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Have you ever wanted to change the color of your car without having it painted? Wrapping it is a good solution. Car wraps have gained popularity in the past decade for being a more efficient way to change a car’s color while adding some customization at the same time. A wrap can also protect the car’s paint underneath.

However, wrapping your car isn’t a perfect idea as there are a few potential drawbacks. Check out these four reasons you shouldn’t wrap your car.

1. Wrapping your car won’t hide imperfections

A vinyl-wrapped Toyota hatchback.
A wrapped hatchback | via Wikimedia Commons

If your vehicle has a lot of dings or dents, wrapping it won’t hide those imperfections. Think of a car wrap like wrapping a gift – you can see the hard edges and damages on a box underneath. In that case, the dents and imperfections must be repaired before wrapping the car to ensure the job is done well. If not, the wrap can highlight certain issues with the car’s paint.

2. Some car wraps aren’t very durable

Although car wraps are made of vinyl, they are not perfectly durable. Life Hacker says, “Depending on the climactic conditions in your area and how you store the car when not in use, your vinyl wrap could last as little as one year, especially if it’s often left to bake in the sun.” However, if you park the vehicle in a garage or keep it under a car cover, the wrap can last around four to five years.

Another method of preservation is to ceramic coat the wrap. Doing so will make the wrap more durable, but it will cost extra money to apply the coating.  

3. Car wraps are expensive

Some people consider vinyl wrapping a vehicle a cheaper alternative than painting it, but that’s not entirely true. Painting a car can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $5,000 or sometimes more. Vinyl wrapping, on the other hand, can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on the extent of the job.

You may end up having to replace the wrap in a few years as well, so removing it and re-applying can cost money as well. Some professional car-wrappers can charge between $500 and $2,500 to remove a wrap.

4. Car wraps can damage your vehicle

Car wrappers wrap a car using heat guns.
Car wrappers wrap a car using heat guns | Marc Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Car wraps come in large rolls like gift wraps. The installer then cuts the wrap to fit the body panels and applies it. However, if the installer isn’t careful and cuts the wrap while it’s being fitted on the car, there’s a risk of leaving cut marks on the vehicle.

Additionally, when it’s time to remove the wrap, any sun damage that has occurred can make it difficult to remove the wrap. Also, if the wrap has been on the vehicle for too long, removing it can cause damage to the car’s clear coat. Also, if moisture gets trapped under the wrap, the vehicle can rust.

Wrapping a car has its downsides

Ultimately, although wrapping a car can be an easy and cost-effective way to change the color of your car, it does come with some caveats. The expense and the potential damage a wrap can cause the vehicle may not be worth it. If anything, remember to find a reputable professional installer.