Car wrapping is a great way of customising your vehicle without the need for a complex (and often expensive) paint job. Particularly over the past 10 years, car wrapping has seen a major rise in interest, with Google Trends showing a major peak in early 2014. Entire businesses have been built around the subject, tutorials and guides are published online, and the tools and techniques used to accomplish a good car wrap have also undergone development. Suffice it to say, car wrapping is quite popular.

But what are some common car wrap problems, how does it work, and how do you maintain it? Here, we discuss everything you need to know about car wrapping.

what is car wrapping?

Car wrapping involves using vinyl film to change the appearance of your car. Wraps can be bought in single block colours, or even in textured finishes like carbon fibre or wood grain. There are three key stages to wrapping your car:

  1. Planning the wrap by measuring the car and choosing a colour and finish.
  2. Researching your vinyl options
  3. Printing the vinyl and laminating it to protect against scratches and UV damage.
  4. Physically wrapping the vehicle.

Unsurprisingly, car wrapping can be a fiddly job. If you haven’t got the time or patience, your best bet is to get it done by a professional; they’ll cut each panel to size correctly, as well as prepare your car in the best way to make the vinyl wrap last.

wrapping a car: pros and cons


Car wrapping is great for adding a personal touch to your car, or for giving it a new lease of life if it’s a slightly older vehicle.

Aside from personalisation, car wrapping has its benefits. If you already love the paint colour of your car, you can invest in a clear wrap to act as an extra protective layer.

Vinyl wrapping is also often used for advertising, as custom wraps don’t have to feature just one colour. You can use custom wrapping to feature your brand name, logo, and contact details to make people aware of your business as you drive past.


Most cons of getting your car vinyl wrapped come from having it unprofessionally fitted. For example, water can sometimes get trapped underneath the wrap which can lead to bubbling and peeling underneath the wrap. As well as this, scratches can sometimes be left behind when fitting individual panels.

You’ll also need to keep on top of maintenance. While the right vinyl can actually be stronger than clear coats, keeping it clean is important for its appearance. In particular, be careful of mess from birds, as this can corrode the vinyl layer. It’s also worth noting that vinyl attracts dust much quicker than paint, so it looks much worse, much quicker.

how to maintain a car wrap

Washing your car by hand is the best way to keep it in top shape. A pressure washer should be okay depending on the type of wrap you use, but the water shouldn’t be too hot. A drive-through wash could damage the finish too, so it’s best to avoid this wherever possible.

One perk of vinyl wrapping is that you shouldn’t need to wax it; the vinyl should retain the same waterproof finish for most of its life. If you still want to give your car some personal TLC, though, there are polishes designed specifically for vinyl wrapped cars that won’t damage it the way a normal polish could.

is car wrapping legal?

It’s perfectly legal to wrap your car. In fact, it’s a great way to customise your vehicle and give it an aesthetic edge without modifying it under the hood. If you’re looking to personalise your car in more ways than one, have a look at our guide: ‘car modifications: laws and regulations explained’.

One thing you will have to bear in mind, though, is that whatever customisations you make, you’ll need to inform your insurance provider about it. This is so that they have a clear idea of what your vehicle looks like, should anything happen to it. You may also need written permission from your car finance provider too, so make sure you check with them first before making any changes.

find your dream vehicle with

At, we have used cars from dealerships all over the UK. The best place to start when deciding how to modify your car, is to have a car that’s ideal for you as a base.

Start browsing with today.

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