Even if you love your car, occasionally you need a change. If trading in your car for a new model isn’t an option, a paint job or wrap can breathe new life into your car by giving it a new look. When you want to change things up, should you paint or wrap your car? Let’s look at both options and which one will work best for you.

Option One: Paint

Your first option to change your car’s look is to get your car professionally painted. This involves having your car’s current paint job stripped down to the point that it can be primed, repainted and given a new clear coat.

Unless you have access to a body shop, it’s a good idea to have a professional take care of the painting — and even then, sometimes it’s more fun to drop your car off at the shop and pick it up a couple of weeks later, looking completely different.

Option Two: Wrap

Your second option is to cover your entire car in a vinyl wrap. A professional shop can complete the project in a couple of days, and you can choose to wrap part of the car or the entire car — it’s entirely up to you.

Vinyl wraps started out as a way to feature advertising on fleet vehicles, but it has evolved into a way to protect the paint job of a vehicle while giving it a new look.

Pros

Let’s look at some of the benefits of paint vs. the benefits of wrapping your car.

If you really love your car’s factory look, but the paint has taken a beating over the years, a new paint job can help restore your car to its former glory. If you want something other than what the factory paint colors offer, a wrap can be a better option — it doesn’t limit you to the factory colors, allowing your imagination to run free.

Wraps also preserve your paint job — the vinyl completely covers the paint, protecting it from the elements. You also never need to worry about waxing your car ever again — wash the dirt off your wrap, and it looks as good as new.

Finally, wraps don’t have to be permanent. If you decide you don’t like the color anymore, you can get the wrap removed without damaging the paint beneath.

Cons

A new paint job might look great, but it takes a while. Depending on how booked your paint shop is, it can take up to two weeks to get your car back, leaving you without transportation. It’s also much more expensive — a professional paint job can cost you up to $10,000. In comparison, you can get a wrap for as little as $3,500.

Paint is also vulnerable to scratches and other damage. The nice thing about wraps is that even if they get scratched or damaged, they are easy to repair. Some are even designed to be self-repairing — they can automatically seal nicks and scratches from road debris.

When it comes down to it, whether you paint or wrap your car is entirely up to you — but of the two options, wraps end up being less expensive and better for your car in the long run.

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Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington and is an automotive journalist who has written for dozens of auto sites, including Yahoo Autos, Hooniverse, GT Spirit, The Mustang Source, and more. Scott's website, www.OffTheThrottle.com, and YouTube channel are popular automotive destinations.

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