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How Do You Wrap a Vehicle?

How Do You Wrap a Vehicle?

Wrapping a vehicle not only has aesthetic benefits but a few practical ones too. There are so many designs and options available for vehicle wrapping, so for those who are curious, or want to try it themself, we are going to answer the question ‘How do you wrap a vehicle?’.

The UK automotive aftermarket industry is thriving, ranking fourth in Europe and ninth in the world in terms of size, and turning over an annual £21.1 billion.

The sector supports 345,600 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion each year to the economy. And it is growing: the sector’s value is set to rise to £28 billion by 2022.

What is a vehicle wrap?

A vehicle wrap is an alternate way of customising the body of your vehicle, instead of using paint. Vehicle wraps are applied in a similar fashion to window tints, albeit in a different way.

You may be familiar with vehicle wraps if you watch any kind of official racing, whether that’s F1 or anything else, vehicle wraps are used to place the labels of the racer’s sponsors on their vehicle.

Vehicle wraps are completely customisable and can add patterns, effects, or solid blocks of colours/ clear film to either your whole vehicle or specific parts.

Below are the three main types of vehicle wraps

  1. Advertising wraps: used to showcase a business’s key information and brand. These are common on vans but can be used on the majority of vehicles.
  2. Clear vinyl wrapping: used to preserve and protect the original paintwork but keep the vehicle’s original colour and finish.
  3. Colour vinyl wrapping: an opaque film used to change a car’s colour or finish.

Here are the areas that can be covered individually with a vehicle wrap.

  • Fog lights
  • Roof bar
  • Rear diffuser 
  • Around windows
  • Handles
  • Front splitters

What shouldn’t I use on a vehicle wrap?

As vehicle wraps are essentially an extra layer over your vehicle, you should be aware that this extra layer is made from materials that can have an adverse reaction to normal processes we go through with our vehicles.

In a nutshell, this means that any polish, cleaning, waxing and other bodywork services must be done with products that are specifically friendly to car wraps. Failing to do so can result in your vehicle’s wrap fading, becoming loose, or even dissolving.

Is vehicle wrapping legal?

Yes, vehicle wrapping, whether that is full or partial, is entirely legal. It is treated in the same manner as re-spraying your vehicle to give it a new colour.

The only exception to this is wrapping your vehicle in a manner which can deceive other road users into believing you are in a police vehicle or any other key-service operative. Doing so can have a few results, and is at the discretion of the officer in charge at that moment and what you were doing, this could result in…

  • Being charged with fraud.
  • Points on your licence.
  • Removal of the wrapping.
  • Towing of your vehicle.
  • Suspending from driving until a later date.
  • Being arrested.

And more.

How do you wrap a vehicle?

Vehicle wrapping can be done by anyone, although if you don’t have the space, experience or equipment, we recommend you let an expert do it. If you do have all the necessary things, here’s a basic guide on how to wrap a vehicle.

You will need:

  • grease and wax remover
  • A general cleaner 
  • 70- or 90-percent isopropyl alcohol 
  • Lint-free cloth or towels
  • Squeegee
  • Utility knife
  • Cutting tape
  • Heat gun
  • Infrared thermometer
  • Cotton wrap gloves 
  • A clean worktable
  • Someone to assist
  1. Begin by placing the vehicle in a garage or room with no influence from outside weather, specifically rain and wind.
  2. Check the vehicle for dents and damage, superficial scratches won’t be a problem, but damage that has changed the shape of the vehicle in that area will result in an inferior wrap. Be sure to fix this before beginning.
  3. Clean the vehicle with non-wax products, after which go over the surface with the isopropyl alcohol, and dry by wiping with a cloth.
  4. Measure the areas you plan to wrap, and add a few inches for handling. The process can be made easier by sketching the areas and writing the measurements beside them for future reference. 
  5. With your assistant, hold the vinyl in the air and remove the backing paper, then lay the vinyl over the desired area, making sure extra material is around the edges so you can manipulate it. 
  6. From the centre of the placement, use the squeegee to force out any air pockets that remained after laying the vinyl.
  7. Apply the heat gun to areas with curved edges, once you’re happy, remove the additional inches with your utility knife.

Is it better to get a vehicle wrap from an expert?

Yes, established vehicle wrappers such as Car Specialist Customs take all the stress and work from this process off your shoulders.

With our combined years of experience in wrapping vehicles of various shapes and sizes, when we wrap your vehicle, we make sure to…

  1. Discuss what wrap you want, and where you would like it.
  2. Measure the vehicle / relevant areas where the wrap will be applied.
  3. Clean the vehicle / relevant areas before applying
  4. Begin our process of application to your vehicle
  5. Inform you of any maintenance / do’s and don’ts when it comes to the longevity of the wrap.

What’s the difference between a good and bad vehicle wrap?

Good vehicle wraps…

  • Do not move or come loose once they are set.
  • Has no bubbles or inconsistencies.
  • Is perfectly wrapped in the desired areas.
  • Do not affect the functionality of the areas it is covering on the vehicles. 
  • Does not damage the vehicle’s paintwork when it is being removed.

Bad vehicle wraps…

  • Are not set in the places you wanted them to be set. (Bad stenciling.)
  • They aren’t stuck onto the vehicle properly.
  • There are bubbles between the wrap and the vehicle’s body.
  • It affects the functionality of the areas it is in. (Doors don’t open or close properly etc.)
  • Damages the paintwork when it is being removed

Wrap your vehicle today

Our team members at Car Specialist Customs are extremely passionate and proud of the multiple services and products we provide for the people of Greater Manchester and beyond.

As a fully insured and approved installer, catering to the needs of vehicle owners of Greater Manchester and beyond, we are proud to let you know that we offer services for the following:



Featuring the brands, Pandora, ScorpionTrak, Meta Trak & SmarTrack, we’ve included affordable, and premium products to suit the needs of our customers. With finance options available, and the option of installation, head to our website to get your quote!

We always will go above expectations to make your car feel special to you. With even more services and options becoming available in the future, Car Specialist Customs is the home of making any car unique, secure and special. 

See what we can do for you today, we hope the details we shared have helped you decide to take a step forward in personalising your vehicle with our unique service.

We hope to have answered the question ‘How do you wrap a vehicle?’ whilst also providing supplementary information that can help you make an informed choice when it comes to investing in customisation options for your vehicle.

Want to get in touch? You can find us right here: 

Unit 30
Caldershaw Centre
Ings Ln
OL12 7LQ

Monday to Wednesday – 10 AM until 7 PM
Thursday – Closed
Friday to Sunday – 11 AM until 7 PM

07523 971347
Mon to Fri – 8:30 am until 6:00 pm


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