To wrap – Or not to wrap?

We often get requests to “wrap my van”. Some customers genuinely mean to ‘wrap’ their entire vehicle, covering it in a self adhesive vinyl, whether to change the colour, or a printed wrap to advertise their business. Others mistakenly use the term meaning more conventional signage.

We don’t hide the fact, that we don’t specialise in ‘full wraps’, and are primarily focus on commercial vehicles. So if you’re looking to get your car wrapped, you’re probably better searching elsewhere, and there’s no shortage of Manchester based companies who offer specialise in colour change wraps – We’re just not one of them.

There’s often a misconception attached to vehicle wrapping, that it is ‘cheap’. Or at least cheaper than painting a vehicle. The truth being, much of the preparation work required to spray a vehicle, is equally required to successfully wrap a vehicle to a paint like finish.

Just like at paint shops, the vehicle needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and obstacles remove including handles, lights, mirrors and trims, with some shops & wraps requiring going to the extent of removing bumpers and doors. Sure there are shortcuts and workarounds – Rather than remove obstacles, you can cut around them, fill them in, add joints, and whilst is does save time, it can take away from the overall finish, especially when viewed up close.

Unlike paint with an almost unlimited colour choice, there’s a smaller, yet ever growing selection of colour change films on the market with more manufacturers entering the arena.

This adds another complexity. What material do you opt for? There’s industry leaders such as Avery & 3M, who have lead the way for a number of years, producing materials that aid the installation process – and more importantly aid the removal. With lesser known, but just as suitable manufacturers such as Hexis, Oracal & Mactac. Then more recent brands such as Techwrap, and established UK based sign film manufacturer launching their own wrap films, and then of course there’s those unbranded products you’ll see on auction sites.

Some installers have a preference to certain manufacturers, others will use any material. But it’s one thing to consider. A true ‘cast’ film is manufactured in a completely different manner to some of these new hybrid films. The manufacture process for cast vinyl is slower, and as result means increased cost, so it’s only natural that manufacturers looked at alternatives. We’re not knocking the hybrid films, they’re more than adequate in certain applications, where others require a cast film, installed correctly.

So you’ve chosen your colour, or your design, and you’ve had your wrap installed. Months, or years down the line, comes another issue that’s often not anticipated. A scratch, or accident. Most paint sprayers have the ability to match and blend a repair, with a wrap that’s no possible. If you can’t recall the colour your vehicle was wrapped in, it’s a case of trawling the swatch books and finding a match.

Manufacturers are constantly improving their materials, adding colours, and even discontinuing ranges and specific colours. It’s particularly pertinent if you’ve opted for a printed wrap. Where you’ll need access to the original artwork, and even then a colour match will be unlikely resulting in much larger areas requiring reprinting and wrapping.

So yes wraps are fantastic, they offer advantages over paint – they can be removed and changed, they offer some level of protection to the underlying paintwork. However they’re far from perfect, especially in the event of an accident or damage.

Whilst we don’t offer full wraps, we do partially wrap commercial vehicles, which gives you the visual impact without the financial impact, and in the event of damage, with clear breaks in the wrap repairs don’t require such large areas of the wrap to be replaced.

By Published On: July 20th, 2021Categories: Tips & Tricks, Van Signs0 Comments on To wrap – Or not to wrap?