Car wrapping is one of the modifications you can do to your car to give it a fresh new look or protect the paintwork. You can also use vehicle wraps for advertising businesses.
If you consider using car wrap on your car, you should know that it may influence the vehicle’s value and insurance.
Generally, vehicle wrapping is likely to influence insurance premiums, as it is a modification to that car that can increase the car’s value. The more valuable a car, the higher the insurance premium is. It is recommended to review an insurance policy before wrapping a car.
In this article, I will explain how car wrapping influences a car’s value and insurance, if it counts as a modification, and if you need to inform the DMV when you do it.
Read to the end to find out more!
Car Wrapping – Does It Decrease Car Value?
Car wrapping may increase a car’s value, making it greater than that of a repainted car.
For example, if I want to sell my car, I can remove the wrapper without damaging the original paint job-my car will look as good as new!
As a general rule, car wrapping will decrease a car’s value if the wrap is not installed properly. Other factors why car wrap can decrease a car’s value are the use of a low-quality wrap, a lack of proper maintenance, and the high cost to remove car wrap.
A car that still looks new will sell at a higher value than one whose paint looks old and worn out.
Nevertheless, car wrapping does not always increase a car’s value. There are plenty of factors that can lead to a car wrap actually decreasing a car’s value.
Check the below paragraphs for more information:
Unprofessional Installation of the Wrapper
Attempting to install the wrapper yourself or getting an unprofessional to do it could save you a few coins short term.
However, if a professional doesn’t install the vehicle wrap, you are likely to install it poorly, resulting in unpleasant results.
A car that isn’t appealing to the eye may decrease its overall value in the market.
Use of Poor Quality Vinyl Wrapping
Using thin, poor-quality wrapping material will cause the sun’s UV rays to seep through and cause damage to the car’s paint.
It may peel off over time, giving the car an old and worn-out appearance. Therefore, the car’s value may be lower.
Poor Wrapper Maintenance
No matter how costly or high quality the car wrapping is, you should properly maintain it to ensure it lasts longer.
Failure to properly maintain the vinyl wrap diminishes its quality, making the car resale at a lower value than if the car didn’t have the wrapping in the first place.
The Buyer Doesn’t Like the Car Wrapping
Your buyer probably has a different taste, so your unique or custom-made vehicle wrapping may not be as pleasant to them as it is to you.
Therefore, it is likely that the other party diminishes the car’s value because they don’t like how it looks.
Also, some buyers may assume that you put the vinyl wrapper on the car to cover up a defect, hence negotiating for a lower purchase value than what it is worth.
A Unique Car Shape
If the car has a unique shape, wrapping it can be challenging. If not installed well, some tears and air bubbles could spoil the car’s aesthetic.
The car’s finish appears unclean no matter how classy it is, decreasing its value.
High Cost of Removing the Wrap
Not many buyers would want to trouble themselves with the cost of removing the car wrapping.
Also, removing it may risk damaging the car’s original paint job- another reason that may depreciate the car’s value, as many buyers would avoid buying it.
Maybe the car is even damaged under the car wrap and removing the wrap will show the damages clearly. I talked to experts to find out if wrapping a damaged car is even possible. Make sure to check my article about it here.
Does Car Wrapping Affect Your Insurance Policy?
As I said at the beginning of this article, various insurance companies interpret car modification differently.
Car wrapping is classified under vehicle modification. Some insurance providers do not cover modified vehicles; others reduce the coverage for certain modified vehicle parts.
The companies also look at a car’s market value to calculate your premiums.
Car wrapping affects your insurance policy because it changes the vehicle’s appearance, making it more difficult for the insurance provider to determine the vehicle’s market value. Therefore, there may be an increase in insurance premium costs. It is recommended to talk to the insurance company before wrapping the car.
The following are some of the most sought insurance companies and their policies on car wrapping:
This insurance company believes that customizing my vehicle affects the premium costs.
GEICO says that vehicle wrapping may lead to higher premium rates because my risk factor increases when I modify my vehicle.
The company defends this decision because they believe having a customized vehicle, in this case wrapping it, requires it to shoulder more risks on my behalf.
Car modification under this company may attract increased premium rates for the insured.
The USAA states that car modification exposes the vehicle to more risks, including accidents, hence the increased rates.
As USAA puts it, “A vehicle that has been altered with cosmetic modifications or non-structural modifications may affect the premiums for coverage on that vehicle.”
However, if my vehicle hasn’t been involved in any accidents and my driving history is clean, wrapping my vehicle doesn’t warranty the company to increase my car insurance premium.
If I adopt a Travelers car insurance policy, modifying my car by wrapping it impacts my insurance premiums.
The company considers car wrapping a cosmetic alteration that changes my vehicle’s appearance.
The different appearance makes it harder for them to know if my vehicle was involved in an accident before installing the car wrap.
Therefore, my insurance premium could be higher.
However, Travelers prefers I install a clear bra instead of a vinyl car wrapper to avoid impacting my insurance policy.
The company interprets clear bras as vehicle protectors that don’t alter the vehicle’s appearance.
Therefore, I won’t have to pay higher premiums.
At Progressive group, most car wrapping cases don’t affect the insurance premium rates.
The company doesn’t consider vehicle wrap damages when determining the cost of a car insurance policy.
However, living in a state with hazardous conditions like driving through potholes or frequent rains may increase car wrap damages on the car.
In this case, Progressive Group recommends I get extra insurance coverage under a comprehensive policy before I install a vehicle wrapping.
The coverage protects me from the risk of car wrap damages.
My insurance policy at Farmers Insurance isn’t affected when I wrap my vehicle.
The company states that customizing my car by wrapping it makes it easy to identify.
Hence, it is less likely to be vandalized or stolen.
However, I have to involve the insurance company directly or look for an independent shop that meets all the safety regulations.
This measure minimizes the problems that occur when I file for damages or theft caused by another person’s carelessness.
At Allstate, vehicle wrapping doesn’t affect my insurance premiums. However, it impacts repair costs for scratches or dents on my car.
For instance, if I remove my car wrapper after purchasing it, there is an additional labor cost.
This cost results from the sealant applied on the vinyl film to prevent damage during installation or transit. Therefore, Allstate has to shoulder the costs.
Car wrapping does not affect my insurance policy with Hartford depending if I am under the comprehensive or collision coverages.
Getting damage repairs will not affect my premiums if you are insured under either insurance coverage and the damages were caused by accident (applies to the collision coverage).
However, Hartford may raise my premiums if I get involved in an accident, and I haven’t insured my car with either coverage type.
Does Wrapping Your Car Increase Insurance?
Wrapping a car is a hefty investment, given that a professional installation can cost thousands of dollars.
After spending this amount of money, it is only a bad thing if your insurance premium suddenly increases.
If you want to learn more about car wrapping costs, make sure to check out my article here, where I tell you how much you should expect to pay for a professional car wrap installation.
Generally, car wrapping can increase insurance premiums as some companies see car wraps as a modification that increases the risk factor of the insurance premium. However, other insurance companies do not consider car wrap a modification. It is best to contact an insurance company before wrapping a car.
Some insurance companies like GEICO believe that you modify its appearance when you do vehicle wrapping.
Therefore, the risk factor increases, making your premium rates higher.
However, other companies like Hartford will not increase your insurance premiums, provided you are under its collision or comprehensive coverages.
Does Car Wrap Count as Modification?
Modifications are the changes I make to my car’s factory parts to change its appearance or alter its performance.
Generally, Car wrapping counts as a modification because it is a change on the car after its first registration. Wrapping a car changes its value, which can lead to a change in the insurance premium that needs to be paid.
Taking modified car insurance is important to cover you when driving a vinyl-wrapped car.
For instance, if I get involved in a car accident, and the other driver or I make a claim, the insurance company may reject it.
The rejection resulted from me modifying the car without insuring it.
Also, a modified vehicle insurance policy ensures that my policy remains active.
Failure to list car wrapping to my policy can cause the dissolution of the policy on the grounds of material misrepresentation.
Therefore, if there is any claim, I will have to shoulder the burden by paying for it.
Also, should my car be stolen or totaled, my insurance company will not pay to replace it.
Other car modifications include replacing the running boards, the fuel system, rims, car suspensions, custom paint, truck bed liner, turbocharger, and the bumper.
Vehicle modifications enhance a car’s appearance; they can also help individuals drive automobiles.
According to a study by Rajiv Singh, John Hunter, Brian Pentland, and Frances Provan, car modifications benefit people with Parkinson’s disease by enabling them to drive safely.
This study shows that vehicle modifications aren’t for cosmetic purposes only; they can help improve the safety of individuals while driving their cars.
Wrapping a Car – Do You Need to Inform the DMV?
I don’t have to inform the DMV when I wrap my vehicle because the entity doesn’t specifically require me to.
However, the DMV has regulations that I should follow if I want to modify my vehicle’s color temporarily or permanently.
Also, the car wrapper type I use could give me the freedom to choose whether to inform the DMV or not, especially if it doesn’t change my vehicle’s color.
Wrapping a vehicle completely is a modification that alters the appearance of a car. Therefore, the DMV should be informed. Updating a vehicle’s appearance is a statutory requirement one must fulfill. Failing to do so will risk getting in trouble with authorities.
Consulting with local officials to know their stand on notifying the DMV about car modifications is a good way to avoid getting into trouble.
Various parties have different opinions on whether I should inform the DMV when I wrap your car.
A police officer can assure me that no requirement dictates me do so, while a DMV official may say otherwise.
The lack of laws on this subject makes it more confusing for someone who wants to know the truth.
I have to ensure that my vehicle’s description matches the details noted in DMV’s records to be safe.
For instance, if my vehicle gets stolen, law enforcement agencies will use the information in DMV’s records to trace it.
Things may get more complicated if I installed a red car wrap and the record states my vehicle is black because I didn’t notify DMV of the change.