Vinyl car wrap is a great and easy way to quickly change the appearance of your car.
Nevertheless, a DIY project can turn into a disaster fairly quickly and it is often better to have a professional install the vinyl wrap.
But how much exactly do you have to spend to change the appearance of your car?
Prices to wrap a car range from $2,500 to $13,000, with most shops charging between $3,000 to $6,000. DIY wrapping can be as cheap as $700. The exact cost is dependent on a lot of factors like the type of wrap, the size of the car, the condition of the paint, and the location of the shop.
As you can see, prices can vary and depend on a lot of different factors, that I will talk about more in the following paragraphs.
How Much Is A Car Wrap?
To find out how much it really is to wrap a car, I decided to check different sources. I watched a lot of youtube videos, checked multiple websites for prices, and contacted more than 50 detailing shops via Instagram.
The following table shows my findings.
|Source||Starting price||Max price||Comment|
|Driveloop||Family Van: $3,000|
Sports car: $5,000
|/||Average starting prices|
|Paradox the Wrapper||$1,200||$8,000||“Prices depend on a lot of |
factors like brand, type of wrap,
and condition of the car.
Chrome is the most expensive
kind of wrap.”
|Edward Shin||$1,100||/||These costs are for a DIY project |
where he wrapped his truck.
Cost only includes material.
Price at a shop:
$4,000 – $5,000
|LamboFam||$4,500||more than $10,000||/|
|Ben Hardy||/||/||Cost for wrapping a Ford Raptor|
“Most places will
charge from $2,000 to $4,000″
|label615||$2,500||$10,000||Prices are for color |
changing wraps; price
depends on a lot of factors
|Josue||$700||/||Cost for DIY wrapping a |
sports car with a
color changing wrap
|/||Prices are starting prices. |
No limit for how
expensive wraps can get.
|/||Prices are starting prices. |
No limit for how
expensive wraps can get.
|JayTheWrapSpecialist||$3,850 – $8,000||/||Starting prices differ heavily|
depending on the type of wrap
|ExoticVehicleWraps||$5,500 – $6,500||/||/|
Most shops charge between $3,000 to $6,000 for a vinyl wrap. Nevertheless, the is no limit on the price and some wraps can cost up to $13,000. The final cost depends on a lot of different factors like the location and experience of the wrapper. DIY wrapping is considerably cheaper and can start at $700.
As you can see from the table, prices vary heavily and it is impossible to give a fixed price without checking a multitude of factors first.
Factors That Influence Vinyl Wrap Cost
As mentioned before, the final price for a vehicle wrap heavily depends on a lot of different factors.
This is also what all of the shops I contacted told me. So what exactly are these factors that influence the final price of a wrap project?
I asked the shops and did some research and here are the factors.
The average cost to wrap a car depends on the following factors:
As with everything, there are also different qualities of car wrap available on the market. The four best-known brands are Avery Dennison, 3M, Oracal, and Arlon.
These manufacturers are known for their high-quality wrap material that is extremely durable, offers a wide variety of different colors, and is long-lasting.
The average black 3M automotive wrap costs around $36 for 10 square feet.
On the other hand, if you check Alibaba, you will find some manufacturers sell their car wrap for as cheap as $6.50.
This example shows, that material cost is a huge factor.
If you decide to go for a cheaper, no-name wrap, you can expect to save a lot of money.
This comes at the cost of worse durability than higher priced alternatives.
Moreover, the high-quality wrap is easier to remove and less likely to damage the car. If you want to know how long car wrap lasts, make sure to check out my articles about it here. I have also written a second article about it here, which you should also check out!
Type Of Wrap
The type of vinyl wrap is also a critical factor when it comes to pricing a wrapping job.
There are multiple different types of vehicle wrap designs ranging from basic colors to special metallic or chrome finishes with color-shifting looks.
The general is, the more complex and special the wrap, the more expensive it is. This is not only true for the material, but also for applying the wrap.
Special wraps with chrome finishes or color-shifting looks leave no room for error. If the wrap is not applied 100% perfectly, defects are easily spotted.
This means that these special wraps are mostly applied by experienced detailers and take more time.
All this makes special wraps more expensive than e.g. basic color wraps.
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Number Of Panels Wrapped
Of course, nobody forces you to wrap your car completely.
It is absolutely possible to only wrap certain panels of a car like the hood, side mirrors, the trunk, and many other ones.
Understandably, the number of panels you want wrapped influences the price heavily.
The smaller the panels are, the less material and time the wrapper needs, making it less expensive.
On the other hand, wrapping all panels takes the most material and the most time, so it will almost always be the most expensive option.
Car size and amount of panels wrapped go hand in hand.
It does not really need an explanation that a big truck is more expensive to wrap than a small city car or even a motorcycle.
Larger cars have a bigger surface area that needs to be wrapped. That means that more material is needed to wrap the surface, making it more expensive.
Interestingly, large surfaces are not always more expensive than smaller surfaces.
Large surfaces always need more material but are sometimes easier to wrap than smaller surfaces.
If you drive a Tesla, you should check out this article from evspeedy.com, where my friend Erwin talks about how much it is to wrap a Tesla Model 3.
Body Shape Of The Car
This is the interesting part. The body shape of the car dictates how complex a wrapping job is.
This in turn dictates how experienced the wrapper has to be and how long it is going to take to wrap the car.
Large cars with lots of straight panels are easier and faster to wrap than some luxury sports cars that have a more complex body shape.
Partial Wrap Or Full Car Wrap
It is absolutely possible to only wrap parts of a car instead of the whole car.
A partial wrap uses less material, takes less time, takes less preparation work, and is of course cheaper than a full car wrap.
To wrap a vehicle fully would cost much more than a partial wrap because of the above mentioned reasons.
Car wrap is only applied to paint in nearly perfect condition. That means that no deep scratches, dents, paint chips, or rust should be visible.
This ensures that the wrap adheres to the surface properly and lasts the longest possible time.
Another reason is that vehicle wrap needs to be removed at some point.
If the underlying paint is damaged, removing the wrap can lead to more serious damages on the car, that no detailer wants to be responsible for.
Removing the wrap is also something you should not forget about. It will not influence the price of wrapping the car in the first place, but it still is another cost factor that should not be neglected.
How much does it cost, you ask? Check out my article about it here!
If your car’s original paint is in a bad condition it needs to be corrected. This takes a lot of time and is quite expensive.
If your car’s paint is in a good condition though, this step can be skipped and will not add to the final cost.
As a general rule, the more experienced a wrapper is, the more expensive it is to wrap a car.
New and inexperienced wrappers cannot charge the same as experienced and highly-trained wrappers.
Location also plays a big role when it comes to the price you have to pay to have your car wrapped.
Renting a place to run a detailing shop in a big city like LA, San Francisco or Washington D.C is much more expensive than renting a place in a small town or a village.
Location also has an impact on the taxes a company has to pay. Some states and cities require business owners to pay more taxes than other cities.
In the end, all these costs like rent, water, electricity, taxes, living costs for employees, etc. need to be paid for by the client.
Big cities usually have higher general costs associated with owning a business, which makes any service more expensive in these areas.
Wrapper’s prominence is another factor.
Well-known, maybe even famous wrapping companies, can charge a premium for their services as the demand is usually very high.
These shops are less dependent on single clients as there are enough clients that are even willing to wait for a few weeks to months to have the appearance of their car altered.
Unknown detailing shops cannot charge this premium as this would be dangerous for their business.
If these shops charged a premium, nobody would use them and they would be out of business.
Type Of Car
Lastly, the type of car also influences the price of a wrap.
A daily driven compact car like a Renault is likely to be cheaper to wrap than a high-end Ferrari.
Luxury vehicles need extra care in order to avoid small mistakes that can lead to high costs for the detailing shops.
This risk needs to be factored into the price when wrapping high-end luxurious cars.
This is why these cars are likely more expensive to wrap than any average car.
Partial Vehicle Wrap Cost
On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $3000 for a partial wrap, depending on a lot of factors like the size of the vehicle and how much coverage you want.
Generally the rule is, the more coverage you want, the higher the cost will be.
Additionally, certain materials such as chrome, carbon fiber, or a matte finish may increase the cost of the partial wrap.
Compared to a full wrap a partial wrap is likely to be less expensive.
How Much Does It Cost To Wrap A Car Yourself?
Of course, you can also decide to wrap your car yourself.
Logically this will save you a lot of money, as you will not have to pay for labor at a detailing shop.
But how much exactly does it cost to DIY wrap a car?
It will cost between $500 and $2,500 to wrap a car yourself. The cost is mostly influenced by the quality of the wrap, the type of wrap, the equipment needed, and the size of the car. DIY wrapping is considerably cheaper than a professional wrap but a lot of work.
I have written an in-depth article about the exact costs of a DIY car wrap here. Make sure to check it out.
At first, it might seem very lucrative to wrap your car yourself as you save a lot of money.
Nevertheless, make sure not to forget about the work ahead of you.
Properly wrapping a car as a beginner can take days to weeks and is very labor-intensive.
Moreover, it is easy to make mistakes and have a badly wrapped car as a result. This will not only look bad, but it will also require you to remove the wrap and re-wrap the car.
All of this makes it much more expensive.
Is It Cheaper To Get A Car Painted Or Wrapped?
Now that you know how much it is to wrap a car, you might start to wonder if wrapping is really the right way to go.
Maybe you should rather repaint your car. But is it really that much cheaper to have your car painted?
It is not necessarily cheaper to repaint a car than to wrap it. Repainting a car costs between $1000 to $10,000, depending on a lot of factors. It costs at least $2,500 to get a high-quality showroom paint job. Wrapping a car can be as cheap as $1,200 and range up to $13,000.
As you can see, repainting a car is also very expensive and not necessarily cheaper than wrapping it.
Of course, the price for repainting a car is highly dependent on a variety of factors, exactly like the cost of wrapping a car.
While the material makes a huge difference when wrapping a car, one big cost factor for repainting a car is the amount of equipment needed.
A car can be wrapped in a garage, as long it is fairly clean and not freezing cold.
To achieve a good result when repainting a car special and ventilated boxes are needed that make sure that no dust is in the air that could damage the finish of the paint.
Choosing between repainting and wrapping a car is tough.
Lots of different factors need to be considered. I have written a detailed post where I compare painting a car to wrapping a car. Make sure to check it out here.