Nothing beats the feeling of driving around in a brand new car and knowing that everyone can see just how fresh you look on the road.
You know the paint is fresh and glistening, the insides are clean and untouched, and everything is running as smoothly as it should.
When you’re not able to afford to buy a new car as often as you like, there are some things you can do to spruce up the one you do have, like a fresh coat of paint.
Rather than spending more than you have to and waiting weeks for the job to be done, having your car wrapped is a more viable option.
How much does it cost to wrap a car and what does it entail?
The average car wrap costs between $2,500 and $5,000 depending on the make and model, size, and type of material being used for the wrap. This process is easier than painting as it’s a large sheet of vinyl with an adhesive on the back, carefully placed over the body of your car.
If you’re after a more affordable option for freshening up your vehicle, figuring out the average car wrap cost is a good place to start.
We can show you what you’ll expect to pay upfront, how long this application lasts, and what other costs and considerations you might come across down the track.
- 1 The Types Of Wraps And Their Costs
- 2 Different Types Of Wrap
- 3 Post Wrapping Care And Maintenance
- 4 The Longevity Of Car Wrapping
- 5 Related Questions
The Types Of Wraps And Their Costs
Having your car wrapped can make a dramatic difference in its appearance, but the cost can vary drastically depending on a few factors.
The price can range from around $2,000 for a smaller car with a basic vinyl cover, or over $10,000 for a luxury wrap. These are just a few things that might impact the price:
Condition of the car
A car that’s in good condition will be easier to wrap, and therefore cheaper.
Cars with dents, scratches and uneven paintwork will need to be smoothed out before the wrap can be applied, which adds more costs.
Size of the car
A small two-door hatchback will have less surface area to cover than a larger SUV, so the size of your car will affect the overall cost.
Depending on the car wrapping company you use, you might be charged on the general size, or with a square foot calculation.
Make and model
Some cars are known for being easier than others to wrap, and a wrapping professional will be able to tell you which yours is.
Cars with unusual shapes and features will take more work to wrap, and will be more expensive.
Type of wrap
There are many different types of vinyl used to cover cars, and further specifications you can make about colors and designs that are going to impact the final price.
Different Types Of Wrap
One of the most important specifications of a car wrap is the type of wrap you want to use, with prices ranging from cheap to luxury.
A vehicle wrapping company might charge per square foot for the job, or based on the size classification of your vehicle.
These are some popular options for the types of wrap and the average cost per square meter:
A matte vinyl wrap is for people who don’t like the glossy look on their car. For this matte surface, you can expect to pay between $2.00 and $3.50 per square foot of coverage.
A chrome vinyl wrap job is one of the most expensive options due to the final look it delivers.
The price for chrome starts at around $8.00 per square foot but can be a few dollars more depending on the quality of the wrap.
Vinyl gloss wrap
This is one of the cheaper options for car wrapping that still allows you to get the shiny finished surface.
On the lower end of the scale, it costs around $1.50 per square foot and up to $3.50 for the more premium products.
Carbon fiber wrap
This mid-range product is one of the most popular choices for those who take their car seriously as it’s gentle on the paintwork but has an expensive-looking finish.
Carbon fiber wrap costs between $3.00 and $7.00 per square foot, depending on its quality.
Graphics and signage wrap
Vehicle wrap doesn’t have to be all one color, as it can feature graphics, logos, lettering, and signage.
A graphic designer working for the wrap company can help you create the image you want with the colors of your choice, and then it’s created using a special vinyl printing machine which is then wrapped onto your car.
Post Wrapping Care And Maintenance
Wrapping a car is not meant to be a long term application, which is one of the reasons why it’s so affordable compared to a new paint job.
However, it does require a special level of care and maintenance that helps it last longer and stay in the same pristine condition as when it was first applied.
Temperature is one of the biggest killers when it comes to a vinyl wrap, so keeping it comfortably at a mid-range level can help.
A car parked in full sunlight and with high temperatures that has a vinyl wrap will warp and crack years earlier than one that’s parked undercover and protected from the elements.
Just as hot temperatures can affect the wrap, so too can extreme cold. If you like in a state known for its cold weather, there’s a good chance you have salt applied to the roads to help with snow and sleet.
This salt can spray up onto the vinyl wrap and weaken it until it corrodes, and years before it should have.
To ensure the best care of your vinyl wrapped care, you should clean it regularly and with the recommended products made for this special type of bodywork.
Keep it parked undercover and protected with a fabric cover if you’re not able to find somewhere safe, and it will ensure that it lasts for years.
The Longevity Of Car Wrapping
Car wrap was designed to be a short term solution for improving the look of your vehicle and not a long term solution.
When applied correctly, a quality vehicle wrap will last at least five years, and sometimes more when the conditions are right.
To change the vehicle wrap you have on the car currently, it costs around $500, but this depends on the condition it’s in and whether it’s fused to the existing paintwork.
For dedicated fans of car wraps, this is a great time to update to a new color or exciting graphics, always giving you a chance to try something different.
A good vehicle wrap will act as a protective cover for the paintwork underneath, and with a huge range of colors, treatments, and designs available, you could continue to change it for years to come without having any negative impact on the paint.
As a cheaper alternative to paint and a fun way to experiment with new looks, car wraps are a great option for the car enthusiast.
Car wrapping is a fun way to color your car and freshen it up without having to spend a fortune, and for car enthusiasts it’s the only way to go when they want a new look.
If you’re considering car wrapping and want to know more about the methods and costs involved, check out our FAQs to get some more information on the process.
Can I Wrap My Own Car?
There are tools available for clever DIYers that allow them to wrap their car, but you’ll still have to pay for the vinyl and other associated costs, which are a lot for the initial outlay.
The average price to wrap a mid-sized vehicle is around $500, and it lasts just a few years, so you’ll want to be committed to continuing this job for yourself.
Is It Better to Wrap a Car Or Paint It?
The cost of a paint job compared to a car wrap will depend on the look you’re trying to achieve.
A cheaper basic matte paint job will be cheaper than the same effect in a vinyl wrap, but for more details and graphics, it’s cheaper to have a vinyl wrap applied to your vehicle.
Do Car Wraps Ruin Your Paint?
A properly applied car wrap is not only a design modification that can change the look of your car but a way to preserve and protect the paintwork underneath.
When done correctly, a vinyl wrap will prevent any damage being done to the paint and will keep it in the same condition as when the wrap was first applied.