Tesla has only a hand full of colors to choose from, so wrapping your Tesla will make it really stand out among the fleet. Having a vinyl wrap makes a statement, shows a personality, or offers a unique touch. You can let your imaginations run wild with all the creative options out there! So, today let’s talk about the basics and help you decide what’s best for you and your ride.
What is a vinyl wrap?
In its basic form, a vinyl wrap has adhesive on one side and a color on the other. It’s made out of mostly Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and is about 3 mil thick. It’s used to customize your vehicle to match your style.
NOTE: You can NOT wrap over ceramic coating as the vinyl adhesive won’t stick very well. You’ll need to get that polished off if you want to wrap it.
How long does it take to wrap a full car?
About 2-7 days depending on the complexity of a project. This encompasses the prep work, removing badges and other parts of the car to get better coverage, lastly, the actual wrapping part.
What are my options?
- Types: Satin, Matte, Glossy, Textured, Color flip, Pattern
- Brands: 3M, Oracle, Avery, Hexis, Izonetek, and more!
- Colors: Hundreds of colors to choose from! This is so important for Tesla owners, because as you know, our choices when purchasing a Tesla are slim.
- Custom Designs: A couple of the most common ones are racing stripes and custom prints.
Should I wrap or paint it? What’s the difference?
Wrap your car if you:
- Have good OEM paint (not repainted)
- Want to protect your OEM paint from the elements and keep it intact
- Like changing your color often
- Want to change the color of your car in days, not weeks (as it would be for paint)
NOTE: Vinyl wrap is not designed to “hide” imperfections. If you have rust or bad paint, we don’t recommend wrapping as it will rip off your paint when removed. It’s very important to know whether the car has OEM paint or not, as it has a higher chance of taking the paint with it during removal.
What parts of the car are actually wrapped?
It depends on the installer, but it’s common that the vinyl wrap only wraps around the edges where it’s visible from the exterior. Interior areas like door jambs and trunk sills usually cost extra to wrap because it requires more removal and time.
How long will the vinyl last on my car?
It depends on whether you take care of it. If you hand wash and do NOT run it through an automatic car wash, then that will help its lifespan. If you take good care of it, you’re looking at around 5-7 years. Most manufacturers typically provide warranty as well. 3M for example provides 1 year for those areas like the hood and roof that get exposed to the sun and 3 years for the areas like doors. At our Wrap Shop, we provide a 1 year warranty from peeling, discoloration, or any defects, so make sure you check with your shop too.
Can I wrap it if it’s on a lease?
Most leases are between 2-3 years. Vinyl wrapping is a great way to customize your vehicle without damaging your leased car. At the end of the agreement, simply peel and return your vehicle. But before you do, read the part about how to remove vinyl!
If I wrap it, do I need to report it to the DMV?
It depends on your state, but many states require reporting if a vehicle went through a full color change. It’s best to ask your local DMV and your insurance company.
How do I remove the wrap?
One benefit of wrapping your Tesla is that it shouldn’t damage your OEM paint when removing it if done correctly. When removing, it’s important to use steam or heat and pull the vinyl towards you so it creates the least amount of tension between the adhesive and the paint. Don’t rush and take your time. You should be able to remove it on your own. We have a video to help out here. If you’re not comfortable doing this though, then don’t! Wrap shops will typically charge an hourly rate for removal. Here’s another video detailing how we removed a hood wrap and put another on.
How do I wash it after it’s been wrapped?
It’s important to wash your vinyl wrapped vehicle frequently (twice a month). Bird droppings and bugs can stain if left for too long due to their acidic nature. To avoid that, use waterless wash and a microfiber to remove it as soon as you see it. The longer it stays, the more chance it’ll stain. For normal washes, we recommend using our Car Wash shampoo. It is PH balanced, biodegradable and perfectly safe for the vinyl. Use the two bucket method and hand wash it. If you have a pressure washer, that’ll be fine, but be careful around the edges and spray a good 6 feet away from the vinyl.
Can you do it yourself?
Absolutely! Vinyl wrapping takes a lot of work and time, but it is DIY-able. There are a lot of resources online and if you’re doing a Tesla, feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to give you some tips! We also have plenty of DIY kits linked below that offer easy ways to get into vinyl wrapping or simply to wrap certain areas of your car without having to do the whole thing. They’re more like wrap accents for interior and exterior.
How much does it cost?
Vinyl wraps can cost between 3K to 12K, but there are several factors that dictate the price, such as:
- Cost of vinyl
The cost of vinyl from cheapest to most expensive is: the basic colors, color flip, textured, custom printed, and lastly, chrome. Certain wraps like chrome or custom printed will also take more time due to the vinyl being less pliable and harder to work with.
Most of what you’ll be paying for is labor, since it can take a few days to wrap an entire vehicle and it’s a lot of work. Also, some cars require much more disassembly to be able to wrap it the best. We try not to if we don’t have to, but sometimes there isn’t a workaround to get the quality that our customers deserve. If there’s a lot to take apart, that’ll also drive the cost up a little bit.
- Shop location
The location of the shop matters a lot. Shops need to pay the bills, employees and other costs associated with running a shop. If you’re in a major city like San Francisco, CA, expect a much higher bill.