Car Wrap 101: What’s a Car Wrap?

Car Wrap 101: What’s a Car Wrap?

Car wraps are self-adhesive vinyl car coverings that give auto enthusiasts an unlimited range of car customization options. New-age vinyl wraps are available in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes, and even provide a layer of protection for the factory paint job underneath. Car wraps are used for everything from basic color changes to elaborate custom projects complete with unique textures and one-of-a-kind graphics. There’s no limit to what’s possible with a car wrap, but first it’s important that you fully understand what exactly a car wrap is.

Maybe you’ve heard about car wraps while talking with other car enthusiasts, or maybe you’ve read about them on car customization forums, but if you want the full story you’ve come to the right place. This back-to-basics look at vinyl car wraps will tell you everything you need to know about the hottest trend in car customization so you can change the look, feel, and personality of your ride.

What is a Car Wrap?

The practice of car wrapping has existed for decades, but only recently have car wraps become a staple of the car customization industry among auto enthusiasts and luxury car owners. Modern car wraps are made using large sheets of self-adhesive vinyl printed with different colors, textures, patterns, and graphics to achieve the look of a paint job for a fraction of the cost. Car wraps can be installed on individual body panels or bumper-to-bumper for total car transformations.

Car wraps are available in every color imaginable, including hot colors like electric blue, mint green, canary yellow, royal purple, and the metals family (gold, silver, and copper). For drivers who really want to stand out, custom car wraps are available in a wide range of head-turning finishes including:

  • Matte
  • Mirrored chrome
  • Brushed steel metallic
  • Velvet
  • Satin
  • Suede
  • Carbon Fiber

With so many possibilities, it can be hard to pick just one. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Some drivers go for blended wraps, such as a combination of finishes (i.e., chrome and matte) or colors (i.e., matte black and electric blue). And because vinyl wraps cost thousands of dollars less than a paint job and are easy to remove, you can change the look of your car as often as you’d like.

Car Wrap Installation & Cost

Car wrap installation typically takes a day; however, more complex car wraps may take longer. The shop that does your installation can give you a specific timeline for your project. Although DIY car wrap kits are available and you can find tutorials and instructions online, a flawless wrap requires skilled hands and the right tools. If you have an expensive luxury car you’re thinking about wrapping, professional installation is the way to go to ensure your vehicle continues to turn heads and strike conversations for the right reasons.

Vinyl car wrap installations typically go something like this:

  • First, the vehicle is thoroughly cleaned to remove oil, wax, dirt, and debris that can affect the adhesive bond to the vehicle; rust spots, dents, and scratches are also fixed prior to installation as they show under the wrap
  • Mirrors, moulding, and door handles are removed to allow for a seamless wrap job with no visible edges
  • The vinyl is cut to fit the vehicle, taking into account the car’s curves, lines, and dimensions to achieve a professional, “factory” like finish
  • The vinyl is adhered by hand with the aid of special tools and the quality of the installation is confirmed prior to returning the vehicle

A note about professional car wrap installation: Because car wrap materials are more accessible (and more popular) than ever, more shops are offering car wrapping services. That’s why it’s important that you carefully research car wrap installers in your area and trust your vehicle in the hands of an experienced and reputable shop that specializes in custom luxury car wraps.

Now to the most important question on your mind: How much does it cost to wrap a car? The answer is, it depends. There are lots of variables that can impact the cost of a vehicle wrap, including:

  • Your vehicle’s make and model
  • The style and finish of the wrap(s) chosen
  • Wrap coverage (full versus partial wrap)
  • Labor and materials required for installation

When you meet with your wrap installer, he will be able to provide you with a firm estimate after discussing the design of your wrap and considering all additional factors that can influence the cost to wrap your car.

Why Get a Car Wrap?

The most common reason drivers cite for wrapping their cars is to quickly change the color of their rides, and for a whole lot less than it costs to get a new paint job. If you want to change your car’s color, there are plenty of other good reasons to consider a wrap instead of a paint job, like the fact that car wraps preserve the original factor paint job and protect the finish from scratches, fading, corrosion, and other damage.

If you’re looking to add eye-catching street appeal and personality to your car, a custom car wrap is the way to go. Contact Auto Super Shield to discuss the ideas you have for your ride and to learn why we are the premier luxury wrap installer in South Florida.

Wendy Feliu
wendy@autosupershield.com