Through the Winter and Into...? Your Guide to Long Car Wrapping

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What would you do for 8.4 million impressions each year? Preparing yourself for a lot of online ad spending? Well, you're wrong! 

You can reach over 95% of Americans with vehicle wraps. Thanks to the mobility of vehicles, your wrap can reach a new audience every day, at all times of the day. All you need is someone to drive it. 

Interested in car wrapping? Keep reading to find out how to make your investment last as long as possible. 

How Long Do Car Wraps Last? 

Your wrap will last the longest when it is installed by an experienced professional and then taken care of. If these two things are done you can expect your vehicle wraps to last about 7 years. 

Some wraps will last about 5 years. While others can last longer at about 10 years. 

Manufacturer Claims 

Avery, one of the major suppliers of car vinyl, claims they have a product that will last 12 years. Except that this warranty of life is excluded from "desert areas". This includes Arizona, California, and Nevada. 

You really can only expect a 12-year lifespan in the most ideal of situations. 

The Type of Vinyl Used 

How long your wrap lasts also depends on what type of vinyl and printing your installer uses. The most popular type of wrap is 3M. This is thanks to its reputation for quality. 

You will also find that any matte color type of vinyl will have a shorter lifespan. This type of wrap doesn't have a protective clear coat. 

This is in contrast to printed and gloss varieties that have a protective clear coat. 

What Shortens the Life of Car Wrapping

There are a few things that will shorten the life of your car wrap. By keeping them in mind you can take steps to avoid them and thereby ensuring your wrap lasts as long as possible. 

Poor Maintenance

It's true that a vehicle wrap can protect your car, but that doesn't mean you can neglect all vehicle car and maintenance. You need to regularly clean your vehicle's wrap. 

Leaving the dirt, debris, tree sap, or bird droppings on your wrap can cause them to seep into the seams. Then your wrap will start to warp and become discolored. You may also start to see peeling around the different edges of the wrap's pieces. 

You'll want to soak stubborn insects, sap, or gasoline stains with warm soapy water. Then gently rub the area with a microfiber cloth. If you have any spots that refuse to budge you can use some denatured alcohol or Simple Green on them. 

Consider washing your wrapped car every 1 to 2 weeks. 

The Sun 

The UV rays from the sun are one of the worst things for your wrap. What's even worse is that you can't totally avoid it, especially here in Chatsworth, CA. But you can reduce the car's exposure. 

Try parking in the shade whenever possible when out and about. Then park the car in a covered area or garage when storing. 

The first sign that your wrap is getting too much sun is the colors starting to fade. You won't notice this right away, but compare a spot on the wrap that doesn't get sun and you will immediately notice the difference. 

After fading you will start to see cracks and chipping. 

Extreme Temperatures 

If you live in an area where you experience extreme temperatures, you can expect your wrap to last slightly less time. This could mean you live in a place like Arizona where the summer heat reaches in excess of 100 degrees. 

It isn't just the heat though. Cold temperatures can also shorten your wrap's lifespan. This is because both temperature extremes put stress on the vinyl material. 

Driving Fast and Furious

Don't drive like a madman and put your car through a gauntlet. This will just put your wrap through more of a beating than necessary.

You will start notice dings and scratches in your vinyl. Over time, these small and barely noticeable nicks will become large and unsightly holes in your wrap. 

Car Washes

You need to hand wash your wrapped fleet. The machine powered car washes can be too powerful causing your wrap to lift at the seams. 

Those bristles that "clean" your car can scratch your vinyl. Then if that wasn't enough, the chemicals that are used in the soap can cause your vinyl to fade prematurely. 


You might think you should wax your wrap. After all, doesn't waxing help protect and make your car's paint last longer? 

Wrong! Waxing actually decreases your vinyl wrap's lifespan. Over time, the wax breaks down and degrades the vinyl. 

Cleaning Solvents 

You want to stick with a mild soap and water to clean your wrap. Stay away from anything oil based. Also, stay away from and solvents. 

Then be sure to totally rinse your wrap once you are done cleaning. You want to be sure to remove any soap residue. 

Wrap Your Car Responsibly 

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your wrap lasts is to make sure you have an experienced professional install it. Thanks to developments in printing technology there are many new shops out there. You want to make sure the one you choose has years of experience so they can stand behind their work. 

A quality wrapper will take care of the vehicle paint underneath. This will give you the full benefit of the wrap and leave you with a great looking car when you're finished. 

Read to get started with car wrapping? We can help! 

Get a quote today for wrapping your fleet.