They are everywhere you look; bright, colorful work trucks and vans. Public Safety vehicles with distinctive graphics, Custom Show Cars, and more.
Everyone is making a statement. Everyone is hoping to call attention to themselves. Everyone is expressing themselves through the unique designs of their vehicle graphics.
Vehicle graphics used to be solely the output of a talented vehicle paint shop artist. Increasingly these days, it is becoming the product of a computer graphics designer. The medium used to be automobile paint, but more recently, it has become ink and vinyl. Read on as we weigh the pros and cons of vehicle wraps.
What is a Vehicle Wrap?
Before weighing the car wrap advantages and disadvantages, it might be a good idea to understand what a vehicle wrap is. A vehicle wrap consists of large sheets of weather-proof vinyl printed with a solid color OR an intricate design. The large sheets are then applied to a vehicle.
The vinyl is designed to withstand the elements. It is printed on a large format printer with weather-proof and UV-rated ink. This ensures that the material is suitable for outdoor use. It is printed on a large format printer.
The ink used is also weather-proof and UV-rated. This resistance to weather and sun will allow a vehicle wrap to last up to 7 years.
A vehicle wrap can cover every inch of the painted surface on almost any vehicle. Vehicle wraps are popular for many purposes. These include public safety vehicles like police, fire and ambulances. They are also used for custom-designed show cars and commercial vehicles.
What are the PROS of a Vehicle Wrap?
There are several reasons that vehicle wraps are becoming more and more popular. You can use your vehicle like a billboard on wheels with vehicle wrap marketing. You can clearly mark your vehicle for special duty, as in the case of Public Safety. Or you can use your vehicle as a form of personal expression with unique graphic designs.
There are definite advantages to wrapping a vehicle than simply painting a vehicle or applying decals. Listed below are several benefits of vehicle wraps.
- You Can Express Yourself – You can design your vehicle on your laptop and transfer that design to your vehicle. You can make your design as complex and elaborate as you wish.
- Endless Colors and Finishes – You are not limited by paint colors. In addition to unlimited colors, you can add several different finishes. You can choose from gloss, semi-gloss, and matte finishes. You can even apply finishes imitating carbon fiber, stainless steel, or chrome.
- Wraps Are Not Permanent – Unlike painting a vehicle, vehicle wraps are not permanent. If you change your mind, you can change your wrap. This is especially helpful when it comes time to sell your vehicle. You can sell your vehicle with the original paint unscathed by the ravages of time, sunlight, and weather.
- Vehicle Wraps Protect Your Paint – Is a vinyl car wrap durable? Absolutely. It will protect the original paint from weather and sunlight. It will also protect your paint from minor chips that every car inevitably picks up over the years. Also, removing decals from your vehicle leaves shadows of the decal on the original paint. However, when you remove your vinyl wrap, your paint underneath will be in pristine condition.
- Quick Turnaround Times – Your vehicle is vital to your fleet operations. You would not have invested in that vehicle had you not desperately needed it. Applying a vinyl wrap involves much less downtime than a custom paint job. A complete vehicle wrap can often be applied in one or two days.
- Vehicle Wraps Are Cost Effective – Vehicle wraps are generally a fraction of the cost of custom paint jobs, and you will not have to pay for restoring the vehicle paint once it reaches the end of its service. This saves you money and time.
- Vehicle Wrap Marketing – Turn a mundane work truck into a vehicle wrap marketing tool. Turn heavy traffic into your friend; get your message out as you are driving to work or to your next job.
What are the CONS of a Vehicle Wrap?
As you can see above, a vehicle wrap has many advantages over a custom paint job. However, with all of these advantages of vehicle wraps, are there no disadvantages of car wrapping? As with all good things, there are a few drawbacks.
- You Get What You Pay For – At the top of nearly everyone’s list of disadvantages for car wraps is “buyer beware”. If the price of a vehicle wrap seems too good to be true, it usually is. A vehicle wrap may look great when you get it back. But a year after the installation, it might begin fading and peeling.
There are two things you can look for. Make sure the installer is using genuine 3M brand 7-year vinyl and UV-rated ink for your wrap. Be wary if you are told their off-brands are just as good.
- Original Color Showing Through – The ink of your vehicle wrap will be scraped away as it suffers scuffs or minor abrasions. This will cause some of the original paint colors to show through. Suitable vinyl and quality ink will help protect against this phenomenon; yet another reason to invest in quality materials.
- Certain Legalities Exist – Certain legalities exist when drastically changing the color or adding major marketing graphics to your vehicle. You need to inform your insurance agency and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The PROS Certainly Seem To Outweigh The CONS!
Vehicle wraps are becoming increasingly popular these days for a simple reason. The cost, customization, and convenience of applying a vinyl wrap far outweigh a custom paint job.
To make sure that you are getting what you pay for, trust your friends at RCS Communications. They have over 70 years of experience in equipping emergency and commercial vehicles with car wraps in Kentucky and Indiana. This means they understand the durability your fleets need. Their leading product line is built to withstand wind and rain, exposure to salt, fog, blowing dust, vibrations, and extreme temperatures.
Call RCS Communications today and let us answer any questions you might have about public safety or commercial vehicle wraps.