16 Feb Should I Paint Or Wrap My Car?
Car owners were once offered, “any color as long as it’s black,” by Henry Ford. Of course, modern industry now provides a much wider range of options for the appearance of your car. Those looking to change their car’s color, have an early decision to make – paint job or vehicle wrap.
Choosing the right method is crucial to the beauty and longevity of your vehicle. Balance some of the considerations below.
Paint or Wrap: Cost Comparisons
Comparing car paint job cost with vehicle wrap cost is tricky because they vary with the size of the vehicle and the quality and nature of the coloring. As a rule of thumb, car wraps are cheaper, ranging in price from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the quality, compared to $2,000 to $10,000 for paint. There are car wraps that are more expensive that are intricate, custom designer creations, usually not chosen for economic reasons.
Paint or Wrap: Temporal Troubles
Time is one of the most important hidden costs for paint jobs or wrap. While you wait, you have to borrow a car and inconvenience someone or pay for taxis, public transportation, or a rental car. Alternatively, you can ask friends and relatives for rides, but then consider the value of that person’s time.
The longer your car is being worked on, the higher the effective cost. Car wraps usually take 2-5 days, compared to over 2 weeks for many paint jobs.
Paint or Wrap: Rapid Reversals
However beautiful you think a new color will be, there’s no way to know for sure until after it’s done. The best work is easily reversible, and in this, car wraps are the clear winner. You can remove wraps at any point without harming the underlying paint. What’s more, the wrap acts as an added layer of protection.
You can then apply a new wrap or leave it alone. If you’ve painted your car, the only way to change the color it is to paint it again – or wrap it up.
The ability to remove wraps isn’t just aesthetically valuable; it also preserves the car’s resale value. Vehicles tend to sell for more if they remain their original color, and with a wrap, you can easily maintain and bring that back.
If you painted your car, your only choice is to paint it its old color, and even then, it may not look like it did when you bought it. Of course, painting a car does not always lower its resale value. Certain high-demand colors may actually make your car more valuable. But wraps are available in those colors.
Paint or Wrap: Modes of Maintenance
Maintaining a car’s paint is no mean feat. You must regularly wash and wax the vehicle to keep the paint from fade and decay. You can’t begin washing until at least a month after the paint job, as this will compromise curing; likewise, you cannot wax until at least two months after.
Because paint is vulnerable to scratches and dents, you must stock automobile-grade paint and touch the car up periodically. Otherwise, water will get into the scratches, rust the metal, and seriously damage the vehicle.
Conversely, car wraps are highly resilient to damage. You don’t have to wax a wrapped car, and you need only wash it periodically with soap and water. If your car gets scratched, the wrap will protect in some cases what’s underneath, preserving the vehicle from rust damage.
When choosing between car wraps and paint, you should also take into account:
- Wrap Materials – Wraps are made of different materials, including satin, vinyl, carbon fiber, and matte black car wrap. The material you choose affects the appearance, longevity, and coloring cost.
- Paint Protection Films – If you choose to paint your car, apply a paint protection film on top, providing more protection than a vinyl wrap does – though at an additional cost.
- Warranties – Wraps generally come with a year-long warranty for horizontal surfaces and up to three years for vertical ones. Paint job warranties tend to be shorter, though you can get a long warranty if you pay for a high-quality paint job.
The right color depends on particular car, desires, and budget. Weigh all features before deciding how to color your car.