Vehicle Wraps – What Does It Cost?

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Vehicle Wraps – What Does It Cost?

You have probably heard all about the benefits of Vehicle Graphics Advertising and how it’s the most cost effective form of advertising for small business owners. You’ve probably heard about the ability to dominate your local market or double sales

No doubt you’ve been told about the importance of having a design that can dramatically increase sales. But I bet you’re wondering what does it cost to wrap my car or vehicle. I know because this is usually the first question I get from business owners that call me.

I am hoping the following information will give you a good understanding of the various costs associated with Vehicle Graphics so you can decide how to get the best bang for your buck.

Here’s what you actually pay for and why:

1. The Initial Marketing Consultation: This is the time spent with a marketing expert to so they understand what your are trying to accomplish, who is your ideal customer, what is your unique offering, what resources. Not all companies do this but the ones that have an expertise in marketing usually do. Be wary of companies who do not as this is one of the most important aspects of getting results with Vehicle Graphics Advertising. Some companies charge an upfront cost that can range from $250 – $500 and some simply build it into the price of the Wrap.

2. The Vehicle Graphics Design: This process involves working with the designer or marketing expert to create an initial concept of your Vehicle Graphics on a template that is an exact replica of your vehicle. You will usually have three or four chances to make changes on the initial concept at a fixed rate and after that you may pay an hourly rate for more changes. The design also includes creating the high resolution printable files once the concept is approved. The cost of the Design usually ranges form $400 – $800. depending upon the complexity of the wrap. It can be more for larger more complex designs. The better you are able to communicate with clarity, the faster the process, the better your results and the lower your design cost.

3. The Printed Vinyl and Laminate: The cost of the material is usually the largest cost for most projects. Pricing is based on the square footage of printed and cut vinyl. The amount of wasted material is also considered since the vinyl being applied is cut from a standard width of about 52″. So, one design my use less vinyl but waste more because of the shape and complexity. Some types of vinyl’s and laminates cost more than others.

The best vinyl’s will obviously cost the most. It is difficult to tell the difference between a expensive and a low cost vinyl because the look the same when applied. The real difference is in how well they hold up over time and what happens when you remove them from the vehicle. Some low cost vinyl will shrink and will leave a residue that is difficult to clean when removed.

Liquid Laminates cost much less than film laminates but are thinner and do not protect the vinyl as well. They do not hold up as long over time. They are used to by larger companies to keep the material cost down.

See through Perforated Window Film is very popular but are fairly expensive especially when laminated. If you choose this option I suggest laminating as it’s worth the investment.

Material cost is difficult to calculate accurately so most companies have a general price based on the type of vehicle and the percentage of coverage (Full wrap, 3/4 wrap, 1/2 wrap etc.)

You should expect to pay on average of around $8.00 -$10.00 per sq. ft. for printed and laminated vinyl and approximately $15.00 / sq. ft. for Window Perforated Vinyl.

4. Graphics Installation: Some companies use in house installers while other sub contracted installers who work for multiple companies. Sub contracted installers are usually the most experienced and the best in the industry so they cost more. In-house installers usually cost significantly less but may not have the same level of skill or expertise as their contracted counterparts, unless the company does a high volume of installs weekly. Usually once an installer gets any level of expertise they go on their own, because they can make much more money and they are in such high demand.

A good installer can make a huge difference in the finished look of the vehicle as well as the long term durability of the wrap. Poorly installed wraps will lift prematurely or tear or may not be as neat in complex areas such as around door handles or mouldings.

Some vehicles such as HHR’s, Beetles, Hummers, Sprinters, Mini’s are extremely complicated to wrap and a experience installer is a must.

The pricing variation between the top installers only varies about $100.00 so it’s well worth getting the best you can. You should expect to spend between $400 – $900 on a wrap, depending on the amount of coverage and the complexity of the installation.

As you can see there are a number of variable costs involved in wrapping your vehicle so it is important to discuss your project in detail before asking for pricing. If you are on a budget it is best to discuss your price range with the company and ask them what they could do for you based on what you are trying to achieve. A good vehicle graphics company will advise you on the best type of coverage to achieve your results.

Vehicle Graphics Advertising should not be considered a cost but rather a revenue generating activity. Your focus should be on deciding how much you think you will generate once the campaign is successful, then decide how much you can afford to spend. Once you have a clear objective and budget you can start looking for someone who understands what you are trying to accomplish and is able to help you accomplish it.

The companies that get the best results are typically the most expensive but as they say you get what you pay for. It’s better to negotiate the price down from one of the best companies rather than settling for a low cost from someone who may not be able to help you accomplish your objectives.

Remember that you will be stuck with the graphics for at least 3 years so it should be done right. Trying to save a few hundred bucks on a wrap may cost you ten’s to hundreds of thousands in the long term.

Now that you understand the Costs of Vehicle Graphics Advertising you can decide if it’s right for your business.


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By | 2016-11-26T23:28:19-04:00 May 1st, 2015|Getting Started Questions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Business owner and entrepreneur who enjoys helping other business owners to market and promote their business. I am a believer in automation whenever possible, so that you can spend more time with the family on the beach.