What is a vehicle wrap?
A vehicle wrap is a process whereby some or all of your cars’ surface areas are covered with a high-quality self-adhesive vinyl, effectively ‘wrapping’ the car with vinyl. The wrap may feature full-colour digitally-printed designs or they may be completed with any of the hundreds of solid type colours that are now available.
How long does a vinyl wrap last?
Typically, here in Melbourne most vinyl wraps should last at least 3 years, however it depends on several factors such as the skill level of the installer, exposure to the weather, the type of vinyl used and how well you take care of the wrap. We see many of our customers’ vehicles driving around town that we wrapped more than 5 years ago and they still look as great now as they did the day we completed the work.
Most of the vinyl manufacturers (3M, Avery, Arlon, Hexis) suggest that the vinyl material will last up to 5 years on vertical surfaces, however some of the specialist products such as chrome have a shorter life expectancy (1-2 years). Horizontal surfaces, such as the bonnet, roof or boot lid of a car, will generally show signs of wear first as they are the areas that take the full brunt of the sun and the rain.
You can extend the life of your vinyl wrap through hand washing and storing your car in a garage out of the elements of the weather, as prolonged exposure to the sun and rain is detrimental to the vinyl over time.
Will a vinyl wrap damage the paint on my car?
Assuming the car has original (OEM) paintwork and that the paintwork is in good condition, then there is very little chance that the wrap will damage the paintwork. The paint under the wrap is actually protected from the harsh UV rays of the sun, exposure to the elements, and minor scratches, however if your vehicle has been repainted then there is no guarantee that the paint will be perfect when you remove the vinyl wrap.
Something to consider when choosing a wrap company to complete your project is the experience of the installer as an inexperienced installer could inadvertently damage the paint on your vehicle while the installation is taking place. Make sure that the installers that are going to install your wrap know how to do so without cutting on the paint of your vehicle, as any cuts will not be visible to you until the wrap is removed.
Can I wrap my car if the paint is in bad shape?
Unfortunately the wrap process is not intended to cover paintwork that is in bad condition. A great wrap needs to be applied over a great paint job, as the wrap will not hide any flaws in the paint. In fact all imperfections in the paint such as stone chips, scratches, dents, etc. will show right through the wrap.
Also, any loose or flaking paint on a vehicle is detrimental to the success of the wrap. In these cases there can be adhesion failures as the vinyl sticks to the paint but the paint is no longer sticking to the vehicle.
Painted surfaces that suffer from oxidation are also not suitable for wrapping. Oxidized paint has a dull, sometimes powdery look to it, and this does not allow for proper adhesion of the wrap. If your car has this problem it will most likely need to be buffed to a shine prior to getting wrapped, as we need to remove the layer of oxidation before the vinyl can be installed, otherwise there will be failures due to poor adhesion.
What are the advantages of wrapping a car versus painting?
There are many specialist finishes such as brushed aluminium, chromes, matte metallics and textured materials such as carbon fiber that are simply not available in paint, however the obvious advantage is that a vinyl wrap is not permanent and is removable at any time, so if you wish to change the car back to its’ original colour then it is a fairly simple process to remove the wrap.
Car wrapping is often viewed as a form of car customization, and although you might love your new choice of colour there is no guarantee that when it comes time to sell the vehicle that the prospective buyer will like your colour choice. A vinyl wrap can be easily removed and/or changed, whereas paint is very, VERY permanent!
Is it cheaper to wrap a car than paint it?
It’s hard to say if a paint job or wrap is more or less expensive than one another because it really depends on the type of materials used, the quality of each job and who is doing it.
What vinyl material does Ultimate Car Wraps use to wrap a vehicle?
The product used depends on the needs of the vehicle and the preference of the client, as some colours or vinyl types are offered by certain manufacturers and not others. Where possible we prefer to use 3M, Avery or Hexis products as we are certified in installing these products and have a sound knowledge of the characteristics of the materials.
Can a vehicle wrap be removed?
Absolutely! In order to remove the wrap, it often requires a large amount of heat and different tools such as heat guns and special rubber friction wheels may be used. In some instances there can be some adhesive residue left behind once the vinyl is peeled back. We have special citrus-based cleaners that remove this without harming the paintwork.
To avoid damage to your vehicle and injury to yourself it is recommended that you pay a professional to remove the wrap.
Note: Particularly with non OEM paintwork and where a car has been repaired, there is no guarantee that a vinyl wrap will not remove any paint from your vehicle.Whilst every effort is taken to make sure your paint is not damaged when removing the wrap, there is no guarantee if your vehicle includes any aftermarket products
Can you design our vehicle wrap or do I have to provide the artwork?
Our experienced designers will work with you to create designs that range from simple, solid colors to very detailed designs.The design process involves several stages and revisions to ensure that you are totally happy with the design before we move the job into the production stage.
Does the wrap have to cover the entire vehicle?
Not necessarily. The percentage of the vehicle covered is entirely up to the customer. Please be aware that partial wraps will only partially protect the paintwork underneath, as when the wrap is removed the paintwork that was protected under the wrap will be like new whereas the paint left exposed to the weather will possibly be slightly dull.
Can you install wraps over windows?
Yes, you can install wraps over most glass windows (generally the side and rear windows). In these instances we use a special perforated vinyl material that allows you to still clearly out of the car. This vinyl is often referred to as ‘one-way vision’ material, as it looks like regular opaque vinyl from the outside but still allows visibility from the inside looking out. This s our preferred method of installing wraps over glass windows as it is safer when driving as it does not reduce or limit your vision.
How much does it cost to wrap a vehicle?
There are several factors that vary the cost of a wrap. These include the type of material used, the amount of material used and on a commercial application the design time to create the design. Be sure to check out our pricing pages to get a better idea of the costs involved for vehicle wrapping.
Why should I get a vehicle wrapped instead of using cut vinyl for the signage / graphics?
Although we also provide cut vinyl if that’s what you prefer, a vehicle wrap provides maximum exposure for your business with eye-catching graphics that are not limited to any amount of color or creativity.
A vehicle wrap protects your paint from the harsh rays of the sun whereas often when you remove cut vinyl the ghosts from it will still be visible on the vehicle due to fading of the paint. This process is called ‘ghosting’, where the outlines (or ‘ghosts’) of the lettering can be still be seen once the vinyl is removed. This is caused by the paintwork that is exposed to the weather over time and not covered by vinyl becoming faded and dull, whereas the paintwork that was protected by the vinyl and are now exposed show the original and glossy finish.
In most cases, ‘ghosting’ can often be removed with a gentle cut and polish to restore the car’s paintwork back to its’ original condition.
Full wraps help to protect the car’s paint from fading and scratching and are suggested over partial wraps for the same reason – the exposed areas becoming worn by weather.
What if I get into an accident and the wrap needs to be replaced?
No problem! We can reprint and install any part of the graphics that may be damaged on your vehicle as required. We always save your artwork in case it ever needs to be reprinted.
How long does it take to wrap a vehicle?
We generally need the vehicle for around 3-5 days to complete the installation, however the entire creative process can take as little as a day or two, to a couple of weeks, it all depends on how intricate the design is. Our typical vehicle wrap process (design, print & installation) takes around 2 weeks from acceptance of invoice to completion of wrap.
Wraps that are digitally-printed will need time for the material to outgas before it can be installed, however with regular type solid colours we can literally take the roll of vinyl out of the box and start wrapping once the vehicle has been properly prepped.
What is ‘outgassing’ and why is it so important on digitally-printed wraps?
Out-gassing is a process where the solvents used in the ink evaporate out of the printed vinyl over time. Whenever we print onto vinyl, the eco-solvent ink needs to out-gas for up to 5-7 days before it can be laminated and installed onto the vehicle. Sure the ink is dry to touch within minutes of it rolling off the printer, but if insufficient time is allowed for the outgassing process then problems will surface further down the road. Once laminated the gasses are trapped in the vinyl and cannot escape through the front, so they are redirected towards the back of the vinyl and the adhesive layer. This leads to adhesion failures and the vinyl lifting up off the surface, particularly in deep recesses.
Once your graphics are printed they hang vertically in our shop for up to a week to allow this process to happen naturally.
Outgassing is not an issue when wrapping in regular solid coloured vinyls as no ink is used in the manufacturing process.
care & maintenance
What our Clients Say
“The service I had was second to none. Within 3 hours of a phone discussion Matthew was at my premises to discuss the design further. The end result of the product was excellent.”
Eric, Hyper-tech Autosports
“I would recommend Ultimate Car Wraps to any business or persons who are considering having vehicle graphics designed and made. They provided our company with quick and courteous service and most importantly an excellent product.”
Perry McCowatt, Tritech Lubricants
“Fantastic finished product and awesome service from the guys at Ultimate Car Wraps. They gave us a competitive quote, a streamlined design process and completed the wrap on our Commodore on time. We would highly recommend them.”
Danielle Charge, Hugs & Kisses Adult Store