Is It Cheaper To Wrap Or Paint A Car?

One of the things we have increasingly noticed over time is a trend of customers asking questions like: “Is it cheaper to wrap or paint a car?”, “How much does a car wrap cost?”, “Why would I wrap my car if I could paint it for a similar cost?”.

While it is technically correct that you can get some paint jobs lower than the cost of some vinyl wraps (the opposite also being true) you must ask yourself some questions. Generally, the answer I give when people ask me something like this is: “You get what you pay for as with anything.”

One of the main points I would like to state before anything else is THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. Let me explain some more.

Vinyl wrap itself is often not quite as cheap as people may expect (see this article to learn more). But this is because of a multitude of reasons people often overlook. For example, vinyl wrap is progressively getting better and comes with a large number of benefits. Vinyl comes with a self-healing property; This allows for small damage, swirls or even small scratches to come out with just a bit of heat. Often just letting it warm in the sun will allow for it to go back to its preferred state. For this reason, one of the challenges installers face is correcting something called the memory of the film and making sure it only reverts to the shape the panel should be.

Another thing to think about when pricing up the alternatives is that a vinyl wrap is not a permanent fixture. Although wraps are progressively getting better and better at increasing their life span with new technology comes out, they are still not a permanent solution. But another thing to keep in mind is that repainting a vehicle will also not last forever at 10–15 years on average if looked after for a decent paint job.

While some people view vinyl wrapping as a relatively simple task it is actually far from it. Making a car look decent from a few meters away for a couple of days can be done by just about anybody with some high-quality film. The issue comes after a week when your vinyl starts bubbling, peeling off and when you go up close and see all of the dust and dirt under the wrap and see corners peeling. The difficulty comes in while making the vinyl look perfect and last the many years they can last.

Sometimes with vinyl, you can get into a bit of a scuff that unfortunately will not come out with a bit of heat. But often you can just rewrap the panel in a single day for a relatively low cost. I have seen some rather hefty damage fixed in a matter of less than an hour before and less than a hundred dollars. And not only is that then fixed and ready to go but the paint underneath is still in great condition. This brings me to my next point.

You get to keep your paint when you install a vinyl wrap. When repainting a vehicle you lose the option to go back to your previous colour easily. With a vinyl wrap, you can go from a gorgeous candy red wrap back to your gloss black paint in a day.

Now to finish off, you need to understand that a vinyl wrap from a quality professional installer will tend to start at a couple of thousand dollars and while you may be able to find someone to paint cheaper, make sure to look at their quality and longevity and make an informed decision based on what works best for you after looking at the benefits of each.

Please don’t hesitate to talk to Studio Finish’s team of professionals if we have left any questions unanswered.