Seeking To Monetize Your Fleet? Should You Paint Or Wrap?

Posted on: 1 August 2017


In today's society, advertisements are everywhere—and with more consumers cutting cable, canceling magazine subscriptions, and otherwise moving away from more traditional ways to advertise, thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting your business can be more lucrative than ever. If your business includes one or more fleet vehicles, you may be wondering whether it's worthwhile to essentially transform these vehicles into mobile billboards by adding a wrap or custom paint job with your business's logo and contact information.

However, even something as seemingly simple as transforming your fleet's exterior paint can require you to make some tough—and potentially hard-to-reverse—choices. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of auto body paint and vehicle wraps to ensure you make the right decision for your fleet and business circumstances. 

What are the main differences between painting and auto wrapping?

The primary difference between painting and wrapping is permanency. While painting your vehicle will change its appearance until it's repainted, a vehicle wrap (often made from latex, nylon, or another flexible material) is designed to be easily applied and removed.

Auto wraps are intended to change the appearance of a vehicle without damaging the underlying paint job; however, a "wrapped" vehicle that spends a great deal of time in the sun, isn't regularly washed, or otherwise experiences exterior conditions that are cautioned against by the wrap manufacturer may pose much more difficulty when it's time for this wrap to be removed. 

Wraps also tend to degrade more quickly than a paint job, requiring repair; however, their relative ease of removal can allow you to replace a torn, frayed, or fading wrap without needing to repaint your entire vehicle. 

What factors should you consider when deciding to paint or wrap your fleet? 

When choosing between new paint jobs and vehicle wrapping for your fleet, there are several factors you'll want to consider. First, you'll want to evaluate your business's projected growth over the next few years, including any plans to change the way your business is structured.

For example, if you're struggling to stay afloat and considering bringing on a partner, now may not be the best time to invest in an expensive paint job that may later need to be changed to reflect a new logo or contact information. 

On the other hand, those with franchise businesses or who are otherwise satisfied with their current business logo may not have these concerns, making a paint job a viable option.

You'll also want to consider the working—and resting—conditions of your fleet vehicles. If your employees are often driving or parking these vehicles in less-than-safe areas, investing in a paint job that is likely to be scratched or damaged may not be a financially savvy maneuver. Meanwhile, vehicles that spend a great deal of time baking in an asphalt parking lot may not be the best candidates for a wrap, as this type of heat exposure could ultimately cause the paint underneath the wrap to bubble or peel away. 

The tax structure of your business may also come into play. A paint job is a relatively infrequent expense, and being able to spread this cost out over time may help you lower your tax rate. Meanwhile, choosing to wrap your fleet vehicles could require you to purchase new wraps (and pay labor or installation costs) every couple of years. 

Finally, you'll want to consider the age and mechanical health of your fleet. If you're preparing to replace one or more vehicles with a newer model, it may not be the right time to seek wraps or paint. Painting a vehicle that subsequently runs into a mechanical issue can make the repair-or-replace decision tougher because of this sunk cost, while a wrap can be removed and installed on a replacement vehicle relatively easily. 

Becoming more aware of the mechanics of each approach can help you make the best decision for your business. Click for more information.