Reviews

Best Car Wraps: Give Your Ride Personality and Style

Enhance the look and feel of your car with these custom car wraps you can install yourself

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook The Drive on Instagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON September 30, 2021

A lot of great things have happened for car owners in recent times, but perhaps the most buzz-worthy of those are car wraps. What was once a crude and obvious step below a paint job is now a mod that can be a total show stopper, rivaling the finish of even high-end builds. On top of that, it's something you can do yourself with the right equipment and a little bit of patience. We know you already know you want to wrap your car, so we won't waste any more of your time. Below, you'll find some of our favorite entries, then we'll set you up with a buying guide to help you master the market of car wraps!

Best Overall
3M 2080 G12 Gloss Black 5ft x 50ft Car Wrap
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

3M is a leading name in the industry for a reason. This 250-square-foot roll offers the quality, durability, and finish to show us exactly why that is.

Pros
Pros
  • Relatively easy to work with 
  • High-quality construction 
  • High durability 
  • Pro-level finish
Cons
Cons
  • May be too costly for beginners to justify 
  • Receiving old stock is a common issue
Best Overall
3M 2080 G12 Gloss Black 5ft x 50ft Car Wrap
Best Value
VViViD+ Slate Grey Grigio Telesto Gloss 5 Feet x 50 Feet Vinyl Car Wrap
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

Why go overboard on your first try? This relatively affordable 250-square-foot roll is exceptionally durable and offers quality that is sure to impress.

Pros
Pros
  • Relatively affordable price point 
  • Decent quality despite pricing 
  • Highly durable
Cons
Cons
  • Aggressive adhesive makes it hard to work with
  • Thick structure takes extra work for contours
Best Value
VViViD+ Slate Grey Grigio Telesto Gloss 5 Feet x 50 Feet Vinyl Car Wrap
Honorable Mention
Avery SW900-865-O GLOSS DARK GREY 5 Feet x 75 Feet
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

The quality and durability put Avery among leading brands. The patented adhesive and highly desirable finish quality put this 375 square-foot roll in a league of its own.

Pros
Pros
  • Patented adhesive eases installation
  • High-quality construction 
  • Exceptional durability 
  • Highly desirable finish
Cons
Cons
  • Easy to overheat 
  • Receiving old stock is somewhat common
Honorable Mention
Avery SW900-865-O GLOSS DARK GREY 5 Feet x 75 Feet
Car wrap
Amazon

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Best Vinyl Wraps Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
3M 2080 G12 Gloss Black 5ft x 50ft Car Wrap

3M is one of the biggest names in the industry on account of quality. So, it's only natural for us to give it the top spot. That's not all we considered, though, as 3M's wraps are easy to work with and an excellent product for beginners. It's also very durable and sure to last many years in most environments. This particular option is a beautiful gloss black. You get 250 square feet to work with, but you can opt for larger or smaller rolls if you need to. 


While we see a lot of good in this product, there are some things to be aware of. For one, its price is a little high for beginners who will need to practice. Also, it seems as though 3M frequently replaces rolls as there is a lot of old inventory with imperfections sent out. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: 3M 
  • Part Number: 2080-G12
  • Size: 250 square feet

Pros:

  • Relatively easy to work with 
  • High-quality construction 
  • High durability 
  • Pro-level finish 

Cons

  • May be too costly for beginners to justify 
  • Receiving old stock is a common issue
Best Value
VViViD+ Slate Grey Grigio Telesto Gloss 5ft x 50ft Vinyl Car Wrap

The balance of price, quality, and durability make it an obvious choice for this award. Next up, we have a great option for folks wanting a decent product on a budget. This wrap is about what you'll need to cover your entire car, as the price is for a total of 250 square feet. VViViD is a great brand for starters and professionals as the middle-of-the-road pricing fits within any budget, but the quality is far better than what you'd find at the bottom of the barrel. As usual with vinyl, you can also get it in larger or smaller rolls for practice or in case of mistakes. It's also exceptionally durable and will last you a solid five to seven years if done right. 


You definitely want to practice with this vinyl before you get rolling. We say that because it's working with an aggressive adhesive that makes it difficult to remove. VViViD’s vinyl is also thicker than most, which is great for longevity, but that does make it tougher to contour. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: VViViD
  • Part Number: ‎Vvglossltgry_50x5
  • Size: 250 square feet

Pros

  • Relatively affordable price point 
  • Decent quality despite pricing 
  • Highly durable 

Cons

  • Aggressive adhesive makes it hard to work with
  • Thick structure takes extra work for contours
Best Premium
Avery SW900-865-O GLOSS DARK GREY 5ft x 75ft

The quality and finish alone are worthy of praise, eased installation makes it worth a little more. We're proud of all of the names on our list, but we do feel Avery is worth spending a little extra on as it has the best of everything. It's an exceptionally durable product, the finish is gorgeous, and it's easier to install than the others. The ease of installation is made possible with Avery's patented adhesive. The durability is also above average on account of the protective layer on the film. You do pay extra for the quality, but this is also a 375-square-foot roll. Believe it or not, the value is better than you'd get with other brands, and you could save on a smaller roll if you don't need something of this size. 


While installation is simple, you do want to learn how this product works before installing, as some say it's very easy to overheat and damage if you're not careful. Also, it does seem that some old stock is fairly common from the brand, and you will want to have old, wrinkled wraps replaced before working with it. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Avery
  • Part Number: SW900-865-O
  • Size: 375 square feet

Pros:

  • Patented adhesive eases installation
  • High-quality construction 
  • Exceptional durability 
  • Highly desirable finish 

Cons:

  • Easy to overheat 
  • Receiving old stock is somewhat common
Best for Trim
EzAuto Wraps 3M Chrome Blackout Kit

This kit is great for someone looking to put the finishing touches on their car or who wants to take a crack at vinyl wrap. What if you don't want to wrap the entire car? What if this is the first time you're messing with a vinyl wrap? This is the entry for you, as this little kit is perfect for quick projects or beginners because it comes with everything you need to get started, except for a heat gun. It includes a roll of black 3M vinyl wrap, a squeegee, and a cutting blade. It's designed to work as a chrome blackout kit, but it's more affordable and easier to do than attempting to paint over chrome pieces. Also, it sits at a really good price, making it an excellent contender for our pick of best value. 


We didn't give it the award of Best Value because it's something desirable by a somewhat limited demographic. Also, it does seem that issues with incorrect lengths are relatively common and the tools included aren't exactly professional quality. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: EZAutoWrap 
  • Part Number: 3M-2080-GLOSS-BLACK-G12
  • Size: 16.66 square feet

Pros:

  • Affordable price point 
  • Easy way to black out trim
  • Tools included 

Cons:

  • Wrong lengths often shipped 
  • Included tools are somewhat flimsy
Honorable Mention
VViViD Chameleon Carbon Fiber Purple to Blue 5ft x 50ft

The highly stylish scheme paired with the balance of price and quality makes it almost impossible to ignore. If you don't enjoy black or gray, you can just take a hike. No, we're just kidding. We know that a major attraction to car wraps is the crazy finishes at affordable prices. That's why we want to close with an example of that. This entry from VViViD offers the quality, durability, and pricing you could expect, only not in grayscale as we've shown so far. The Carbon Fiber Purple to Blue finish is highly stylish and will instantly boost the aesthetic appeal of a car for many. While there is enough here to cover the entire car, you can also opt for something smaller to handle trim, hoods, or other small portions of a vehicle. 


Is it perfect? No. It's kind of hard to work with due to the thickness, and the adhesive leaves little room for mistakes. Still, it's an excellent option for anyone looking to stand out. 

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: VViViD
  • Part Number: Vvchamprplblucrbnfbr_50
  • Size: 250 square feet

Pros:

  • Highly stylish finish 
  • Exceptional durability 
  • Relatively affordable price point 

Cons:

  • Aggressive adhesive makes it hard to work with
  • Thick structure takes extra work for contours

How We Selected The Products 

There are a lot of options when it comes to vinyl wraps, but there's also room for a lot of things to go wrong. If brands don't use quality vinyl, adhesives, or manufacturing processes, you can wind up with a very poor finished product. Prep and technique are huge parts of the process, but having a quality wrap to start with is equally as important. That's why we took the time to include the brands we know pros work with. After that, we looked at factors such as the popularity of colors and unique packages to make our list. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing yet on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

We know that our list is heavy on the grayscale, but while those might be super popular colors that look great on anything, it doesn't mean that's what you're looking for. We're not leaving you to the wolves if you're looking for something a little more suiting to your taste. This buying guide will help you get where you need to be! 

Top Brands

The best detail you can look to when just getting started is the brand that's manufacturing the wrap in the first place. There are a lot of subpar wrap brands you'll want to stay away from as they won't offer the same level of quality wraps as the leaders, despite their claims. 

3M

Yes, you know 3M. It played a major role in introducing the world to the Scotch tape brand. With humble beginnings dating back to 1902 in northern Minnesota, 3M has grown to be one of the most recognizable brands in adhesives, and you'll probably find it on any sticky aftermarket part for your car. 

Avery

With roots extending back to 1935, the Avery Dennison name has long been a go too for vehicle wraps and graphics. Its presence can be found in agricultural and industrial settings alongside commercial vehicles, as it's known for producing some of the best wraps available. 

VVivid

With 30 years of experience, Vvivid is one of the more recognizable names in the world of car wraps. The Montreal-based company has proven itself to be a dependable supplier, and its distribution center in Champlain, N.Y., helps folks across the country get their hands on it. 

Expert Tips

Picking out vinyl wraps is heavily dependent on personal taste, making it hard for us to go much further with this buying guide. However, if you stick to the better names, you should make out just fine. Before we call it quits, though, we do have a few more quick tips to share with you! 

Good Paint First

Like paint, vinyl does need a good base to stick to. It will adhere best to a thoroughly cleaned and prepped paint job. If your existing paint job is heavily damaged, it’s better to have it repainted as the vinyl might not stick to it properly. 

Practice is Essential

If you're working with vinyl for the first time, you might not want to start by attempting to wrap an entire car. Even if it's faster than painting your car, it's not as simple as slapping a sticker on. We suggest getting something to sample and learning how to work it on various surfaces because there are special techniques and practices you need to get down before attempting to take on massive projects. 

Get the Right Equipment 

Painting a car gets expensive when you throw in a good gun, air compressor, booth, and finishing supplies. Laying vinyl doesn't require quite as much, but you don't want to skimp on tools. It’s definitely worth spending a little extra money on good squeegees, heat guns, and cutting blades. 

FAQs 

You definitely have some questions bouncing around in your head. We might not be able to give you the answer to the meaning of life, but we can try to clear up some things on car wraps. To do that, we're going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about car wraps. 

Q. How long do car wraps last?

Car wraps can last around five to seven years, though it really depends on how you do things and the quality of the wrap you're using. If you cheap out and rush through the job, it probably won't stick around for long. It’s worth the extra money and time if you want to stretch your investment. 

Q. Does wrapping a car ruin paint?

Yes and no. If the paint beneath is in good condition, you shouldn't run into any issues when putting wrap over it. In fact, it can protect a good paint job. If, however, the paint was already chipping and scratched up, the vinyl might remove loose layers when you pull it off. 

Q. Can you pressure wash a wrapped car?

Yes, you can pressure wash a wrapped car as long as you are careful. Keep pressure below 2,000 PSI, avoid narrow-angle nozzles, and keep water temperatures cool. Also, be careful not to spray directly at any surfaces where the vinyl meets the paint, as you can ruin the bond.

Q. Can you wax a car wrap?

That depends on the manufacturer. Some do not recommend using wax or a similar coating, as it may ruin the finish. Others are welcoming to it. It's worth reading what the manufacturer suggests on care and protection of the coating to determine what you can and cannot do to it. 

Q. Can I clear coat over a car wrap?

You can lay a clear coat over your vinyl wrap if you're looking for optimal protection. However, it's important to do it correctly. It's best to go to a professional who has experience with the process if this is something you want to be done. 

Why Trust Us

The Drive seeks to be the internet’s premier destination for news, features, reviews and guides about modern automotive culture.

Founded as the /DRIVE YouTube channel before growing into a full-fledged online publication in 2015, The Drive brings you the best of what’s new in the world of speed, from gear reviews to the latest industry coverage—all from a veteran team of writers and editors with many decades of combined hands-on experience. Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.