The Life Expectancy of a Car Wrap

Here are three steps to help answer the question, "How long will my wrap last?"

It is one of the most common questions customers ask, yet it is one of the most difficult questions for graphics installers to answer: “How long will my wrap last?”

It’s a loaded question, as lots of factors can determine the lifespan of a wrap. Following these three steps will help you arrive at an accurate answer that will also satisfy your customers.

First, find out what they are specifically looking for in their vehicle wrap. Are they using it for long term branding or a short-term event? Or, is it a personalized wrap? The information will guide what type of film you use on the vehicle, from short term, promotional to long term durable films. Different films have different warranty parameters, so it is important to be clear and concise about those variables from the very start.

Next, ask them to describe the environment their vehicle will be exposed to. Climate and region have a big impact on the life of a wrap. In northern regions, where there is less exposure to UV rays, heat and humidity, graphics can last much longer than in southern regions. If the vehicle is parked in a shaded area or a garage, rather than a hot parking lot, wraps will last longer. Additionally, how customers care for their vehicles and how often they clean them will also play a role in the wrap’s longevity. Waxing a wrap, just like waxing your painted vehicle, can also make it last longer. Explaining this to your customers will help them understand what they can do to extend the life of their wrap.

Finally, after the wrap has been installed, present them with a certificate along with the receipt of purchase, outlining central details of the overall warranty. This could also include some use and care instructions. Some wrap films have a seven-year warranty for vertical surfaces and a 3-year warranty for horizontal surfaces. This is due to various factors, specifically type of film, ink, and laminate along with the climate. For instance, the sun’s UV rays have a bigger impact on horizontal surfaces, making these areas experience wear and tear sooner. However, each wrap is different, so it is important for you to understand the warranty details for each film. Outlining those details in writing on a certificate will provide less room for misinterpretation by your customer.

For more tips, tricks and industry insights, check out the 3M Graphics Hub.

Avatar of Matt Dixon

Matt Dixon

Matt Dixon is the executive editor of GRAPHICS PRO and WRAPS magazines. Before that he was served as editor of Sign & Digital Graphics and Sign Business Magazine. He can be reached at 720-566-7286.

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