Short Answer: Small vinyl wraps, when applied professionally, start at around $100 to $300; partial wraps start around $250, and full wraps that cover your entire vehicle can range from $2,500 to $6,000 when installed by a professional. There are also do-it-yourself options, which can cost anywhere from $350 up to $2,500 for a midsize car but vary in price depending on the vehicle’s size and the type of wrap you choose. Below, we have more details about car wraps and the factors that affect their price.
What Is a Car Wrap?
A car wrap is like a giant, stretchy, removable sticker for your vehicle. Wraps are made of highly malleable vinyl, which comes in large sheets and can be molded around the curves of your vehicle. Wraps are commonly used for things like advertising on company vehicles and NASCAR race cars.
With advances in vinyl wrap technology (and price drops), vinyl car wraps have also become accessible for non-professional drivers. When properly applied, vinyl wraps don’t harm your vehicle’s paint and are fairly easy to remove.
Whether you’re looking for an economical way to advertise your small business or you want a temporary alternative to repainting, a vinyl car wrap can be a good option to give your car a makeover. Most wraps, whether full or partial, are applied by professionals, but you can also find products for wrapping your vehicle yourself.
How Much Does It Cost to Wrap a Car?
The cost of a vinyl wrap depends on several factors, including:
- The make and model of your vehicle
- Whether you want a full or partial wrap
- The style and brand of vinyl film you choose
- Graphic design features
- Whether you want professional installation or are planning to do it yourself
Basic partial wraps — just your roof or the hood of your car, for example — can start at around $250 for professional installation. When professionally installed, full wraps start around $2,500 and can cost up to $6,000. Below, we explain how each of the factors listed above can affect the price of wrapping your car. Here are a few examples from around the country:
- Austin Extreme Graphics (Austin, TX): Solid color wraps range from $2,500 to $3,500 for two-door cars and $3,500 to $5,000 for four-door cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans.
- First Class Car Wraps (Miami, FL): Full, color-change car wraps range from $2,500 to $4,000.
- Lucent Wraps (Costa Mesa, CA): Full, solid-color vehicle wraps cost $11 to $25 per square foot. A Ford Focus, for example, has about 230 square feet of wrappable surface area, so that’s $2,530 to $5,750.
- Revolution Wraps (Lincoln, NE): Full vehicle wraps range from $2,500 to $3,500
The size of your vehicle is probably the most important factor in determining how much it will cost to wrap your car because size determines how much vinyl you’ll need to buy to wrap the car. For example, a compact car will cost less to wrap than a large truck or full-size van, and wrapping a motorcycle is less expensive than wrapping a car. For more specific details on how vehicle dimensions impact price, see our dedicated articles on the cost to wrap a Jeep and the cost to wrap a truck.
The curves and bumps on a vehicle also affect how easy or difficult it is to apply the vinyl wrap. It is more difficult to smooth out the bubbles and get the vinyl wrap to lay flat on a curve, as opposed to a flat surface. For example, a Volkswagen Beetle will require more smoothing around its curves and corners than a boxy Nissan Cube. This additional work may add to the hours of labor you’ll be billed by a professional car wrap company or the time you can expect to spend in the garage if you apply the wrap yourself.
The surface of your vehicle must be smooth to properly apply a wrap. Installation over surface damage doesn’t work because the vinyl won’t be able to adhere to it. If your car has any surface damage, from chipped paint to dents, the installer will have to do the repairs necessary to flatten out the surface before installing the vinyl. The extra time this prep work can significantly increase the cost of having your car wrapped or the time needed to do it yourself.
Full vs. Partial Wrap
With a full wrap, your entire vehicle will be covered by the vinyl, including door jams (but excluding the engine bay). When done professionally, the cost of a full wrap will also usually include the time involved in removing the bumpers, badges, lighting, door handles, mirrors, body kits, and other components in order to properly apply the wrap.
Partial wraps are good for a custom look or advertising purposes. The cost of a partial wrap will vary depending on the size of your vehicle and the textural challenges involved in wrapping it, as described above. Common partial wrap designs and prices include:
- Hood wrap: Starting at $250; see more in our article on the costs to wrap a car hood
- Partial wrap (up to one-half of the vehicle): Starting from $1,300 to $1,800 and up
- Rear window: Starting at $300
- Roof wrap: Starting at $250; our article has more information about roof wrap costs (DIY or professional)
- Side mirror wrap: Starting from $100 to $300 for both mirrors
- Side panel wrap: Starting at $300
There are 12 different wrap finishes (described below), and there are also several different brands of vinyl wrap. Your selection of finish and brand will affect the overall cost of the wrap. For most types of wraps, VViViD offers the lowest prices and a variety of truly unique wraps you won’t find in other brands. Avery-Dennison’s prices are also competitive, with Arlon and 3M’s prices being slightly higher but with higher-quality products. Oracal and AAA Auto Wrap also offer a limited selection of wrap types.
We’ve gathered vinyl prices from these major brands for comparison. We selected black vinyl for consistency (or the closest neutral color, if black wasn’t available), but be aware that prices for other colors may differ. You should be able to wrap a midsize car with about 300 square feet of vinyl wrap. Since vinyl wrap is often sold in rolls that are five feet wide, you’ll need a 60-foot roll for a midsize car.
If you need help imagining what each finish will look like on your car as you go through the list, you can try 3M’s wrap customizer for a visual.
Brushed vinyl wraps have multiple color layers that give them their distinctive look. They’re available in a variety of colors.
- 3M Brushed Black Metallic Vinyl Wrap: About $4.30 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,290 for a midsize car
- Arlon Brushed Silver Vinyl Wrap: About $2.90 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $870 for a midsize car
- Avery Brushed Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2.90 per square foot on Amazon; about $870 for a midsize car
- Oracal: About $3 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $900 for a midsize car
- VViViD Silver Brushed Steel Vinyl Wrap: About $1.70 per square foot on Amazon; about $510 for a midsize car
Camouflage vinyl wraps are not available from every brand, but for the companies that sell them, they come in a few different color options, such as shades of green, black, and blue.
- 3M: Not available
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery: Not available
- Oracal Camo Pattern Vinyl: About $3.50 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $1,050 for a midsize car
- VViViD Woodland Camouflage Vinyl Wrap: About $1.50 per square foot on Amazon; about $450 for a midsize car
Carbon fiber wraps come in matte, high gloss, and brushed metal finishes. The ease of re-positioning a carbon fiber wrap will make it easier to wrap areas like your roof, fenders, hood, spoilers, interior dash areas, and side view mirrors. Choosing a carbon fiber wrap is far less expensive than buying a genuine carbon fiber hood, which can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,400 or more.
- 3M Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap: About $3.80 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,140 for a midsize car
- Arlon White Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap: About $2.90 per square foot on Amazon; about $870 for a midsize car
- Avery Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap: About $3.10 per square foot on Amazon; about $930 for a midsize car
- Oracal: About $4 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $1,200 for a midsize car
- VViViD Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap: About $1.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $360 for a midsize car
Chrome wraps are one of the trendiest vinyl wrap finishes on the market; they’re also among the most expensive and most difficult to install.
- 3M: Not available
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery Silver Chrome Vinyl Wrap: About $8 per square foot on Amazon; about $2,400 for a midsize car
- Oracal Silver Mirror Chrome Vinyl: About $1.50 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,950 for a midsize car
- VViViD Standard Gloss Chrome Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.30 per square foot on Amazon; about $390 for a midsize car
Also known as chameleon wraps, color change wraps may display two colors at once, depending on the light in which your vehicle is seen and the angle from which it is viewed. Popular color combinations include purple and gold, purple and blue, or silver and rainbow.
- 3M Gloss Flip Psychedelic Vinyl Wrap: About $2.60 per square foot on Amazon; about $780 for a midsize car (use the search term “flip” to find more, 3M uses this term to describe color changing wraps)
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery Color Flow Gloss Rising Sun Vinyl Wrap: About $2.40 per square foot on Amazon; about $720 for a midsize car
- Oracal Black Galactic Gold Vinyl Wrap: About $2.30 per square foot on Amazon; about $690 for a midsize car
- VViViD Satin Semi-Gloss Purple Chameleon Vinyl Wrap: About $1.50 per square foot on Amazon; about $450 for a midsize car
This type of wrap has a shiny, reflective, glossy sheen.
- 3M Gloss Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $660 for a midsize car
- Arlon Gloss Gunsteel Vinyl Wrap: About $2.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $660 for a midsize car
- Avery Gloss Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.90 per square foot on Amazon; about $570 for a midsize car
- Oracal Gloss Black Vinyl Wrap: About $3.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $960 for a midsize car
- VViViD Gloss Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $360 for a midsize car
During the day, glow-in-the-dark wraps are a pale, almost white shade of blue or green. At night, they glow brightly using solar energy absorbed during the day.
- 3M: Not available
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery Glow-In-the-Dark Film Series: About $20 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $6,000 for a midsize car
- Oracal Hi-Energy Glow in The Dark Luminescent Cast Vinyl: About $9 per square foot on Amazon; about $4,500 for a midsize car
- VViViD Glow in the Dark Vinyl Wrap: About $3.70 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,100 for a midsize car
Gold vinyl wrap comes in a variety of sheens, although it is usually high gloss; it may also be brushed.
- 3M Gloss Metallic Gold Vinyl Wrap: About $2.30 per square foot on Amazon; about $690 for a midsize car
- Arlon Gold Vinyl Wrap: About $3.40 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,020 for a midsize car
- Avery Gloss Gold Metallic Vinyl Wrap: About $1.70 per square foot on Amazon; about $510 for a midsize car
- Oracal Matte Gold Metallic Vinyl Wrap: About $2.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $660 for a midsize car
- VViViD Matte Metalic Pearl Gold Vinyl Wrap: About $1.40 per square foot on Amazon; about $420 for a midsize car
Matte wraps offer flat colors with no gloss or shine.
- 3M Matte Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2 per square foot on Amazon; about $600 for a midsize car
- Arlon Matte Steel Vinyl Wrap: About $2 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $600 for a midsize car
- Avery Matte Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2 per square foot on Amazon; about $600 for a midsize car
- Oracal Matte Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $660 for a midsize car
- VViViD Matte Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $360 for a midsize car
Reflective vinyl wraps usually come in smaller sizes and are ideal for creating racing stripes or other details on your vehicle.
- 3M: Not available
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery: About $6 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $1,800 for a midsize car
- Oracal Black Reflective Vinyl Wrap: About $6 per square foot on Amazon; about $1,800 for a midsize car
- VViViD Reflective Gloss Silver White Vinyl Wrap: About $9 for one-foot by four-foot decal on Amazon; for larger sizes, about $2.50 per square foot; about $750 for a midsize car
Satin wraps have a slightly shiny finish — somewhere between gloss and matte. Satin vinyl conforms well to vehicles with curvier bodies.
- 3M Satin Black Vinyl Wrap: About $2.90 per square foot on Amazon; about $870 for a midsize car
- Arlon: Not available
- Avery Satin Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.70 per square foot on Amazon; about $510 for a midsize car
- Oracal Matte “Satin” Black Vinyl: About $2 per square foot (not available on Amazon); about $600 for a midsize car
- VViViD Satin Flat Matte Stealth Jet Black Vinyl Wrap: About $1.20 per square foot on Amazon; about $360 for a midsize car
If you want your car wrap to advertise a product or service, or you simply want a unique design for your car, a custom vehicle wrap can be a unique alternative to a paint job. Custom wraps tend to be less expensive than custom paint jobs — custom wrap usually averages between $500 and $4,000, while a custom paint job can range between $1,000 and $10,000.
Online wrap design businesses like Custom Car Wraps allow you to design a mockup of your car wrap and then submit your design for a quote from a wrap shop in your area.
Wraps are either digitally printed or pre-cured. A custom wrap design, such as a company logo, can be digitally printed onto the wrap film. The graphic design work required to create the wrap adds to the final cost of the project. Pre-cured wraps come in a variety of colors and textures and are ready to be applied to the vehicle. Here’s how custom and non-custom wraps compare:
- Paint replacement wraps: These wraps, which range from $2,500 to $6,000, allow you to change the color of your vehicle without repainting it. Paint replacement wraps are available in a variety of pre-cured designs and textures.
- Graphic advertising wraps: These digitally printed, custom design wraps are used for advertising your small business. They start at around $250 for partial wraps, though the cost can run as high as $4,000 for full wraps.
- Vehicle restyling wraps: These pre-cured wraps allow you to add an accent or detail to your car. For example, you’ll use them to add racing stripes to your Camaro or a black roof on your 328i.
- Tron-inspired wraps: Tron-inspired wraps use a reflective vinyl wrap, carefully placed to create reflective lines that emulate the futuristic look of the 1982 science fiction film. Tron-inspired wraps start around $100 for lower-quality, do-it-yourself reflective tapes and professional installation starts around $600 for smaller cars. The level of detail required can increase the cost of this look at a professional installer, compared to traditional racing stripes.
Wrapping the Car Yourself
When calculating the cost savings of wrapping your vehicle yourself, keep in mind that applying vinyl wrap is a tricky task that requires patience, some specialized tools, and many hours of labor — even if you’re a professional. You’ll also need to disassemble several parts of your car — such as door mirrors, headlamps, tail lights, bumper covers, and so on — so that the wrap can be tucked into panel gaps.
If you choose a DIY wrap for your vehicle, you’ll first want to purchase a complete car wrap toolkit and enough vinyl wrap in your desired finish to cover the vehicle.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a small vinyl wrap application as your first project, such as wrapping a simple hood, as opposed to wrapping your entire vehicle. Applying vinyl wrap is a skill acquired through practice. The following video shows you the basic steps to apply a vinyl wrap.
Vinyl Wrap Durability
On average, vinyl wraps can last around seven years or longer, while graphic print wraps typically only last about five to seven years. However, the wrap will not stay perfect for this long. Areas where the wrap has been tightly applied (around the front bumper cover and the spoilers, for example), are more prone to wear and will begin showing tears and bubbles sooner than other areas. The following factors all play a part in how long the wrap will last:
- The quality of the vinyl
- How well the paint was cleaned before the wrap was applied
- How many miles the vehicle is driven
- The type of terrain on which the car is driven
- The environment in which you keep your vehicle (outside vs. in the garage)
- How frequently your vinyl wrap is hand-washed (frequent washing helps extend the life of the wrap)
When you determine that your vehicle’s wrap is ready to be removed, you can take it to a professional car wrap installer for removal. Professional wrap removal usually costs between $50 and $100 per hour; a wrap that has been poorly applied or has strongly adhered to the vehicle’s base paint layer may take longer to remove. Wrap removal is an additional cost you’ll want to consider on top of the initial cost of wrapping your car.
Because of the high cost of professional wrap removal, many people choose to remove the wrap themselves. If you wish to do this, you will need a heat source, such as a handheld hair dryer — or better, a heat gun or blowtorch — to heat the wrap as you carefully remove the wrap at no more than a 45-degree angle. You’ll also need a squeegee to get every bit of the wrap off. Note that if the wrap was applied with primer, it can be nearly impossible to remove, even with professional help.
Car Wrapping vs. Painting
In many circumstances, a car wrap job will cost nearly the same as painting your car. Wraps and paint vary in quality and price; a poor-quality paint job is much cheaper than a high-quality wrap, and a poor-quality wrap is often much less expensive than a high-quality paint job.
If you’re trying to decide whether it makes more sense to paint your car or wrap it, our article provides an in-depth comparison of wrapping a car vs. painting it, including long-term costs.
While wrapping your entire car can be expensive, it can be a good way to make a temporary cosmetic change to your vehicle. Car wraps cost anywhere from around $250 up to $6,000, depending on the size and style of your vehicle, whether you choose a partial or full wrap, and the quality and style of vinyl you choose. If you want professional installation, you will need to pay for the work plus labor costs. To do the work yourself, you will need to pay for the vinyl and the tools needed to install it.
Looking for a professional wrap installer? The Wrap Society has a list of vehicle wrap installers across the United States.
While vinyl wraps are mostly for aesthetic purposes, there are ways to wrap a car that can protect the paint. Find out more in our article on paint protection film methods and costs