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Using a car, truck, van, or fleet to market products and services isn’t a new concept, but the process has undergone a digital revolution. Today’s advertising options include high-definition car wrapping options, which have multiple benefits over the older standard of re-painting a car or the more temporary magnet signs of yore.

First, it’s important to note that wrapping or painting can be done on any type of vehicle, including:

  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • Large truck trailers
  • Motorcycles

Partial or spot logos or design are also an option, which reduces the wrapping or painting costs for the more modest budget – or a more minimalist aesthetic.

Read, 5 Ways Vehicle Fleet Wraps Can Be Useful to Your Company, for more facts about ROI and marketing tips.

Car Wrap vs Paint: Which Makes the Most Sense for Your Car or Fleet?

Here are some of the main differences between vehicle wrapping and painting:

Car wraps offer far more customizable options

When it comes to customization, car wrapping provides far more freedom than traditional painting techniques because the world of graphic design is at your command. This means the use of virtually any color, font, detail, or even textured options – that cost far less than they would if you wanted to achieve the same effect using paint.

Painting is permanent; wrapping is semi-permanent – and removable

When you paint a vehicle in your fleet – the work is permanent. There is no going back and changing any phone numbers, website addresses, or logo updates. This means any changes have to be addressed via a re-paint, and any desire to sell or offload the cars elsewhere means taking a Kelly BlueBook hit since any buyer out there will want the care repainted.

Vehicle wraps are made using high-quality, durable, and weather-resistant vinyl with adhesive backing. While the wraps can stand up to the elements and minor bumps and scrapes, well-maintained vinyl wraps are designed to last for a minimum of five years – and often last as long as 10-years. In that sense, they feel pretty permanent.

However, vehicle wraps are completely removable – which means you can wrap your purchased or leased fleet vehicles, and have the car wrap professionally removed when it’s time to sell the car or turn it back in. This is also helpful should your company re-brand itself or move to a new location with a different address or phone number.

Wrapping takes less time

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In most cases, a car getting a brand-new, brand- or marketing-oriented paint job will be in the shop for at least a week, and typically two to three weeks. Re-painting a car requires the old paint to be removed entirely before the vehicle is primed and repainted. Each coat must dry completely before the next one is applied – and this takes a series of days to complete. Then the car’s exterior must be “reassembled” before it can be put back into road commission again.

The vehicle wrapping process is quicker and more straightforward. The design takes place between you and the designer/printer. Once it’s all settled, the adhesive is printed, and the car should be completed within about three days.

Important Note: Vehicle wrapping is not a substitute for a damaged paint job. For your vehicle wrap to look its best, your car’s paint job should be in good shape, and the car will be cleaned and dried thoroughly before the wrap is adhered. If your car is older or has notable paint/body damage (dings, dents, scrapes or scratches that mar the paint surface, etc.), it should be touched up or repaired before the vehicle wrap is installed. Otherwise, the wrap’s effect is notably compromised.

Car wrapping is cheaper in terms of lifetime costs

When it comes to the first-time cost for a full vehicle wrap or paint job, the price is relatively equal across the board. In most cases, you’re looking at about $2500 to $5000 per car – more for larger vehicles, and less for smaller ones.

However, if you factor in lifetime costs, car wrapping is more affordable overall. The reality is that a painted car will need to be repainted before you can sell it or trade it in, OR you have to factor in the loss you’ll take on the backend when you sell the vehicle for less than it’s worth to accommodate the buyer’s “paint credit.”

If you’ve intentionally purchased vehicles in a paint color that is complementary – or a part of – your brand’s color palette, you can save additional money by using partial or spot wrapping options.

Paint is a higher-maintenance option when it comes to car wrap vs paint

To preserve the integrity and newness of a custom-painted car, it needs to be washed and waxed regularly to preserve the paint. Because vinyl is so durable and less susceptible to sun or dirt damage, a quick run through a car wash (or a wipe down with a damp cloth) is all that’s needed to remove surface grime and have the exterior look like new again.

Wrap It Up

Are you interested in learning more about a car or vehicle wrapping for your business’ fleet? Contact SpeedPro East Bay, and we’ll show you our vehicle wrap portfolio, and help you achieve the ultimate ROI on your investment.