that door wrapping can be more expensive than other flat surfaces such as the hood or roof, as it can be complicated to fit the wrapping around door handles.
A fender is fitted on your car to stop debris such as dirt, sand, and mud from getting thrown up into the air by the spinning wheel. With a good quality fender in place, this debris cannot scratch and damage your vehicle or any other passing vehicle. Given its importance, it would be a good idea to get your fender wrapped to keep it working well for longer.
A scalpel-like appliance can be used to meticulously fit vinyl onto and around your car's grille. The grille is a car part that is highly susceptible to damage due to the fact it is front-facing. This means that it's normally the first part of your vehicle to get hit by oncoming items and road debris. By protecting it with vinyl, you can lengthen the life of your grille.
Wrapping the wheel of a car isn't very common, but it is still done by some to protect the rims. It is one of the more complicated vinyl wraps, given the complex shape of most rims. Don't expect a wrapped rim to last as long as the likes of a hood-only vinyl wrap, though! Your rims will most likely have to get re-wrapped regularly.
A trunk wrap is normally done as part of a bigger vehicle wrap or as part of a 3-piece trunk, roof, and hood wrap. This 3-piece wrapping procedure looks best on the likes of a BMW1 series. Alongside the trunk, you should also consider wrapping the tailgate of your vehicle.
Why Should You Wrap Your Car?
So, know you know how your car can be wrapped, but why should you do it? Here are just some of the great reasons many owners get their vehicles wrapped:
- You should wrap your car because it's the easiest and most affordable means of personalizing your motor. If you want your car to stand out on the road, or if you wish to breathe new life into an older model, wraps are a great solution.
- Not only does it protect the original paint job, but vehicle wrapping also gives you more design options. Paint jobs can be limited to whatever colors the factory has available, whereas, with vinyl decals, you have an unlimited amount of colors and patterns to choose from.
- Additionally, if you're leasing a car and want to change the color but aren't allowed to paint it, vinyl decals can be used and removed before your lease term is up.
- Besides giving the car owner more creative choice, vinyl decals have several benefits over traditional paint jobs. Not only does it protect the car's paint, but it also ensures a high resale value of the vehicle. A car that has been protected by wraps will sell more than a vehicle that has been repainted.
- Wrapping is also quicker to install than a paint job, given that the latter can take between 1-2 weeks.
Categories of Car Wraps
Matte vinyl can give your car a redefined classiness, creating a muted color with no shine. Commonly coming in such bold shades as metallic and carbon fiber, it can make your vehicle look totally unique on the road. Matte is the most popular vinyl type and is normally chosen for full wrap jobs. Typically, your matte-wrapped car will last for around five years.
If you want your wrapped car to look as close to a paint job as possible, you should opt for shiny/glossy vinyl. This type is available in more colors than any other finish and really gives off a strong reflection. A popular option is getting a shiny/glossy vinyl with metallic and flakes through it.
Metallic vinyl wrap has a special shine to it and is put through various processes to achieve its unique appearance. First, it is given a metallization coating, then a magnetron sputtering, and finally, an interlaying synthesis. Vinyl Frog has several different metallic vinyl shades available, including:
Chrome wrap / Mirror wrap
Chrome wrap is for those who want to achieve an opulent mirror look and is amongst the most expensive vinyl available for vehicles. Not only is it expensive to buy, but it is also expensive to fit, given how difficult the material is to mold. If you're looking for cheap services, this isn't the best bet! Chrome is by far the most reflective car wrap.
Paint protection film
Paint protection film (PPF) is car wrap vinyl that is totally clear and simply used to protect the car exterior rather than add to or customize it. The PPF available on Vinyl Frog features a high gloss finish and comes with advanced corrosion and chemical resistance.
A transparent printable wrap is a great option for those who want to customize their vehicle with their own designs or to promote their business. With the help of a graphic designer, you could fit your company's logo onto the transparent printable wrap and attach it to the side of your car.
Our site has two types of transparent printable wrap in stock:
Glossy White Printable Film.
Pros & Cons of Car Wraps
The pros far outweigh the cons of wrap, but it's worth weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of applying a wrap to your car.
Car wrapping is a speedy operation and can be done much quicker than paint jobs. Several processes are involved when getting a car repainted, from prepping to priming to drying. Vehicle wrapping has a more simple process and, therefore, can be completed quicker.
Wraps are the most cost-effective way to customize your car.
Wrapping is the most easily adjustable car customization method. If you are unsatisfied with how one wrap looks on your car, you can easily swap it over for another.
Although thin, car wrap offers a good level of protection against road debris and scratches.
Wraps can protect the car's paint below, which keeps the original value of the car intact. Should you opt to resell the car, you can easily remove the wrap to reveal the vehicle's original exterior.
Vinyl wraps are durable and are unlikely to fall off themselves. Just as it requires special skill to apply the vinyl cover, it takes effort to remove the decals, too.
Not all wraps are weather resistant. Both warm and cold climates can affect the longevity of wraps. If you live in a particularly cold part of the world, grit salt can wear out the vinyl wrapping, particularly wrap that is attached to your fenders and wheels. Similarly, in excessively sunny locations, UV rays can slowly lessen the protective quality of wrap.
Cleaning vinyl is not as easy as cleaning the surface of your car. Some wrap types can be particularly delicate and do not fare well when scrubbed. This can be a bit of a problem when it comes to removing debris from the wrap. However, they can be cleaned through very delicate handwashing or by taking your car to a brushless car wash.
If your car is involved in an accident, you'll likely have to remove all of the wrap to assess the damages. This can be time-consuming but not the end of the world.
You'll have to inform your car insurance provider when you get a wrap fitted onto your car, as adding vinyl is technically classed as a car modification.
A poorly executed vinyl job could produce unattractive air bubbles on the surface of the car - leave it to the car experts!
Frequently Asked Questions
How expensive is it to wrap a car?
Wrapping your vehicle is more affordable than repainting it; however, it does come with some expenses. If you opt to wrap your motor yourself, you can expect to pay between $100 - $500 in equipment and tools. Alternatively, if you decide to pay extra to get it professionally wrapped, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 in labor rates.
Overall, wrapping will most likely cost you between $1,000 and $4,000. You can find out more information here.
Do car wraps ruin your car?
Wraps do not ruin vehicles - they protect vehicles from external damages, such as scratches and UV damage. Once you're finished with the wrap, it can be removed, revealing your perfectly preserved car underneath.
How long do car wraps last?
The length of time your wrap lasts depends on the type you choose and whether you keep the vehicle in the garage or not. On average, wrap lasts for around five years.
Can you put a wrapped car through a carwash?
A vinyl wrap can take the force of a pressure washer, but it will impact the length of time the wrap lasts for. In order to preserve your wrap for longer, you should gently wash it by hand.
As its popularity grows, wrapping will likely become the most common type of motor personalization in the future. It's affordable, customizable, and offers some degree of protection against common road accidents. It preserves paint better than leaving your car in the garage and allows you to still use the car while protecting its original appearance.
With so many vinyl vehicle wrap options available on Vinyl Frog, get browsing today to select your perfect temporary modification!