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For those who want to dramatically change the appearance of their cars, vinyl wrap is a durable and affordable car paint alternative. Plus, it’s a great way to protect your car’s paintwork from various issues like cracks and damaging UV rays.
However, seeing that it will be constantly exposed to dust, snow, humidity, and other harsh weather elements, it’s important to choose a vinyl task that will be up to the task.
Unfortunately, with so many car vinyl wrap options and brands on the market, with each claiming to be the best, you might end up buying a low-quality vinyl wrap.
To prevent that, we’ve compiled a detailed guide highlighting some of the best car vinyl wraps every car enthusiast will be proud of. In addition, we’ve included some of the factors you need to consider when buying a car vinyl wrap as well as the different types available!
Let’s get right into it!
Different types of car vinyl wraps
Finding the right vinyl wrap for your car can be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t know the different types available. Although most people don’t realize this, car vinyl wraps are generally classified into 2 types; calendered vinyl and cast vinyl.
Cast vinyl is made by pouring liquid solvent/ chemical slurry known as organosol onto a casting sheet and taking it through a series of ovens to bake it out. More notably, the solvents contain a polymeric plasticizer that enhances their overall lifespan and durability.
In addition, the vinyl experiences very little shrinkage since it doesn’t get stressed during the manufacturing process, giving it excellent conforming properties.
On the downside, this manufacturing process makes them more expensive than their calendered counterparts. However, they have better quality and are preferred for wrapping the entire car.
Better still, the plasticizing agent added during the manufacturing process gives them exceptional durability.
Unlike cast vinyl, calendered vinyl is made with a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that is flattened through a series of calendering rollers. This results in a thicker type of vinyl that is less conformable, but more likely to shrink.
Moreover, a coloring agent is added to the vinyl to give it a hue while a plasticizing agent increases its flexibility.
The lack of solvent for paint casting makes this type of vinyl cost-effective to manufacture. Plus, this results in a thick material that is about 3 – 6 mm thick, meaning it provides better protection.
Nonetheless, it is not commonly used for car wrapping, but it can be used to create vinyl decorations for cars. For instance, you can use it on flat parts of the car to add accents.
Other types of Car Vinyl Wraps
Colored vinyl is one of the most common ways to wrap a vehicle as it updates the car’s look & feel. Most car owners prefer colored vinyl wraps as they allow them to customize a brand-new model or an old car at a fraction of the cost of a spray or paint job.
Even better, they’re available in various finishes including pearlescent, high gloss, matte, 5D, and more.
Another benefit of this type of vinyl is that you can use it both on the car’s exterior and interior. This is because it comes in either flat or textured, making it ideal for use in various car parts including your gearshift and dashboard.
Clear vinyl/Protective vinyl
Unlike other types of vinyl wraps, clear/ protective vinyl wraps are not intended for aesthetic purposes. Instead, they’re used to protect the cart paint from scratches and stone chips.
Also, these vinyl wraps can help to avoid common paint issues like the slow fading of the paint due to UV exposure.
Advertising vinyl wraps are quite popular among people who use their vehicles for business or those who want to build their business brand through advertising. These types of wraps allow you to create a custom design for your business and have it printed on the car vinyl wrap.
Things to consider when looking for the best car vinyl wraps (Buyer’s Guide)
Most car vinyl wraps tend to leave orange peel, which is why most people avoid wrapping their cars and are even willing to pay more for a fresh paint job.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to find the right texture for your vehicle when you choose car paint over vinyl wrap. Moreover, you are likely to end up with a simple paint color for your ride since car paint is available in limited textures.
In comparison, vinyl wraps come in a variety of shades, finishes, and textures, allowing you to find the best vinyl wrap depending on your individual style. Nonetheless, it’s important to ensure that you choose a high-quality vinyl wrap with a clean texture to avoid car paint problems like orange peel.
High-quality vinyl wraps are both sturdy and durable, allowing them to last longer and conform to the various curves and shapes of the car. More importantly, this helps you save a lot of money in the long run by protecting your car’s paint job from cracks, scratches, and other car paint issues.
Adhesion refers to the aggressive adhesiveness that makes it hard to reposition the vinyl wrap once it’s fixed on the car’s surface. However, in addition to having excellent adhesion, the best car vinyl wrap should also be easy to apply and remove.
Lastly, the best cart vinyl wraps are available in different sizes to accommodate the needs of various car owners. For that, it’s important to determine the size of the surface area you intend to wrap before you settle on a specific product.
Once you’ve done that, choose a corresponding vinyl wrap that exceeds those dimensions to ensure you have a little extra left over instead of having less wrap to complete your project.
5 Best Car Vinyl Wrap Reviews
1. 3M 2080 G12 Gloss Black Car Vinyl Wrap
3M is a reputable brand in the automotive industry that manufactures high-quality products. One such product is its 3M 2080 Gloss black vinyl wrap which is ranked among the best car vinyl wraps by experts.
So, if you’re looking for a wrap with a simple gloss, it’s such an excellent option, especially for beginners. Plus, these films have a longer life as they’re an upgrade of the 1080 series, and even feature dual cast films, making them ideal for solid color car detailing.
Ease of application
Like most 3M products, this car vinyl film is relatively easy to install and even conforms to sharp edges and curves conveniently. More importantly, it’s equipped with a special patented adhesive layer (Comply) that is made up of multiple non-visible waffle-shaped air release channels.
This makes it extremely easy to remove the air bubbles trapped between the car surface and the film, speeding up the installation process. Besides, you only need to apply a little pressure on the air bubbles and you’re good to go!
On top of that, the low-tack, pressure-activated adhesive allows you to slide and reposition the vinyl wrap into position with ease. Not to forget that this film is also easy to remove from your car surface without leaving any adhesive residues behind.
Dimensions (Size & Thickness)
In terms of dimensions, this vinyl wrap comes in a roll of 5 ft X 1ft, which is enough to cover many small sections in various car models. The film is at least 3.5 mm thick, giving you adequate space to stretch it without showing any stretch marks.
Quality & finish
Another interesting feature of this vinyl wrap is that it provides a beautiful finish that will last for many years to come as it has superior quality. In addition, the gloss finish allows the edges of one piece to seamlessly blend with one another.
As a result, it’s very difficult to notice where several films were used once the installation process is complete.
When installed properly, this film is scratch-resistant and very durable. Besides, it’s coated with a UV protective layer that can last up to 12 years outdoors. Plus, it’s safe to clean and polish with any cleaning august that is safe to use on painted surfaces.
- Easy to install and maintain
- Non-visible air channels for simple and quick installation
- Comes in large rolls that can cover most sections of any car
- The pressure-activated adhesive backing makes it easy to remove trapped air bubbles
- Protects the car’s exterior from harsh environmental elements
- Durable & superior construction
- Beautiful gloss finish
- Fairly expensive compared to similar films from other brands
2. VVIVID Black High Gloss Vinyl Car Wrap
Seeing that this vinyl wrap is designed to provide a high gloss shine and realistic paint-like finish, it’s a great option to make your ride look nice & clean all the time.
Plus, it allows you to cover sections of your car in a highly professional way, making it an excellent choice for DIYers and beginners alike. Best of all, it’s quite affordable and comes in various widths and sizes, meaning you can easily find the right vinyl wrap size for your needs.
On the downside, this high gloss wrap reflects scratches more easily. For that, it’s a good idea to coat it with a primer or a sealer to cover up the scratches in its finish.
Like other VVIVID products, this high-quality vinyl car wrap is relatively thick & stretchable. Specifically, the film is 4.3 mm thick, which is more than enough to protect your car paint from any type of defects, stretch marks, or discoloration.
In addition, the film is available in various sizes, ranging from 1 X 5 ft rolls to 9 X 5 ft rolls.
This film features a dry adhesive as well as the same inbuilt Air release, heat fuse, and heat technologies used on all the VVIVID vinyl wraps. These features help beginners and DIYers get the quality and professional look they’re looking for.
At the same time, the low-tack adhesive makes it easy to place and reposition the film on your car surface with ease. In addition, this high gloss film doesn’t have any patterns, making it relatively easy to install.
Regarding durability, this vinyl wrap from VVIVID can last for about 5 to 7 years outdoors. However, the manufacturer recommended using 3M edge sealer and 3M 94 primer to promote its adhesion and extend its lifespan further.
In addition, this film reflects light very well, giving your car that new shine you’ve been craving for!
- Can last up to 7 years
- The VVIVID adhesive is safe to use on car paint
- The dry adhesive backing provides a clean application
- Adheres to various surfaces
- Comes at an affordable price
- Stretches easily to conform to different shapes and edges
- Highly susceptible to scratches due to the high gloss finish
- The film thickness can make it difficult to work on contours and curves, even for experienced users
3. ATMOMO Headlight/ Taillight Vinyl Wrap
Unlike other vinyl wraps on our list, this ATMOMO film is specifically designed for use in taillights and headlights. This makes it an excellent option for adding a unique touch to your car.
In short, it’s the best car vinyl wrap for those who want to give their car’s taillights and headlights some personality.
Unfortunately, headlight wraps are illegal in some areas and states across the country. For that, it’s important to check the laws and regulations in your state concerning the legality of headlight wraps before you buy this vinyl wrap.
These ATMOMO headlight wraps have a self-adhesive backing that makes them extremely easy to apply. Not to forget that the kit even comes with detailed instructions that will take you through the installation process.
Although you’ll need to apply some heat while installing the vinyl to your headlights, it’s a quick and simple job, especially considering the small amount of space you’re covering.
In addition, these vinyl wraps are easy to remove from the headlights without leaving any adhesive residue behind.
Moving on, these vinyl wraps provide light transparency of up to 90%. More notably, they are available in a variety of colors, which allows car owners to update the rear tail lights and headlights in unusual colors.
In addition to updating the appearance of your car’s taillights and headlights, these vinyl wraps protect the lights from scratches and other damage. On top of that, they are water-resistant, thus adding further protection from snow, rain, and other weather elements.
- Available in a variety of color options
- Easy to clean
- Superior transparency
- Ideal for tail lights and headlights
- Provides some water protection
- Protects the car’s lights from scratches and other damage
- Some states prohibit the use of headlight wraps
4. VVIVID XPO Black Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap
VVIVID XPO is yet another car vinyl wrap from this manufacturer that we’ve included on the list.
However, that should not come as a surprise, especially seeing that VVIVID is well-known for manufacturing affordable, durable, and high-quality products. And as you would expect, its black carbon fiber vinyl wrap is no different!
In fact, this film can stretch up to 200%, lasts up to 7 years, and conforms to the tightest curves. Moreover, this vinyl wrap is an excellent option for marketing purposes as it allows you to add advertising slogans to your car.
Interestingly, despite being one of the most budget-friendly car vinyl wraps on the market, the quality of this film is quite outstanding. As a result, it can easily last for about 5 to 7 years outdoors.
At the same time, you can even extend its lifespan further by using a 3M edge sealer and 3M 94 primer to improve the vinyl’s adhesion to the car surface, while maintaining its texture and protective properties.
Talking of adhesion, the back of this vinyl wrap has a dry, solvent-based adhesive that’s relatively easy to reposition. Specifically, it has a low-tack formula that allows you to conveniently move the film into the right place.
More importantly, the acrylic glue formula offers a strong bond, yet it does not damage the car’s paintwork.
In addition, this product has a relatively easy installation process, making it ideal for both DIYers and beginners. On the same note, you only need a squeegee and a hairdryer or heat gun for vinyl wrap and you’re good to go.
And as I mentioned earlier, this film can stretch up to 200 percent. This allows it to conform to the tightest curves without crinkling, making it suitable for interior and exterior applications.
Available in various sizes
Each sheet of VVIVID car vinyl wrap is about 3.9 mm thick, giving it enough strength to stand the test of time. For instance, this makes it easy to stretch and conform to various shapes and curves without leaving visible stretch marks or getting discolored.
In addition, the vinyl wrap is available in 13 different sizes, ranging from 0.5 ft X 5 ft rolls up to 5 ft X 100 ft rolls. This makes it easy to choose the right vinyl wrap size, depending on the section of the car you want to cover.
- The adhesive doesn’t damage car paint
- Lasts up to 7 years
- Easy to reposition during installation
- Ideal for beginners and DIYers
- Thick & stretch to prevent stretch marks and discoloration
- Available in a variety of sizes
- 5 year manufacturer warranty
- New vinyl wraps have a strong smell
5. LZLRUN 3D Carbon Fiber Vinyl Wrap
LXRUN 3D carbon fiber vinyl wrap is designed to protect your car’s exterior for several years to come while enhancing its appearance. Nonetheless, it’s quite affordable, easy to use, and even comes with a knife and hand tool to smooth out trapped air bubbles and speed up the installation process.
Even better, the film has inbuilt air channels and a uniform coating of high-quality adhesive to ensure a bubble-free vinyl wrap installation!
This vinyl wrap is made from high-quality materials, which isn’t surprising seeing that it’s specifically designed for automotive applications.
As a result, the film can last about 5 – 7 years when used for exterior applications, and up to 10 years when used for interior applications.
In addition, this film is water-resistant and easy to clean and its 3D fiber pattern looks real.
Plus, the material stretches easily to conform to the shape of various cars. On top of that, the film has a grid pattern on the back that allows more precise cutting and measuring.
Another interesting feature of this vinyl wrap is that it’s equipped with a strong, high-quality self-adhesive backing. Surprisingly, despite being strong, the adhesive is quite easy to remove without leaving behind any scratches or residues.
You’ll also note that this vinyl wrap has inbuilt channels. This helps to prevent air bubbles from being trapped between the vinyl and the car surface during the installation process.
Lastly, this vinyl wrap is relatively thick but easier to work with than some of the more premium options out there. On the downside, this vinyl wrap option is only available in a few sizes, with the largest sheet being 2 X 5 ft.
Therefore, if you want to wrap an entire section of a large vehicle, you’ll be forced to use many different rolls or look for another vinyl wrap that has larger rolls.
- Includes a knife and a hand tool
- Has inbuilt air channels to ensure a bubble-free installation
- Conforms wells to the car’s edges and contours
- Limited size options
The best car vinyl wraps allow you to change the appearance of your car and add your personality to it. In addition, vinyl wraps help to protect the car’s paint job against scratches caused by stone chips and general wear & tear.
Best of all, they’re more affordable than a spray or paint job as they’re easy to install and remove without damaging your car’s surface.