How Much Does It Cost To Wrap A Car

By ROYAL FURY

Introduction

Car wrapping has become an increasingly popular way to customize and protect a vehicle’s exterior. A full car wrap involves covering the entire vehicle in a thin vinyl material that is printed with your desired color, design, or finish. Car wrapping provides many benefits over repainting a car.

It is less expensive, reversible, and protects the original paint. If you’re considering getting your car wrapped, one of the first questions is likely – how much does it cost? The cost of wrapping a car can vary quite a bit based on several factors. This article will provide an overview of what impacts the cost of a car wrap and typical price ranges.

What is Car Wrapping?

Car wrapping refers to covering a vehicle in a thin, printed vinyl material. It is sometimes referred to as a vehicle wrap. The vinyl wrap has a printed design or solid color and is adhered to the exterior paint of the car. This provides a completely new look for the vehicle without damaging the factory paint. Car wraps can be removed later without impacting the original paint. Car wrapping is often used for:

  • Customizing the look of a car with unique colors or designs
  • Advertising/branding a company vehicle
  • Protecting the factory paint from scratches and sun damage
  • Changing the color of a car without repainting

Car wraps can be partial (covering just specific sections like the hood or roof) or full body wraps. A full wrap covers the entire exterior surface of the car including bumpers, door jambs, mirrors, etc. Partial wraps are less expensive but a full wrap provides the most dramatic transformation.

Factors That Impact Wrap Cost

Several key factors influence the overall cost to wrap a car:

  • Vehicle size – The larger the vehicle, the more vinyl material needed and longer installation time. Wrapping a small sedan will cost less than a large truck or SUV.
  • Partial vs full wrap – A full wrap covering the entire vehicle will cost more in materials and labor time versus just wrapping specific sections.
  • Printed design vs solid color – Having a custom printed vinyl design costs more than using a solid color. The more complex the design, the higher the price.
  • Vinyl type – Basic calendered vinyl is the most affordable option. Cast vinyl films offer greater conformability for curved surfaces. Premium cast films provide the best conformability and longest lifespan.
  • Location – Costs are higher in areas with a higher cost of living based on shop overhead expenses. Urban areas usually have the highest wrap prices.
  • Reputable installer – Experienced wrap shops charge more but deliver higher quality installations that last. Cheaper may not be better for wraps.
Factors That Impact Wrap Cost
Factors That Impact Wrap Cost

Cost to Wrap a Small Car

For a small sedan or coupe, expect a full wrap in a solid color with basic calendered vinyl to range from $2,000-$3,500 installed. Partial wraps for sections like the hood and roof tend to run $500-$1,500 based on coverage area and complexity.

Printed graphic wraps can range from $2,500-$5,000+ depending on the amount of design coverage and colors. Chrome or other specialty finishes often start around $3,000. Always get an exact quote for your specific vehicle and wrap design.

Cost to Wrap a Truck or SUV

Full wraps for a medium sized truck or SUV with basic vinyl often ranges from $3,000-$5,000 installed. Larger trucks like heavy duty pickups can cost $4,000-$8,000 for a full wrap due to much higher material usage. As with cars, partial wraps are less expensive for trucks.

Printed graphic wraps for trucks and SUVs have huge variability but often cost $3,500-$8,000 or more depending on coverage. Specialty vinyls like carbon fiber or brushed metal finishes will be at the higher end of the range.

Cost To Wrap A Truck Or Suv
Cost to Wrap a Truck or SUV

Cost to Wrap Other Vehicle Types

Specialty vehicle wrapping such as for motorcycles, boats, trailers, construction equipment or large vans follow similar factors. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for smaller items like motorcycles, add another $1,000-$2,000 for midsize boats or single axle trailers, and $3,000+ for large vehicles like semi trucks.

Unusual surfaces or wrap areas far from installers will also add to the cost. Always consult an experienced wrap shop for an exact quote.

What Affects the Cost of Installation?

The installation of the vinyl wrap makes up a major part of the overall cost, often 50% or more of the total price. Installation prices primarily come down to the hourly shop rate and number of hours required. The main factors affecting installation time include:

  • Vehicle surface area – More time is needed to wrap larger vehicles with greater surface area.
  • Design complexity – Solid colors or basic prints are fastest to install. Intricate wraps with gradients or multiple colors take longer.
  • Accessibility – Vehicles with easier to reach surfaces require less time versus trucks, vans, or SUVs where installers need to maneuver around roof racks and lift gates.
  • Preparation work – Vehicles that require more paint correction, dent removal etc prior to wrapping have higher prep fees.
What Affects The Cost Of Installation?
What Affects the Cost of Installation?

Additional Wrap Cost Factors

Beyond the vinyl and installation, additional factors that can increase the cost of a car wrap include:

  • Design fees if you have a shop create a custom graphic design for your wrap. This may cost a few hundred dollars or more.
  • Paint protection film – Some shops recommend applying paint protection film before the vinyl for high impact areas to prevent paint damage when the wrap is removed. This adds $500 or more.
  • Removal of existing wraps/graphics – Taking off old vinyl graphics before rewrapping can add shop time and fees.
  • Windshield brow coverage – Extending the wrap onto the windshield exposes the edges to damage. Many shops charge extra for this.
  • Travel fees – For shops based outside major metro areas, they may charge extra to send installers to more remote locations.

Maintenance Costs

While vinyl wraps can last 5-10 years with proper care, they do require some maintenance. Expect to budget $300-$700 every 2-3 years for a quality shop to inspect, re-trim edges, and apply protection to extend the life. Neglecting maintenance can allow the edges to lift and cause more costly damage.

How to Save on Wrap Costs

If the prices for a full car wrap are beyond your budget, here are some tips to save:

  • Consider a partial wrap – Choose the most visible parts like the hood, roof, rear panels etc.
  • Use pre-cut templates – Pre-sized templates for common vehicle models can save on material waste.
  • Select simple, solid color wrap – Avoid complex multi-color printed designs.
  • Provide your own vinyl – Supplying your own materials can be cheaper if you find a good source.
  • Choose calendered vinyl – This basic vinyl film is 30-50% less costly than cast.
  • Go with a lesser-known installer – Be cautious as quality may be inconsistent, but prices will usually be lower.
  • Avoid extras like paint protection film – This isn’t essential so can be skipped to save money if needed.

finding a reputable car wrap installer:

  • Get referrals from satisfied customers
  • Check online reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.
  • Look for installers certified by 3M, Avery Dennison, etc.
  • Evaluate their past work portfolio for quality
  • Ask about years of experience wrapping vehicles
  • Inquire about warranties of 5 years or more
  • Get a detailed quote breaking down all costs
  • Choose an actual professional shop over garages
  • Trust your instincts – avoid disorganized or rushed shops
  • Certified installers with strong reviews and warranties do the best wraps

expensive car wrap designs summarized briefly:

  • Multi-color prints with complex gradients
  • Full color photographic images
  • Intricate details like small text or patterns
  • Glossy or mirrored finishes
  • Simulated chrome or metal wraps
  • Textured vinyl materials like carbon fiber
  • Spot varnishing on partial sections
  • Fully custom graphic designs

In general, the more colors, complex patterns, textures, and custom details in a wrap design, the more

The Bottom Line

Car wrapping costs range widely from around $2,000 for a basic solid color wrap on a small sedan up to $8,000+ for a printed full wrap on a large truck or SUV. The main factors determining the price are the vehicle size, coverage area, vinyl films types, and graphic complexity.

Reputable installers also command higher prices but deliver quality work that lasts. With some smart choices, there are opportunities to reduce the cost of a wrap for those on a tight budget.

FAQs

Q: Does it cost more to wrap a luxury/sports car?

A: Yes, luxury and sports cars often cost more to wrap due to greater surface area, more complex curves, and specialty parts that require extra materials and time. Expect to pay 15-30% more.

Q: Is it cheaper to only wrap the top or hood?

A: Partial wraps of just sections like the roof or hood are cheaper, perhaps 50% less than a full wrap depending on how much area is covered.

Q: How often do wraps need to be replaced?

A: With proper maintenance, quality vinyl wraps can last 4-7 years typically before needing replacement. Lower quality materials may only last 2-3 years.

Q: Does car color affect the cost of wrapping?

A: Not significantly. More intricate patterns and colors will be pricier regardless of the original color. Darker colors may require more coats of vinyl.

Q: Can I wrap a car myself?

A: DIY wraps are possible but challenging. Without professional tools and experience, the results will likely not look as neat and clean.

Conclusion

Car wrapping has become a popular alternative to painting for customizing a vehicle’s appearance. While wraps offer great benefits, it is an investment with costs ranging from around $2,000 for a basic wrap up to $5,000 or more for a full color change with printed graphics on a larger vehicle.

Carefully researching materials, designs, and certified installation professionals will help ensure you get a high quality wrap job that lasts for years and provides a great return on your investment.

Passionate about the art of blogging and SEO. Dedicated to creating engaging content that resonates with readers while optimizing for search engines. Bringing knowledge and creativity to drive online success

Leave a Comment