Comparing Vinyl Wraps and Decals for Motorsports

Comparing Vinyl Wraps and Decals for Motorsports

Comparing-Vinyl-Wraps-and-Decals-for-Motorsports (1)When a car goes careening down the Daytona speedway in a NASCAR race, hundreds of thousands of dollars of work went on behind the scenes to get that car in race-worthy shape. All of that money has to come from somewhere, and in the racing industry it comes from sponsors. That’s why vehicle crews need to make a decision – vinyl wraps or decals.

A car is plastered with logos of companies that put their money behind the vehicle. In NASCAR, a company will pony up $250,000 and $2 million for an advertisement placed in a wheel spot or on the back bumper, and upwards of $5 to $35 million for a primary long-term sponsorship.

While your team’s sponsors may not shell out the amounts NASCAR sponsors must pay, the reality is they pay you well for sponsorships. To ensure they get what they pay for the logo, numbers and design need to be read clearly. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of both options.

What Is a Vinyl Wrap?
A vinyl wrap goes all the way around the vehicle, covering the entire painted exterior surface from bumper to hood. These take the place of a paint job, offering advertising as well as a strongly designed cohesive look. Wraps can be stretched and pulled for a tight, even look.

What Are Decals?
Decals are stickers of various sizes that cover just a portion of the vehicle. Similar to wraps, decals are designed as temporary additions to the car. Because they take up a smaller portion of the vehicle’s surface, decals do not have to adhere to the curves of the car’s design. Because of this, they are printed on less durable vinyl than auto wraps.

Benefits of Vinyl Wraps
Vinyl auto wraps offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Gives the look of a custom painted car, for a fraction of the price.
  • With primer and curing needed, wraps are easier to replace than paint.
  • It’s easier to change up sponsors’ names or placement.

These benefits make vinyl wrapping the better choice for many racing vehicles. Though they do cost more than strategically placed decals the strong look can push a marketing campaign and offer strong branding.

If a vinyl wrap is further covered with clear protection film it protects the vinyl film even more from track-caused damage.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Decals
Because sponsors are constantly changing, especially for smaller-scale racing, many racing teams opt for decals since they are simple to change and cheaper than wraps. However, they do have some drawbacks including:

  • Less durability
  • Inability to conform to the curves of the vehicle
  • Often higher long-term cost with regular replacement

In other words, decals cannot replicate a custom-painted look. For young racing teams, the lower cost understandably makes decals more attractive, but bigger, long-term thinkers can benefit from thinking the decision through.

Which Option Works Best for Racing?
While both vinyl wraps and decals are used in the racing industry, consider the longevity of the effect and the overall look of the design. The design on a racing vehicle must be strong enough to endure the rigors of the track, and damage from debris coming at a high rate of speed at the vehicle. When professionally installed, vehicle wraps can provide greater longevity than decals. Also, vehicle wraps give the look of a custom paint job, which are more professional looking than a car covered in decals.

Your car may not race in Daytona – yet – but your sponsors still deserve the best for their logos and images. Because of the greater durability, ability to cover the entire vehicle and overall ease of use, vinyl car wraps are ultimately the better choice for racing vehicles.

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Wendy Feliu