If you are considering giving your car’s exterior a new look, you may have several different options at your disposal. These may range from giving it a paint job to applying decals and stickers, all the way to using aftermarket accessories or body kits to upgrade its aesthetic appeal.
Vinyl auto wraps are also a popular alternative to paint jobs and can be applied to change a car’s color entirely or simply add a protective barrier for the coat underneath.
In this piece, we take a look at several merits and demerits of vinyl auto wraps, so you can decide whether or not it’s a suitable option for your car.
What are Vinyl Auto Wraps?
Vinyl wraps are basically a type of flexible, adhesive film that’s applied to the exterior of a vehicle, significantly changing its appearance. Used as far back as the 1920s, these auto wraps come in a wide range of colors, textures, and finishes, meaning you can transform your car into virtually any basic or unique appearance you prefer.
Moreover, the material is known to be durable, with the ability to withstand exposure to tough weather as well as environmental elements such as UV rays. But why are they so popular, and what are some of the downsides you should know before getting vinyl auto wraps for your vehicle?
Pros of Vinyl Auto Wraps
Vinyl auto wraps have gained immense popularity over the years, thanks to the many benefits they provide. Some of their top perks include:
Vinyl wraps are considered to be a more cost-effective option for changing a car’s appearance compared to a traditional paint job. Depending on the car’s size and model, they can cost anything between $500 and $2500 or slightly higher, a decent bargain compared to a paint job which can cost an average of $1000 to $4500 or more. The auto wraps are also relatively easy to install and can be done in a matter of hours.
Moreover, vinyl vehicle wraps are incredibly versatile as they are available in a wide range of colors and designs, which makes it easy to customize the look of your car.
They can also be used to add protection to the existing or original paint from scratches, fading, and other damage. Finally, these wraps are also easy to remove, meaning you can change the look of your vehicle as often as you’d see fit.
In summary, the major perks include:
– Ease of installation
– Easy to remove
– Offer added protection for existing paint
Cons of Vinyl Auto Wraps
Despite their many benefits, vinyl wraps may have a few drawbacks as well. Before you decide to get your car spruced up with these special films, consider the following points:
Even though they are generally more affordable than a complete paint job, different types of auto-wraps can come at various price tags depending on the kind and amount of material used. This makes it important to research your options carefully before settling for a particular choice. Browsing online stores might lead you to potential discounts on vinyl wraps and accessories used for installation.
Additionally, it pays to be creative and learn ways to save on vehicle repairs and touch-up upgrades like these. For instance, using a credit card such as Sofi not only helps you cover the bills when you’re on a tight budget, but it might also earn you some cashback rewards.
Maintenance and durability
Once installed, vehicle wraps may require additional regular maintenance, which may include cleaning, waxing, and buffing against extreme heat or UV damage, and avoiding cleaning products with harsh chemicals.
While durability often depends on quality and maintenance, most of them have a limited lifespan of between several months to five years.
Vinyl wraps are much easier to remove than other customizations but still carry with them the potential risk of damaging original paint while doing so, and could indirectly void your car’s warranty. This is more so if the film wasn’t properly installed in the first place.
Other (potential) cons
A damaged vinyl wrap will often require a complete replacement. The repair options are limited. Also, the regulations in some states or localities may restrict altering a car’s original color, so make sure you are aware of any such legal implications.
In some cases, installing a vinyl wrap may affect what you fetch from selling your car, as some buyers tend to prefer the original thing.