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Car Wraps Vs. Custom Paint Jobs: Why Car Wraps Are Changing the Custom Paint Industry

In the car wrap versus car paint debate you might hear different answers from different people depending on where their interests lie. Chances are a body shop is going to say custom paint jobs are better. Businesses that install car wraps are going to say wraps are better.

We hope you decide which option is right for you based on the pros and cons of both options.

Pros for Car Paint

A low-quality paint job is often cheaper than a professionally installed high-quality car wrap. A mid-tier paint job with several coats is probably about equal or just a bit more than a car wrap. Matte finish or color-shifting paint jobs – or custom paint jobs – are likely going to cost a lot more (in the tens of thousands of dollars range) than a professionally applied car wrap.

A car wrap can last for five to seven years; maybe longer if well cared for. Paint jobs tend to be for the life of the car or until someone sands off the paint and repaints it.

Paint can get scratches and dings, but it won’t fade like a vinyl wrap might. The amount of noticeable fading on a car wrap depends on the color, how frequently you wash your car and whether you have any custom graphics on the vinyl – like business branding for example.

The last pro is somewhat arguable. Most car owners who are getting a new paint job trust the painting to real body-shop professionals with the right equipment, meaning the quality of the job is likely to be better than an amateur. There are a lot of DIY wraps on the market, which means more drivers may attempt to DIY wrap their car, which may result in a higher rate of bubbles and imperfections.

People who want vinyl wraps can avoid this potential drawback of wraps by trusting a reputable vinyl wrap applier with the experience to do it right.

Pros of Car Wraps

When a car wrap is professionally applied it should be nearly impossible to tell the difference between the vinyl wrap and a paint job. If you want custom graphics or designs on your vehicle, a wrap will nearly always be cheaper than a new paint job. Once you start getting into the mid-tier paint job range, wraps quickly become the more affordable option for getting what you want.

The car painting process can also be a long one. A vehicle’s existing paint must be removed, each new coat requires about 8 hours to dry and any good paint job is going to require several coats. Even for a cheaper paint job with fewer coats, the prepping and drying process can mean your car is in the shop for three to five days. Higher-end paint jobs can take anywhere from one week to several weeks.

Car wraps usually don’t take more than three days for professional application.

Wraps can provide protection for a vehicle’s paint and can be treated with clear bra films for added protection.

Car wraps can be removed so they don’t run the risk of making your vehicle undesirable at resale like a permanent paint job runs the risk of doing (if you opted for a more outlandish paint job).

In fact, putting vinyl over your vehicle’s paint provides exceptional protection for your vehicle’s paint job. When you remove a professionally applied vinyl wrap the paint should look exactly like it did the day you had the vinyl wrap installed.

From a business perspective vinyl wraps make a lot more sense than painting. Reselling fleet vehicles can be difficult if you’ve actually painted your logo and phone number on the side of your trucks. Even if you do manage to sell a branded vehicle, you then have someone not associated with your company out there representing you on the road, which can be less than ideal.

How Have Car Wraps Changed the Custom Paint Industry?

The accessibility of high-quality vinyl wraps has increased a lot over the past couple decades. That availability has had a few significant effects on the custom paint industry:

  1. Affordable, high-quality vinyl exteriors have enabled more drivers to get the exact exterior they want at a price point that would have been unobtainable previously
  2. Many drivers that would never have considered repainting as an option no longer have to settle for a paint job they don’t like
  3. Businesses have an undeniably superior option for branding their fleet vehicles, saving a lot of businesses a ton of money and headache on repainting and paint removal before resale

More vehicle owners opting for vinyl wraps instead of paint jobs isn’t exactly putting body shops out of business – people still get their cars painted or need body work after accidents. The proliferation of custom vinyl wraps has been a very pro-consumer and pro-driver advancement in the exterior painting industry as a whole.

Learn About Vinyl Car Wraps in Scottsdale and Phoenix

Valley-area drivers who are thinking about getting a custom paint job should strongly consider consulting with RPM Automotive in Scottsdale. We’d be happy to walk you through your vinyl car wrap options, talk through the benefits and answer any vinyl car wrap questions you may have.

We also offer interior vinyl applications, chrome delete vinyl applications and an array of other cosmetic and auto detailing services.

Call us at 602.776.8888 for more information.