Monday, April 9, 2012

Paint vs Wrap

It is not unusual for me to get a phone call requesting a price for wrapping. The caller inevitably says, ‘Maaco was only a few hundred dollars for a paint job’ or ‘That’s a lot less than painting!’ I became curious: Why do some of my callers think our vehicle wrap pricing is reasonable, while others scream bloody murder over the cost compared to painting? I found the simple answer to be that painting varies just as the quality of a wrapped vehicle varies.

I’m no expert on vehicle painting but it is my understanding a vehicle should be sanded, painted and primed. Then, it is actually painted. Just like other processes, the quality of the primer, base coat and clear, can make a huge difference. The vehicle is usually out of commission for up to two weeks. That being said, I’ve recently learned you can skip the first steps and go right to the painting to decrease the cost. So, a $300 value paint job can seem like a great deal, but does not include all the extras and will look awful in a few years when it needs to be redone.

If you have been considering a vehicle wrap in lieu of a paint job, consider why you might choose a wrap.  A car wrap is removable.  Wrapping a vehicle means you can include various visual tricks you can’t achieve with paint.  This might mean logo vehicle branding or digital logo images, stripping etc. Wraps last about 3-5 years and are completed in less than two days. A box truck wrap can go over rivets.   Wrapping, once removed, does not lower the value of your vehicle in fact the value increases since the paint was completely covered and protected.

On the other hand, if you have a highly specialized cherry apple neon rainbow color in mind, wrapping your car could be significantly more expensive.  Maybe you only intend to keep a vehicle for a few years and don’t need any vehicle branding.  It’s entirely up to you.  Either way, vehicle wrapping and car painting costs can vary greatly.

No vinyl lettering - this is a vehicle wrap.
Paint job or Wrap job? This white van was fully wrapped

Footnote: obtained this article from another installation facility and edited for content.