Vinyl has been changing the game for some time and has recently been skyrocketing in popularity; there are now more skilled installers, more color options, and film technology is better than ever. As a potential customer, it all comes down to the most frequently asked question: How much does a wrap cost? As with paint, there are many factors that contribute to the cost of having your vehicle wrapped such as current condition, film type, vehicle type and installer expertise. Here we will touch on some of the most important points that go into quoting a wrap job. If you want to get straight to the point, scroll down to the end.
Current Vehicle Condition and Prep work
Vehicles come in all shapes, sizes, ages, conditions and cleanliness. If your vehicle is in good condition with no visible wear, you’re off to a good start. A clean, smooth surface is required for a quality wrap; vinyl won’t make damage disappear! If an installer is required to scrub dirt, remove sticky tar, repair dents (which most won’t do themselves) or remove old vinyl, your cost will increase.
Choosing the film type and color you want is the fun part. There are numerous brands, colors and finishes to choose from but price varies! It is highly recommended to stay with a top quality brand for a few reasons: It’s not that much more costly for a quality film, they look much nicer, installers prefer them and they last longer—especially in the sun! Quality films are usually rated for a 4-6 year lifespan depending on how well the vinyl is cared for.
Specialty films such as Brushed and Chrome are usually more expensive and much more difficult to install. Again, it is highly recommended to stay with a top-tier brand; high-quality chrome will be like a mirror while cheap chrome will look hazy.
Printed wraps are more costly because they require a designer, cost for the print, and an extra layer of over-laminate to protect the ink. Labor to install is usually about the same as a solid-color-change wrap.
How much film do you need? Typically rolls come in 60″ x 25yd rolls. This should be enough for most cars and trucks.
Vehicle type and level of install
The next cost variable is the type of vehicle being wrapped. Larger and more complex vehicles require more time to install and will increase your cost. Do you want a show quality wrap? Do you want your door jambs wrapped? Most clients don’t mind if their door jambs are not wrapped while others do. All of these factors will affect the total cost! Some installers quote by the square footage, some by the vehicle, others by the hour. When it comes down to cost, the quality and skill of the installer is what matters most.
You get what you pay for. Choosing a quality installer is by far the most important, but most costly factor affecting the cost of a wrap. A skilled installer knows how to lay vinyl that will last. A cheap install will likely fail (vinyl lifts, bubbles or peels at the corners, etc) and will have to be replaced. The worst case scenario for a budget install is permanently damaged paint when an inexperienced installer cuts into your paint with a razor blade… and you won’t know until the vinyl is removed! YIKES!