Many people decide to switch up the paint color when it’s time to give their truck a face lift, but custom paint jobs can be costly, despite improvements in painting techniques. Vinyl wrapping provides an alternative to new paint that’s usually cheaper and increasingly popular. Not only is vinyl wrapping generally less expensive than a new paint job, but it comes with countless choices for color and design. If you can create it on a computer, you can have it on your truck.

In This Article

Why Get a Vinyl Wrap?

A vinyl wrap is like a giant, removable sticker made of highly formable vinyl that can fit to the curves and grooves of a vehicle. Wraps can cover your entire vehicle, only certain sections, or just be decals. Custom designs can be digitally printed on the vinyl, making a custom look cheaper than a custom paint job. You can even apply a decal advertising for a company and turn your vehicle in to a mobile billboard. (In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons that people get their trucks vinyl wrapped.)

Beyond being an easy way to change the color of your truck, wraps also don’t damage your paint and can be removed later, making them a smart choice if you want to switch things up without lifelong commitment. There are many other benefits to vinyl wrapping your truck, such as:

  • Cost: Vinyl wraps are generally cheaper than paint jobs.
  • Change to suit your taste: With a heat gun and some patience, you’ll have a new design.
  • Easy maintenance: It’s easy to take care of a wrapped truck, as you won’t have to wax it to keep the car looking new. Vinyl just needs to be washed with soap and water.
  • No harming the vehicle’s resale value: Simply remove the wrap and the truck will look stock again. Vinyl wraps don’t damage the paint underneath.
  • Longevity: Vinyl wraps are made from a durable material and generally last four to ten years.
  • Lots of options: One of the best things about vinyl is that virtually any design can be printed on it. Vinyl wraps come in many colors, and custom colors are easy to make. Custom designs cost more than solid colors, but they’re still much cheaper than a custom paint job. There are many different vinyl finishes available, including matte, gloss, chrome, gold, glow-in-the-dark, carbon fiber, and brushed steel. You can wrap just your door mirrors, hood, roof, or any other select area to inexpensively transform the look of your truck — and most people can do these simple wraps themselves.
  • Protection: Vinyl protects your paint from minor blemishes and UV rays — just not heavier debris, like small stones.
  • Time: Since there’s much less prep work needed than with a paint job, you can have your truck back on the road within a few days.

While vinyl wraps do protect the paint underneath, protection is limited. If you want to wrap you car specifically to protect the paint, and not for a new look or color, a paint protection film is probably a better choice. Learn more about the limitations of vinyl wrap as paint protection in the video clip below:

How Much Does Vinyl Alone Cost?

When choosing solid-colored vinyl, there are a couple of different types of finish available. The most common types are gloss, matte, carbon fiber, and chrome. The prices for vinyl vary greatly depending on the finish and the manufacturer. To ensure that your vinyl wrap is of good quality, it’s important to choose a reputable company. The best vinyl on the market usually comes from 3M, Avery Dennison, Oracal, or Arlon.

Final price depends on the size of your truck. At the smaller end of truck sizes, a two-door, short-bed pickup truck is about 327 square feet. At the opposite end, a large, four-door, long-bed pickup truck is about 450 square feet. If you plan to apply the wrap yourself, be sure to check the size of the vinyl roll and your truck to calculate how much you’ll need before you place your order. Be sure that the vinyl is made for use on vehicles, as many brands sell different grades of vinyl. All the vinyl listed in the following section is manufactured specifically for vehicle use.

For comparison, we’ve gathered approximate prices based on Amazon. The size of the vinyl roll varies across manufacturers, but we’ve list the price by the square foot, as that is typically how a wrap installer will calculate the price. We used prices for black vinyl wrap unless black wasn’t available, in which case we used the closest neutral color. Note that prices are different for different colors. Please note that the following prices are only for the cost of the vinyl itself and do not include labor costs for professional installation or shipping.

1. Carbon Fiber

2. Chrome

  • 3M — Not available on Amazon
  • Avery Chrome Vinyl Wrap Silver
    • Cost: $8.50 per square foot
    • Cost for a small two-door truck: $2,780
    • Cost for a large four-door truck: $3,825
  • Oracal — Not available on Amazon
  • Arlon — Not available on Amazon

3. Gloss

  • 3M Gloss Vinyl Wrap Black
    • Cost: $2.60 per square foot
    • Cost for a small two-door truck: $850
    • Cost for a large four-door truck: $1,170
  • Avery Gloss Vinyl Wrap Black
    • Cost: $2.60 per square foot
    • Cost for a small two-door truck: $850
    • Cost for a large four-door truck: $1,170
  • Oracal Gloss Vinyl Wrap Black
    • Cost: $1.60 per square foot
    • Cost for a small two-door truck: $523
    • Cost for a large four-door truck: $720
  • Arlon — Not available on Amazon

4. Matte

How Much Does It Cost to Have a Professional Wrap a Truck?

The most important thing to know about vinyl wrapping any type of vehicle is that prices will vary considerably. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the cost. Factors such as make and model of the vehicle, the individual or business who is installing the wrap, the type of finish of the vinyl, the design of the vinyl, and whether you are getting a full or partial wrap will affect the total cost of the job.

On average, here’s what you can expect to pay for a professional truck wrap:

  • Cost for a full wrap on a truck: Between $2,500 and $6,000, including professional installation.
  • Cost for a partial wrap on a truck: Between $1,000 and $3,000, including professional installation.

In general, wrapping a larger vehicle like a truck will cost more than wrapping a car. Keep in mind that this is a loose guideline, and the actual cost will vary depending on the type of vinyl you choose. Other factors that affect price include:

1. The Size of the Truck

One of the biggest factors affecting the cost of vinyl wrapping is the size of your truck. Most vinyl wrap installation specialty shops charge by the vehicle’s square footage. In other words, a larger truck will cost more than a smaller one because there is more space to cover. Further, on top of the additional wrap needed, more labor will be required. When considering labor costs, always remember that wraps are very labor intensive.

2. Full Wrap vs. Partial Wrap

A full wrap will obviously cost more than a partial wrap. A partial wrap will significantly cut down the cost. Typically, partial wraps cover 25% to 75% of a vehicle, so you can expect a partial wrap to cost at least 50% less than a full wrap.

A vinyl graphic or decal is even less costly than a partial wrap and can still give your truck the flair you’re looking for. Vinyl graphics can also make effective advertisements for your business, and just like full or partial wraps, vinyl graphics can be fully customized, with any logos or designs you want printed onto the vinyl.

Vinyl graphics may cost as little as a few hundred dollars (typically $200 to $600), depending on the complexity of your chosen design and the type of vinyl used.

3. Complexity of the Design

Solid color vinyl wraps cost much less than designs. Typically, a solid-colored, 60-inch-wide roll that’s 25 feet long (usually enough to fully wrap a vehicle) will cost $2,500 before labor. Things like logos, stripes and images will increase the cost of the wrap, because they require an extra layer of laminate to protect the ink, and applying them is much trickier than applying a solid color.

Some vinyl wrap shops have in-house designers, while others may outsource the process, which can also affect the price. You may save yourself some money by providing the shop with your own custom image, print, or logo.

4. The Installer You Choose

If you want your vinyl properly installed, you’ll need to seek out a reputable car wrapping specialist. When choosing a place to install your vinyl, be sure to ask about what brands of vinyl the business uses. You’ll want to select a business that only uses the top brands, such as 3M, Avery Dennison, Oracal or Arlon.

Make sure that the vinyl being used is manufactured specifically for vehicles, and if possible, choose a car wrapping business with a solid reputation in the industry for quality work. Prices for installation will range from $1,500 to $5,000 and more for a highly qualified installer.

You can find a certified 3M installer on the 3M website. Avery Dennison also provides a directory of certified installers. A directory of vinyl wrap installers across the United States can be found through the Wrap Society Network. Gatorwraps uses 3M and Avery vinyl, will wrap any type of vehicle, including trucks, and can install in all 50 US states.

Cost to Wrap a Truck Yourself (And How to Do It)

If you want to vinyl wrap your truck on your own, expect to pay between $650 and $3,000 just for the cost of the wrap. Don’t forget you will also want to factor in the cost of the necessary application tools, extra tools like trim removal tools and extra vinyl to account for mistakes. There is a learning curve to installing vinyl wrap. In total, expect to pay between $800 and $3,150 (plus pizza and beer for your friends who help).

The best way to learn how to apply vinyl is by watching someone else do it. Here’s the most helpful video available:

In Summary

The overall cost to wrap a truck will typically cost between $2,500 and $6,000 to have it done professionally, or $800 to $3,150 if you muster the determination to do it yourself. The size of the truck, the finish of the vinyl, and the design of the wrap (full or partial, custom or solid colored, etc.) will all factor into the final cost.

Vinyl wrapping is one of the most versatile ways to make your truck stand out, whether on or off road. It’s a great way customize your truck and/or advertise your business, and you can even do it yourself.