How Much Does a Car Wrap Cost
“How much for a car wrap,” is by far our most asked question, but there’s a lot that goes into calculating the price of a vehicle wrap. We’ll break down each of the factors we take into consideration when providing a quote, so you’ll have an idea of what to expect. To get ballpark estimates for commercial graphic wraps for your business, check out our pricing page for more information.
This page is meant to provide you with a starting point to wrap pricing, but actual prices are bound to vary by location, vehicle, material type, etc.
Our shop, Vinyl ink, is located in Northern California, so these prices will generally be more specific to our region. The determining factors are somewhat universal and should be able to give you a good starting point for your wrap project wherever you are.
Without further ado let’s get into it!
How Much Does a Personal Car Wrap Cost?
Questions about wrap pricing for personal vehicles far outweighs the questions we get for commercial vehicles, so we figured we’d start with personal wrap pricing first. There’s a few key differences between color change wraps and commercial graphics for business vehicles and fleets that we’ll be discussing below.
Average Color Change Wrap Costs: Start at $3600
1. Vehicle Wrap Coverage
First, color change wraps are often more comprehensive. They need to completely replace the underlying paint color that is visible from outside the vehicle. So if you had a white original paint color and wanted an orange color change wrap, and someone walked around the outside of your vehicle, they wouldn’t be able to see that your car was once white. That means more parts need to be removed to ensure coverage anywhere that may “leak” any of that original white color, resulting in more labor and higher costs.
When compared to personal car wraps, commercial wrap prices tend to be cheaper due to the fact that a business is using the wrap primarily as a moving mobile billboard and doesn’t need “paint-like” perfection. Since the graphics are typically going to only be seen from a distance, they don’t need a deep and detailed installation and only need to cover areas which are visible to most of their audience.
We can avoid wrapping deep recesses in bumpers, entire mirrors and door handles, door hinges and areas out of the eye-line such as the roof of a large van or box truck. This all isn’t to say that commercial vehicle graphics don’t look good from close up, but there is much less detail and coverage needed when the primary purpose is to advertise rather than look like a factory paint job.
While most think of full wraps, personal cars can have partial wraps too. If you enjoy your car’s current primary color but would like a refreshed new look, a more cost effective customization option could be to consider the option of vehicle restyling. If you want to learn more about more personalization options for your vehicle, check out our vehicle restyling page.
2. How Much Do Fancy Material and Chrome Wraps Costs?
We’re sure you have seen those crazy chromed out Lambos on Instagram, or groovy psychedelic color-shift wraps that change color depending on the lighting. These specialty wrap films are more expensive than most vinyl colors and involve a more complex installation methods, which means more time to install.
Using a specialty film, the cost of a standard color wrap installation can increase by 20-100%, which is why these colors are usually found on higher end vehicles, where the cost of wrapping may be only a very small fraction of the value of the vehicle.
Generally, these specialty colors also have a lower overall outdoor durability in contrast to standard colors, which would making garaging the wrapped vehicle extremely important to ensure it lasts for years to come. Specialty finishes and colors are available to you which typically would be unattainable by other means, such as chrome, or would be extremely costly if you went the paint route for matte finishes or color shifting shades.
You may be tempted to go the DIY route with cheaper off-brand materials to save some cash. Nearly 70% of the cost for a wrap installation is labor. Our installers spend years learning how to properly install vehicle wraps under direct supervision of certified technicians and even our lead techs are still learning every day. You also need to use extreme caution when choosing a film manufacturer as these films are much more difficult to install, have much lower life expectancy than the top brands (lasting only about 6 months) and can damage underlying paint if left on too long.
We only use a limited number of film manufacturers here at our shop because the quality of vinyl can vary greatly from brand to another. We do not recommend using anything else. Expect to add $600-$800 to the standard price range for color shifting films and $3800-$5000 for chrome.
How Much Does a Business Car Wrap Cost?
Business wraps tend to be cheaper than personal wraps, but this is not always the case. Some of these factors are shared with their personal wrap counterparts, but there are a few key differences that give more flexibility to those wrapping commercial vehicles compared to personal ones.
1. Decals vs. Partial Wraps vs. Full Commercial Wrap Costs
Compared to personal wraps, businesses have a bit more flexibility when it comes to wrap coverage choices. It ultimately comes down to the needs of the business, and your current marketing strategy.
For small business startups, a partial or decal graphic is a more feasible option to start, and the great thing about vinyl wraps is their flexibility. You can easily add elements like a new social media account, or a “Now Hiring” tag to your existing wrap. And as your business scales and grows, a full wrap may be a more worth while investment for your business.
See our pricing page for more in depth information.
Starting prices listed below are for Ford Transit - Regular:
Decal Graphics: $400 - $1200 (Cheapest with least amount of coverage)
Partial Wrap: $1100 - $2500 (Mid-range, less than 90% coverage)
Full Wrap: $2800 - $3600 (Most expensive, 90% coverage or more)
2. Specialty Vinyl Material Upgrades Costs
Some customers opt to go with a matte on gloss look just to give a bit more depth to their marketing. If you’re looking for a more layered look, adding specialty films like textured and reflective vinyl can create a more eye-catching overall design, even making your advertising visible at night with the reflection of just a small amount of light from a passing car.
A little customization is great for grabbing a bit more attention when you’re trying to get the word out about your business, especially when you’re competing for some space among all those other cars on the road.
3. Larger Vehicles Means More Expensive Wraps
This one is pretty intuitive, but the larger your vehicle, the more material and labor is needed to complete the wrap project. A full wrap on a small van can cost around $3,000 compared to a small 16 foot box truck wrap which could range between $3000 for just 3 sides of the box to upwards of $4500 if you added the front cab. We’ve listed some of the most common commercial vehicle types we see at the shop and some starting prices for each below. These are starting prices for full commercial wraps.
For more in depth information on different vehicle and wrap types check out our commercial graphics pricing page.
SUV - Starts at $3600+
Pick Up Truck - Starts at $3600+
Small Cargo Van - Starts at $2800+
Medium Cargo Van - Starts at $3600+
Large Cargo Van - Starts at $3800+
Is a vehicle wrap worth it?
For businesses, a wrap is absolutely worth it. We have an entire page dedicated to comparing different advertising mediums, vehicle wraps included. This page goes in depth on various marketing tactics to generate brand awareness and has some pretty shocking wrap stats. Check it out here.
For personal cars it can be a bit more of a grey area. Wraps require a smooth base to apply on, which means no paint chips, rust spots, or peeling. It wouldn’t make sense to spend $5,000 on a color change wrap to cover paint imperfections, that will likely show through and begin to fail soon after. You’d be better off putting the money towards a cheap paint job and we discuss that more in-depth on this page.
Wraps are definitely worth it if you’re looking to change up your car’s vibes without committing to a color for the next 10+ years, like you would with an expensive paint job. The best part, if you change your mind, your original colors will always available to switch back to.