Back in the day, if you wanted to change the look of your vehicle, you had to get a paint job. Today, the process of altering your vehicle’s aesthetics is easy with a wrap. How much does it cost to wrap a car, and is the expense worth it?
I look at how much a car wrap costs and what factors affect the price. In most cases, you will see that a car wrap is a great solution for personalizing or customizing your car. However, you must be prepared for the expense of a car wrap and the time it will take to get it done.
How Much Does A Car Wrap Cost?
You can expect a cost of $1,500 to $6,000 to wrap an entire car, depending on the type of car, type of wrap, and the garage doing the job. But the cost of a car wrap can vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
As I’ve discussed, the majority of the cost is going to be tied up in labor, not materials. Because of this, the installer must factor in the complexity of the job, the type of decal you want, and how big your vehicle is before giving you an accurate quote.
For a smaller coupe, it’s possible to get a simple car wrap installed for $2,000. However, if you drive a larger coupe or sports car, you might pay upwards of $3,000, while a compact truck, SUV or van could cost you $3,500.
If you add special treatments, such as a carbon-fiber appearance or metallic colors, you need to prepare to pay more. Additionally, chrome treatments start at $6,000 and only get more expensive. If you want something completely custom or you are going for the exotic look, be prepared to spend up to $10,000 when all is said and done.
You may also be without your vehicle for a few days while the job is done. Some models have bumpers that are difficult to remove. Plus, there are some areas of a car that can be difficult to wrap, such as the doorjamb. When you take your vehicle to get a car wrap, ask for an estimate on the cost and the time you will be without a ride.
Car Wrap Cost Factors
There are a few factors that you need to consider before finding the right car wrap cost for your car model. Here are 4 common factors you need to look at.
1. Car Type
The majority of the cost you incur when getting a vehicle wrap is for labor. The process can be quite a labor-intensive undertaking, especially on a larger vehicle. If it is done right, the installation won’t be rushed.
This is why the installer will base the cost on how large the vehicle is. Compact cars and coupes are generally the least expensive to wrap. From here, a family sedan or compact crossover will be the next least expensive. Wrapping a full-size SUV, luxury sports car or truck is probably going to cost you the most.
However, it’s not just the size of the car that matters. The design of the exterior is important, too. For example, if you are driving a Tesla, you might find the price is lower, simply because of the smooth car surface.
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2. Colors or Options
Your vehicle wrap contains multiple vinyl decals that get applied around your car, on every panel, the hood, fenders, roof and doors. The wrap needs to cover every part of the body, leaving none of the original paint colors to shine through below.
Plus, vinyl wraps are completely customizable, with chrome finishes, glossy options and metallic colors. Wraps are all created with the help of a computer, offering never-ending possibilities.
With that said, there are a lot of options and colors that can add to your price very quickly. If you want a generic color applied, your cost will likely be much less than it would be if you were getting a custom look.
3. Car Condition
Your vehicle should be in pristine condition to have a wrap installed. If there are dents, dings or scratches, they need to be repaired first. This extra step adds more money to the car wrap installation.
Just as you wouldn’t paint your vehicle with imperfections, you aren’t going to wrap your car with them either. Otherwise, all of these blemishes will shine through, and your money will be wasted.
A knowledgeable installer is going to properly wash and detail your car first. They will also fix any imperfections.
4. Wrap Application Process
After the repairs are made and the car is detailed, the application begins. For a high-quality installation, you want to have all of the bumper covers, taillights and headlight assemblies removed. While the installer could put them on without taking this step, you will notice a better application because of this diligence.
It will also help the decals adhere better, but is going to cost you more money in the end. You have to ask yourself whether you want to pay more for a shop that takes the extra time and does it right, or if you would rather have a cheap wrap put on that might not last.
RELATED: How Much Does a Car Paint Job Cost?
Is Wrapping a Car Cheaper Than Painting a Car?
Yes. It’s usually slightly cheaper to wrap a car instead of painting it, but the difference isn’t huge. You can expect the average car wrap to cost $1,500 to $2,500, while a paint job can cost $2,000 to $3,000. However, this depends a lot on the type of car wrap and paint.
How Long Does a Wrap Last on a Car?
A car wrap usually lasts around 6 to 8 years on average in a normal climate. However, this depends a lot on the quality of the car wrap and how well the job is done. The weather can also have a big impact. Wraps usually don’t hold up as well in hot weather, because the heat can cause them to bubble and peel. They also don’t last as long when it’s freezing outside, because the cold can damage the adhesive on the wrap.
Do Wraps Damage The Paint?
A car wrap usually won’t damage the paint if it is applied and removed correctly by a professional. The risk is that if you are not careful when removing the wrap, you can rip off the original paint due to the strong adhesive. However, if it’s done by a professional, this should not be a problem.
How Do You Wash Car Wraps?
When you have a wrapped car, it is recommended to only hand wash your car and also use products recommended for wrapped paint. However, modern wraps are quite tough, so in most cases you can just use regular mild car shampoo. Be careful with high-pressure automatic car washes, though.
How much does it cost to wrap a car yourself?
If you do the wrapping part yourself, the car wrap cost will be much cheaper, and you can expect a total cost of $500 to $750, depending on the quality of the wrap. The wrap itself is not that expensive, but it is the time-consuming job that costs a lot. However, wrapping a car yourself is very difficult, and if you have never done it before, the risk of a bad result is high.
How much does it cost to wrap a car matte black?
If you want to wrap the car matte black, that is often cheaper than other colors because the wrap material is slightly cheaper. When wrapping a car matte black, you can expect a cost of $1,000 to $4,000, depending on many factors such as wrap quality, car size, and who is doing the work.
How Much Does It Cost to Wrap a Car Gold?
You can expect a total cost of $3,000 to $6,000 to wrap a car in gold, depending on factors such as car size, wrap quality, and labor costs. Wrapping a car in gold is often more expensive than other colors, because the wrap itself is often a bit more expensive.
Car wraps are a great way to make your car stand out and get noticed, and are definitely a good alternative to painting the car. They can also help protect the original paint, which can increase the value the day you sell it.
The cost of wrapping a car will vary on many factors, such as the size and type of car you have, as well as the complexity of the design you choose. If you’re looking for a high-quality custom wrap, be prepared to pay around $3,000 or more.
I hope this article helped you with your decision on whether car wrapping is right for you and your car, and that you now have all the knowledge you need about car wrapping.