Market Your Auto Body Shop with a Vinyl Vehicle Wrap

Market Your Auto Body Shop with a Vinyl Vehicle Wrap

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Intro

In a competitive environment, it’s important for your collision repair shop to stay in the public eye. Car wraps or automobile graphics can be a fantastic way to be seen. Unlike a billboard that stays in the same place all the time, your marketing will travel anywhere your vehicle goes, like a moving billboard.

Let’s run through some common questions and considerations about wrapping your vehicle.

Vehicle wraps for auto body marketing
Market your body shop by wrapping your shuttle

Wrap Your Shop’s Courtesy Shuttle, Loaner Car, or Your Personal Vehicle

If you’re the shop owner, you may want a bold, full wrap all over your personal vehicle. If that’s not your style, you can be more subtle, with a logo and tagline on the side and rear. As the business owner, you are probably the face of your business, so do whatever matches your personality.

Auto Body Shop Marketing with vinyl wraps
A full vehicle wrap - Photo from Collision Specialists

If your facility has a loaner car, subtle is best. Consider your customer, who may have to drive your loaner car to work. It may be embarrassing to drive a car with your shop’s giant logo splayed across the side. They just want their life to get back to normal as quickly as possible, not advertise your business. In this case, maybe a small logo on the back bumper, or a custom license plate or license plate frame would be a better fit.

Partial vehicle wrap on auto body courtesy shuttle - Photo from Newell's Auto Body

Now if you have a customer shuttle on the other hand, bold and attention grabbing is the way to go! Turn that thing into a rolling billboard with all your services listed, your phone number and website, and maybe even some before and after graphics. Loud and proud is the ticket here. The more you stay in people’s line of sight, the more they’re likely to remember you when they need a repair.

Spot graphics for body shop marketing - Photo from HenkinShultz

How Much Do Vehicle Wraps Cost?

Similar to the question “How much will it cost to repair my car?”, the answer is that… it depends. Pricing depends on a few factors:

  • Quality of the materials you use (vinyl thickness, brand name, durability)
  • Special finishes (matte, satin, gloss, metallic, color shifting, etc)
  • Warranty
  • Installer
  • Size of wrap (full, half, quarter, etc)

With that said, the average price tends to fall in the $1,500-$3,500 range. 

If you just want to try this on a small scale, you could start with less of a wrap, and more of a decal. This could be as simple as placing your logo and phone number on the sides of the vehicle.

Taking this a step further, this could be a splash of color covering the doors and rear quarter panel, which would cost a bit more. 

A full wrap, covering the entire vehicle with fully custom design on high quality materials is going to be on the high end of the price spectrum.

Types of Car Wraps

As I mentioned above a full wrap covers everything - basically anywhere there’s paint, and then some. You can even cover some of the windows with perforated graphics. These allow you to see out, but on the outside the design can continue across windows. A full wrap lets you treat the vehicle as a canvas, where you can do just about anything you want.

A partial wrap is just what it sounds like. Assuming  the existing paint job is an appropriate color, and can coordinate with the graphics on the wrap, you can save money and wrap as much or as little of the vehicle as you want. If the paint color clashes with your design this is not going to be a good look though.

Spot graphics are a less expensive alternative to wraps, and you can add simple elements, such as your logo, tagline, phone number, and website address. These can be added almost anywhere on the vehicle, including the windows.

Design & Installation of Vehicle Wraps

Whoever you choose to install your wrap will probably design it as well. If you have ideas or examples of what you like, you’ll want to share those with the designer.

Ideally, your shop already has a solid brand and visual identity, including a quality logo, tagline, “official” fonts and colors, and so on. Many shops won’t, and that’s OK, but at a minimum you should have your logo in a digital, vector format. Vector formats can be resized without losing quality or getting grainy or pixelated. If you don’t have this, the designer may have to create this for you at an extra cost.

The designer should guide you through the process to make sure you’re happy with the look. Going back to the billboard analogy, try to get comfortable with “white space”. If you try to fill every section of your design with “stuff”, it makes it harder for others to read. When you drive past a billboard, you don’t have a chance to really read much of it, so large fonts work best, with simple messaging. 

Think about what you want people to remember after seeing your vehicle; your company name and what your company does. That’s the essence of it. Driving a wrapped vehicle around is marketing by awareness, staying top of mind. If you get people’s attention, and make them notice you for a few seconds, the wrap has done its job.

Don’t Forget What You Learned in Driver’s Ed

Don't let your driving habits leave a bad impression

Before you commit to wrapping a vehicle, take an honest look at how you drive. Everyone thinks they’re a great driver, but if you consider the speed limit a weak suggestion, or change lanes 10 times per mile, or you find your passengers tensing up and mashing the brakes on their side of the car, you may want to take a pass on this form of marketing.

Aggressive driving is going to be the thing that leaves an impression, instead of the wrap. The wrap will only serve to associate your company with poor driving. Remember, when you wrap your vehicle, you now have to make a very public impression. Drive in a way that reinforces the impression you want to make.

Final Thoughts

If you’d like to supplement your other forms of advertising and marketing for your collision repair shop, and already have a shuttle or personal vehicle you can use, a vehicle wrap can be a great way to attract some attention while your vehicle is running around your community.

If you’d like help with your body shop marketing, get in touch today.

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Jason Ferguson

About Jason Ferguson

Jason has been a graphic designer since 1994 and started building websites in 1997. Since then he's learned countless new marketing skills and loves helping companies get more customers using digital marketing techniques. Jason founded Conspicuous Digital in 2017 and focuses on helping collision repair shops with their marketing.

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