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Are Car Wraps Worth It? | Edmunds

Are Car Wraps Worth It? | Edmunds

wrap is a great way to change the
personality of your car without the commitment
of a new paint job. Think of it as a
temporary tattoo that could last a couple of years. Car wraps used to be the
domain of high-end luxury and exotic cars. But it’s now a multi-billion
dollar industry that’s gotten a lot more
mainstream in recent years. There are a ton of colors
and finishes available, which means you’re just
limited by your imagination. But you’re not just limited to
changing up your daily driver. There are a lot of
commercial applications. You can advertise your business
on the side of your car. Before you go in
for a wrap, it’s important to note that
it’s not going to cover up flaws in your paint. In fact, it’s probably
going to accentuate them. Thin or damaged paint can
actually be lifted off when you remove the wrap. So it’s important to start
with a nice pristine surface. After about 10 months
with our Tesla Model 3, we started to get a little
bored of its midnight silver metallic paint. Rather than wrap it
in just a solid color, we decided to have just
a little bit of fun. We held a competition
among Edmunds employees to come up with a concept. And after the votes
were tabulated, this concept won out. The next step–
making it happen. We headed to Impressive Wraps
just outside of Los Angeles. The first order
of business is get that paint surface pristine. That meant a clay bar treatment,
followed by an alcohol rub down to remove
any contaminants. They typically remove
the bumpers, headlights, and take apart the doors
to make installation just a little easier. They use a heat
gun to get the wrap to conform to all the contours
of the bodywork, followed by a squeegee to get rid
of some of the air bubbles. It can take a few days,
depending on complexity. One problem area are the
door jambs, because of all the complex curves there. With black cars, you
can usually get away with not having
to wrap that area. Prices typically start right
around $3,000 or $4,000 for something like a Mustang. If you go for a bright chrome
or metallic finish, that can double the price
because it takes a lot more care not to overstretch
the vinyl, which would dull the finish. Higher end exotics
and luxury cars– they can cost as much as $12,000
because of all the extra care needed when disassembling
and assembling the car. Our Tesla came in
right around $3,700, which is about what we’d expect
to pay for a decent paint job. A wrap can last up to
five years if properly cared for by keeping it
garaged, covered, and out of the elements. A lot of sun exposure can
actually bake the vinyl to the surface,
shortening its lifespan and making it a lot
harder to remove. Regularly parking your
car on the street, exposing it to salt and
extreme temperatures can drop its lifespan
down to one year. For those reasons, we
had Impressive Wraps add nano-ceramic coating. It protects against water
damage and adds an extra layer of UV resistance. This treatment does add another
$1,500 to $1,800, though. Of course, your car will
eventually get dirty, so it’s important to maintain
it and keep it clean. But you can’t take it
to an automated car wash, because those brushes
might lift off the vinyl. Impressive Wraps recommends
handwashing with microfiber towels, or using some
of the waterless car wash products out there. Once you’re done
with the wrap, it can cost between $500 and
$600 to remove the wrap. If it’s a complicated
job, though, it can cost as much as $2,500. Those are the ins and outs
of getting your car wrapped. It’s probably not as
affordable as you once thought. But it is a fun, low-commitment
alternative to a new paint job. Let us know what you think
in the comments below. And hit subscribe to see
more Edmunds content. That’s a wrap. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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80 thoughts on “Are Car Wraps Worth It? | Edmunds

  1. A lot of Tesla owning Youtubers talk about getting wraps on their Tesla’s. Sounds like they have concerns about the Tesla paints being “soft”. Interesting wrap design and informative video. Thanks

  2. Given how terrible Tesla paint quality is, a wrap is the only fix. Literally the worst quality paint job on the market today

  3. I really appreciate you telling me this. As a young adult thinking it would be such a good idea lol. Might as well just find a really good color and make really thick clear coat 😅

  4. So the best way to extend the life of your wrap is to park in a climate controlled garage and then never drive? Apparently too much sun, too much rain, too much snow, too much dust, too much heat, too much cold, can ruin your wrap in the first year or two.

  5. I don’t see how this is better than just painting it. A quality paint job will cost a couple grand and last a decade or more in all conditions. Wraps are for rich people’s 🤑 toys 🧸 and business.

  6. Why get a quality paint job that will last a lifetime when you can pay significantly more to put a big sticker on your car that will last a year or two if driven normally?

  7. This is a hilarious way to waste money and these people are just gouging idiots both coming and going. $500 to $2500 to use a heat gun to remove some vinyl, GTFO.

  8. 6 grand to wrap and coat a 40k Tesla. I think this video just proves the point of 90 percent of economists arguments that financing or even owning a vehicle is probably the worst financial decisions anyone can make.

  9. The wrap industry is a joke. What started off as an affordable temporary idea has blown up into an overpriced industry. When a temporary wrap job costs more than a quality paint job, you really need to start questioning what you are really spending money on.

  10. I've been really Interested in the wrap industry lately and I think wraps are great. That being said I am starting to see everyone's point about the benefit you get over paint, vs the difference in the cost. I hope the wrap community sees this and starts aiming for lower profit margins because a good wrap won't beat a good paint job.

    I still believe wraps have a good place and I'm still gonna wrap my own car for the heck of it 🙂 but yeah, couldn't see myself paying $5k without a longer guarantee.

  11. Should cost $1000 and then we can talk. At several thousands of dollars, it is just not worth it. Wraps should be all about changing the car look frequently.

  12. I thought about getting a wrap, but I think it only makes sense if you have a cool sports/exotic car or you have extra money to waste.

  13. This much investment in a depreciating asset makes no sense. I can understand (to a degree) when it’s on a car that runs 6 figures, and it’s paid off. If you drive a Honda, Subaru, Ford, etc…. that isn’t a highly tuned professional race car, and ESPECIALLY if you’re making payments, you’re just advertising that you’re an idiot.

  14. Go to any car wrap place and ask them to show you a wrap. Then tear it apart with your bare hands. It's that weak ! What a joke !

  15. And how is this better than painting the vehicle? From what is described in the video, to wrap a car in the short and long run actually cost more than actually painting the car. You can’t keep your car in the sun, you can’t do this and that with wrapped cars. Sounds like wrapped cars are a little to high maintenance for my taste. So my question is, why would I pay more for something that is temporary and and so high maintenance over a paint job that is still expensive but not as high maintenance and is permanent?

  16. $3700 hahaha rip off. Why wouldn’t you just get it painted and ceramic coat it. Then removal fee. Fuck these scammers

  17. I'd be much more interested in how much a peelable paint job would cost if done professionally than a wrap. Wraps are more for temporary business vehicles where you hope to gain revenue from advertising than an alternative for changing the color of your car.

  18. Wraps are ok if you have supercars or crap like that and got the money to waste. To wrap a model 3 tesla is just dumb.

  19. For a personal car sounds pointless, rather shell on a good paint job. For a business based lease car where you can offset most of the wrap cost as a tax deduction, makes sense when you flog the car off for a new one.

  20. i don't know whos giving you those prices but vinyl wraps start at $1700, they last up to4 years even if left daily under the sun, for the price you won't be able to get a good quality paint job, and did you know that if you paint your car your actually losing money on the car because you're removing the original paint, what if you have a brand new car and you wanna change the color, what you gonna do, paint it? pay 8k for quality paint? what if you want a matte color? to paint matte colors is above 10k. a wrap is the most convenient and easy way to personalize and protect your car, the best thing to do is wrap your car when you buy that way in 5 years when you wanna sell it the paint is still 100%.

    so basically wrap is:
    -cheaper than paint
    -more customizable
    – doesn't desvalorize your car
    – protects your car
    – requires less care
    -it's quicker and easier to install than paint
    -less messy
    -and the finishes are coller
    you can literally wrap your car in clear vinyl just to protect your original paint.

  21. might as well get it painted . . . there is so much bullshit the cars these days with fake vents and these gay stickers.

  22. Have to be out your mind. Either paint it(way better investment and clearly cheaper in a lot of cases) or trade car in. All that money and every wrap I've seen has peeling and rips everywhere especially on front rear bumbers. Bubbling. No matter where climate and best case scenario last year, maybe 3.. maybe? FOH. And protection coating? Good lord. And then removal? Jesus. These prices are a joke. Do it yourself or don't do at all. Or at least do sides, hood, roof and let pros do bumbers, maybe some difficult inlays. I've seen ppl spend 1200 on a fkn chrome delete. Chrome delete. Haha. Yeah OK. Idiotic useless millenials. Not only suckers, but can't screw in lightbulb. Never thought market would be that good. Do chrome delete yourself or find someone with a conscience, because it's cheap to do a couple times if you fuck up.. unless of course you're that fortunate person who has so much freakin' money you don't know what to do with it. I've watched enough vids. $150 an hr and few days? What? Every vid I watch they can do a door panel in 20 mins, quarter panels, roofs, hoods, same… 20 mins.. 30 40 max taking their time. Some of the inlays I can understand. But don't know where they're getting 30-40 hrs or more in labor. You can watch a car being wrapped online. We know how long it takes. Seen a hood charge of $400 bucks, again 30mins and what.. 20 bucks in vinyl? 400 bucks? So we finally did it ourselves, just take your time and all tools you need are dirt cheap. The vinyl is 500-700 bucks at most for complete car. Paints are more money and it's cheaper with all that prep work and disassembling and takes far longer. Makes no sense to me. Kudos to wrappers for raking that money though. Don't hate them. Best capitalist country on planet.

  23. Was thinking of getting my Silverado wrapped. But the $2,700 quote I got from the paint shop will do for me.

  24. Car wraps look like cheap paint jobs. They all look like orange peal ,no matter what color or brand you choose!

  25. This video was horribly inaccurate. Wrap materials cost 400$ Max. Incredible how a bunch of grown adults made and edited a video without researching. Shame on you all.

  26. It's one of those dumb ideas that costs a lot. But you know what they said! There's a sucker….Oh, never mind!

  27. Okay so basically what i got out of this vid is, unless you live in sweet ass left coast Cali, wrapping is shaat for us right coast peeps lol…I stick with clay barring and use the TW line of products.

  28. I feel old and out of touch. Where did this wrap thing come from? If the cost is as much as I’ve been hearing this is a joke. Go for a quality paint job.

  29. Vinyl is worth it depending on why you are using it. IMO unless you have a very special custom paint job, or a brand new car, I don’t see why you would need to pay a professional 5,000$ to wrap it. It can protect your paint, but if your paint sucks, it’s really not that hard to install yourself.

    It is a very useful material, and I find it works very well for DIY people. But the professional wrap industry is really only supported by people with enough money to justify throwing a 5,000$ finish on top of a 5,000$ finish

  30. Man I wish there was a more permanent solution that is still in most cases cheaper that doesnt require as much maintenance and care……………


  31. with that money I can get a very good quality paint job, paint correction and ceramic coating, looks better, it will last much longer and of course it can stand under the sun, rain, bird crap, etc. so the conclussion is wrapping is for STUPID people.

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