How long will a wrap last?

A professionally wrapped vehicle should last as long as you want it to, on the basis that the wrap has been taken care of and looked after as if it were paint. Higher grades of material have been tested for a life of up to eight years, but with care and attention it can go beyond this. Different material types and finishes have different life spans, but as a rule five years is a minimum.

What colours are available?

The range of colours on the market is quite substantial, and the key manufacturers are adding to their ranges on a regular basis. Most of the standard colours finish are available in a gloss finish, slightly less in the matt ranges. The special finish ranges increase every few months. There is a lot of information on the internet, 3M and Avery are key companies to research, look for an actual fitted job to get a better idea of the colours available as online swatches are not a good representation.

How do you look after a wrap?

The first piece of advice is to hand wash your vehicle only, and avoid using jet washers. Putting your car through a mechanical car wash is never a good idea wrapped or not, as they put micro scratches into the wrap which are very difficult to remove. If you have a gloss wrap then a quality wax is fine to protect the surface. Bird droppings must be removed as soon as possible as they can burn the material, just as it does paintwork. With matt finishes, there are specialist cleaners available to take care of the surface of the material. I recommend keeping on top of a matt wrap on a regular basis to ensure it stays looking good.

Do you have to have the whole car wrapped?

You can have as little or as much wrapped as you like, it is entirely up to you... a roof, one door, two doors, all doors and or bonnet!

Can you have mixed colours?

A mix of colours and finishes is very popular –  for example a matt wrap over the bonnet roof and rear with the sides in a gloss finish is a great look! This can be a mix of any colour and finish so the variations are huge – it’s always best to get some advice on what will work best as I have seen some quite bad combinations. On paper they look good but not so in the real world!

What kind of finishes are available?

There are a masses of finishes available such as gloss, matt, pearlescent, colour flip, carbon, steel effect, leather, snakeskin, satin, pastel gloss and matt, chrome to name a few. Bear in mind that the cost difference between the finishes can be quite wide, with the chrome films being the most expensive per metre.

Is it ok to wrap over old paintwork or a repainted car?

Wrapping over older paint is not a problem, as long as it is in a reasonable condition and not ‘flat’, as a flat surface does not allow a strong contact for the adhesives. If you have had any respray work on your vehicle and then go on to have it wrapped, there is a strong possibility that when the wrap is eventually removed it may pull this repaired area of paint off.  With all vehicles that are not new or the customer cannot guarantee it is a factory paint job, I always mention this and make them aware of this possibility.

Will a wrap cover up scratches, rust or damaged to the paintwork?

The material will cover up light scratches, any deeper ones that have gone through the paint will be seen still as the material tends to highlight them even more. Rust is not something that can be wrapped over with any success, as the glue cannot bond and the oxides in rust damages the glue on contact. If the paint is damaged, flaking etc then I personally would not recommend wrapping the vehicle, the same goes for primered areas as this is not a suitable surface to wrap.

Can I have other graphics on top of my wrap?

You can have any design you wish added to the wrap, this will not affect the wrap film. I have had a few instances of gloss graphics added to a matt wrap failing as the ‘grab rate’ of the matt surface is less. But as long as the design is well thought out and not put under too much stress then it will be fine. You can also have designs put underneath the wrap for a subtle design. I have done a few of these in the past and the overall effect is great!

Will the wrap protect my paintwork?

The wrap film will protect your paintwork from UV damage, bird droppings, road film contamination. It will also protect the paint from light stone chips and light scratching (country lanes, bushes etc)

What happens if part of the wrap get damaged?

If door is damaged for instance, it can most certainly be stripped and replaced with the original material as long as you have looked after the wrap. There should be no difference in the colour, as long as a quality material has been used.

Is it legal, do I need to tell the DVLA?

It is not illegal to wrap your vehicle, but the statement below was issued by the DVLA as of April 2014:

The register maintained by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) essentially exists to assist in revenue collection, road safety and law enforcement. The Police and other enforcement agencies rely on the DVLA record for all vehicles-related investigations. It is therefore paramount that the information stored on the vehicle register is accurate and up to date.

DVLA records details given by vehicle manufacturers at first registration. Any changes to the vehicles details must be notified to DVLA by law.

By covering the entire vehicle in a coloured adhesive/vinyl wrap, it is DVLA’s view that the colour change should be recorded. To notify a change of colour you should complete section 7 of the registration certificate V5C and return it to DVLA Swansea SA99 1BA. You should receive a replacement certificate within two to four weeks.

We would advise that any owner of a vehicle that has had a full colour change wrap should now inform the DVLA immediately by completing and sending the necessary paperwork as specified.

Do I have to tell my insurance company?

I would recommend it yes. This is not a performance enhancement but the cost of a full wrap can be quite considerable and if it was damaged at any stage then you should be able to claim to have it replaced.

How much does it cost to wrap a car?

This is the million dollar question! Below are some guide costs based on using a quality material in a standard gloss colour. This represents a full wrap but doesn’t include the doorshuts.

Small 2 door hatchback, £1050.00 - £1150.00

Middle 4 door car, £1200.00 - £1350.00

Large saloon, £1400.00 - £1600.00

Large 4x4 (BMW X5 size) £1700.00 - £1900.00

The material costs can range from around £37.00 per metre up to £90.00 per metre.
This has a huge bearing on the overall cost. The condition of the vehicle and the ability to safely strip parts off (lights, handles etc) can also have an influence on costs too. I quote each job individually and like to see the vehicle in question to ensure that job can be fitted successfully and discuss options with the customer. Getting a quote over the phone is something you should never do – always meet the team/company that you are thinking of using to ensure your vehicle is in safe and experienced hands.