How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost?

Is It Cheaper To Paint Or Wrap A Car?

Are you tired of riding a boring, plain car? Do you want your car to stand out from other vehicles? If you want to change the appearance of your old car, you may consider wrapping the car.

Over the years, car wraps have become common among businesses and private car owners. A car wrap has the option to transform the look and appearance of your car completely. Also, it offers long-term protection to your car’s paint and the surface.

Wrapping your car is one irresistible offer you wouldn’t want to think twice on, but you’ll need to know the cost of wrapping a car before you proceed. While several things could be running through your mind, it’s essential to know that you must keep in mind the different types of wrap materials when discussing cost.

Vinyl wraps have become extremely popular in recent years. They not only significantly improve your vehicle’s aesthetic appeal, giving it a luxurious, compelling appearance, but they also preserve its originality by protecting its exterior from damaging elements. Getting a top-quality vinyl wrap is critical to get the most out of it.

For many years, people have been customizing and personalizing the outlook of their vehicles, and one of the latest and coolest ways of doing this is with vinyl wrapping. Wrapping a vehicle involves covering it with a thin vinyl layer. Businesses and firms first used this feature, and companies created awareness of their services and advertise their goods and products to the public.

Today, car wrapping is not only used for advertisement but has become a popular way of personalizing and improving a vehicle’s exterior aesthetics.

Car wraps exist in different types, including chrome, matte, vinyl gloss, carbon fiber, and vinyl. Each type has its unique appearance and type, and you can find which suits your style and budget. Vinyl wraps have some unique advantages, which makes it better than repainting your car in an entirely different color. They also have their drawbacks, which are worth knowing.

If you are serious about transforming your vehicle or wrapping it up, the next thing you should consider is how much it costs and whether you can afford it.

How much will it cost to wrap my car? How long does it take to wrap a vehicle? Here’s all you need to know about wrapping your car, including the costs and how long it takes to wrap a car.

What Is Car Wrapping?

vehicle wrap cost per square foot

A car wrap involves changing your car’s appearance without using traditional spray paint. Rather than spray paint, a large vinyl graphic is applied over the car’s exterior surface. Wrapping your car is a perfect way to retain its value.

Wrapping a car may look like an easy process, but it takes a lot of patience, time, and expertise to do it correctly. Many questions must be asked and answered by the vehicle owner and the professional wrapping the car. They are:

  • What is the car’s model? The complexity of the car’s design can affect the time needed to wrap the vehicle.
  • Does the vehicle have any body kit? Cars with custom body kits add great complexity to the wrap.
  • What vinyl hue do you apply on the car? Standard vinyl hues are available in three distinct finishes; matte, satin, or gloss.
  • What are the parts of the car you want to wrap? Perhaps, you want to wrap the entire exterior of the car from top to bottom for advertisement or commercial purposes. Or maybe you don’t want the entire vehicle wrapped but would rather want red brake calipers or a carbon-fiber hood applied to it.

There will be a detailed examination and inspection of a car before it is wrapped. The original paint will be checked for damage, and the car will be prepared for wrapping.

A vinyl wrap will not properly stick to the damaged area, making it difficult and impossible to perform a clean installation. The car’s surface must be almost perfect for the vinyl wrap to properly adhere, grip, and form-fit the vehicle. The vehicle will also be cleaned to eliminate any grime, dirt, or dust before applying a vinyl wrap on the surface.

What Are The Tools Needed For Vinyl Wraps?

While you get the desired vinyl finish for your car, a set of tools will be needed to apply the wrap to your car.

Here are some tools needed for carrying out a vehicle wrap:

  • Gloves.
  • Blade.
  • Snitty blade (a safety cutter designed for vinyl).
  • Flextreme (a micro-squeegee specifically made for vinyl applications).
  • Spray Bottle.
  • Clay Bar.
  • Squeegee.
  • Tweezers.
  • Tape Measure.
  • Masking Tape.
  • Heat gun.
  • Microfiber Cloth.
  • Surface Cleaner.
  • Cutting Tape.

A coordinated team of car wrap professionals will typically apply vinyl to a car’s surface within three to seven working days. The duration, approach, and other things depend on the vehicle’s design and bodywork complexity.

Most car wraps typically withstand the elements for around three to five years. If you want to retain the wrap in the best condition possible, there are some things you need to do. Firstly, avoid using automatic or drive-thru car washes because the harsh and rigid brushes in these facilities can potentially damage the vinyl.

So you must ensure your vehicle is hand-washed whenever you want it cleaned. Although you can use a jet washer on your wrapped vehicle, keep the spray nozzle a considerable distance from the vinyl surface to prevent the water pressure from potentially damaging the vinyl.

Below are some tips from car wrap professionals:

  • Never expose your wrapped vehicle to the scorching sun for prolonged hours, as sunlight and extreme temperatures can harm the vinyl if left unprotected from the elements.
  • It is disastrous to apply a car wrap to damaged paint. Don’t try it!
  • Remove dead insects and bird droppings from the vinyl surface as soon as you see them. These compounds can ruin the vinyl if left untreated for many hours.

How Much Time Is Needed To Wrap A Car?

how long does it take to wrap a car

The time it takes to wrap your car is determined by its size, curvature, and whether the work is a partial or complete wrap. If you hire a professional, they will likely ask you to drop off your vehicle the night before the wrapping.

This allows them to clean and detail the exterior and all locations where the wrap will adhere. They will prepare your vehicle for the best quality and longest-lasting wrap.

It could take two or three days, including time for the adhesive to set in. If you decide you want to do it yourself, keep in mind that there are numerous products available to assist you in wrapping your vehicle appropriately to get the most out of the wrap you purchase.

Depending on the equipment you use, and the time you have set up for the work, you should be able to finish the wrap in about 2-3 days. Make sure you wait 12 hours to dry the glue before use. 

How Long Does A Wrap Last?

Your new car wrap could last 5 to 7 years if installed properly. This depends on the caliber of the wrapping material, the pre-wrapping methods employed, the installation, and appropriate maintenance. Sometimes getting a durable wrap from a reliable source is very important.

External factors can damage your wrap if you don’t care for it properly. The main concern is sun damage, followed by extreme weather. The vinyl wrap will last longer if it is protected. Quickly invest in a good car wrap if you don’t intend to keep your car in a garage. 

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost?

If you’re leasing a car, a wrap is especially advisable because leases frequently contain restrictions and steep fees for any modifications to the stock condition you obtained the car. Wraps can be applied to the entire outside of the car or just a few key aspects in the part of a car. Due to their near-invisibility, owners frequently use clear covers to protect the front ends of their cars from stone chipping.

Car wraps are made from durable PVC material to withstand the harsh effects of the physical and natural environment. A variety of factors influence the price of wrapping an automobile. The costs incurred from wrapping your car professionally depend on the intricacy and labor-intensive part of the process.

A professional full automobile wrap can range from $2,000 to $6,000, but this is only a rough estimate. Moreover, the fee increases from $10,000 to $12,000 if you own an exotic car. 

Tesla, for instance, is one of the easiest vehicles to wrap – all thanks to its flat and smooth exterior surface design. The price will increase when you add upgrades such as wheel wrapping, specialty vinyl, and custom designs.

Below are the average costs of wrapping your vehicle professionally:

  • Compact car or coupe: Prices vary depending on the design but start around $2,000.
  • Family sedan: An average family sedan should cost $3,000.
  • Compact crossover: Wrapping most compact crossover vehicles will cost around $3,500.
  • Full-size SUV: A full-size SUV typically starts around $4,000.
  • Luxury sports car: Luxury vehicles are the most expensive to wrap, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 and more. For instance, if you want to warp a Ferrari, most professionals will charge around $7,500.

Car wraps range from $5 to $15 per square foot. Adding installation fees can range from $3 to $4 depending on the car’s condition and desired wrapping method. As a result, this cost can change proportionately and reach a maximum price of $19 per square foot. The cost of labor, not even the quality vinyl, accounts for most of the cost.

What Is The Average Cost Of Wrapping a Car?

Generally, the average cost of vehicle wraps can be as low as $2,000 for a small, two-door vehicle and upwards of $10,000 for a bigger, complex vehicle wrap. To customize your vehicle with a wrap, you should prepare a budget of around $2,000 to $5,000.

Wrapping your car is a great investment because the wraps can last up to ten years. If you are advertising your brand on your vehicle, your business has been shown to thousands of people for those ten years, so the investment is worthwhile.

Full Vs. Partial Car Wrap Cost

A full car wrap is expected to cost more than a decal or partial wrap. A partial car wrap should cost $1,000 to $2,000, but the decals cost will be less.

If you are on a budget, you may consider partial wraps or car decals, as both are affordable ways to promote your business and services while on the road. If you are going for decals or partial wraps, you should be strategic and creative by applying them where they can easily be seen.

DIY Option

Many people may be tempted to wrap their car themselves; however, we advise letting people with experience and expertise do the job. Car wrapping professionals are the best hands for executing the wrap correctly.

If you intend to wrap your vehicle yourself, you should know it’s a complicated and detailed process, and you must be prepared for it. If you have little or no experience wrapping a car, it’s best to let professionals handle it to prevent accidents, mistakes, or catastrophic problems.

3m car wrap cost

However, the costs associated with wrapping a car will be lesser if you have the skill, experience, expertise, and technical know-how to wrap a cost yourself than giving the job to a professional. Professional car wrapping tends to be costly due to material and labor costs.

The prices for rolls of 3M’s standard 2080 Series Gloss Black vinyl wrap range from around $36 for 10 square feet to around $420 for 200 square feet. An average car needs around 250 square feet of vinyl to cover its surface fully. With this estimate, the standard DIY car wrap will require approximately $500 to $800 in vinyl costs. These prices may vary depending on the vinyl brand, retailer, quality, design, and wrap color.

Factors That Affect The Cost of Car Wrap

There are a few factors to consider when planning a budget for the car wrap. The car wrap cost varies depending on the factors like the size of your vehicle and the complexity of the wrap. For instance, to apply a 3m vinyl wrap material on a vehicle, the professional will need to take off the bumper and cover details of your vehicle to prevent them from being damaged.

Another factor that should be considered is the work required to finish applying the wrap on the car’s surface. Labor costs will also be included as well. Below are some factors you can’t afford to ignore when wrapping your car.

1. Car Condition

The success of the wrap is largely affected by the condition of your vehicle. Dents, dings, and scratches would stick out as typically if you tried applying paint over time without repairing them. Likewise, corrosion or chipped paint may prevent the vinyl deals from adhering correctly.

Some shops will not apply a wrap or not provide a warranty if your vehicle’s paint is peeling or suffering from visible oxidation. A wrap applied to a poor surface will not last as expected. However, if the car’s paint is in the right condition, the vinyl wrap will wear a good look even after four to five years of use, depending on the climate and exposure to the elements.

2. Car Size

The cost of wrapping your car may vary depending on your car’s size. On average, vinyl car wrapping starts from as low as $1,000 for a little two-door vehicle. On the other hand, bigger vehicles, SUVs, jeeps, trucks, and vans may start from $3,500.

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3. Color Options and Combinations

A wrap typically covers every area of the car’s body. A car’s wrap comes with many large vinyl decals applied on every aspect of the vehicle, including the fenders, doors, roof, hood, decklid, bumper covers, or the entire exterior. When a wrap is installed on your car, your car’s original color will not be exposed anywhere on the outside.

If done correctly and maintained properly, the wrap will not ruin or damage your car’s paint but will protect it. It looks like a paint job because it offers several colors and finishes. You are provided with colors, including chrome, metallic color options, and matte and glossy finishes.  

Unlike paint, wraps are designed using a computer software program, and you can choose from millions of designs and graphics to give your car a unique, attractive style. Not only do wraps offer several benefits over paint, but they can also be removed quickly and easily by peeling them off. Another possibility you enjoy wrapping your car is that it lets you use unique graphics and color combinations that will be hard to create with paint.

Businesses and organizations that want to place their adverts, logo, and business information on a vehicle can quickly do that with a wrap. Amazingly, you can remove the wrap when changing or replacing the vehicle.

4. Materials

The car wrap can be expensive or budget-friendly, depending on the material you use. Below are some popular materials for wrapping a car and their prices.

  • Vinyl Matte: This material isn’t popular as it doesn’t reflect sunlight. The vinyl matter may cost around $2 to $3.50 per square foot.
  • Vinyl Gloss: This glossy choice is the best option to reflect the sun and cause your car to glow. Vinyl gloss costs around $1.50 and $4 per square foot.
  • Matte Black: Matte black is a popular choice for people considering wrapping their cars. It can cost up to $2,000 for a standard-sized sedan.
  • Carbon Fiber: Would your car look like it was designed using carbon fiber? Chrome Fiber is the commonest material for wrapping a vehicle and is perfect for the hood. The textured look of this material adds a distinct and creative design to the car. It costs between $3 to $8 per square foot.
  • Chrome: The cost of chrome wrapping varies depending on the wrap quality. Chrome is the most expensive material used for car wrapping. It costs around $8 per square foot.

Car wrapping lets you personalize and customize your vehicle’s design. The more intricate wraps you choose, the more expensive the overall cost of wrapping the car will be.

Using intricate wraps will inflate the costs to over $10,000 or more if labor costs, materials, the size of the car, and other factors are included. For instance, wrapping inside the doors will take at least two days, a considerable amount of time to complete.

Vehicle Wrap or Vehicle Paint?

There are various methods to apply colors and images on your vehicles, and the most common way is by applying a vinyl wrap and painting the vehicle. Vinyl wraps are road-grade plastics that stick to the vehicle’s exterior surface.

Vinyl car wraps are popular and better than paint for many reasons. The following are the benefits of vinyl car wraps:

  • They are long-lasting. A wrapped vehicle can be used for over ten years with proper care and maintenance.
  • Car wraps require less maintenance than a painted vehicle.
  • Car wraps are easily removable. Removing a wrap will not damage your vehicle.
  • The time required to wrap a vehicle is less than when painting a car.
  • Car wraps add a layer of protection to the vehicle, shielding the original paint from dings and scratches.
  • Wrapping a car lets you customize your vehicle with eye-catching graphics, images, and designs.
  • As a business or organization, wrapping your car increases your business visibility and awareness. Car wraps is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways of advertising a business in the United States.

Car paint doesn’t stand a chance over wraps. Car wraps are more durable and attractive, so wrapping your car as a business organization can be the smartest decision you’ve ever made for your business.

Car Wrap Cost Vs. Paint

If you’re still considering going for a car wrap or a paint, car wrapping costs vary between vehicles. There are various variables to look at as you weigh your options. 

When comparing car wrap prices, you must first consider the condition or state of the vehicle. A vinyl vehicle wrap should stay about ten years and works best on relatively new vehicles with fresh paint. The wrap may become damaged and start to peel due to chipped paint or broken edges.

Before the car wrap can be applied properly, any damage to the original paint must be fixed. Depending on the vehicle’s condition, your preferences, and the amount of paint used, the cost of painting a car can range from $500 to $5,000.

After the paint job, you must decide what kind of wrap you want. If you already have a wrap in mind, you can proceed; if not, you can play with your imagination. People sometimes like to combine vinyl with a quality paint job.

In addition to providing more options than paint, wraps are more rapidly and readily removed. With the help of these wraps, you may add graphics or unusual paint shades and combinations that could be challenging to make on your own.

Should I Wrap My Car or Paint it?

You may have difficulty deciding whether to paint or wrap your car. Painting your vehicle is costly and, in some cases, more expensive than wrapping a car. If you want to paint your vehicle, you should be ready to part with some thousand dollars, at least, for a full spray.

The price of painting some cars will go beyond the $10,000 mark. The primary benefit of car paint is longevity. When a car is manufactured and taken out of the factory to the market or showroom, the paint on its body is expected to last throughout its lifespan. Although dings and scratches are inevitable while using the car, the paint layers should stick around for hundreds of thousands of miles.

car wrapping

For an average Joe or someone with a tight budget, painting or having a car wrap is not an option. Anyone who cares about the design of their car will be willing to maintain it and change its appearance when the need arises. That said, wrapping a car is more cost-effective than repainting it.

Why Should I Wrap My Vehicle?

Now that you know how much it costs to have your car wrapped, you may consider the car wrap option seriously.

Below are some reasons why you should wrap your car:

  • Freedom of design: Car painting is expensive compared to more affordable car wraps. Car wraps give you various designs, graphics, and images to use on your car. Whether you want a fake carbon fiber, snake/leopard skin design, army camouflage designs, or a flashy pink color, there’s a vinyl wrap style for you.
  • Business promotions and advertisement placement: If you run a business, whether on a small, medium, or large scale, you may want to plaster your business information, services, logo, contact, and other details on your vehicle. For instance, if you offer digital marketing or home cleaning services, having your business on your vehicle gives people a clue about what you do. Also, anyone looking at your vehicle can see what you do and contact you if interested.

What Are The Best Colors For Wrapping a Vehicle?

With a vinyl wrap, the availability of designs and colors for the wrap is seemingly infinite. Since car wraps are designed from computer software, you can create graphics with unique colors that will be impossible and very costly to do with paint.

Depending on the design style, your color can make a bold statement and pass a strong message. While picking a color for your car wrap, choose one that aligns with your goals and business objectives. If you aim to raise awareness about your brand, use color combinations that represent your business rather than following trending styles.

Popular color options for car wrapping include shades of chrome, deep jewel tones, and matte black.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the steps involved in the car wrapping process?

Car and vehicle wraps, including fleet and bus wraps, comprise three stages. The design stage is the first phase involved. Here, accurate measurements of the vehicle and the actual design of the image, text, and graphics to be printed on it are taken.

Next is the production stage, which involves printing the graphics. After the graphics are printed, it is laminated to prevent the vinyl from UV rays and abrasions that could cause the graphics to fade with time.

Lastly, the installation stage is the final stage, where the vinyl is applied or installed on your vehicle. There may be a fourth stage in some cases, which involves the removal of graphics.

How long will the wrap stay on my car?

You can leave the wrap on your car for as long as possible. However, a wrap can stay on a vehicle for one to five years.

Will the wrap damage the paint of my car?

The car wrap will not damage the factory paint jobs. These wraps do not adhere to rush. If your car has chipping paint, a wrap is likely to pull the chipping paint when taken off.

Is the wrap easy to remove, and how much does it cost to remove it?

Removing car paint is not an option, but the wrap is removable if it’s a car wrap. Let’s say you change your mind and want the wrap removed to return the car to its original condition. Removing the wrap from the vehicle takes a handful of hours and will cost around $500 to $650.

Do I need to wash my car before applying a wrap to it?

You may want your clean your car before installing the wrap. All vehicles must be free from armor-all type products, oil, mud, wax, dust, and other agents that could prevent the vinyl from adhering to the vehicle’s surface during the application process.

How long will it take to wrap my vehicle fast?

Generally, one day is the shortest or fastest time to wrap your vehicle.

Can my vinyl car wrap graphics be fixed if damaged?

If some parts of your car wrap are damaged, you do not need to replace the entire wrap. The damaged pieces can be replaced after your car has been repaired.

Can I wrap a leased vehicle?

As a rule of thumb, obtaining permission before wrapping a rented or leased vehicle is important. Most leased or rented vehicles come with factory paint jobs of top-notch paint quality.

Applying vinyl over factory paint is a good idea because vinyl can easily be removed without causing damage or peeling the paint. Over time, I have seen leased vehicles with car wraps that are used without damage.

How can I justify the cost of a vehicle wrap?

Suppose you are looking for a means to justify spending on wrapping your car. In that case, it may interest you to know that installing a wrap improves the uniqueness and appearance of your car. Traditional methods such as airbrushing and painting can’t duplicate the designs.

Moreover, the cost per impression of car raps is lower than other forms of advertising, including radio, television, yellow pages, and billboards.

Can I see through the vinyl on the windows?

You can see through the vinyl on the windows. The window graphics are printed on perforated window film with tiny holes that lets you see what’s happening outside the vehicle from the inside. The visibility of the window perf vinyl is quite similar to window tint.

Is it normal for a wrap to have some wrinkles or bubbles?

It is common to have bubbles and wrinkles on a full car wrap. However, some techniques can reduce these imperfections when installing the wraps. Even the best quality vinyl wrapper cannot remove or stop all wrinkles from showing on severely concave or rounded areas. However, flat surfaces should not have any bubbles or wrinkles on them.


Since there have been automobiles, people have been modifying and personalizing them. One of the newest techniques for effectively wrapping your car is vinyl wrapping. If you’re already thinking of ways you could be able to wrap your car, then get ready to understand the cost and if the price is worth it or not. 

Use car wrap to change your car’s appearance and safeguard the factory paint job. It is quick, simple, and very effective. For a professional to wrap your car, it can cost between $1800 and $6000, while doing it yourself can run you between $500 and $750. This has proved to be one of the best and most productive methods for improving your car’s appearance.

Whether hiring a professional or using the DIY option, wrapping a vehicle can be tedious and daunting. Having a professional install and apply the wrap on your vehicle will run at least $2,000 from your coffers. We recommend you leave the job to the professionals, and even though the DIY approach seems cheaper, it has its drawbacks.

If you plan on getting your car wrapped soon, we hope this article helps you find the best approach for your needs.

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