Vehicle Wrap Vs. Paint?

So you’re thinking about updating your vehicle’s look and are torn between getting a new paint job and trying a trendy vehicle wrap. Well coming from a girl that new nothing about vehicle wraps until I helped open The Wrap Lab Nashville,  I can tell you from a good place through research and observation as well as The Wrap Lab's work that vehicle wraps are the way to go. Vehicle wraps first started trending in the 1990’s in the United Kingdom for the use on changing the colors of taxis to meet regulation standards. Since then they have been gaining ground with not only just custom color change wraps but with advertising wraps to help promote businesses gain awareness and future business.

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Personally, I always thought that a new paint job was a great idea until I started learning about the benefits of vehicle wraps vs. getting a new paint job. When you re-paint your vehicle it actually drops your re-sale value, which is not a good thing at all. But vehicle wraps are a way for us consumers to freshen up the look of our vehicle without affecting the re-sale value when we go to sell or trade-in our vehicles. As consumers we like new things, so instead of going and getting a new car right away, why not freshen your vehicle up with a custom color change wrap. Here are the benefits of choosing to get a vehicle wrap over a new paint job.

1.     Cost

Average vehicle wrap- $2,500-$5,000.00 (chrome options are exponentially higher as with paint)

Quality Paint Job- $3,500-$10,000 (average quality job is $6500 +)

(both depend on style of vehicle and type of vinyl or paint)

 2.     Resale value

Vehicle wrap- protects factory paint job, prevents paint from weathering, scratches, rusting and fading.

Paint Job- Drops re-sale value (unless on a full custom show car) as well as your new paint job could be an undesirable color for a possible new buyer which would make it difficult to sell. Is not protected from rust, scratches, weathering or fading. Also the paint color could turn out to be the wrong color upon spraying it and you would then have to repaint. This of course would be at the expense of the painter, but it's adding another week + in downtime. This indeed, does happen all the time, unless you find a premium paint vendor like the ones we've worked with on some painted parts.  But they aren't cheap- and they are exponentially more expensive than a vinyl wrap.

3.     Installation time

Vehicle wrap- 2-5 days on average from start to finish

Paint job- 2 weeks or longer from start to finish

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4.     Maintenance

Vehicle Wrap- hand wash with soap & water with a microfiber towel. No more waxing! Looks like new in a little time.

Paint job- Will still have to wash & wax to keep it shining like new.

5.     Custom Choices

Vehicle wraps- From Camo, carbon fiber, chrome, matte black to custom digital print/designs. The possibilities are endless depending on what your vision is.

Paint Job- Standard colors to custom, amazing blended colors depending on your painter’s experience and your budget.

6.     Removal

Vehicle wrap- Quick and easy removal without damaging the original paint job.

Paint Job- Long process, and factory paint is gone so resale value is dropped.


Bottom line- Paint is a permanent change in your vehicle.  It's quality is often hard to rival, but you lose on the back end of resale and overall vehicle value. Wraps are removable, they protect your paint like a full coverage PPF film, and a great quality wrap is indeed a cost effective alternative to a great quality paint job. 

With this useful information, you can now decide what’s best for you and your vehicle.