How Long Do Vehicle Wraps Last?

Full truck wrapVehicle wraps can last many years, depending on a few variables. Generally speaking, they last between five and seven years of normal wear and tear. Some vehicle wraps last as long as 10 to 12 years.

What’s normal wear and tear? We consider that to be daily use in all kinds of weather, occasionally parking in direct sunlight.

What Affects How Long Your Vehicle Wraps Last?

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause damage to a vehicle wrap over time. Not to be dramatic, but the sun is a wrap’s biggest enemy! Vehicle wraps that last longer (10 to 12 years) are typically vehicles that are not exposed to as much direct sunlight for whatever reason.

Sun exposure is the main factor in the deterioration over time of vehicle wraps. So try to park in the shade, if you can.

What else might limit the number of useful vehicle wrap years? The climate directly impacts the longevity of your wrap. Although the climate is related to the number of hours of direct sunlight, we’re referring more to extremes of cold and ice, heat and humidity, and the grit that accumulates over time as you drive your wrapped vehicle through the elements.

As they report at Edmunds.com, “the less a car wrap is exposed to the elements, the longer it will last … However, excessive sun exposure can ‘bake in’ the vinyl wrap, making it harder to remove and significantly shortening its lifespan. If you park the car on the street and don’t keep it clean, the wrap might only last a year.” 

Cleaning Your Vehicle Wrap

Regular cleaning — as well as the method you use to clean your wrap — is extremely important to maintain its overall appearance. In fact, this is where you have the biggest control over your investment.

We recommend that you clean your wrap every two weeks or so. The preferred method of cleaning is by hand, with mild, soapy water and a sponge.

It’s important to note that pressure washing can damage the wrap and should be avoided. If you prefer an automatic wash, a brushless wash, without the wax option, is acceptable. 

In between washings, spot cleaning to remove bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, and other natural blemishes is helpful. Hand waxing your wrap is OK as long as the wax doesn’t contain petroleum distillates or abrasive components.

Car graphics

What Else Affects How Long Your Vehicle Wraps Last?

Wrap longevity also depends on other factors, such as the colors used in the graphics; how many pieces comprise the wrap; where the wrap is located on the vehicle; and whether it’s installed vertically or horizontally.

Proper installation is absolutely vital, which is why you should come to NW Sign Solutions to get your vehicle wrapped. We’ll provide you with thorough instructions on how to keep your vehicle properly cared for.

And remember: A wrap is a great way to keep your vehicle’s original paint job looking great (in case you ever want to sell it).

NW Sign Solutions

When it comes to branding, NW Sign Solutions is your one-stop sign shop! Our experienced and talented design and tech team can do it all.

Our goal is to get your business noticed. We do that by helping you to create a unique and consistent look across all of your signage — from the street to your lobby. That’s one of the reasons why our work and our customer service remains top-notch from one project to the next.

We cover a lot of ground on our blog. We’ve examined fleet vehicle wraps, window graphics, wall murals, and more! But we thought it was time to turn to a more basic question — this time about vehicle wraps in general: Just how long do vinyl car wraps typically last anyway?

Now that we’ve answered it, we have a question for you? What topics do you want to see covered in our blog? What questions do you have about our products and services?

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, so please do contact NW Sign Solutions today!

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