Wrap your car or repaint it?
Whether you’re bored with the old look of your car or the old paint is damaged, you can choose between repainting or wrapping your car to make it look as good as new. Deciding between these two options, car wrap vs paint, should not be too difficult if you’re familiar with all the pros and cons of each.
Your ultimate goal is to make your car look as beautiful and as shiny as new. Weather conditions, sun, extreme temperatures, grime, and dirt make it hard for you to keep the fresh-out-of-the-showroom appearance of your car. So how do you decide what is better — to wrap your car or paint it? Are you thinking about the cost — how much does it cost to wrap a car vs how much does it cost to get a car painted? Would you like to know what to expect and how to get started?
We will go through both options and explain the pros and cons of each. In the end, you’ll have all the necessary information to confidently bring a decision and enjoy the new look of your car very soon!
What is Car Wrapping?
Car wraps are vinyl coverings applied over the car’s paint.
What type of vinyl is used for car wraps?
Color changing car wrap options and vinyl wraps actually start as a liquid. They are cast into sheets and then processed in an oven. The solvents evaporate leaving a solid, firm film that is about 2 mm thick. This film is then printed and applied to the car. It is very flexible so it will adhere well to the car, following its shapes and curves perfectly. Among many benefits of wrapping a car is also the fact that vinyl wraps are very durable, so it’s no wonder they’re growing in popularity.
Painting a Car
An alternative to wrapping is painting a car. This is a better option if your car has lots of imperfections like scratches and dents that you don’t have the time or means to fix. You won’t be able to mask these with car wraps, so painting the car in a condition like this is a better idea. Also, if you need to paint only one section of your vehicle, like door jambs or trunk, to match the rest of it, painting is a better solution than wrapping. However, getting ready a car for a paint job may require some more preparation and usually demands multiple layers of color.
Wrap Your Car or Re-Paint It?
So, you’re tired of the old look of your car or you need to change its appearance for advertising or business purposes? You should decide — car wrap vs paint.
The first step towards achieving your goal is gathering all the information needed to be able to make the right decision. There aren’t only visual differences between wrapping a car and paint it. Cost, as well as durability, maintenance conditions, and resale value, are also significant factors that will have an impact on your decision.
What Will Take Less Time?
Depending on the purpose you need to wrap your car or paint your car for, you may have longer or shorter time-frame to complete the job. If you need a car for business purposes, each hour it spends off the road is going to cost you. This is why it’s so important to start from the basic question — how long will it take?
How long does it take to paint a car?
Painting a car can take anywhere from a few days up to 3 weeks. The length of the process of painting a car will depend on the type of paint is being used and the numbers of layers or coats your car needs. Have in mind that old car paint needs to be removed and possible scratches and dents need to be smoothed out before applying the first paint layer. Each paint layer needs to be added after the previous layer has dried. Drying will need more or less time depending on the weather conditions and the type of paint. This is why painting a car cannot take less than at least five days, while more demanding paint jobs can take even three weeks.
How long does it take to wrap a car?
Wrapping a car usually takes about three to five days, which is actually the minimum time needed for a painting job. During this time, installers will prep your car for installation which includes thoroughly washing its exterior, placing the wrap over your car, and applying heat to make the wrap adhere to its shapes and curves. The process of wrapping a car is straightforward, less complicated, and take less time than painting it.
What is More Affordable?
After we concluded that wrapping a car is much more time effective, a question of the price will come up — car wrap cost vs paint.
How much does it cost to get a car painted?
Painting a car using quality paint and professional service can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. This, of course, depends on the size of the vehicle, car design complexity, and do you need a full car paint or just a part of it. The paint job for each vehicle will cost you exactly the same because it takes the same amount of time, materials, and effort. Low-quality paint jobs can cost you about $500, but you should carefully consider will this pay off in the long run and how long until you need to re-paint the car.
How much does it cost to wrap a car?
The price of a car wrap will depend on the size of the car, whether you need a full wrap or a partial wrap, and the quality of the vinyl. In general, wrapping your car is cheaper than painting it.
So, how much does it cost to get your car wrapped?
Professionally installed, high-quality car wraps can cost you anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000. This is an average cost to wrap a car. Pricier cars will need pricier wraps because the process of applying a wrap on such cars is more complicated. Once you have a car wrap design, more wraps can be printed at a cheaper rate, which means the more wraps you install, the less they will cost. This is obvious and the most affordable choice not only for fleet owners but also for everyone who needs the look of their car updated quickly, at lower rates. So, the answer to your question is wrapping your car cheaper than painting is yes, a definite yes!
What Is More Durable?
The next thing you should think about when deciding whether to re-paint or wrap your car is the durability — car wrap vs paint durability. The maximum of the investment and the cost you paid will mostly reflect in the durability and the length of the time you will be enjoying the new look of your car.
How long does painting your car last?
Paint job durability will mostly depend on the quality of the paint and the number of paint layers applied. If used high-quality paint and if the paint job was done correctly and professionally, the paint job on your car can last for many years to come, perhaps even a lifetime. The durability will, again, depend on the maintenance you practice, exposure to UV rays and various hazards like scratching and denting. Low-quality paint jobs won’t last longer than a few years.
How long does wrapping your car last?
Car wraps can last anywhere from 2 years to 10 years. Properly maintained car wraps will last longer. Their durability and performance will depend also on the exposure to the sun and UV rays, extreme weather conditions and temperatures, the colors on the wrap, as well as on the location of the wrap on the car (vertical or horizontal).
If you keep it clean, maintain it properly, park the car in a garage, and moderately expose it to the sun and extreme weather conditions and temperatures, your wrap will last for years to come. Often, car wraps have a protective coating that will shield the vinyl and improve its resistance to scratches, UV rays, and help it last longer.
What is Easier to Maintain and Care For?
While thinking about the cost and durability, we sometimes forget about the maintenance costs that come after. To get the maximum out of your investment, whether you painted or wrapped your car, make sure to maintain it properly. Painted cars, in general, need more maintenance than wrapped cars, but let’s look at the details.
How do you maintain a painted car?
If you paint your car or a fleet, expect a lot of maintenance on a regular basis. If you want your car looking shiny, you will need to wash them and wax them pretty often. The care of painted cars is crucial for the lifetime and durability of the paint. Washing and waxing them will not only make them look as good as new. This kind of maintenance routine will also protect the paint and extend its lifetime. Also, f you have a business fleet, you especially need to make sure your cars always look their best. However, if any damages to the paint happen, you may need to spray the entire car, which is a significant expense.
How do you maintain a wrapped car?
Wrapped cars need fewer maintenance efforts than painted cars. This involves less time spent on care and less time spent on repairing possible damages, as well as more affordable maintenance needs. To make your wrapped car looks its best, make sure to keep it clean at all times. Simply use a slightly damp microfibre cloth to wipe down the dirt accumulated during the day. There are also water-free car wash products that will do the trick. Even if you don’t have the time and you don’t get to do it, you don’t need to worry. Dirt cannot damage the vinyl, unlike paint.
To prolong the lifetime of your warp to the maximum, don’t leave your car in the street but make sure to park it in a garage. A car cover will protect it significantly if you don’t have a garage.
Can you take a wrapped car through a carwash? You don’t even have to spend money on washing. In fact, harsh brushes that automatic car washes use will surely scratch your wrap or even peel the wrap, so make sure to avoid them.
What is Easier to Customize?
Professional, business vehicles and fleets need customization. To keep your business highly visible and recognizable on the road, you need to brand it. So should you customize your cars with paint or wraps?
Getting a custom look using paint
You can choose a paint color for your car, but you will not be 100% sure how will it actually look like until the job is done. If you don’t like it by any chance, it will be very costly to get the car re-paint to get the look you desire.
Getting a custom look using wraps
Customizing options with car wraps are practically endless. You can design your own custom personalized wrap, in any shape or size you want, and cover your car partially or entirely. A vinyl wrap can even cover the windows on your car. It can be a logo, a tagline, or just your brand colors. Choose between many options, like textured finish, shiny metallic or soft matte wrap look. With some professional designer help, you can be in charge of the design process and the final look of your car wrap. There are no limits to car wrap design options, so make sure to use this possibility and get what you really want and need.
Is It Easier to Remove Paint or a Wrap?
You may want to change the look of your car again, so you may consider questions like how to get paint off a car or how to remove a car wrap.
How to get paint off a car?
When you paint your car, the results are permanent. The only option to change the color is to re-paint the car, which is, as we already know, time-consuming and expensive. Redos with paint jobs are costly and may pay off only if you’re an old-school automobile purist who treats their car as a pet. If you’re a business owner and you’re rebranding your fleet, the changes in colors on your car fleet will require a significant amount of money to complete the job. Also, repainting a car may negatively affect its resale value.
How to remove a car wrap?
Car wraps are easy to remove without damaging original paint underneath. This keeps the car’s resale value unharmed and will even benefit the overall value of a car.
Whether you need to rebrand your car, you need to sell it, or you just want it back to its original paint, removing the warp will take no time. The process of removing a car wrap usually take about three to five hours. This depends on the size of the vehicle and whether the vehicle if full wrapped or partially wrapped. Car wrap removal costs about $500 to $700. Baked in wraps and difficult removals will need additional labor and will cost more. The wrapping removal professionals will not only remove the wrap but will also clean any residue and impurities after the wrap’s been detached from the car.
Conclusion: Should You Wrap Your Car or Re-Paint
If you own a business, wrapping your car or your car fleet is much more affordable, more time-saving, and more long-term solution than paint. Supposing your car is in good condition, without imperfections like dents and scratches that could show through the wrap, wrapping your car is a better solution. In case imperfections are present, repainting your car is a better solution. However, have in mind that vinyl wraps are more affordable and give you a plethora of design customization opportunities. In case you need to rebrand your fleet, make sure to choose wraps because options are endless and the costs are significantly lower.
Choose to repaint your car if you need to refresh only a small section of your car or if your car is too damaged to take on a wrap. In case you want to protect and preserve original paint, wraps are, again, an ideal solution.
Where Can I Get My Car Wrapped
If you concluded that you should wrap your car vs repaint it, make sure to contact us. Graphic Installation crew is highly skilled in car wrapping. We will wrap any other vehicles and will take commercial jobs too, regardless of the fleet size. Our crew travels nationwide and enjoys great trust from its clients who keep coming back. Take a look at our projects and get inspired to wrap your car. Benefits of getting car wrapped vs painted are many, so ensure you make the right choice.