Wrapping a car seems to be the latest and hottest new trend for exotic car owners.
It’s affordable, it is reversible, it allows you to experience a new feel to your car without adding an insanely high expense.
When approaching a deal as an exotic car investor, sometimes you don’t get the exact color you love because the objective is to buy the right car for the right money, rather than lose money on a car.
Wrapping it in the color you really want may make sense, but what are the drawbacks and issues when wrapping a car?
I have wrapped only 6 cars in my lifetime because I am usually not a fan of the quality of wraps. They take away the essence & the shine of real paint unless you go with matte or satin finishes. Recently, my white Lamborghini Performante felt a bit boring so I decided wrapping it may be the right solution.
My experience this time was a good example of why not all wraps are created equal and why you need to be very careful about who you trust to wrap a car for you.
Without further adieu, here are 5 things you should know before you wrap your car.
1. Not all shops are created equal:
Selecting the right person or shop to do your wrap is VERY important. The installation itself is often what determines a good or bad looking wrap, and also the most important outcome which is how healthy your paint remains under the wrap.
Most of my wraps were done by reputable shops like Premier in CA, Morpheus Wraps in FL and Excell Auto Sport in FL… but my last one was done by a horrible shop named Wrap Society Palm Beach. They destroyed my car.
The lack of professional experience led to an unusually high level of debris under the wrap. Worst of all was the excessive amount of glue used to secure the corners of the wrap, which ended up damaging the car’s paint upon removal.
Stay away from that place or any place a guy named Vinn Winn works. Instead, do yourself a favor and rank shops based on 3 easy criteria:
Is this a full time business with real working hours, or simply a hobby for the owner of the shop? Do they have previous examples or references of their work on customers cars that were done over 6 months ago? (do not accept photos as proof) And finally, ask them if they are insured and bonded as the majority of the small shops are not and you will have to pursue legal action in order to get anything done for them to correct or reimburse you for damages.
Most wraps costs between $2000-$6000 for a regular exotic car wrap job but keep in mind that based on the shop’s experience it may fluctuate quite a bit.
While you want to make sure you select the right shop, you also want to make sure you negotiate to a reasonable price. The cost for the materials are roughly about $1000 to do a full car so anything else is pretty much labor and that is where the negotiations begin. You typically do not want to negotiate down to what i call a bare bone deal as the majority of these guys need to get paid for their efforts and pushing them to a $1500 deal for 5 days of work will usually result in sub par work and should be a sign of caution if one accepts. The average cost is about 3-3500 for a normal colored car. Chrome or gold chrome wraps will cost more.
There are really 3 main wrap material companies dominating the space: 3M, Avery, and APA. While all shops will sell you colors more than material, you should know the pros and cons of each of these.
Avery has by far the more superior quality film and the more rich color. As a rule, if your desired color is available, I would always recommend them first especially for satin cars.
3M on the other hand is also very good with little orange peel that is noticeable and also a good assortment of colors.
APA while the newest and of lowest quality as it pertains to film, also features incredibly hard-to-find colors, giving you a range of specialty options not previously found in most conventional films.
Wraps are generally safe if installed properly as the material is sticky in its own right and as described above, the right shop will not need much glue.
Bad shops like Wrap Society of Palm Beach (Owned and operate by Vinn Winn) will use a ton of glue to compensate for their inability to install film, and that is the only time having a wrap can be damaging to your car.
The film in itself is harmless and actually less harsh than even clear shield.
The other issue of safety is assembling and disassembling the car. Most shops will at least remove mirrors, headlights and front and rear bumpers to allow the film to be hidden. As a result, you could be asking unqualified people to remove and place back items that they may or may not be familiar with.
I personally always opt to not remove anything that requires major unassembly.
5. Understand the 3 Types of wraps:
There are essentially three main wrap install types. Basic, which covers the entire paint of the car on the outside. Premium, which includes door jams and areas you may see when you open the doors, and Extreme, which is total makeover as in every panel inside out to ensure the car can fool just about anyone.
The more extreme, the more expensive and the more disassembly.
In conclusion, here are some general tips:
Do not wrap your car if you are OCD like me as a wrap is never as good as paint, it will never shine like paint and it shouldn’t be expected to.
Also keep in mind that you need to stay within colors that align to your car if you want to really create as close as real experience for the color change. A simple example is to know that converting a bright blue car to white will be more difficult than converting a white car to matte white.
While wraps are exciting temporary, I feel that they are just that: a fun temporary opportunity at creating short term excitement.
Last but not least, wraps have never helped sell a car because the next buyer has to assume the responsibility of the prev installer without having any reference to the paint quality under the wrap narrowing down the buyer pool significantly.
Please visit our resource center for any specific shops to avoid or places that have our seal of approval: https://www.exoticcarhacks.com/resources/