Thinking of investing in car wraps for your fleet? Understanding how long car wraps last is an important part of deciding whether or not to upgrade how your vehicles look. After all, what’s the point in shelling out your hard-earned money if that shiny new wrap job peels off in a matter of months?
Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that a quality car wrap lasts longer than a few months. If you care for yours properly, the wrap could last your vehicle up to 5-7 years.
Why Choose a Car Wrap?
Car wraps are like moving advertisements, and that’s one of the reasons they’re such a great investment. When compared to 6 months of space on a non-mobile billboard sign, you’ll most certainly pay less, and you’ll definitely get more exposure.
Wrapping your company fleet comes with many perks like increasing consumer awareness, creating an interference-free advertisement, and being cost-effective. But even if you’re just wrapping a single vehicle, as a business owner, you undoubtedly want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.
Well, how do you do that? Proper installation has a lot to do with the longevity of your car wrap. If it’s done right, it not only gives off a professional, polished look, but it helps the wrap last longer — no fussing and fretting on your end required. But even though using an installer that knows their stuff sets the foundation for a long-lasting wrap, there are some general maintenance basics you can do to keep it looking flawless for as long as possible.
Why Do You Need to Care For Your Car Wrap?
During the life of your wrap, while out on the road, your vehicle will come into contact with dirt, grease, sun, heat, and cold — five things that can drastically affect its condition. You most likely will wash your vehicle too, and while it’s suggested that you do, there are certain products you’ll want to avoid to prevent it from fading or tearing before its time.
Because a car wrap is an investment, just like anything of value you spend your money on, you’ll want to make sure you take care of it properly to make it last. In this post, we’ll tell you exactly how to get the most out of your wrap and walk you through the basic rules of wrap maintenance.
Rule #1:Choose a reputable company
You’ll find countless guides and walkthroughs online about how to wrap a car, but the process shouldn’t be taken on by just anyone. Wrapping needs to be done in the right environment with the right tools, applied by someone with a ton of precision and patience. Doing it at home could leave you with a bumpy, uneven wrap that ends up wasting your time and money. In other words, it’s better left to the professionals.
Of course, there are varying levels of professionals, including those that actually are and those who simply say they are. How can you tell the difference? Head into a shop or hop on to a company’s website and ask/look for their portfolio. A reputable and professional company will most likely have examples at arm’s reach and will be excited to show off their latest work. Chances are you’ve even seen some of it driving past you.
Rule #2: Proper preparation is key
It’s the job of your installation crew to make sure your vehicle is squeaky clean before they apply the wrap. But that doesn’t mean you should just roll up without a little preparation yourself. Before you take your car into the shop, it’s advised that you give it a one-two clean at home first.
Do not, and we repeat, DO NOT use protectants or waxes, but don’t arrive at the shop with a Jeep that looks like you took it through the swamp. After your initial cleaning, it’s up to the installers to deep clean the outside of your car to remove all traces of wax and dirt. This ensures a flawless application.
Rule #3: Limit exposure to extreme heat or cold
It’s a car, and at the end (and the beginning) of the day, you need to drive it. That means it’s exposed to heat in the summer and cold in the winter, but by limiting the time your car is outside in those elements, you expand the amount of time your wrap stays looking fresh.
Parking your car in the shade out of direct sunlight can help prevent premature warping and bubbling, just like storing it in a garage safe from below freezing nights can help prevent it from cracking. When possible, always park in a protected area.
Rule #4: Wash your car regularly
The roads are a dirty place. The pros say it’s a good idea to hand wash your car 2-4 times per month (depending on how much you use it) to get rid of dirt and grease buildup. Since grease can damage your wrap and dirt can scratch it, effectively removing both helps it look great for as long as possible.
Though washing is important, what you wash your car with is even more important. Use cleaners that are safe for vinyl and avoid regular waxes and protectants formulated for metal. Since you’re dealing with an entirely different material, metal cleaners will be too harsh and can cause your wrap to fade prematurely.
Without proper care, the life expectancy on your wrap could be as little as a few years. Some signs you need to replace it include:
- Colour fading
- Cracking & Tearing
- Warping & Peeling
Outside of the proper care for your vehicle wrap, the next best thing you can do to ensure you get the most out of the job is to choose a reputable installation company. Wraps are a fantastic way to get the word out about your business, and can be used by any company to help increase awareness, and ultimately, sales.
If you need any other information about how to properly care for your vehicle wrap or are interested in upgrading the look of your fleet, give us a call or shoot us an email and one of our team members can help get you the information you need.