Winter weather, summer weather, birds, bugs, rocks — the potential hazards to your car’s paint job seems like an endless list at times!

Short of covering it in bubble wrap or never taking it out of the garage, what can you do to keep it looking pristine? Fortunately, you don’t need to get extreme to protect your vehicle. Wrapping a car in vinyl provides long-term protection to prevent damage that happens during daily driving.

You can even wrap a car to change the color to jazz up the design. But is that a better option than repainting? Let’s take a look at what goes into the job and impacts the average car wrap cost.

What Impacts the Cost?

While wrapping a car is cheaper than a new paint job, it still can add up. Your cost to wrap your car depends on several factors, including:

  • Size of car
  • Color
  • Type of vinyl
  • State of bodywork
  • Amount to cover

The size of your car and how much you plan to cover are the driving factors for cost. The average car needs about 250 square feet to cover it. Multiple colors or a fancy design drive that number — and the cost — up.

A wrap is a labor-intensive job, so the size of the car and how much you want to cover can change the cost as they change the time needed. If your car’s bodywork isn’t in great shape, expect additional costs to get it prepped to accept the vinyl.

On average, you can expect small spot graphics or hood bras to run a few hundred dollars, while a full wrap done by a professional runs a few thousand based on the factors above.

Professional or DIY?

So can you – and should you – try to do this kind of job yourself? If you have the skills, time, and tools, it could be a cost saver to do it yourself. Your total cost will come down to the vinyl you choose and how much of the car you plan to cover.

That said, you should definitely plan to be buying more vinyl than that average of 250 square feet used by a pro. Applying a wrap is as much an art as a skill. You might find yourself spending $1,000 on vinyl that gets damaged in the application process before you give up and let a professional like take over.

Ready to Wrap a Car?

The process to wrap a car is time-consuming, which also means it isn’t cheap. Consider the factors mentioned here if you’re thinking about vehicle wrapping so you can decide if it’s the right approach for you. At the end of the day, you need to weigh whether the benefits of car wrap justify spending at least $2,000 to wrap the entire car.

Now that you know more about car wrap prices, check out other articles on our site for more on car maintenance and repair.