How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car Yourself? [Price Guide]

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Continuous change in taste is one of the interesting aspects of human nature. Like you brought a beautiful red car a year ago. But the color is not looking good to you now. You are willing to change the look.

Changing the car color or applying a new coat of paint is quite expensive. Thanks to the vinyl wrap. A car wrap is the cheapest and probably the best solution to this problem.

Now you can wrap the car and give it a new look anytime you want. You may be wondering how much it will cost to wrap a car yourself. In this article, we will try to find out the answer and every detail relates to cost and many more on the topic.

How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car Yourself
How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car Yourself

How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Car Yourself?

Wrapping a car yourself can cost anywhere from $650 to $3,000 or more on average by 2023, according to current estimates. For an average car, you will need to buy around 250  sq ft to 300 sq ft of vinyl wrap to cover the whole car.

It can cost you a little more or a little less depending on some factors like the size of the car, the exterior design of the vehicle, the quality of the materials, etc. The DIY cost for wrapping a luxury car is way more than a wrap of a complete car or family sedan.

A luxury car with a complex exterior design will cost you more than $3,000 and it can go up to $6,000. For a better output and long-lasting wrap finishing, you can do the same with the professionals.

DIY vs. Professional Car Wrapping Cost in 2023

In general, a professional wrapping job will cost you more than doing it yourself. Because it takes much time labor from an expert and car wraps are completely a physical task.

A car owner tries DIY jobs to save some money. For doing car wrap yourself, you must have experience in this work. Otherwise, it will end in fading the beauty of your car and will take more time compared to an expert.

Though a DIY job is cheaper than a professional job, we will not recommend you to try a DIY job. From the table below you will have a comparative cost table of both for wrapping different types of cars.

Car TypeDIY WrappingProfessional Wrapping
Compact Car or Coupe$550-$1,200$2,200-$5,000
Family Sedan$800-$1,800$3,820-$7,500
Compact Crossover$940-$2,200$5,000-$8,200
Full-size SUV$1,200-$2,560$5,500-$10,500
Luxury sports Car$1,850-$3,800+$6,200-$18,000

Total Cost Breakdown to Wrap A Car Yourself

To wrap a car, you need to buy the wrap first, then some materials to assist you to lay it on the car and keeping it in place. The entire cost includes the wrapping roll and other materials.

The following is a breakdown of the overall cost of the automobile wrap, based on estimates for the year 2023.

Material TypeIndividual cost
Wrap Cutting Blades              $60–$150
Infrared Thermometer $40–$200
Heat Gun$60–$200
Squeegees and Tucking Tools$120–$600
Vinyl Wrap Buying Cost$350–$2,500+

Vinyl Wrap Buying Cost in 2023

A Car wrap price can vary from brand to brand. For wrapping a car yourself, the maximum cost you have to spend for buying the wrap.

Car wraps can cost you around $5 to $20 per square foot or in total $350 to $2,500 or more depending on the total size to cover the quality and types of the wrap.

For only spot graphics, it can cost you between $300 to $1,000. If you know the actual size of the vehicle or how many wraps you need to buy, it will prevent you from buying extra wraps and paying an extra cost.

To make it easy for you, we add a section for measuring the size of your vehicle. The cost of the wrapping film of a renowned brand is more than an average brand.

For instance, a 6 x 12-foot roll of single-color wrapping film of a renowned brand will cost you around $200 to $400 in a body shop. But the same product from an average brand will cost you around $100 to $200.

There are three types of vinyl wraps available in the market. Each of them costs differently.

Colored Vinyl Wrap: It is good for those owners who are willing to change the color of the car. There are several color wraps and graphic wraps available in the market. It is a very good compound for creating styles like matte or covering different areas with different colors.

Clear Vinyl Wrap: It is the most used type of wrap. Car owners use it to protect the original paint from any type of scratch or dent. It works as a protective cover over the surface. It is also cheaper than the colored vinyl wrap.

Custom-made Wrap: This wrap is generally used for advertising purposes. You have to order the custom-made wrap and it will come to you with all the custom detail and graphic design. Generally, it costs more compared to other types.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Front or Rear Bumper Cover?

Squeegees and Tucking Kits Cost

Squeegees and tucking tools can cost you around $120 to $600 depending on the number of kits and their quality. You can order it from an online marketplace for getting a better deal.

For applying the wrap over the surface you will need these tools. Try to choose the best quality tools. It will cost you more but will help you to ensure a smooth finish.

Wrap Cutting Blades Cost in 2023

After applying the wrap over the surface you will need to cut the remaining film through the paper release liner. To perfectly cut it you will need a professional wrap cutter.

It will cost you around $60 to $150. If you try to use a typical knife or scissors for the job, you may end up messing with the surface.

Heat Gun Expense

A digital heat gun for keeping the wrap over the surface costs around $60 to $200 or more depending on the quality. It is a must-have material for wrapping a car.

It is used to heat the wrap and makes the wrap flexible for application over any surface. Vinyl wrapping a car is not possible without the use of a heat gun.

Try to choose the best quality heat gun. Otherwise, it will be overheated or less heated and the finishing will not be as good as you expected.

Infrared Thermometer Cost

If you overheat the film it will be damaged and if the heat is not up to the mark, it will not give a perfect finish. You will need to keep the heat under 120° Fahrenheit or 80° Celcius. That’s why measuring the temperature is important.

For monitoring the temperature, you need to buy an infrared thermometer. It can cost you around $40 to $200 or more depending on the quality and its brand.

These materials will cost you much for single use. But it will reduce the cost for further use. After buying the materials you can wrap the car anytime and give the vehicle a new look. You will only need to buy the wrapping film.

Related: How Much Does it Average Cost to Paint Rims?

How Much Vinyl Wrap Need For a Car (Total Area Measurement)

The requirement for wrapping varies from car to car. The cost and requirements of a wrap for a small, medium, or large car will vary. The size of the wrap is determined by the car’s size and the style you choose.

Buy extra feet so you don’t run out when wrapping the automobile. Let’s explore how much vinyl is needed to wrap various autos.

  • Step 1: For measuring how much wrap film will need you to know the length of your car. Suppose your car’s length is 190 inches.
  • Step 2: Now multiply your car length by 3. ( 3 for two sides and the top of the car). It will be (190 x 3) = 570 inches or 47.5 ft.
  • Step 3: Add an extra 5 ft to 10 ft with the total length for bumpers and wastage. Now the total will be (47.5 + 10) = 57.5 ft.
  • Step 4: Now multiply the total size by the closest roll size. Suppose the closest roll size is 5ft. So the total wrap you will need is a 5 ft x 57.5 vinyl roll.

Here is the list of the approximate wrapping roll needed for different size cars.

Car TypeWrapping roll needed
MicrocarA 5 ft x 35 ft vinyl roll
HatchA 5 ft x 45 ft vinyl roll
ConvertibleA 5 ft x 45 ft vinyl roll
Compact car or coupeA 5 ft x 50 ft vinyl roll
Family sedanA 5 ft x 60 ft vinyl roll
Compact crossoverA 5 ft x 60 ft vinyl roll
Full-size SUVA 5 ft x 65 ft vinyl roll
Luxury sports carA 5 ft x 70 ft vinyl roll
MPVA 5 ft x 75 ft vinyl roll

Please note that it is an approximate estimate. For knowing the exact number, contact an expert or experienced professional.

How Long Does it Take to Wrap a Car?

The answer to these questions depends on some factors like, how many people are working, how much effort they are giving, and how much experience you have in this job.

If you are doing it at home or anywhere else, it will be difficult for one person to complete the task and it will take more time to labor.

If you are experienced enough and with the help of an assistant, a four-door family sedan or full-size SUV will take at least a day to wrap a car and 2 to 4 days to complete properly. Only a specific area or partial wrap can take 4 to 8 hours.

Make sure you have enough patience and time on your hands. Otherwise, you can take the car to an auto body shop, they will take two to eight hours to complete the whole car wrapping.

Note: Vinyl car wrapping takes less to finish compared to a paint job or a custom paint job.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Fender?

How to Prep a Car for Wrapping

Before you start wrapping your car yourself, you need to get it ready for wrapping. If you try to wrap a car before you finish the pre-wrapping process, you will mess up the whole thing.

Here are some tips for getting your car ready to be wrapped.

  1. First, you have to investigate the car’s surface. If it has any major scratches, chips, dents, or rust on the surface, you have to fill it and smooth the surface. Filling the damage and smoothing the surface is the first prep work you have to do.
  2. Take the car to a place or keep the car at a place where you can keep the dust-out. It is important because dust will be oddly visible on the surface after wrapping.
  3. As vinyl adhesives are temperature-sensitive, too hot weather or too cold will have a bad effect on the wrap. Try to choose misty warm weather for wrapping or wrap it at room temperature.
  4. Bath your vehicle with a non-wax car washer and clean it with isopropyl alcohol and lint-free cloths. Ensure that there is not a speck of single dust left over the surface. Dry it with an air compressor. Try to avoid microfiber towels.
  5. You can sketch a diagram over the car’s panel and write down the measurement. It will help you choose the perfect size for the surface and will save you valuable time. Measure the total wrap needed and take some extra to avoid shortage.
  6. If you are not confident enough, watch some DIY process videos over the internet on the related topic. Watch it attentively until you feel ready to go.
  7. Practice the Triangle method of wrapping. It will help you to wrap the car without getting any bubbles, creases, or fingers.
  8. Make yourself mentally prepared for the work and take it as easy as putting a giant sticker in your car. Confidence and self-belief are a must for any DIY job when you are not experienced enough.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Wrap a Jeep Wrangler?

How to Wrap a Car Yourself at Home?

We now know about the cost of wrapping a car yourself. But there will be no use of this information if you don’t know how to wrap a car yourself.

We warn you, if you don’t have experience and practical knowledge, it is better to leave the work to the professional. In this section, we added step by step process and a list of the tools you will need.

Top 10 DIY Tools for Wrapping Your Car

Here is the list of the tools you must need for the work.

  • Vinyl Wrap.
  • Heat gun.
  • Infrared thermometer.
  • Squeegee.
  • Cutting tape.
  • Measuring tape.
  • Cutting blade.
  • Gloves.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Microfiber towel.

A Step-by-step Process of Car Wrapping in 2023

Carefully read this section and if you have confusion you can watch videos on youtube related to this process. Let’s dive into it.

Step 1: Hope you prepared your car by following our prep guide. Before starting, the wrapping process again cleans the surface and removes any hindrances from the surface. Wear your safety gadget and hand gloves.

Step 2: Take the wrapping sheet and place it on the surface with the help of an assistant. You can’t do it alone. Before installing it, stretch the sheet a few inches above the area and remove the backing with extra equal tension. It helps to reduce wrinkles.

Step 3: While installing the wrapping sheet on the surface, leave some extra sheets on the edge as safety. Extra wrap you can cut down easily. But it gets a little short, till it will look very odd.

Step 4: Now peel the wrap from the middle to manage the bubbles and wrinkles. Use a heat gun to make the thing flexible and stretch the sheet on the surface. You can use a hairdryer if you don’t have a heat gun. But remember don’t take the heating gun closer to the surface. Keep it 6 inches away from the surface and the heat must not be more than 120 ºF.

Step 5: After sealing the edge on a surface cut the extra sheet using a sharp knife. If you don’t heat it properly and don’t match every inch properly, it will look very odd.

Step 6: Use the squeegee and hands to bond the wrap to the surface perfectly. Complete all the parts individually in the same way.

Step 7: complement the whole car wrapping in the same way. After finishing it, again investigate whether the whole car has bubbles left on the surface, and carefully smooth it with the surface.

Step 8: Install all the hindrances that you remove from the surface and clean the whole car with a soft cloth. Now your car is ready to go.

7 Pro Tips to Save Money On Car Wrapping in 2023

The best way to save money on the overall price is to wrap the car yourself. There may be other ways to save money on this project.

Here are a few ways to save money when wrapping your car.

  • It costs a lot to wrap the whole car. You can use partial wraps to advertise on a car. It will be a lot less expensive than wrapping the whole car.
  • Make an effort to select graphics that are straightforward, and go with a transparent vinyl wrap. When compared to personalized vinyl wrap, this option is far more affordable.
  • You can use vinyl letters, vinyl logos, or vinyl motifs to advertise a business or add slogans or website addresses. It costs less and looks different than wrapping the whole car.
  • Buy the vinyl materials from an online marketplace and choose the materials that will run for a long time. It may seem costly but It will save you money in the long run.
  • You can buy the vinyl material from a vinyl retailer or you can buy the materials from the aftermarket. You will get a good deal from a vinyl retailer.
  • Measuring the area of the wrapping surface and buying materials and wrapping rolls according to the measurement will save you from the wastage of extra costs.
  • You can borrow wrapping materials from a neighbor or friend. It saves material costs. Use it only once. But to save money on future wrapping, we recommend you buy the materials.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car Hood?

Top 7 Benefits of Wrapping A Car in 2023

There are several benefits of wrapping a car. The cost to wrap a car will be worth you in many manners.

Here are some reasons that show how you will benefit from wrapping your car.

  • First of all, a Car wrap is cheaper than a paint job. You can vinyl wrap a car in the place of painting it. You can wrap the whole car with ⅓ the cost of painting a whole car.
  • It is easy to remove. If you want to change the design, you can easily remove this thin film with tight tools. It is not as hard as removing paint from the surface.
  • Protects the paint from dings, scratches, and other minor blemishes by providing an additional layer of protection for the car’s body.
  • It makes an old car look new and appealing. There are various hues and vehicle graphics wraps available on the market. You can personalize your automobile.
  • Maintaining it is rather simple. If you take good care of vinyl film, the wrap will last for a considerable amount of time.
  • You can’t repair it but it is easy to replace. If any part gets damaged you can replace that section immediately.
  • Cars paint takes more time to cure on the surface. Vinyl vehicle wrap needs only a little time to get ready.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Bumper?

How to Maintain a Car Wrap Using These 6 Tips

You have to give extra care to your car as it doesn’t have multiple coats of protection. To keep the wrap in a good condition and make it last longer, you need to maintain it properly.

Here are some tips to maintain a car wrap.

  • Hot or sunny weather can have a bad effect on the wrap. When you are not driving, keep the car in the garage or keep it undercover.
  • Be careful while doing a car wash. It is better to wash a wrapped car in your hand. If you use a pressure washer, keep the pressure low otherwise it can cause peeling.
  • Use a soft cloth for cleaning the surface. Roughy cloth can cause damage to the wrap.
  • Avoid using regular car polishes and choose car polishes that are specially made for wrapping surfaces.
  • If the wrap from any section peels out, immediately replace it. It will look odd if you don’t replace it and will cause further damage.
  • It is better not to wax your vinyl-wrapped vehicle.

Related: How Much Does it Cost to Paint Rims Matte Black?

Relevant Questions Commonly Asked About Wrap a Car (FAQs)

How long do car wraps last?

The lifespan of the wrap depends on how well you maintain it. A well-maintained wrap is expected to run around 3 to 5 years. If more, it can go up to 8 years.

Does car wrap damage paint?

The wrap does not damage the paint quality. It adds an extra layer of protection over the paint surface and saves it from minor scratches. A car owner may use vinyl car wrap as paint protection.

Does vinyl wrap scratch easily?

As there is no clear coat or protective coat used over the vehicle wrap, it is very much insecure and prone to scratches. It can easily scratch the surface.

Is it worth wrapping up a car yourself?

If you complete the wrap with full patience and a steady hand, then the DIY job will be worth it. Because professional car wrap cost is almost similar to painting the car. It is difficult to have a gloss finish and metallic finish with an inexpensive paint job. By doing car wrap properly, you will save a good amount of money.

Does wrapping a car void the warranty?

Until or unless you break any condition of the warranty given by the manufacturer, wrapping a car will not affect the car’s warranty. If you damage any parts of the car while wrapping the car, the warranty will not cover the loss.

Can you vinyl wrap in cold weather?

Yes, you can wrap the car in cold weather. Whether it is cold or hot weather, only matters the temperature of the room or garage you are going to use for wrapping a car. If you can keep the room warm, there will be no effect of weather on vehicle wrapping.

Final Thoughts on Car Wrapping in 2023

From the article now you know how much it will cost you to wrap a car yourself in 2023. We also tried to provide all the details related to the content. Hope you have all the information you’re looking for.

But we still highly recommend you not to do it yourself if you are not experienced enough. If you have any questions or suggestions related to the topic, you are most welcome.

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