How long do car wraps last?

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Vehicle wrapping was traditionally used for buses and trucks but in recent years, it has become very popular for cars as well. High quality car wraps bring a lot of benefits and there are few different reasons why you might want to have your car wrapped.

If you haven’t considered it before, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about car wraps, including the many benefits, how long they last and how to look after them.

What are the benefits of car wraps?

The most obvious question that most people have about car wraps is, why should I get my car wrapped in the first place? Depending on how you use your car and what your priorities are, there are a lot of great reasons why you should use a car wrap.

Paint protection

Keeping your car in good condition can be tough and you have to deal with chips and scratches in the paintwork. Getting your car resprayed isn’t cheap, but you don’t have to worry about that with car wraps. A high-quality car wrap gives you complete paint protection and the existing paintwork underneath the wrap is not damaged at all, so your car stays in perfect condition.

This is great because you no longer have to worry about damaging the paintwork and paying for a respray. It’s also ideal if you plan to sell the car in the future because you can remove the wrap and the paintwork underneath will be in mint condition, so you can get a much better price for the car.

Affordable customization

If you’ve had your car for a while and you are getting a bit bored with it, you might decide that you want to change the color. A color change is expensive if you get the car resprayed but car wraps are so much more affordable. You can choose from a huge range of colors and completely transform the look of your car without paying for an expensive paint job. The other big benefit is that if you decide that you don’t like the new color, you can easily change it and it won’t cost that much.

The colors are very durable and long lasting as well, so if you use car wraps to customize your car instead of painting, you won’t have to do it as often. The appearance is almost exactly the same as paint, so you don’t have to make any compromises in terms of the look of your car, but you will make some big savings.

Fast turnaround

If you get your car resprayed, it usually takes around a week for a simple color change. If the car is in particularly bad condition, you may have to leave your car in the shop for weeks or even months in some cases. That’s not ideal when you rely on it to get around and you will have to cover the cost of a rental while the car is being sprayed. Car wraps, on the other hand, only take 1 or 2 days, in most cases, so you don’t have to be without the car for as long.

Advertising benefits

Anybody that runs a business should seriously consider car wraps on their company vehicles. It’s a much cheaper way to put your business logo and information on your vehicles, and it’s a great opportunity for advertising. You can use far more complex images on a car wrap than you can with painting, and your brand is exposed to so many people as the car drives around town all day. In terms of the number of people that you reach compared with the initial cost, car wraps are one of the best forms of advertising there is.

How long does a car wrap last?

The lifespan of a vehicle wrap depends on the condition of the car before it was applied. However, the average lifespan of a car wrap is usually around 5 years. If the paintwork underneath the car is in perfect condition, the wrap will stay in better condition. But if the paintwork is already damaged, this can cause problems, which is why we deal with any scratches and chips before applying our vehicle wraps.

The way that you use your car will also have an impact on the lifespan of your car wrap. For example, if you do a lot of off-road driving and your car is exposed to a lot of dirt, this can do some damage to the wrap and it will not last as long. But if you are only using it for city driving, you shouldn’t have an issue.

If you want to make your vehicle wrap last for as long as possible, it’s important that you take care of it properly.

Looking after your car wrap

When you are washing your car wrap, it’s best to hand wash if you want to avoid any damage. Always use a gentle automotive detergent that won’t be too harsh on the vehicle wrap, and use a good quality sponge or a soft cloth. Rinse with clear water after you have finished washing the car and then use a silicone squeegee to prevent water spots. Finally, wipe the car down with a microfiber cloth. Regular washing will stop dirt and dust from building up and prevent damage to the wrap.

Many people ask whether they should take their car through a car wash if they have a vehicle wrap. It all depends on the type of car wash and you should always avoid car washes that use brushes because these will damage the wrap and cause peeling around the edges. Car washes that just use water jets should be ok but if you want to be safe, it’s best to hand wash at home.

If you want to use a pressure washer on your car, you need to be careful. Spray from a distance of at least 12 inches and always keep the pressure below 2000 psi. You should also use a 40- degree spray pattern and use cold water to avoid damage.

Hopefully, this guide has given you all of the information that you need about the benefits of car wraps, how long they last and how to look after them properly. If you want to learn more, feel free to get in touch and we can discuss your vehicle wrap needs.

Story by Mike Lewis. Lewis is a commercial and customized car wrap specialist with over 15 years’ experience.


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