How Much Does Vinyl Car Wrap Cost?
Have you ever wondered how they put those colorful advertisements in trains, buses, and other vehicles? You might have imagined how creative whoever put those as you might think they painted them directly on the vehicle’s body. Well, that is not exactly the case.
With the ever-changing technology which put a premium on anything that would make commodities cheaper through time, quality car paints which could sometimes be unaffordable to ordinary car owners now have a cheaper competition as vinyl car wraps are now being used as an alternative to very costly new car paints.
They can also be used as a temporary coating to give the car a new look with the intention of using the old paint later on as the car wraps are known to be easily removed and do not damage the paint.
In case you are wondering how much does vinyl car wrap cost and what are your options. Different cost factors are discussed below.
Average Cost of Vinyl Car Wraps
The average vinyl car wraps price can be charged at various rates depending on the installer. Some companies would charge around $12 to $15 per square foot of cast vinyl wraps and $5 to $8 per square foot of calendared wraps.
Others would simply charge a flat rate based on the type of vehicle being serviced. The cost could range anywhere between $200 and $8,000 depending on the size of the vehicle, type of car wrap, etc. Some of these flat rates are the following:
- Spot graphics $200 to $500 $100 to $250
- Cars and small AUVs $2,000 to $3,000 $1,000 to $3,000
- SUVs, trucks, and vans $3,000 to $5,000 $1,500 to $2,500
- Buses and tractor trailers $5,000 to $8,000 $2,500 to $4,000
Partial wraps prices depend on what part of the vehicle is being wrapped. Typical cost ranges are the following:
- Roof wrap – $250
- Hood wrap – $250
- Rear window – $300 plus
- Side panel wrap –$300 plus
- One-third to one-half of the vehicle – $1,300 to $1,800 plus
Having to do the job yourself can save you an enormous amount of money on labor and you can assure the best effort put on the job. Of course, who would not want to have the best for his or her vehicle?
You would need to take care of a lot of materials and tools before you can begin. If you already have some or all of the tools needed, then you would just need to buy the materials. Although it may be impractical to buy all of the tools if you just consider doing it yourself once as it may cost more than what it seems in the long run, but if you have other projects or activities you would be needing all those tools for, most especially when you want to test the waters of the vinyl car wrapping business, or even consider changing your car wrap every few months, then it is worth the investment.
That being said, these are the materials and tools you would need for your vinyl car wrap project, DIY fashion:
- Car wrap vinyl film
- Tucking tools
- Knives and wrap blades
- Heat gun
- Infrared thermometer
- Wrapping gloves
- Clay bar
- Goo gone
- Micro fiber cloths
- 3M edge sealer
- 3M primer
- 3M double sided tape
- Painter’s tape
- Fast orange hand cleaner
What are Included
Inclusions in the vinyl car wrapping project really depend on the agreement with the installer or the company as you may wish everything that your car needs be included in the quote like the removal of prior paint or graphics.
But a straightforward vinyl car wraps price estimates would only include the cost of the materials and installation fee, as well as the cost of all the tools and machinery use needed to complete the task. All other activities outside this project are subject to additional charge.
If you opted for a high-quality wrap, it might last for as long as seven to 10 years. But if you just intend to put advertisements on your vehicle that would be changed every now and then, you can opt for the cheaper types.
As mentioned, some extra cost to wrap a car might not be included in the pricing, depending on the agreement with the car wrap companies. If the contract specifies that only the car wrap activity is covered, then prepare to pay extra for the following:
- Car wash
- Fixing small dents and scratches prior to installing the wrap
- If there are existing graphics, removal of them entails additional charge
- You may also want to consider wrapping your car windows with a special film that would not affect vision.
Shopping for Vinyl Car Wraps
Looking for a vinyl car wrap installer can be quite challenging as you want to be assured of superior quality but an affordable price. But sometimes, they don’t always come in one place. So the struggle is real as you might find those who can charge you at a minimal fee but the finished product can be very disappointing. While there are those who would charge you an arm and a leg but your car would look like something out of an imagination.
One way to ensure you can avoid such project blunders if you are a first timer in the world of car vinyl wraps is to ask for a referral from someone you know who might have had their vehicle serviced by a quality vinyl car wraps installer.
You can also request for estimates online so you would have an idea what to expect based on what is specified in the quote. CostOwl.com can help you locate some contractors for free.
It helps to ask them for any reference of their previous jobs so you would have an idea of the quality of their work and decide for yourself if they are worth the price.
Factors Affecting Cost to Wrap a Car
There is no one size fits all type of charging when it comes to vinyl car wrapping. Even those who tend to charge flat rates still do categorize their price according to several factors, including:
The size of the vehicle – the bigger the vehicle, the more materials needed to cover it and the more effort needed to be put in completing the project.
Make and model of vehicle – this can also affect the pricing as the designs of each car model have varying level of difficulty to wrap due to the corners, edges, and shapes.
The size of the part in case of partial wrap – if you decided to have partial wraps, the size still comes into play as some parts can be larger compared to others.
Type of finish – this can also be the determinant of quality of the job and depending on your choice, you may go for the ordinary look or you may be daring which can definitely add up to the cost.
Film type – cast vinyl wraps cost higher compared to calendered type due to better quality but it does not mean choosing the former would always be the best option. When the wrap is intended to be removed or replaced after a few months, it may be wise to opt for the calendered to save on cost.
Design or graphics – Designs or graphics as well as the choice of colors can also factor in the price because of the inclusion of the graphic artist’s fee in the production of the material.
Brand – some brands can be more durable than others which usually translate in the price. But this is not always the case as some brands can be just expensive due to marketing strategy, the high cost of doing business, popularity, etc so choose wisely.
Condition – existing conditions in vehicles can also affect the pricing as additional jobs may be required prior to installing the wrap which may include sanding, fixing scratches and dents, or existing graphics removal which can be labor intensive and costly. At worst, if there are existing paint peeling, oxidation, and other damage, it may not be recommended to have your vehicle wrapped at all as wrap may not stick properly and you may have it repaired over and over again if you decided to push through with the project despite having a waiver.
Your participation – you can always do the wrapping yourself if you have done it before to save on the labor cost for the installation. Also, if you can make your vehicle clean and ready for the wrapping yourself without asking for professional help, those can significantly lower the overall cost.
Location – as always, the location of your supplier would always yield different pricing schemes due to varying demands in different areas, competition, cost of living, and cost of doing business. The price of materials may not have a huge difference but expect the labor to somewhat have a significant range of price discrepancy.