Short Answer: In many respects, particularly when you only want to wrap part of your car, wrapping can be easier and cheaper than painting. The average cost of wrapping your car’s hood with vinyl is around $60 to $100 (depending on the type of vinyl) if you do it yourself, and around $250 to $300 for a professional installation. Continue on to find out what you need to know about car hood wrap costs.
Benefits of Wrapping Your Vehicle’s Hood
Car wraps are a popular way to change your car’s look or protect the paint against minor wear and tear. Wraps can protect a clean paint job underneath and be removed later without damaging it. Wraps are also ideal if you want a graphic or design, rather than a solid color.
Keep in mind that your paint needs to be in good condition when you apply the wrap — the wrap won’t adhere properly to uneven surfaces. Once applied, wraps are also easy to clean and remove without damaging the paint. Wraps are ideal if you want to temporarily change the look of your car but still be able to change back to your original paint color later on without affecting the resale value.
Wraps are also ideal if you want a design or graphic, rather than a solid color. You can even use car wraps to advertise for your business or services. In fact, there are entire car wrap advertising companies dedicated to recruiting people to drive their cars around with wraps featuring advertisements for various businesses. You can find out more about this in our article on legitimate car wrap advertising companies.
Cost of DIY Hood Wrapping
If you want to wrap your car’s hood yourself, you can typically do this for around $60 to $100, depending on the type of vinyl you choose. Car wraps are generally available in glossy vinyl, matte vinyl, and carbon fiber material. Gloss and matte vehicle wraps come in a range of solid colors, while carbon fiber is available in both a range of single-colors and printed or graphic formats. Costs will vary depending on the brand — below, we list typical price ranges for each type of vinyl.
Vinyl Gloss Wrap
- Description: This vehicle wrap has a smooth, shiny appearance and is somewhat thicker than carbon fiber. It’s the least expensive type of car wrap.
- Cost per square foot: Around $1.50 to $3.50 on Amazon (paid partner link)
Vinyl Matte Wrap
- Description: This car wrap has a softer, satin-like finish rather than a gloss, and is a mid-range priced vehicle wrap type.
- Cost per square foot: Around $2 to $3 on Amazon (paid partner link)
Carbon Fiber Wrap
Despite actual carbon fiber being pricey, carbon fiber hood wrap costs are virtually the same as other styles of wraps. No actual carbon fiber is used, but it can look the part.
- Description: The most popular type of vehicle wrap, vinyl carbon fiber has a textured surface. The material is durable, flexible, and very thin, and can be easily removed and re-applied.
- Cost per square foot: Around $3 to $5 on Amazon (paid partner link)
- Description: This is actually a type of carbon fiber car wrap that comes with a range of pre-printed graphics in a wide variety of styles.
- Cost per square foot: Around $4 to $5 on Amazon (paid partner link)
In addition to vinyl, you will need some basic tools like cleaning materials, a squeegee, and a utility knife. You can find a toolkit with everything you’ll need for around $10 on Amazon (paid partner link). You will also need a heat gun, which you can find for as little as $20 to $30 on Amazon (paid partner link).
Tips for DIY Vinyl Wrapping
If you’d like to install a hood wrap yourself, keep in mind that DIY installation may void any warranty on the wrap itself. It’s also a good idea to have at least two people on hand to install a hood wrap. Due to the size of the vinyl sheet, it can be very difficult to peel off the adhesive backing yourself without having the wrap curl up or stick to itself before you can get it laid flat on the hood.
Also, be sure to prepare the surface of your hood thoroughly before applying the wrap. The surface must be completely clean and dry, and there should not be any serious imperfections in the surface. If your hood has dents, deep scratches, or rough surfaces, the vinyl wrap will not adhere properly, and the imperfections will still show through the wrap.
Need some pointers on wrapping your vehicle hood yourself? Here’s a helpful YouTube video about vinyl hood wrapping that shows the process step by step.
Cost of Professional Hood Wrapping
If you’d rather not tackle the job yourself or simply don’t have the time, you can have your hood wrap professionally installed. Professional hood wrapping typically costs around $250 to $300, depending on the type of wrap used, the size of the hood, and the condition of the vehicle. We found this price range by contacting auto body shops and viewing auto body websites.
The cost of a professional hood wrap installation includes both labor and materials. In addition, pro shops use specialized tools, such as air release tools and heat guns, ensuring that your vinyl wrap is absolutely smooth and durable for long-lasting use. Most professional installations use carbon fiber wraps. The base cost can increase if you choose specialty designs, graphics, or images for your vehicle hood wrap.
You may also want to factor in the costs of wrap removal when wrapping your car — professional wrap removal typically costs around $50 to $100 an hour. Generally, you can expect a solid color vinyl wrap to last an average of seven to 12 years, and a graphic or printed wrap to last around five to seven years. However, you may want to consider removing and/or replacing the wrap sooner, as vehicle wraps don’t stay perfectly applied throughout the entire lifespan.
Hood Wrapping vs. Painting
Generally speaking, the costs of professional vehicle painting and professional full-car vinyl wraps are about even, with both options starting at around $2,500 and ranging up to $6,000 or more. If you’d like to have your vehicle hood resurfaced, it can be easier, more convenient, and more economical to get a vinyl hood wrap rather than a new coat of professional paint. Wrapping is usually much quicker than painting and you should consider the time you won’t be able to drive your car — for example, because you’re waiting for paint to dry — when thinking about costs.
Most of the time, professional car painters will recommend that you have the entire car repainted, even if one section is more damaged than the rest, to ensure an overall even appearance. However, some shops will only paint the hood. The average cost for a professional hood painting is around $250 to $350, although some professional jobs may cost up to $1,000, depending on the amount of damage to the hood.
Hood wraps are a great way to update the look of your car and protect your hood’s paint against future wear and damage. As far as car hood wrap cost information, professional hood wraps start around $250, but if you have the time and skill to do it yourself, you could spend as little as $60. Wrapping is ideal if you want to add graphics or want a temporary design change — you can remove a wrap later with the original paint job intact.
Interested in painting or wrapping your entire vehicle? We compare the cost of a car wrap vs. a paint job. If you want to wrap another small portion of your car, we also explain the cost of wrapping your car’s roof.