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Throughout The Car Industry

Grown-ups Playing Dress Up

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On: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:29PM | By: Karen Cook

Grown-ups Playing Dress Up

Don’t you love seeing those interesting vinyl-wrapped vehicles on the road? They are usually very striking, sometimes amusing, but always eye-catching. You want your car wrapped in bacon? Done! How about camouflage so no one sees you speeding? Gotcha covered! Maybe you want your car to be “green” inside and out. We can do that too! What started out as advertising is becoming more mainstream. We just love personalizing anything and everything in our lives, from our desktops to our cell phones, and now to a full automobile. Humans are really odd creatures when you think about it. Still, anything that helps me find my car in a crowded parking lot is a good thing.

I really want one. Actually, I’d like a wardrobe. I’d love to be able to change the vinyl with the seasons or for holidays. Unfortunately we aren’t quite there yet. Wrapping a car requires a professional. It requires special cleaning and preparation, heat application and stretching. Antennas and door handles must be removed. Mirrors, windows, and lights must be carefully trimmed out. Bubbles and imperfections ruin the wrap, and while they are removable without damaging the paintjob, it’s not a simple process. There are how-to guides and videos out there but, in my mind, if it’s worth doing I want it done right.

So, how much does it cost to clothe your car? That depends. The vinyl is sold by the square foot which runs anywhere from $5–$16 and covers several quality levels, so the bigger your car, the bigger your bill. Then there’s installation. Your preferred design will vary the price and it goes up if you want something original. You can choose from pre-made designs, which are cheaper, of course, or bring in your own idea, which requires a small team of people to make it into something that will fit on your car. For those of you who are mathematically challenged like me, this all adds up to $2500 to $4000 for an average sized car.

I’m looking forward to the day when there will be a little closet in my garage with vinyl outfits for my beloved car. We are so enamored with personal expression, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. Our vehicles make such a huge statement about who we are, or who we want the world to think we are, I’m sure this bit of vanity will only get more popular.

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