Is It Cheaper To Wrap Or Paint A Car?


May 3, 2022

Is It Cheaper To Wrap Or Paint A Car
Table Of Contents

Anytime you’re spending money on your car you want to know: is it worth it? The last thing you want to do is waste money!

That’s why we’ve broken down all the important info you need to make a smart decision about wrapping or painting your car. You’ll want to get all the facts before you make an expensive -and possibly permanent- change to your car. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What vehicle wraps are
  • Why you would want to get vinyl wrap instead of a paint job
  • How long a car wrap will last
  • How much they cost
  • Different types of finishes you can get with a car wrap vs paint jobs

So whether you’re wondering if you should wrap your car or just get it painted, read on for some helpful information!

What are vehicle wraps?

Vehicle wraps are a type of advertising that uses vinyl to cover the vehicle. It can be applied to any car, truck, or van- even boats and planes! Essentially, a vehicle wrap is a large decal that can be customized to cover all or part of any vehicle type. 

Vehicle wraps are a great way to promote your business, as they are eye-catching and draw attention. They can also be used to personalize your car with a custom design or logo.

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Is a vinyl wrap better than paint?

There are pros and cons to both wrapping and painting your car. A vinyl wrap is typically much cheaper than paint, but it doesn’t last as long. A car wrap can last for around five years, while a paint job will usually last around ten years. 

However, wraps can be susceptible to fading and scratches, while paint is less likely to fade and is more durable. But wraps are versatile and can be changed, whereas a high-quality paint job is time-intensive, costly, and tough to change. So “better” depends a lot on what you’re looking for. 

How long does a car wrap last?

A car wrap typically lasts for around five years. However, it’s important to note that how long it lasts will depend on the quality of the vinyl, how often it’s used, and how well it’s taken care of. Excess sun exposure is a problem for vinyl wrapping, reducing its durability.

If you keep your vehicle indoors and care for it, your car wrap will last and look good for several years. However, let’s say you have a fleet of trucks wrapped for your pest control business and the cars are outside most of the time, sometimes under trees, the wraps will not last as long. 

Some installers will apply a liquid “ANO ceramic” coating onto vehicle wraps and covers. This softens the wrap and protects the wrap against water damage, increases its UV resistance, and helps prevent small scratches and dents.

How much do car wraps cost?

Car wrapping costs will vary depending on the size and type of vehicle, as well as the design you choose. However, on average, a car wrap will cost around $2000.

For example, matte or satin finishes can cost more on average, about $3000 to $4,000. Chrome and metallic finishes will typically be even more expensive as a result of the higher cost of material and more complicated installation.

Larger vehicles and high-end vehicles will also tip the scale toward a more expensive application. 

What kind of finish can I get with a car wrap?

There are a variety of finishes you can get with a car wrap. You can choose a matte finish, gloss, or textured vinyl. Each finish has its own unique look and feel. You can essentially get the same look on your vehicle as you would with paint.

There are also high-end options such as chrome and metallic finishes. One of the benefits of a vinyl wrap on your vehicle is the broad range of options for designs and finishes. 

Is vinyl wrap better than paint?

In general, vinyl wraps are cheaper than paint jobs and they last for around five years. However, wraps are not as long-lasting as paint and they may fade or scratch over time. 

Paint jobs are more permanent and last for around ten years, but they are more expensive. However, while paint can chip and be costly to repair, having a vinyl coating can actually protect the paint underneath. Thus, even if the vinyl scratches or fades, the paint underneath will be safe. 

Is it cheaper to wrap or paint a car?

Whether it’s cheaper to wrap or paint your vehicle will depend on the specific situation. Wraps are generally cheaper than paint jobs, but they don’t last as long. 

If you’re looking for a short-term solution, a wrap is a cheaper option. However, if you want something that will last for a longer period of time, a paint job is the better choice.

However, vinyl wraps can be customized and quite detailed without impacting their cost much. Whereas if you want an elaborate design painted on your car, the price will go up exponentially. 

Why should I wrap my car?

There are several reasons why you might want to wrap your car. Vehicle wraps are a great way to promote your business, as they are eye-catching and draw attention. Thus, many businesses wrap cars for mobile advertising. They can also be used to personalize your vehicle with a custom design.

For example, when you have your favorite color that can’t be found in your factory, wrapping your car can help. Or maybe your current car is dated or worn, or perhaps your color scheme needs some updating or changing. 

Maybe the vehicle you leased was a great deal but an ugly color. Now it can be wrapped and driven in a color better suited to you, then the wrap can simply be removed and thrown out when the lease expires. 

Car wraps are not for everyone

Not everyone will want or need a vehicle wrap. If you don’t have a business that you need to advertise, or if you don’t want to personalize your car, a wrap may not be the best option for you.

For example, if your car paint is damaged, rusting, or flaking off, a paint damage repair job is more necessary than a vinyl wrap. In fact, a wrap won’t adhere well to damaged paint. 

Additionally, where you live and drive your vehicle may impact your choice. For example, if you live somewhere where it snows a lot, you may not want a wrap. The constant driving in snow and on salted roads can cause your wrap to deteriorate more quickly. 

What car condition is required to apply a car wrap?

As we just alluded to, in order to apply a vehicle wrap, your car must be in good condition. The surface of the vehicle needs to be clean and free of any debris or rust. The vinyl wrap will adhere better to a clean surface.

Therefore, you should NOT expect that a car wrap is a quick fix to disguise old, broken paint. Any dents on your vehicle’s doors or hood are likely to stick like a sore thumb. 

Imperfections under wraps are always visible, as the wrap will either adhere closely to each contour, revealing the dent, or worse, it won’t adhere properly and will bubble up. If your vehicle’s paint is damaged, it will show.

Most experts recommend that you get scratches or damage corrected before wrapping your car. This will ensure the best appearance and longest durability. 

How do you maintain a wrapped car?

To maintain your car wrap, it’s important to keep it clean and free of scratches. You can do this by washing it regularly and using car wax. It’s also important to avoid putting any stickers on the wrap, as they can damage the vinyl.

Additionally, you should keep your wrapped vehicle in a garage or covered parking as much as possible. If your car will be kept outside a garage, purchase a good car cover to keep on it. 

It is best to wash your wrapped car using soft towels. Look for waterless carwashing products and sealants designed for use on vinyl wraps. Avoid automatic car washes, as the high-powered water and brushes can damage the vinyl wrap. 

What types of car paint are there?

There are a few different types of car paint: enamel, lacquer, and acrylic. Enamel is the most common type of paint and it’s durable and chip-resistant. 

Lacquer is also durable, but it can be susceptible to scratches. Acrylic is the weakest type of paint and it’s not as durable as enamel or lacquer. Each comes at different price points for purchase and application. 

Paint finish for cars

Did you know there’s more than one paint finish available for your car? If you’re having your car painted, you can choose from a variety of finishes.

These include matte, gloss, and metallic. Each finish has its own unique look and feel. In recent years, matte finishes like gun-metal have become more popular. 

Your options: Car Wrap vs Paint Job

When it comes to choosing between a wrap and a good paint job, you have a lot of options to consider. Both wraps and paint jobs have their pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh all the options before making a decision.

Vehicle wraps offer more variety at a lower price point. If you’re using the vehicle for business or to showcase your interests and personality, then the 5-year lifespan of a vinyl car wrap should be just fine. It can also add a protective layer to protect the factory paint job you already have.

If you’re looking for something permanent and classic, a paint job might better suit your needs. But remember, it’s expensive and not easily changed!

Let’s look at some direct comparisons:

Cost – Which option is cheaper?

The cost of a car wrap is generally cheaper than the cost of a quality paint job. However, this will depend on the specific situation and the quality of the wrap or paint job.

For example, a custom paint job can be extremely expensive, but a low-quality one may be comparable to the cost of vinyl car wraps. However, with a cheap paint job your vehicle’s appearance will probably be less attractive than with a similarly priced wrap.

Your vehicle’s appearance – Which option looks better?

This is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the look of a car wrap, while others prefer a paint job. A vinyl wrap vs paint is more versatile and you can typically get any print or design wrapped on your car. 

From solid colors to eye catching graphics, the options are endless. Paint jobs are more straightforward. 

Durability – Which option lasts longer?

Generally, car wraps last for around five years while paint jobs last for around ten years. However, this will vary depending on the quality of the wrap or paint job, as well as how often it’s used and how well it’s taken care of.

However, a secondary paint job on a vehicle may also not last as long as you hope. You need to make sure you have a highly-skilled automotive technician apply the new paint job. And changing the paint can impact resale value. 

Customization – Which option provides more flexibility?

When it comes to customization, wraps provide more flexibility than paint jobs. They are the hands-down winner in this category! 

You can choose from a variety of colors and designs, and you can even have your wrap personalized with a custom design. With an auto paint job, you’re limited to the available colors. However, if you opt for a custom paint job, you might get more options but at a much higher price point.

Wraps vs Paint: The Final Decision

When it comes to wraps vs paint, the final decision depends on your specific needs and preferences. The first thing you need to think about is what your goals are for your vehicle.

Are you looking to have a unique and eye-catching finish that will set your car apart from the rest? Or are you looking for a more low-key and subtle look? 

If you’re looking for something flashy and attention-grabbing, then a vinyl wrap might be the better option for you. But if you want your car to look like it came straight from the factory, then painting it might be the better choice. 

However, if you’re looking for something more durable and long-lasting, a paint job is the better option. Whichever option you choose, make sure you weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision.

So, Is it cheaper to paint or wrap a car?

When it comes to car wraps vs paint jobs, the bottom line is that it is almost always cheaper to wrap a car than to paint it. So if you’re looking for a lower cost, short-term solution, a full vehicle wrap is a great option. Drop us a message if you’d like to get a quote on the cost to wrap your car!

Connect with a car wraps expert today!