Vinyl Wrap vs. Traditional Automotive Paint
In many cases, a vinyl wrap is less expensive than paint.
And… in many cases, a vinyl wrap is more expensive that paint…
We get calls everyday where customers are under the impression that a vinyl car wrap is cheaper than paint… and it is… but it’s also not. Wraps just aren’t for everyone. Let’s keep in mind that paint is permanent.
Have you ever wondered how much a good quality paint job costs? We’re talking about a GOOD quality paint job. Well, the going rate for a nice quality refinish on most vehicles can run anywhere between $9K-$15K on most cars! Of course though, there are “cheap” paint shops which specialize in fast in-and-out style paint for vehicles and you can likely repaint your whole car for around a grand. We’ve also seen the middle of the road shops quote a whole refinish for $3,000-$5,000… but remember, paint is permanent, and a permanent $4,000 paint job really isn’t going to be that great of quality… and they usually start to fail within 5 years. We’ll admit though, some cars just need it and we’ll get into more detail on that later.
It makes sense to wrap your car, if you have a fairly newer model year vehicle or maybe a lease which you wouldn’t be able to paint a different color anyway. The fact is, nobody should be getting a cheap paint job on a brand new vehicle. You’ve heard it before.. you pay for what you get… and if you didn’t pay that much, don’t expect to get a whole lot, especially when it comes to paint. There is a time and place for everything. For a newer vehicle or one that still has a good finish intact, you need to take into consideration that aftermarket paint is never as durable as the original paint applied at the factory… and, if you just painted a car which already had good paint, you very likely just devalued the resale of your vehicle.
Over the years, we have wrapped many once repainted vehicles. It is surprising to see just how many paint shops there are who just don’t remove crucial parts, such as lights and rubber moldings. They literally mask, sand and spray. When these parts don’t get removed, there is overspray and unpainted areas… and even over-painted areas where paint was never supposed to be in the first place. Most critically…. these poorly repainted cars have bad paint adhesion on edges. We see it all the time and you’ll see it eventually if you go the cheap paint route.
Paint wraps or vinyl wraps on the other hand, allow anyone to change the color of their vehicle with exotic colors and specialty finishes for literally a fraction of the cost of a good paint job. The average price of a full coverage external paint wrap is between $4,000-$5,000 for most vehicles… and the turn around time is only about 4 to 5 business days from the time you drop your car off, to when you pick it up from our shop! Our professional installers make sure to do a thorough break down of the vehicle so that the vinyl wrap tucks in deep and lasts for years to come.
The advantages of paint without the high costs
A car wrap provides you with a comparable finish of paint, without the same costs and commitment associated with real paint. The results are amazing and the vinyl wrap materials have their own built in clear coat which handles similar to paint, providing you with outstanding durability. You are able to wash and detail a car wrap similar to how you would with your factory finish. We only use the top name brands in vinyl which goes to show that we won’t accept anything less than the best for our customers.
The coolest part, and one of the BIGGEST advantages of a vinyl wrap…. it is 100% removable without causing any damage to your OEM finish! Changed your mind within a year or two?.. no problem! Maybe that car is a lease… yea we can put it back to normal. Sometimes we get the guy who has a special edition paint color from the factory… no worries there either, that beautiful paint is protected underneath your vinyl wrap the whole time. Paint wraps are really meant to be removed, even though many customers just leave them on for the life of the vehicle.
Manufacturers have a warranted clean removal period which is usually around 5 years. This means that your car wrap will come off clean with no messy residue and no damage to OEM paints when professionally removed within the warranty period. In our experience, if the vinyl wrap is removed past the warranty period, it will still come off fairly clean but may leave a bit more residue behind than if it was removed sooner. So the beauty of vehicle wraps is that your finish underneath is protected just as it would be with paint protection film. Keep in mind that horizontal areas such as the hood, roof and trunk may get more wear than the surrounding areas of your vehicle, and as a result, the life expectancy can be reduced. If you garage your vehicle, you can drastically extend the life of the wrap upwards of 12+ years!
Paint replacement isn’t for everyone. Something to consider before looking into vinyl car wrap
We need to clarify, paint wraps aren’t a magical fix to worn or damaged paint. If your paint is in poor condition, it will need to be either repaired and in a “paint ready” state or it just needs to be repainted and called done. This is when the cost difference between a cheap paint job and a vinyl wrap may not be justified. If your paint looks like doo doo, then you need to know that vinyl will show all the little imperfections in your paint finish including chips, flaking paint, scratches and even dust in your factory clear coat… and yes, you can likely get a paint job for much less than vinyl, since “okay” is very much acceptable at this point.
If your vehicle is older than 10 years, the chances are that you aren’t trying to preserve your paint… which is a major selling point of vinyl wraps. While a quality repaint finish is going to cost you upwards of $9,000, you can probably find a lot of cheap “scuff and spray” paint shops which will refinish your whole vehicle for as low as $1200 using cheap single stage paints… and it will probably look just the same as it costs.. but will be much better than a car that looks like the picture above. If all you care about is to get rid of your fading paint, then a vinyl wrap likely isn’t for you.
Read More: Check out our vehicle wrap cost page for more information about full color changes.