How Long Does A Car Wrap Last And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Exact answer: up to seven years

A high-quality car cover should last 6 to 7 years. There are several automobile brands. Some automobile wraps allow the owner to personalize their vehicle. If the owner handles the vehicle wrapping makeover properly, the car wrapping makeover will last for a long time.

green porsche 911 parked on parking lot during daytime

What Exactly Is a Car Wrap?

A car wrap is a set of vinyl decals applied to the vehicle’s body panels to alter its look radically.

The design alternatives are standard glossy colors, gradient colors, matte finishes, chrome metallic colors, and full-on graphical treatments. Your creativity — and your money — are the only constraints.

Wrapping differs from painting in that the decals may be removed later without affecting the existing paint if the wrap is well maintained.

Car Wraps of Various Types

Vinyl vehicle wraps are intended to perform all of the functions of traditional paint but at a significantly lesser cost and with less application time.

They are intended to be applied over a clean paint or bare metal surface, but they can also be patterned or textured for a more aesthetically appealing look. Wraps are classified into two types: cast and calendared.


The majority of car wraps are cast vinyl wraps. They are thin colored films that adhere to the contour of a vehicle. They can be trimmed to fit a specific region.

Professional installers utilize a mixture of heat and a blade passed over the surface of the wrap to glue it to the application surface, which is essentially like putting a big sticker over your car.


Calendared wraps are significantly rarer than cast wraps. They are substantially thicker, which is beneficial for protection, but their thickness prevents them from conforming effectively to edges and corners. Many installers do not utilize them unless they are required to do so under certain conditions.

Why Would I Want to Wrap My Car?

A vehicle cover might be a good alternative if you have a favorite color that isn’t available from the manufacturer. Perhaps you’ve gotten weary of the color of your existing rented car and want to try something new.

You may wrap it, drive it in the new color, and remove it before the lease expires. Finally, several companies wrap their corporate automobiles to use as mobile ads.

What are the advantages of automobile wraps?

Most people’s initial thought when they hear about vehicle wraps is, “Why should I get my car wrapped in the first place?” There are several compelling reasons to use a car wrap, depending on how you utilize your vehicle and your objectives.

Paint protection

Keeping your automobile in excellent condition may be difficult, especially if you have to deal with paint chips and scratches. Getting your car resprayed isn’t inexpensive, but with car covers, you don’t have to worry about that.

A high-quality car wrap provides total paint protection while leaving the current paintwork below the wrap undamaged, ensuring that your vehicle remains in pristine condition.

This is fantastic since you no longer have to worry about harming the paintwork and paying for a respray.

It’s also perfect if you want to sell the car in the future since you can remove the wrap, and the paintwork below will be in pristine shape, allowing you to achieve a much higher price for the vehicle.

Affordably priced customization

If you’ve had your automobile for a time and are becoming tired of it, you might wish to alter the color. A color change is pricey if you have the car resprayed. However, car wraps are significantly less expensive.

You may select from a wide variety of colors to entirely modify the appearance of your vehicle without having to pay for a costly paint job. Another significant advantage is that if you decide you don’t like the new hue, you can quickly change it, and it won’t cost you anything.

The colors are also incredibly robust and long-lasting, so you won’t have to paint your car as frequently if you use car covers instead of painting. The appearance is nearly identical to that of paint, so you won’t have to make any concessions in terms of the beauty of your automobile, but you will save a lot of money.

Quick turnaround

A simple color change normally takes around a week if you have your automobile resprayed. In other situations, you may have to leave your automobile in the shop for weeks or even months if it is in poor condition.

That’s not ideal if you rely on it to move about, and you’ll have to pay for a rental car while the car is being sprayed. Car wraps, on the other hand, usually take one or two days so that you won’t be without your vehicle for as long.

Advantages of Advertising

Anyone who owns a business should carefully consider having car wraps installed on their work vehicles. It’s a far less expensive method to get your company’s emblem and information on your vehicles, and it’s a terrific way to advertise.

You can utilize considerably more intricate imagery on a vehicle wrap than you can on a painting, and your brand is exposed to a far larger number of people as the car drives about town all day. Car wraps are one of the most effective kinds of advertising regarding the number of people reached vs. the actual expense.

How Long Does It Take For A Car Wrap To Wear Off?

Minimum lasting period5 years
Maximum lasting period7 years

A variety of variables and considerations determines the length of the automobile wrap. The state of the vehicle and how it is cleaned would significantly influence the shelf life of the car wrap. Rust may wreak havoc on the quality of the car cover.

Rust and damaged paint would cause a bump in the vehicle covering. Abrasion can also be a cause of vehicle wrap damage. Minor cuts in the vehicle wrap might destroy the entire car cover. If anybody washes the car with a brush, the car coverings may be scratched.

It’s essential to hand wash the automobile to avoid damaging the wrap. Vehicle wraps are not safe in automatic car washes. As a result, the automated wash will aggravate the situation if any portion or section of the automobile is cut or damaged.

Pressure washing should be avoided since it will shorten the life of the car cover. Using turbo pressure nozzles and high-intensity water pressure may wreak havoc on the automobile wrap’s condition. People who have car wraps should avoid washing their vehicles regularly.

Everyone should strive to wash their automobile by hand once a week. To protect the automobile coverings, a non-abrasive cleaning product would be preferable.

Accidents can cause damage to car coverings. If the individual collides with the automobile, the car will be damaged. The presence of rock salts on the roads during the winter may also cause car coverings to become damaged extremely quickly. The lifespan of automobile wraps may be extended if care is taken of them regularly.

Why Do Car Wraps Last So Long?

Vinyl car wraps are seen to be an excellent choice for long-term use. The durability of vehicle wraps is determined by the bonding between the auto body and the wrap. If the connection between the wrap and the vehicle body is poor, the lifespan will be less than 5 years.

The brilliance of the automobile wrap should be carefully maintained for it to shine for a long period. Some automobile coverings will be able to withstand exposure to the weather, but not for long.

Heat exposure will degrade the quality of the car wrap if it is not maintained regularly.

The owner should avoid using hot water to wash the automobile. It is important to park the car in a normal temperature location to reduce heat exposure. A protective coat on the market will shield the automobile cover.

Wax polish is not an appropriate protective layer for matte-finished automobile covers. Everyone can utilize the most appropriate protective jackets based on their needs. Silicone polishes are an excellent protective finish for many different types of automobile covers.

Signs That Your Vinyl Wrap Needs to Be Replaced

Cracking, peeling, rips, and extreme color loss indicate that your vinyl wrap needs to be replaced. Extensive cracking is the most evident evidence that your wrap has outlived its usefulness.

When Should You Replace Your Wrap?

Vinyl that is of poor quality is prone to peeling, splitting, and fading. The higher the grade of materials used, like with anything else, the better the wrap will function.

Look for well-known vinyl manufacturers such as 3M and Avery Dennison. You shouldn’t worry about high-quality materials if you’ve picked a respected wrap manufacturer, but it never hurts to inquire.

Proper Maintenance

You’ve cleared the first hurdle by cleaning your vehicle well and hiring a trustworthy wrap business. Now, let’s look at how to get the most out of your wrap, beginning with elements that impact wraps and what you can do to combat those problems.


Extreme cold and heat will both shorten the life of your wrap. Extreme heat can make your wrap pliable and vulnerable to harm, while extreme cold might cause it to fracture.

Your wrap will always be exposed to adverse weather, but your objective is to minimize that exposure. In any case, there won’t be many people on the road during a hard cold.

Exposure to the Sun

You can’t see it, but the sun is assaulting everything it comes into contact with harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays may cause skin damage, degrade your home’s exterior paint, and damage your wrap.

You will never be able to escape sun exposure, just as you will never be able to avoid extreme temperatures, but that is where the next aspect comes into play.

Where to Keep a Vehicle That Has Been Wrapped

Because your wrap must be driven to be seen, it will constantly be exposed to the sun and harsh temperatures, but while it is not on the road, it should be concealed from environmental enemies.

You don’t need to go overboard and put your wrapped automobile in a climate-controlled jail; your garage will suffice.

A garage shields your vehicle from the sun’s harmful UV rays; even an uninsulated garage will give a more consistent temperature than the outside.

If you’re not going to show off your wrap, keep your car in a garage if feasible. Compared to outside, a few hours in the shaded garage daily will offer you a considerably longer wrap life.

Increasing the life of a car cover

Proper care and maintenance are the most effective strategies to extend the life of your vehicle wrap and maximize the return on your investment. Parking in a garage or a shady place, as well as keeping your vehicle clean, can assist in avoiding wrap damage.

Small bubbles in the wrap might form due to harsh temperatures or exposure to other severe circumstances, usually within the first few weeks.

If you see such bubbles, don’t press on them or try to fix them yourself. Instead, bring your car back to where it was wrapped and allow the installation pros to work with a little heat to correct the problem.

Taking Care of a Wrapped Vehicle

With wrapped autos, washing is a major challenge. You want the car to seem professional while extending the wrap’s life, but frequent or poor washings can shorten the life of a vehicle wrap. Here are some maintenance suggestions for wrapped vehicles:

  • Hand-wash the car using a non-abrasive cleaner.
  • Make use of a soft cloth or sponge.
  • In the car, avoid using powerful solvents.
  • Avoid car washes that use automated brushes, which can raise loose edges, damage the surface, and dull the laminate.
  • As much as possible, avoid using pressure washers.
  • If desired, use Teflon or silicone-based polishes for further protection, but avoid carnauba-based waxes.
  • No wax or polish should be used on matte, textured, or specialized wraps.
  • Spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible.
  • Try a citrus-based degreaser or cleaner to eliminate road filth and bugs, but test all products in an inconspicuous area first.
  • Avoid scrubbing with abrasive materials.

Washing a covered car at high pressure

High-pressure cleaning is not suggested since it might harm graphics. However, this may be the only viable alternative for certain business fleets. Follow these tips if you need to pressure wash a wrapped car to help decrease the risk of damage:

  • Set the water pressure to between 800 and 2000 psi.
  • Maintain a water temperature of fewer than 180 degrees.
  • Keep a minimum of 12 to 14 inches between the nozzle and the car.
  • Spray at a 45-degree angle with a sweeping spray.
  • Turbo pressure nozzles should be avoided.
  • Spray damaged wraps or wrap seams with caution.

Changing a car wrap

Even with the finest care, automobile covers have a limited lifespan. Here are some reasons why you should remove your wrap:

  • The car wrap is beginning to exhibit indications of wear, such as stains or lifting.
  • You wish to make changes to the design.
  • Changes in the company’s branding
  • You are preparing to sell the automobile.
  • You’d want to publicize a new product or service.

The good news is that, whatever the cause, the car cover can be removed without harming the paint. This is one of the advantages of using a wrap rather than a paint job.

Vehicle wraps are an excellent method to promote your products and services. With a little additional care, they can look excellent and endure a long time, making them a great investment for both large and small businesses.


Car wraps have a lifespan of around 7 years. Owners must maintain the quality of the automobile wraps by consulting with specialists. If the car wraps develop blisters or bubbles, the owner may have to replace them.

It is important to obtain high-quality car covers since they will last a long time.


Editorial Staff

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