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Car wraps: What is it and should you get one? Does it affect insurance?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Nick Jonathan
  • 7 minutes

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Vinyl car wraps are becoming increasingly popular among car enthusiasts. But should you get one? Are car wraps legal? Find the answers to these questions and more here.

Do you want to change the look of your vehicle entirely? A vinyl car wrap can breathe new life into any vehicle, giving it a whole new look. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes and provides professional-looking results.

What are car wraps made of?

Vinyl is a remarkable substance with a wide range of applications. As material science advances, vinyl is becoming more robust and flexible. Whether you need a patch wrap to fix a dent or want to transform the look of your vehicle fully, there’s a wrap for you.

Of course, anyone who has used a sticker before understands the importance of quality. Cars are subjected to various elements, including dust, dampness, and snow, and the vinyl car wrap must be durable. The goal is to strike a balance between the thickness of the vinyl and its durability and the adhesive’s tensile strength and the bumps it can cause during installation.

Benefits of vinyl wraps

It lets you customize your car

More and more individuals are electing to wrap their vehicles rather than getting custom paint jobs. This is because all car wraps are individually crafted to suit each customer’s likes and may be designed to integrate any colors, messaging, images, or patterns imaginable. Getting a bespoke car wrap for your car can provide you with the opportunity to have a truly distinctive vehicle.

car wrap

Vehicle wraps help to keep your paint in good condition

Vinyl car wraps add an extra layer of protection to your vehicle, protecting it from small cracks and dings as well as sun damage. Protecting the underlying paint of your car can help you keep the car’s resale value and avoid having to pay for minor paint repairs.

Vinyl Wraps can be taken off and put back on

You can remove vinyl car wraps at any time without affecting the underlying paint, which is one of the key advantages of wrapping a car. Car wraps can also be updated at any time, making it simple for business owners to update their branding or messaging or for car enthusiasts to modify their vehicle’s exterior appearance more frequently.

Wrapping a car is a low-cost option

Full vinyl car wraps allow you to change the external appearance of your vehicle for a fraction of the price of a custom paint job without compromising the vehicle’s overall resale value.

Vinyl wraps require little downtime

Custom paint jobs take a long time to prep, prime, and dry between coats and can take several days or even weeks to finish (depending on the quality and complexity of the project), while vinyl car wraps are way faster. A professional can finish wrapping a car in as little as one to two days in most circumstances.

Vinyl wraps are available in a variety of styles

Color-shifting wraps, which transition from one color to another depending on the angle of the light, are among the many colors and finish options available for car wraps. You can choose from various finishes, including gloss, semi-gloss, or matte, depending on what color you want your car wrap to be. For example, car wraps can be made to seem like carbon fibre, chrome, or stainless steel.

Read: How to modify your car without affecting car insurance?

Disadvantages of car wraps

What You Pay For Is What You Get

If you’re seeking a low-cost option to wrap your vehicle, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Buying a lower-quality vinyl car wrap or attempting to wrap a vehicle yourself will frequently result in a less-than-desirable finish compared to buying a high-quality vinyl product and having it done by a car wrap specialist.

Can cause extreme color shifts

While fully changing the color of your car with a vinyl wrap may appear to be a good idea at first, if the wrap is scuffed or scratched, the original color of the car may begin to show through. As a result, the wrap will lose its overall finished appearance and the protective element that the vinyl wrap provides.

Read: Top 5 ways to slash your car expenses

How does one install a car wrap?

To begin, the wrap shop washes the vehicle and details it with a clay bar to remove any pollutants from the paint’s surface. Some installers clean the paint with isopropyl alcohol and then use compressed air to blow away any remaining dirt particles.

The wrap shop then removes the bumpers, headlights, and taillights so that they can apply the wrap as close to the margins of the body panels as feasible. If a buyer is uncomfortable with the shop disassembling the car, the installer will skip this step and instead cut the vinyl around the lights and grilles with a scalpel-like tool.

The vinyl wrap is then applied to the vehicle’s body by the installers. They use a heat gun to soften the material to hug the vehicle’s contours properly. Sometimes, you may require additional vinyl layers for some of the more complicated wrap designs, such as those that include graphics or special colors. Finally, the installers remove any air pockets using a soft felt squeegee.

The entire procedure could take many days to finish. If you want your doorjambs (the inner body-colored area of your doors) to match, it’ll take longer since they will need to be disassembled before being wrapped. This adds to the installation’s effort and cost.

Read: Best way to wash a wrapped car

What does a car wrap cost?

The style of wrap, the size of the vehicle, and the difficulty of installation are some of the factors that determine the cost of a car wrap.

A matte or satin treatment on a car the size of a Ford Mustang, for example, will cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Chrome or metallic finishes are much more expensive because of the increased cost of materials and the added complexity of installation. A chrome wrap will cost between $6,500 and $8,000.

Wrapping a high-end car like a Rolls-Royce could cost more as the installers must be especially cautious with certain cars, and removing the body panels is more difficult.

Is it more cost-effective to have a car wrapped than painted?

A vinyl wrap is frequently more expensive than a cheap paint job. This, however, presupposes you’ve decided on a base hue for your paint job. Painting your car to obtain a matte finish or color-shifting paint would be substantially more expensive than wrapping it.

It’s also worth noting that the wrap isn’t permanent: you can go back to the factory color if you want to. And with a paint job, that wouldn’t be possible.

Are car wraps legal?

Vinyl wraps are generally legal. However, each state and municipality has its mobile advertising restrictions, which are tougher than others. Many localities have laws prohibiting moveable advertisements. While these laws often pertain to moving billboards, they can also apply to cars in specific situations.

car wrap illegal

The city of San Francisco, for example, prohibits advertisements on cars. Before wrapping your vehicle, check your local rules to see if it’s permissible to do so.

Will a car wrap affect your car insurance rates?

Yes, installing a vinyl wrap on your car or truck will have an impact on your auto insurance. Hence, we recommend that you review your car insurance policy thoroughly before you get a vinyl car wrap. If possible, speak with your agent about your options. This is critical since different insurance carriers might perceive and approach vinyl car wraps differently.

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Some insurers view vinyl wraps as accessories since they are not a part of the original equipment. Hence, a standard car insurance policy may not cover them.

Let your insurance provider know the exact color of your vinyl wrap for insurance requirements. Declaring the wrap can allow your insurer to add it to the policy as a “covered approved add-on.” You may have to pay an extra $2-$5 each month for this. However, it’s preferable to not have coverage on the wrap if something goes wrong with the vehicle.


Read our blogs for information on theĀ best airport parkingĀ andĀ hourly parking spotsĀ near you and the mostĀ affordable insurance for your car.


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