What are car wraps, and should you consider them?

Marketing Team

Have you ever passed a car and thought, “I didn’t know that car came in that color?” That car was more than likely wrapped. If you’re considering a wrap for your car, truck, or van, you’re not alone!  

The car wrapping industry has exploded.

According to Grandview Research, the vehicle wrap industry grew 18.5% last year and is projected to grow 22% next year. The United States emerged as the largest automotive wrap films market in 2021. In terms of revenue, passenger cars accounted for the largest revenue share of 53.81%, and wraps are increasingly being used on vans, trucks, boats, RVs, trailers, and buses.

Grandview also reported, “Maintenance of these wraps is easy if the high-quality wrap is used on the vehicle. These are scratch resistant and have a long shelf life. Moreover, it is easy to remove the wrap and rewrap it with a different color. In addition, they look like quality paint jobs and no one can differentiate them from the real paint.” 

What are car wraps?

A car wrap is a special vinyl film you cover your car, truck, or van with – either the entire car or part of it, like the hood or nose of the car.  

So why do people do it? Many want to change or upgrade the look of their car without having to pay an arm and a leg for a full paint respray. Some want to cover up faded paint with a new color in matte or gloss, or even to give it a cool design texture like a graphic or carbon fiber look. These colors, textures, and designs can’t be done with traditional paint. Even if they could, you wouldn’t want to see that bill!

Not only will your car stand out from the crowd, but a wrap takes less time than repainting. It also helps to protect the paint.  

Car wraps are made from an organic polymer vinyl film, and 3M is widely known to create the highest quality vinyl wrap available on the market today. So, what makes 3M wraps so special? First, they won’t fade. Vinyl wraps will fade over time with continued exposure to the sun and heat. But installed properly 3M wraps retain their color and vibrance for up to seven years. They’re also seriously durable and won’t begin to rip or tear before you’re ready to take it off. 3M wraps are super easy to remove, leaving your vehicle’s paint and other details intact.

They also come in high gloss colors, matte colors, brushed metal, and carbon fiber looks. If you can dream it, odds are we can deliver it! 

A Brief History

You might be surprised how far back vinyl wraps go! In the late 1920s, an engineer for the Goodrich Company discovered how to turn PVC into a plastic film that could bond to metal. But wraps didn’t begin taking off until the advertising boom in the 1950’s. It wasn’t uncommon to see cars and vans promoting larger companies on America’s streets. It was still too pricey for most. But manufacturing advances in the 1980’s opened the door for small businesses too.  

The 1990’s saw even more significant improvements and more widely used wraps for commercial purposes, since graphics are so difficult to reproduce with paint. And finally in the early 2000’s, vinyl hit another peak as customers began modifying their personal vehicles. 

The 4 Main Types of Wraps 

All vehicle wraps will fall into one of these four categories.

  • Colored – The most common type of vehicle wraps are colored wraps. They’ll obviously change the color of your car, either fully or partially. 
  • Clear – A clear vinyl car wrap is used to simply protect your car’s paintwork while retaining the car’s original color.
  • Textured – Textured wraps give your paintwork a different finish. You can choose from matte, satin, or gloss, or patterns like camo. Some customers even choose color change vinyl or chrome finishes to really stand out. 
  • Custom wraps – These are used mostly for advertising purposes, but sometimes, you want a graphic of some sort. An example would be the Hellcat logo for a Challenger or Charger. You’ll provide the inspiration like your favorite colors, themes, and an overall goal of the design. Our unrivaled team of professional graphic designers will take it from there. We can bring the dream you’ve imagined to life! 

Pros and Cons of wrapping your car


  • Do it your way. There are countless options to personalize your ride the way you want to. No more driving a plain vanilla car. Give your car a fresh look!
  • Save cash. Wrapping is a lot cheaper than a paint job. A good paint job will run between $4,000 and $10,000. But you can get a high-quality car wrap for somewhere between $2,500 and $6,000.
  • Wraps also increase the resale value. They protect your original paint since they’re treated with a UV and scratch-protective coating to protect from wear, tear, and sun damage.
  • Wraps are less permanent than a respray. They can be professionally removed, so you can restore everything to its original condition if you so choose.


  • Wraps are difficult to apply. It’s better left to the pros, but if you decide to apply a car wrap yourself, make sure you have all the right tools on-hand before starting and remember to remain patient. A botched wrap will cost you, not only in looks, but there’s a risk moisture could get under the vinyl and lead to rust. 
  • Cheap wraps don’t age well. If you go the cheap route, don’t expect the vinyl to last very longer than a year or two. The color can fade prematurely or fray at the corners. 
  • Potential buyers may or may not like your custom changes. If you don’t remove the wrap, you could get more if the buyer loves it. Or less if they don’t.

Should you consider wrapping your car?

This is obviously a personal decision, but a wrap might just be the ticket in your case. 

Wraps are the perfect way to show off your personality. If you want a new car, but can’t afford one, wrapping your car will give you that “new car” feel. And 3M wraps can last up to seven years, which is the average life span of today’s vehicle ownership. Do you lease? You can still wrap your car since it doesn’t affect the paint. 

Why choose Wrapmate?

We offer only 3M wraps, so you’re getting the highest quality available. We also give you an upfront price for the wrap, and you can plan your wrap with our team of professional designers. We’ll actually coordinate and manage the install from start to finish. It’s a crazy simple three-step process.

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. That kind of promise is rare, but we know you’ll love it! 

Whether you want to maximize exposure with graphics for your business or make your personal car or truck stand out, we’ve got you covered. Life is too short to drive a boring car! Visit Wrapmate.com today to get started. 

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