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If you’re looking to update the color and outer appearance of a vehicle, you have two main options — vinyl wrapping or painting. Before choosing between the two, you’ll need to understand the pros and cons of both services.

Below, we explore the key differences between wrapping a car vs. painting it to help you decide which option is right for you.

Car Wrap vs. Paint

When comparing vinyl wrap vs. paint for your vehicle, it can be advantageous to weigh the pros and cons of both options.

Pros of Wrapping vs Pros of Painting a Car

Pros of Wrapping a Car

Explore some of the top advantages of vinyl car wrapping:

  • Protection: Wrapping a car is a great way to protect its paint job. The vinyl layer offers a line of defense against various environmental elements, including ultraviolet rays, precipitation, rust and road debris.
  • Gentle: The car wrapping installation and removal process is gentle on the vehicle’s surface. If done correctly, the wrap will not cause any damage to the paint underneath.
  • Customization: Wrapping a car gives you nearly endless opportunities for customization. You can choose from a vast selection of colors, textures and designs to transform your ride.

Cons of Wrapping a Car

Wrapping a vehicle isn’t always the best option. The following are some of the cons of opting for vinyl wrap instead of paint:

  • Doesn’t cover surface imperfections: Wrapping a car with surface imperfections won’t adequately hide or correct the damage.
  • Life span: A high-quality car wrap installed by an expert can last for years on end. However, a vinyl wrap won’t last as long as a high-quality paint job that’s carefully maintained.

Pros of Painting a Car

Painting a car also has a few key benefits, including:

  • Restore or change the color: A new paint job is a great way to restore dull or discolored paint to its full potential, or it can completely change the car’s overall hue.
  • Refresh a car’s appearance: Fresh paint can make a car sparkle like it’s brand new again.
  • Correct surface imperfections: The painting process includes sanding down the car’s existing paint, which can help correct minor surface imperfections like scratches.

Cons of Painting a Car

There are a few downsides to painting a vehicle, too. Check out some of the cons:

  • Permanent change: When you opt for a new paint job, the car’s former color will be gone forever, and the new color you choose will be a permanent update.
  • Process: The car painting process can be timely. It involves washing the car, sanding its surface and strategically applying multiple fresh coats of paint.
  • Maintenance: Keeping a car’s paint in optimal condition requires regular maintenance, including washing and waxing.

Is It Cheaper to Wrap or Paint a Car?

When considering how much it costs to wrap a car vs. paint it, some important factors will impact the overall price. The cost of a high-quality paint job and vinyl wrapping can be close in price. However, if you invest in customization and special features on a wrap, the cost will increase.

How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost?

The overall cost of your car wrapping project will depend on the following factors:

  • Design time
  • Vehicle size
  • Vinyl wrap size
  • Materials
  • Labor
  • Location

The average cost of a car wrapping project from AP Graphics ranges from about $250 to $3,000.

Is It Better to Wrap or Paint a Car?

There are different instances when it’s better to wrap a vehicle than paint it and vice versa. Here are the ideal situations for both.

When Is It Better to Paint a Car?

A fresh paint job can make a car look brand new again. Some telltale signs that you should opt for painting instead of vinyl wrapping include:

  • Cracks
  • Scratches
  • Dings
  • Rust
  • Peeling

If any of these are present on your car’s surface, you can fix it with new paint. You don’t want to apply wrapping on a car without fixing these issues — they can negatively impact the installation process, and the vinyl won’t hide the imperfections.

When Is It Better to Wrap a Car?

If you’re looking to achieve a custom or one-of-a-kind look for your car or fleet, opting for vinyl wrapping is typically best. You’ll have a wider range of design and color options available to you to create your dream ride.

Whether you want to make a statement with an advertising wrap or upgrade the color of your personal ride to reflect your unique personality, wrapping is best when you want customization.

So, Should You Paint or Wrap Your Car?

To narrow down your decision between a fresh paint job and car wrapping, explore the following comparisons:

  • Protection: A car wrap offers protection over the vehicle’s existing paint job. It shields the surface from damage caused by elements like bird droppings, pollen and dirt.
  • Designs: Vehicle wraps are far more diverse than a paint job when it comes to color, design and texture options. You can get way more bang for your buck with a vinyl wrap.
  • Installation: The installation process for car wrapping is much faster than painting a vehicle, and you won’t have to wait for the wet paint to dry.
  • Durability: When you invest in a high-quality vehicle wrap, your ride can look new for years to come. Wrapping can withstand environmental factors better than paint in many circumstances.
  • Maintenance and removal: Car wrapping requires less maintenance than paint, which includes promptly fixing imperfections and regular washing and waxing.
  • Changes and updates: If you’re interested in updating your car or fleet’s color and design in the future, a wrap can make the process significantly easier than painting.
  • Value: In addition to comparing car wrap cost vs. paint, consider how wrapping will impact the value of your vehicle.

Working with vinyl experts is key to getting the best results for your car. At AP Graphics, our skilled team is here to help with vehicle wrapping services that will completely elevate your ride.

Request a quote for car wrapping services

Request a Quote for Car Wrapping Services From AP Graphics Today

Wrapping your car is one of the best ways to completely alter the look of your vehicle and give it a special touch. Whether you’re looking to elevate your business’s fleet or customize your personal ride, AP Graphics has the high-quality car wrapping services you need.

Our offers include graphic design, vinyl wrap production, installation and removal. We can wrap a variety of vehicle types, ranging from trailers to Teslas to vans.

Are you ready to transform your car or fleet? Request a quote from AP Graphics to get started today!