Vehicle wraps are the huge graphics decorating the cars, buses and even subways you’ve seen around. Typically used for advertising, they’re everywhere, but not a lot of people know exactly what they are. Here are some things you’ve probably been wondering about vehicle wraps.

1. What exactly is a vehicle wrap?

A vehicle wrap is a large (or enormous) sheet of vinyl on which a graphic has been printed. It can be attached as a decal to most vehicles, especially those with large, flat surfaces, typically for advertising purposes.


2. I can’t even put a six-inch decal on my car without messing it up. How can this work?

That’s actually one of the major benefits of vehicle wraps: they’re really easy to deal with. Nowadays, they’re made from special types of vinyl with features like air channels to prevent bubbles. They can even come with microscopic glass beads, which block the adhesive and prevent it from taking hold until the decal is in perfect position, at which point it can be squeegeed down. That means the vinyl can be applied and taken back up as many times as needed during the process without ruining the adhesive.

3. What are vehicle wraps good for besides advertising?

The most common purpose vehicle wraps serve is definitely advertising. But they’re useful for other applications as well. They’re a great way to personalize a vehicle in a way that is less permanent than paint. For example, in the United Kingdom, trains are often transferred from one company to another. Vinyl wraps are used there as an easily-updated way of applying each company’s livery. Also – cool fact of the day – race cars use vehicle wraps because they’re lighter than paint.

4. Does anyone actually pay attention to them?

While advertisements that large can be hard to ignore, they are so ubiquitous that many people may just tune them out. In fact, studies have shown that advertisements on vehicles are more effective than typical methods of outdoor advertising such as billboards. They are largely successful in catching the attention of their target audience, who can often remember the specific advertisement when asked later. On occasion, the use of advertisements on vehicle wraps has led to a documented dramatic increase in sales.

5. Is that my friend I see driving that wrapped car?

Possibly! Some companies have paid ordinary drivers to put wraps advertising the company on their cars and just drive around. One charity actually will give you a car for free if you agree to drive it a certain distance each month. Not bad, if you don’t mind driving a lime green car with the charity’s name and logo plastered all over it.