If you’ve ever considered wrapping your vehicle, you’re in good company. Car wraps are a quickly growing trend in vehicle customization, with a North American market that is predicted to reach $10.8 billion by 2025. Whether you’re interested in transforming your car’s look or enhancing your business through mobile marketing, vehicle wraps allow you to customize your vehicle without a long-term, expensive commitment. If properly installed and maintained, your vehicle wrap can look every bit as impressive as a permanent paint job, while protecting the car’s value in the process. But vehicle wrap durability depends on a few important factors to keep in mind.

What is a Vehicle Wrap?

Think of a vehicle wrap as a temporary tattoo for your car. Car wrapping involves the automotive aftermarket practice of completely or partially covering your vehicle’s original paint with a large vinyl decal or graphic to change its appearance. When it comes to new designs, the possibilities are endless: the only limits are your imagination. Metallic, matte, and even chrome finish options can be combined with any color on the spectrum for finishes that car manufacturers would never be able to offer. Vehicle wraps differ from permanent paint jobs because the wrap can easily be removed with no impact on the existing paint.

Vehicle wrapping also allows businesses to use their company vehicle or fleet for cost-effective marketing purposes. Considered one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, wrap advertising transforms company vehicles into mobile billboards that help reach potential customers both day and night. Studies show that vehicle wrap advertising generates roughly 2.5 times more attention than a standard, static billboard.

Wrapping can be installed on virtually any size or shape of vehicle, from single compact cars to large company fleets, trucks and trailers. Depending on the nature of the design and the size of the vehicle, vehicle wrap installation can take anywhere from several hours to a couple of days. Graphics should be custom-made and uniquely sized for each vehicle to ensure that the wrap is perfectly fitted. Ensuring that a vehicle wrap is properly applied by certified professionals can mean the difference from months to years on your investment.

Are Vehicle Wraps Expensive?

The cost of a vehicle wrap depends on several factors, including the size of the vehicle, the complexity of the wrap, and how much labor is required. Oftentimes, the more vehicles you wrap, the more money you can save.

One of the most important considerations is the return on investment and the costs saved by the vehicle wrapping. Applying a permanent paint job to a vehicle almost always results in a decreased resale value of the vehicle. In contrast, vehicle wraps provide paint protection and preserve the vehicle’s original paint job. Since they can be safely removed without damage to the original paint, vehicle wraps can actually help to increase the resale value of the car.

Vehicle wrap advertising has been shown to cost as little as four cents per thousand impressions and is considered one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available.

How Long Do Vehicle Wraps Last?

With proper installation and maintenance, vehicle wraps can typically last up to five years or more. However, this is dependent on a number of factors, such as sun exposure, climate, and proper care.

Exposure to harsh temperatures or other extreme conditions can cause small bubbles to appear in the wrap. If you notice these small bubbles, avoid attempting to fix them yourself – bring your vehicle back to where it was wrapped so it can be professionally addressed.

You can reduce damage simply by parking in a garage or shaded area as often as possible and keeping your vehicle clean. Vehicles that experience lighter use can often have wraps that last seven years or more.

One of the biggest factors that impacts a wrap’s lifespan is the installation process. When a wrap is not properly installed, it can start showing signs of wear quickly, such as peeling. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to work with skilled professionals who have extensive experience with proper installation.

How Can You Extend The Life Of Your Vehicle Wrap?

Proper care and maintenance are the most effective ways to extend the life of your vehicle wrap and get the best return on investment. Fortunately, vehicle wraps are not difficult to properly maintain.

One of the biggest issues involves frequent or improper washing, which can reduce the life expectancy of the vehicle wrap. You can keep your vehicle looking clean and professional while preserving the life expectancy of the wrap by:

  • Avoiding hard scrubbing or using strong solvents
  • Washing the vehicle by hand instead of using car washes with automated brushes (which can lift loose edges and scratch surfaces)
  • Avoiding pressure washing as much as possible

Pressure washing isn’t recommended for vehicle wraps because the high pressure can damage graphics. However, pressure washing may be the only practice option for commercial fleets. If you need to pressure wash your wrapped vehicle, the following guidelines can help reduce the likelihood of damage:

  • Make sure the water pressure is set no higher than 800 psi to 2000 psi
  • Maintain a water temperature under 180 degrees
  • Keep a minimum distance of 12-14 inches between the nozzle and the vehicle
  • Use a sweeping spray at a 45-degree angle
  • Avoid pressure washing damaged wraps or wrap seams

How Are Vehicle Wraps Replaced?

Even with the best care, vehicle wraps will only last so long. It may be time to remove your vehicle wrap if:

  • You want to update the design
  • Your company is rebranding
  • You’re preparing the sell the vehicle
  • You want to promote a new product or service

Fortunately, a certified professional can remove the vehicle wrap without damaging the paint when it comes time to remove it.

For more information on extending your vehicle wrap’s lifespan or questions about how Consolidated Color and Design can provide a custom wrap for your vehicle, call us at 847-383-5478 or contact us online at