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How Long Does a Car Wrap Last?

Curious about How Long Does a Car Wrap Last? Located in Southern California, there are numerous new shops in the area. While some claim their product can last anywhere from 3 to 7 years, one shop with a remarkable 12-year track record in wrapping informed me that realistically, a gloss color may start fading and potentially bond to the original paint, causing damage after only 2 years. Interestingly, they mentioned that 3M and Avery do not provide warranties for fading or defects, which makes me wonder if the desert region I am in has any impact. Considering these factors, I am now questioning whether it is truly worth investing in a wrap that only has a lifespan of 2 years.

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How Long Does a Car Wrap Last?

Roughly five to seven years:

  • The durability of a car wrap can vary between five to seven years, depending on the finish and maintenance. However, it’s important to consider if a car with paint scratches, dents, or rust can still be wrapped.

How Long Does a Car Wrap Last (1)

Related: How To Remove Vinyl Wrap?

What factors can affect the lifespan of a vehicle wrap?

-Proper Care and Maintenance: A vehicle wrap can last longer if you maintain it properly. This includes regularly washing the car, waxing when necessary, avoiding abrasive cleaning products or scrubbers that could damage the vinyl, and protecting your wrap from extreme temperatures.

-Temperature: Both extreme heat and cold can negatively impact your wrap. If the temperature gets too hot, the wrap can become malleable and more susceptible to damage. On the other hand, if the temperature drops too low, the wrap can crack.

-Sun Exposure: Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause fading and cracking over time. To reduce this, you should park in the shade whenever possible. Additionally, you can apply a protective coating that will help block out some of the sun’s rays and keep your wrap looking new for longer.

Related: How To Remove Scratches From Car?

-Quality of Wrap: The quality of your wrap will have an effect on its lifespan as well. Make sure to go with a reputable company and get premium-grade vinyl material if you want your wrap to last longer. The more expensive option may be worth it in the long run if it helps protect your investment.

How long does a wrap really last? Leave your comments on the question How long does a wrap really last? Let’s discuss further

Timothy Ballard

I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.

2 thoughts on “How Long Does a Car Wrap Last?”

  1. Situated in SoCal, this area boasts an array of new shops. Although some claim durability for 3-7 years, a reputable wrapping shop with a solid 12-year track record advises a more realistic estimate of 2 years for a gloss color before any signs of fading occur. Moreover, it’s crucial to consider the potential damage to the original paint caused by the bonding process. Notably, it’s worth mentioning that both 3M and Avery do not provide warranties for material fading and defects. As I ponder this, the suitability of such an investment for a mere 2-year lifespan seems questionable.

    • The shop claiming a two-year lifespan is questionable in my experience. Personally, I have applied 3M film without a garage in scorching summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, and it has lasted over three years without any issues.

      Typically, we recommend checking the film after three years if the vehicle is not garaged. If the vehicle is garaged, it’s difficult to determine the exact lifespan, but it’s unlikely to exceed seven years. We usually estimate it to be closer to five years. It’s crucial to prevent the adhesive from bonding with the paint.

      Regarding fading, there might be minimal fading, but if you explore my profile, you won’t likely find any fading on my personal car, which is entirely covered with 3M gloss film.

      To summarize, the lifespan of the film depends on various factors. Dismissing a two-year or a seven-year claim as absolute would be incorrect. Typically, it ranges from three to five years, depending on the conditions. If the vehicle is frequently exposed to harsh desert weather, it’s advisable to remove a piece to assess its removal process.


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