If your Mustang is brand new and you want to keep it looking its best or if your old pony car has seen better days, wrapping it in vinyl is a great way to make it stand out and even provide a little protection. The cost of vinyl wrapping a Mustang will vary depending on which model year and trim level you have, though, and if you have it professionally done or do it yourself.
The process is straightforward and involves applying a protective layer of adhesive vinyl to the exterior of the car, but getting professional results will take some practice. Unlike other methods of protecting the car’s body such as paint, vinyl is removable, which means that if you want to restore your car to its stock look in the future, you can simply leave the car under the hot sun and peel the vinyl off. It’s also possible to wrap parts of the car, such as the roof or hood only, or to add vinyl flairs like racing stripes or a special livery.
Mustang Wrap Cost Information
If you’re thinking about wrapping your Mustang, the first thing to look at is the area of the car you want to wrap. If you just want to wrap the roof (click to read our article on that) or the hood, you can get by with about $50 if you do it yourself, or $250-350 for a professional job. Of course, if your ‘Stang has hood scoops or vents, the cost will be on the high side as these areas take a lot more time and effort to apply the vinyl properly. If you have a smooth hood with no scoops, the job will be easier.
The costs for a full car wrap will also vary depending on the size of the car with larger models being more expensive. In general, a Mustang wrap done in a professional shop will run $2,000-$4,000, but if you have a convertible or an older, smaller model, the cost will be on the lower end of the range because there’s simply less area to cover.
The DIY price range should be under $1,000 depending on the materials you choose to use. Additionally, if you decide just to add racing stripes or something else like a decal, the cost will be much less and DIY installation much easier.
Buying the Vinyl Wrap
With the exception of the earliest 1960s Mustangs, the wheelbase of each model has gotten progressively bigger. In general, the newer the Mustang the more the cost will be since the cars get larger with every new model and shops typically charge more for larger cars. If you’re doing it yourself, you will need more vinyl to cover a larger Mustang than a smaller one. Typically rolls of vinyl are sold in 5 by 25 feet, so a smaller Mustang from the 70s or 80s should be able to get covered with a single roll while larger ones might need a second roll unless you have a convertible.
Installing a Vinyl Wrap
To prepare the car for its new vinyl wrap, make sure that the car is clean and that any imperfections in the paint are repaired and smooth. Any dents will need to be repaired and any dings, scratches, or holes filled and smoothed over. The vinyl will not hide any imperfections, so it is best to get the car’s exterior as smooth and clean as possible before installing the vinyl. If you plan to take your car in to have the vinyl put on professionally, you’ll save some money if you can finish the bodywork yourself. However, the shop will still clean the car before applying the vinyl because it will likely have picked up some dirt on the way to the shop.
If you’re planning on installing the vinyl yourself, you’ll need a toolkit which includes a specialty squeegee, gloves, felt edges, edge sealer, and a sharp cutting tool. You’ll also need a heat gun which is not typically included in the kit. Removing the vinyl typically will involve the same tools whenever you decide its time for it to come off, too. If you need a toolkit, there are a variety of options on Amazon that you can find for around $10.
Different Types of Vinyl Wraps
Vinyl wrap is an area where it pays to pick a quality sheet of vinyl. In another article about vinyl wrapping we focused on 3M, Avery, and Oracal, as these are recognized brands known for quality. You will also need to decide what type of wrap you want. Common choices are Gloss, Matte, and Carbon Fiber, but there are other options available as well. Below we have outlined some of the most popular versions and the associated costs of each.
- 3M Gloss Black at Amazon — Approximately $1.90 per square foot
- 3M Matte Black at Amazon — Approximately $1.90 per square foot
- 3M Carbon Fiber at Amazon — Approximately $3.60 per square foot, includes toolkit
- Avery Gloss Black at Amazon — Approximately $1.70 per square foot
- Avery Matte Black at Amazon — Approximately $1.70 per square foot
- Avery Carbon Fiber at Amazon — Approximately $3.10 per square foot
- Oracal Gloss Black at Amazon — Approximately $2.00 per square foot, includes toolkit
- Oracal Matte Black at Amazon — Approximately $2.00 per square foot, includes toolkit
Will a Wrap Save You Money?
A wrap can save money if you plan to sell your car in the future. If you live in an area where cars normally get sun damage, the vinyl will help keep the paint underneath looking newer for longer and will ultimately help keep your Mustang’s resale value high. If your paint is in great shape already and you are happy with the color, a shop may be able to install a clear protective layer over the top of the car, which is comparable in price and may be a decent alternative to a vinyl wrap.
If you have an older car, a wrap can be cheaper than a new paint job and help get your classic looking fresh with minimal expense. Wraps may not last as long as paint, though, especially if you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters (the temperature fluctuations cause the vinyl to bubble) or if you don’t keep it in a garage. Some shops may offer warranties on their wraps, which will help mitigate the risk if you think you live in an area that will be hard on the vehicle’s exterior. Note that if you install a wrap yourself, though, you’ll usually void any warranty that came with the vinyl.
But all things considered, it’s hard to justify a wrap if your plan is to save money. A wrap is more about personalizing your car.
A vinyl wrap can be a great way to protect the paint on your new Mustang or give a new look to a classic. It’s also a great way to get racing stripes that look professional without the cost of sending your car to a paint booth. There are professional and DIY options available too, so you can try this one on your own to save a little bit of money or send it to a shop for a guaranteed professional look.