Effective Partial Vehicle Wraps

A partial wrap need not take a back seat to a full wrap; it depends what the custom wants.

Budget and design, and often a combination of the two, are typically why we do a partial wrap instead of a full wrap. The effectiveness of a wrap, as a form of advertising, isn’t as dependent on the amount of coverage as how well it is designed. Professional wraps should combine equal amounts of experienced design and high-quality installation.


If you offer vehicle wraps, you’ve inevitably received a phone call asking, “How much do you charge to wrap a car?” Of course this question is met with a bunch of clarifying questions-what kind of vehicle do you have? How much of the vehicle do you want to wrap? What is your budget? What is your business type?

I always request to see the vehicle before offering a firm quote; we may offer a ballpark range over the phone.

Many of the vehicles we wrap and letter are standard white vans. To help speed up the pricing of van wrapping, we created a sheet with four coverage options broken down by graphics, with and without perforated window film, and installation. This allows us to easily show the customer how much coverage they can expect at different price points.


When our customer’s budget won’t allow for a full wrap we then start thinking of the best placement of the graphics to maximize their budget. For cargo and box vans and boxy cars, the sides and back are often best. On normal cars and pickups it’s usually the long section along the sides and possibly the back window.

Spot graphics are a great way to accent the larger wrapped areas.

If you’re wrapping the entire cab, keep in mind how much time will be spent wrapping the hood, fenders and around windows. These areas need more heating, tucking and trimming.

Fleet Jobs

For fleet jobs the pricing may be a set amount per vehicle or a bill for the whole account. The amount of coverage each vehicle needs may depend on how much visibility that particular vehicle gets.


Once the budget and vehicle type have dictated coverage, now you have to create effective advertising to fit the space. For the design to be effective it has to go beyond just catching the consumer’s eye and must also create an impression.

You don’t need a full vehicle wrap to properly get the brand out there. But having a plan ahead of time is an important part of the design process. This is where every aspect of the vehicle’s markings should be planned ahead of time to make the most effective use of the message. If the customer asks you what you think about a particular design or message, don’t be afraid to express your opinion. After all, you’re the one who wraps vehicles for a living (or at least at part of your overall services), not them.


Helping a customer create an effective wrap design always starts with an interview. What do they hope to accomplish with their wrap? What is a realistic budget they’ll have to work with?

The customer should leave your shop feeling confident that you have a complete understanding of what they want and also that they are crystal clear on what they’ll be paying for. If necessary, sketch out roughly what the vehicle’s going to look like when it’s finished. Having that visual tool may help them breathe easier that they are, in fact, getting what they want.

To read more on this topic from Charity Jackson, click HERE

tony kindelspire oct21

Tony Kindelspire

Tony Kindelspire is the former digital content editor of Sign & Digital Graphics & WRAPS magazines.

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