It’s safe to say that here at Brand Hero, we are big fans of vehicle signage. Not only is it great for paint protection of your prized asset, it is also a fantastic branding opportunity for your business. 

That said, vinyl car wrapping can be an expensive exercise so you need to take care of it long after it leaves the vehicle signage company. 

So how do you provide ongoing protection of your car wrap from the hot Aussie sun, high-flying birds, nasty bugs as well as general wear and tear? To ensure you keep your vehicle wrap in good condition you are going to need the right products and a little bit of old-fashioned elbow grease. 

What is a vinyl car wrapping?

Completed in either a full vehicle wrap or partial vehicle wrap, vinyl car wrapping uses large panels of pressure-sensitive vinyl film which are placed and conformed into the panels of your vehicle. 

Containing a special chemical memory, these are then post-heated to the shape of your vehicle so they remain in place as the vinyl expands and contracts (with changes in temperature) after it leaves the signage installers.

Types of vehicle wraps

There are two main types of vehicle wraps – The first type is produced with white vinyl wrap material which is printed with your company graphics and laminated. The second type is coloured wrap vinyl that can be applied directly to the vehicle, or contour cut into various shapes to create text and graphics. This process is most commonly used for vehicle colour changes.

When cared for correctly, both types of vehicle wrap vinyl will have a similar lifespan of up to 7 years, depending on the level of care taken.

6 awesome tips for caring for your vehicle wrap

First and foremost, your vehicle wrap installation company should give you solid care and maintenance advice after you take your vehicle wrap home. But here are some quick tips to ensure your vehicle wrap keeps looking fantastic for longer:

  1. Wash Regularly – The goal here is washing vehicles around once per week. This will remove any pollutants that could degrade the vinyl over time. Hand washing with non-abrasive detergent and a clean soft sponge or cloth is the preferred way to keep your vehicle wrap clean and looking amazing. 
  2. Avoid Brush-Type Car Washes – Brush-type car washes are not recommended, as they can cause the film edges to lift or crack. If you decide on using a pressure wash, use a wide-angled spray nozzle from around 300mm away, on moderate water pressure (around 2000 psi) with the water temperature around 60 Degrees Celcius.

  3. Vehicle Storage – Correct storage of the vehicle is your best friend. Graphics are degraded over time by prolonged sun exposure. Store vehicle undercover to help prolong the life of the vehicle graphics or wrap.

  4. Dirt, Bugs, Petrol – Treat any of these nasties with hot, soapy water and a soft cloth. After softening, rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth. Simply spot clean these using non-abrasive waterless wash products or hot soapy water.

  5. Keep away from harsh finishes – Avoid any abrasive polish or compounds on graphics. Do not use any polishing or wax products on matt or textured film.

  6. Clean off petrol & oil immediately – Petrols and oils are highly-solvent and will degrade and potentially stain the vinyl if left on the vehicle for too long. If you happen to spill this on your vehicle wrap, simply handwash the area with a non-abrasive agent as soon as you can.

Ceramic Coating – Next-level care of your vehicle wrap 

To take your vehicle wrap care to the next level, you could invest in having your vehicle ceramic coated. When this clear coating is applied to your vehicle signage, it creates an exceptionally strong layer of protection from bird droppings, bugs, tree sap and more. You can have this done either professionally or pick up a DIY kit from any good auto centre. 

With vehicle branding being a great way to promote your business, it is important that your vehicle looks great when on the road. If you follow these simple tips, your vehicle graphics should last you until it’s time to upgrade your vehicle or your brand needs a little spruce.