LAST UPDATED: February 4, 2020
Best Car Vinyl Wraps: Wrap Your Car in Style
Upgrade your ride with a custom vinyl wrap for the inside and out
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON February 4, 2020
Not happy with the appearance of your car? You can change the look of your vehicle with a vinyl car wrap and a few hours’ worth of work. All you need is a high-quality car wrap vinyl. You carefully wrap the parts you want to change, or you can opt to wrap your entire car. It’s important to choose a high-quality wrap so that the vinyl will last. We’ve found three that are sure to please and will leave your car looking great.
This long-lasting film is removable for a custom look that you can change. The kit comes with the vinyl and an installation toolkit that includes a squeegee, detailer squeegee, and felt squeegee edgers. The vinyl is black and features a carbon fiber pattern.
The adhesive is pressure-activated, so you can lay the vinyl on your car and adjust it for a perfect application. It also has acrylic-based air release channels for a bubble-free finish.
This vinyl is repositionable, so it’s OK if you mess it up the first time. This vinyl has a textured feel to give it a more realistic finish.
You’ll need to purchase additional products if you want a professional-looking installation. While they aren’t required, primer and edge sealer will improve adhesion. The air release feature doesn’t always work well and you risk creating creases when removing the bubbles.
This dual-layer vinyl wrap is great for full vehicle wraps as well as pinstriping and chrome deletes. It is 4.5 millimeters thick, has a built-in air release, and is pressure-activated.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Vinyl Wraps
- Adds personality. If you want to change and modify the look of your car, inside or out, it's easy to do so with any number of vehicle wraps. It only takes a few hours for a complete transformation.
- Cost-effective. It's much cheaper to use a vinyl car wrap than it is to respray a vehicle. Plus, if you have an older car, you may not want to invest in an expensive makeover.
- Protects your car. The best vinyl car wrap brands are designed to protect your vehicle and its paint job. If you want to avoid general wear and tear, look for high-quality wrap vinyl.
- Easy to replace. It doesn't take too much effort to apply a vinyl wrap and then replace it. If you decide you want a different look, simply remove what’s currently there and put another wrap in its place.
Types of Car Vinyl Wraps
Cast vinyl is best for car wrap applications. It is repositionable, conforms to various surface areas, and is easy to remove. It also lasts for several years. Another type of vinyl known as calendared is not recommended for use on cars because it's thicker, stickier, and meant for indoor or short-term use. Calendared vinyl tightens over time and may shrink or bubble.
One of the best ways to update and transform the look of your car is by using a colored vinyl wrap. This is the most common choice among auto enthusiasts. It's much less expensive than a paint job, and there are a variety of finishes available, including gloss, matte, 5D (for a really wet look), and pearlescent. You can wrap the entire exterior of your car, selected parts such as the hood, or certain interior spots.
This is a great option if your main goal is to protect your vehicle, particularly the exterior. If you want to avoid scratches and blemishes caused by road debris, clear vinyl will do the trick. This type of car wrap will not change the look of your vehicle but will keep it in pristine condition.
3M was founded in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1902 and started out as a mining business. The Fortune 500 company currently manufactures over 60,000 products, including adhesives, laminates, window films, paint protection films, and dental products. One of its popular car vinyl wraps is the 3M Carbon Fibre Black Vinyl Wrap.
This vinyl manufacturer is based in Montreal, Canada, and has over 30 years of experience in the industry. VViViD produces a large number of vinyls in various colors, textures, and finishes, including the VViViD XPO Black Carbon Fiber Car Wrap Vinyl.
TeckWrap is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been in business since 2012. The company produces a wide range of high-quality and affordable vinyl films, such as the TeckWrap 5D High Gloss Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Bubble Free Air Release Car Wrap Film.
Car Vinyl Wrap Pricing
- $10-$20: This is the base amount you will pay for most vinyl wraps that are one foot by five feet. Obviously, you have to buy a lot more if you want to cover larger areas or your entire vehicle.
- $20 and up: The more surface area you want to cover, the more expensive the wrap will be. Some brands may be pricier than others. Higher-quality wraps work better on extremely curved surfaces and are more scratch-resistant. It can cost several hundred dollars for 375 square feet, for example.
Looking for the best vinyl car wrap colors? There are loads to choose from. Custom car wraps come in a variety of shades, depending on the manufacturer. In addition to color, you can also choose the type of texture you prefer as well as the finish. The possibilities are nearly endless. Ultimately, it's up to your individual style.
The best vinyl car wrap brands sell their products in a variety of sizes to accommodate different people’s needs. The first thing you need to do is determine the size of the surface area that you want to wrap. Then choose a corresponding wrap that exceeds those dimensions. It's always better to have a little extra left over than not enough to complete the project.
Look for high-grade cast vinyl wraps. They are very sturdy and durable. Note that some companies, including 3M, make several types of vinyl, so be sure to choose one designed specifically for automotive use. It will last longer and conform to the various shapes and curves of a car. Most vehicle vinyl wraps last several months to a few years.
- Pressure-Activated: If vinyl is pressure-activated, that means you can slide around and reposition the adhesive during application. Once you find the sweet spot, you apply firm pressure. These vinyl wraps have air release channels that enable you to quickly and easily install the wrap without any bubbles.
- Installation: Not all wraps are the same when it comes to application. Some are easier to install than others. The best ones have flexible properties and allow you to reposition the vinyl. Many require an external heat source to set them in place and to conform to curves. Make sure to research the product to avoid any problems.
Best Car Vinyl Wrap Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This long-lasting, dual-activated film comes in over a dozen different sizes. The film is removable, and the kit comes with everything you need for a complete installation, including a medium-hard squeegee, detailer squeegee, and felt squeegee edgers. Two felt tips reduce the risk of scratching, and the vinyl is black and features a carbon fiber pattern.
The great thing about this adhesive is that it's pressure-activated, so you can place it on your vehicle and adjust it for a perfect application. It has a really good look and texture and makes the surface look just like carbon fiber. The product is easy to work with, and it's amazing how many times you can pull and reset it. It has acrylic-based air release channels for a bubble-free finish. The vinyl also stretches around very tight corners and is very pliable with the help of a hair dryer.
However, depending on what size you get, the sheets may be too short, so you need to measure carefully. You may also find it challenging to get the adhesive to fully stick, and the product scratches easily. In addition, the pattern may appear a little bit wavy.
This black carbon fiber printed vinyl is 3.9 mm thick and is available in a wide range of sizes. It has built-in air-release, resist, and heat-fuse technologies. The film stretches and conforms to various shapes and minimizes discoloration, stretch marks, and other visible defects. It has an outdoor lifespan of five to seven years.
This automotive vinyl is compatible with both interior and exterior applications and is very easy to use compared to some other products. You can reposition it, so it’s okay if you make a mistake the first time you apply it. This vinyl has a textured feel for a more realistic finish, and it mimics the appearance of real carbon fiber.
One drawback is that you need to buy additional products if you want a professional-looking result. Primer and edge sealer will improve adhesion, but they're not required. Also, the air release feature doesn’t always work, and you may create creases when removing the bubbles.
This color-changing, dual-layer film is designed for metal surfaces, including automobiles, watercraft, laptops, appliances, and cell phones. Smaller sizes can be used for pinstriping, racing stripes, and chrome deletes. The vinyl is 4.5 millimeters thick and features an air release, so you can push out the air bubbles. The pressure-activated adhesive allows you to reposition the vinyl, which can be stretched with a heat gun on curves.
This wrap is very protective and produces a smooth and gloss-like finish. It conforms well on deep recesses and is easy to apply and easy to remove any air bubbles. The company claims it will last outdoors for up to 12 years, and it's also a bit cheaper than some other brands. Overall, it's a great product to use if you're a first timer and have never worked with vinyl.
One downside is that the vinyl is a little thin, so it may not last as long as other products. Also, the glossy black color has a tendency to scratch rather easily. In addition, it may not be quite as black as products such as 3M.
This dual-cast film does not require overlaminate and is made for dimensional stability and durability. It's a pressure-activated adhesive, so you can slide and reposition it as necessary before setting it. The wrap is scratch-resistant, can last up to eight years outdoors, and can be heat-stretched to fit curved surfaces. It also has invisible air release channels to prevent air bubbles.
Wraps from 3M are very easy to work with and are very forgiving if you make a mistake. This one has great adhesion when you run a squeegee over it. And since you can reheat the material, it's easy to get rid of the wrinkles. The material itself is also very good quality, and it even adheres well to slightly textured interior plastic trim.
One downside is you may need another person to assist you if you are applying very large pieces onto your vehicle. It can also take a while to cut it and fit it properly, it requires a very sharp blade for application, and you need a bit of patience to get the job done. This particular shade also looks a little faded and is not deep black in color.
This vinyl wrap is designed for partial and complete vehicle wraps and produces a shade-shifting effect. It is 4 millimeters thick, doesn't require an overlaminate, and is made to wrap seamlessly around corners and crevices. It features RapidAir technology to prevent bubbles and comes in 16 "chameleon" colors.
The dual-layer film has a four-year lifespan and has an integrated clear coat layer. If you're a beginner DIY wrapper, you can achieve professional-looking results as long as you follow the basic instructions included in the package. You can use this wrap on cars, trucks, and motorcycles as well as on boats, furniture, and tabletops.
While the wrap won't fade or delaminate for as long as five years, the company recommends removing it within three years because the longer it stays on your vehicle, the harder it is to lift off the surface area. There have also been some complaints that it's not as durable as some other brands.
This wrap comes in silver mirror chrome as well as blue, red, and gold. It's a high polymeric calendered and removable wrap that is pressure-activated, so you can relift it, reposition it, and stretch it before setting it with a squeegee. It's flexible for wrapping around your vehicle's contours, and it can be used on both the exterior and interior of your car or truck on areas such as the hood, spoiler, or bumper.
This is a good-quality vinyl that produces a great chrome look. The shine lasts over time and doesn't peel or fade. It's nearly as shiny as actual chrome parts, and it looks good and will stay on for many years as long as you install it properly. The film is thick and strong, and it's easy to reposition without damaging it.
But there have been some complaints that this product produces a lot of air bubbles, and the company recommends not using a heat gun, which is often used to remove air bubbles. It's also not scratch-resistant.
Make your vehicle stand out with Sky Auto Inc.'s camouflage vinyl wrap. It features air-release technology to minimize air bubbles. The self-adhesive has removable glue and can be used to partially or fully wrap a vehicle. It's also ideal for other metal surfaces, such as laptops, cell phones, appliances, and personal watercraft.
This wrap holds up well in various weather conditions and does not harm your vehicle's finish or leave behind any residue. It's flexible and stretches to cover concave areas and is water-resistant. It's pressure-sensitive, so you can reposition it as required, and it comes with free tools for application.
However, you cannot install this wrap in cold temperatures because it will weaken the adhesive. You also need to use a heat gun or blow dryer to shape it properly. In addition, the camouflage print may be too wild for some tastes.
This red camouflage vinyl wrap is high resolution, and each sheet is printed to order. The film is slidable and repositionable for ease of use and features a pressure-activated adhesive from 3M. It is laminated with premium-cast PVC matte overlaminate and is designed for full-vehicle wrapping as well as windows, glass, and watercraft.
This is one of the most realistic patterns on the market. It features a UV-protective coating that is designed to last up to a decade. After you apply and bond the vinyl wrap to the vehicle's surface area, you can clean and polish it with any product that is designed for painted finishes. The adhesive has an invisible pattern as well as superior air release and lifting resistance.
One problem is the color and pattern may differ from the pictures, so the shade and texture may look a little different in person. The manufacturer recommends ordering a sample before purchasing a quantity to wrap your entire vehicle.
- Take the time to measure the surface area that you want to cover. This will ensure you buy the right square footage. It’s also smart to add 20 percent to your total measurement. This will ensure you have enough to completely cover everything in a single perfect sheet.
- Pay attention to the thickness of the vinyl. Thicker vinyl may be sturdier and more durable, but it is also stiffer and harder to work with. You can heat the vinyl to soften and stretch it. However, if you stretch it too thin, you compromise its integrity.
- Look for vinyl that has a UV rating. Since you plan to put it on or in your car, it will fade quickly without some sort of protection from the sun’s UV rays. Even with UV protection, it’s best to keep your car out of the sun as much as possible.
Q: What can I wrap with vinyl?
A: You can wrap almost anything you want. All you need is a clean flat surface. Avoid wrapping parts that get very hot, such as the engine and exhaust. You can wrap the entire exterior of the car and several of the interior pieces. Many people choose to wrap the trim pieces in their dash for a custom look.
Q: Is this a DIY project?
A: Wrapping your car can be a complicated and time-intensive project. However, it’s a project you can do yourself. Look for a repositionable wrap to make the installation process easier. You also want to plan on having patience to remove all of the air bubbles for a smooth finish. It’s also best to have someone help you when you’re wrapping large car body parts.
Q: How do I prep my car for wrapping?
A: You need to thoroughly clean the surface of your car. You could wash the car yourself or take it to a professional cleaner. Be sure to not apply any wax after washing, as this will hinder the vinyl’s adherence. Pay attention to areas where you have pits or chips in your paint. These will become amplified when wrapped. Before you apply the wrap, you can wipe down your surface with isopropyl alcohol to remove all residue.
Choose the 3M Carbon Fibre Black Vinyl Wrap for a high-quality wrap that’s durable and beautiful.
The VViViD XPO Black Carbon Fiber Car Wrap Vinyl is a nice-looking and affordable alternative.