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Should I Wrap My Car? What Are the Pros & Cons?

Customized car

Paintwork is one of the most important and obvious things to consider when it comes to vehicle customization. It is the first thing that you and everyone else will see when they approach your car, and a poor paint job can leave a lasting impression. The problem is that high-quality, custom paint jobs are expensive, and that’s where a vinyl wrap comes into its own.

Vinyl wrapping is a process by which a thin layer of vinyl is applied to the paintwork, almost like a giant decal that covers the whole or your car’s bodywork. Chances are, you’ve seen cars driving around with vinyl wrapping for years. Until recently, the process was mainly used to apply advertising to commercial vehicles. But now, the “wrap” phenomenon has spread to the general consumer.

Professional car wrapping
Image credit: Professional car wrapping by CreaPark, Pixabay

What Are the Pros of Wrapping Your Car?

1. Customization

This is the biggest and most obvious advantage of choosing to wrap your vehicle. With a vinyl wrap, you can create one-of-a-kind finishes, in any color, or combination of colors. You may even want to use underlays to create the appearance of subtle embossed logos or text in the finish, and the only limit to your options is your imagination.

2. Cost

Wrapping your car will still come at a cost, as it isn’t cheap; however, compared to a high-quality paint job, a full vehicle wrap will save you a significant amount of money.

3. It Protects Your Paint and Is Easy to Remove

 Because vinyl wrap covers your car’s original paintwork, it offers a level of protection. Once wrapped, your paint won’t be exposed to the sunlight, and the wrap will provide some protection against small knocks that might otherwise have damaged your paint.

If you decide that you want to return your car to its original color, or you’d like to try something completely new, the wrap is easy to remove. This gives you the added advantage of completely changing the way your car looks whenever you like. Plus, if you decide to sell your car, you have the option of removing the vinyl to reveal the pristine paintwork underneath.

4. It Is Much Quicker and Easier Than Repainting

Painting a car is a big job, and with all the preparation work, layers of primer, and drying time, your car could be off the road for several weeks.

On the other hand, vinyl wraps are much quicker to apply. Most of the pre-work, such as designing the wrap and ensuring the car is clean and ready can be done before you drop it off to the shop, and the professional wrapping process itself only takes a day or two.

5. You Can Earn Money by Wrapping Your Car

Admittedly, this may not be for everyone, but there are marketing companies out there that pay people who drive a lot to wrap their cars. You will have to put up with driving around town looking like a mobile billboard, the side of your vehicle emblazoned with the name and logo of a local restaurant chain or international soft drink company. Still, it is an easy way to earn some cash.

What Are the Cons of Wrapping Your Car?

1. Wrapping Doesn’t Work If Your Car Is Damaged

Unfortunately, wrapping a car won’t help cover up any pre-existing damage to the bodywork; in fact, it will likely make it stand out more. To get the best finish, the wrap needs to be installed on an undamaged car that is free of dents or chipped and damaged paintwork.

2. You Get What You Pay for

As with most things in life, when it comes to wrapping your car, trying to cut corners on cost isn’t going to result in the best outcome. High-quality vinyl wrap won’t damage your paint and will be considerably more durable than a cheaper brand of vinyl.

This is something to consider with the installation, too.  An experienced, professional installer will do a great job and ensure that your car looks fantastic. However, somebody who doesn’t know what they are doing could easily leave cut marks or scratches in your paintwork, and the worst thing about it is that you won’t know until you remove the wrap.  So, it pays to use an experienced and certified vinyl installer, even if they charge more.

Professional car wrapping

3. Everybody Will Keep Asking You If You Have Wrapped Your Car

Now, this one isn’t so bad, and if you’re anything like us, you like to talk about your car. But it can get a little annoying when the first thing people keep asking you when they see your car for the first time is if you’ve had it wrapped.

4. Vinyl Wraps Aren’t for Everyone

Vinyl wrap isn’t something that you just put on your car and forget about. Keeping it looking good requires care and effort. Like paint, the less your vinyl wrap is exposed to sunlight, the longer it will last. But, excessive sun exposure can “bake in” a vinyl wrap, making it harder to remove and significantly shorten its life span. Meaning that if you park your car uncovered on the street and don’t keep it clean, it’s only going to last for a year or so.

Where You Live Is a Factor to Consider

If you live in a very cold or scorching location, you will need to consider if a car wrap is right for you. The salt that is used to melt snow on roads can be particularly harsh on the vinyl, and in such an environment a vinyl wrap won’t last as long. Likewise, excessive heat and constant sun exposure will quickly take its toll and severely limit the lifespan of your wrap.

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