02 September 2020
CAR WRAP: Adding personality to your beloved ride

Tired of your car’s classic colour? AutoApp’s got you covered (ahem). Read more about car wrap and how to add some spunk to your car.

Let AutoApp arrange this service for you. Click here to make an online booking, or download the app below.

The look and feel of a car speaks volumes of a car owner. Do you prefer a sleek, fire-engine red finish on a sporty coupe that projects confidence? How about a matte-black sedan that couples class with mystery? Whatever your tastes, gone are the days of relying solely on a spray paint job to get your car in your preferred colour.

3M has a pretty nifty demo site that lets you test how a certain colour and finish might look on a car.
Source: 3M

Many drivers today opt for wrapping since the colour change is not permanent. But when is it OK to wrap your car, and when is it ill-advised? How can you do it without inciting some petty jealousy and getting into trouble?

If you’ve been debating between a spray paint job or a wrap job, here are some pointers to help you decide.

How does car wrap work?

You might have noticed the viral car wrap video below floating around on social media. As the video demonstrates, wrapping involves adding a layer of vinyl or foil with a special adhesive to your car.

If only car wrapping is as easy as she makes it look.

The added layer comes in a great variety of colours, textures and patterns, so don’t be afraid to go bit wild with your design!

How much does it cost?

Well, that depends on quite a few things, so there’s no straight answer to this question.

Car wrapping is labour intensive and requires meticulous work. There’s also the question of brand of the wrap you choose, and the type of finish. Depending on the workshop you approach, they may be more than happy to quote you a set price instead of a surface-area-based charge.

One way is to do some background research, or better yet, ask AutoApp for a price!

How long does it last?

A well-done car wrap should last a good three to five years, but that also depends on the condition of your vehicle when you get the job done. We’ll cover a little more of that in the coming sections.

How is a wrap installed?

There are three main steps in the entire wrapping process. First, your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned and detailed to remove any dirt.

Before applying the wrap, the workshop may remove the bumper, headlights and taillights. This allows application of the wrap as close to the edges as possible. However, if you prefer, the workshop can skip this step and instead use a tool to cut the wrap the edges.

A fine line to cut along.

Finally, the wrap is applied, using tools such as a heat gun to ensure a tight fit to the car’s contours, and a squeegee to remove any air pockets.

Car Wrap Do’s and Don’ts

Car wrapping is great if you are looking to refresh the look of your car without changing it permanently. It’s also an option if you plan to use your car as a moving billboard. Ultimately, a uniquely-you car would be a stand-out amongst the many on the road.

Before sending your car for a wrap job, make sure to have any surface imperfections fixed. Have dings, light scratches or small dents? Get them sorted first. Even seemingly small issues like a spot of rust will affect the longevity of your car wrap. Having your car in optimum condition is key to a good and enduring wrap job.

Get this fixed first before you get your car wrapped!

Caring for your wrapped car

Wrapping your car also changes the way you care for it. For starters, you won’t be able to enjoy those high-pressure hose-downs at car washes. Hand washing may be the way to go, but the devil is in the details. Here are some things to avoid.

  • Harsh cleaners
  • Buffing the wrapped surface
  • Rough cloths
  • Waxing and polishing
  • Long-term heat exposure
Not recommended: Buffing a wrapped car

Using the wrong materials and reagents can cause the wrap surface to wear out physically or chemically, or cause discolouration. Long-term exposure to the elements could also wear down the wrap, so parking in a covered carpark or investing in a car cover is a plus.

To be absolutely sure, always consult the workshop on ways to maintain your wrap.

Removing the wrap

A well-maintained wrap is typically easy to remove, and can be done quickly. Some workshops might give you detailed instructions if you’re into DIY, but are otherwise happy to do it for you at a fee.

Let AutoApp arrange this service for you. Click here to make an online booking, or download the app below.

Prefer a good old paint job instead? Here’s how you can maintain it!