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Does Vinyl Wrap Scratch Easily?

Installing a vinyl wrap on your car is perhaps the easiest and most reliable way to change its whole look. Instead of sticking to the age-old results of a paint job, a car wrap lets you enjoy various types of designs and finishes in a flawless way. 

Due to the astounding results that a vinyl wrap brings to the table, it is fast becoming the top choice for many auto enthusiasts. If you want to flaunt your style everywhere you go, there might be no better option than going with this exterior treatment.


But if you have never installed an exterior wrap on your car before, you may want specific answers regarding its reliability. It is not an uncommon train of thought. Many car owners often wonder if their brand new wrapping job would scratch easily or not.


To help you find an accurate answer to this question, here’s how much a vinyl wrap can scratch after installation.


The Material Can Sustain Minor Scratches, But It’s Not Fully Resistant to Them


Vinyl wraps are typically strengthened through the usage of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is the base component for high-quality wrap applications. PVC is highly durable and often holds its own against everyday wear and tear. 


Due to this composition, car wraps can easily sustain minor scratches that can appear with the daily use of your car. These scratches also remain on the surface level of the coating. This makes sure that most scratches don’t break through the base of the material or compromise your car’s paint.


More often than not, these surface level scratches also remain unnoticeable unless you are specifically looking for them. This makes sure that you can get the most out of your premium exterior coating and don’t see your investment going to waste with regular usage. 


With that being said, these surface level scratches can sometimes become evident enough to stick out to the naked eye. This is especially true for gloss finish car wraps that come in darker colors. Having a large amount of noticeable scratches can affect the overall aesthetic of your car, especially if you have a penchant for making everything picture perfect. 


Scratches Don’t Completely Compromise Your Car Wrap


As mentioned above, most car wraps are able to sustain scratches just fine. As long as you are not actively looking for them, they do not jump out at the first glance itself.


This is why, most professionals suggest that you don’t have to worry about these scratches if you are getting a car wrap for a year or two. Your wrapping job can easily sustain that period without making the scratches too visible for your taste.


But since a vinyl wrap application can easily last for up to five years, auto body detailing professionals have a different advice if you want to keep using the wrap until it wears out completely. It’s simply to put a protective coating over the wrap.



You Can Strengthen Your Vinyl Wrap Application By Using a Select Few Methods


Since your car wrap is a vinyl film that comes in different finishes, it doesn’t have the protective topcoat that is typical to paint jobs. This is the main reason why the wrapping material is prone to scratches. 


By putting a protective layer over your vinyl wrap, you can ensure that it doesn’t have to be the first point of contact against regular wear and tear. Instead, your protective coating becomes your primary line of defense for scratches and abrasions. 


These protective coatings are available in multiple forms, which ensure that you can protect your vinyl wrap to the best of your ability. Choosing between them depends upon your personal preference, which is why it’s important that you learn more about them. 


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Paint Protection Film 

Installing paint protection film (PPF) or clear bra over your wrapping job is a popular way to protect the material underneath. The PPF material is made out of heavy-duty vinyl, which can hold its own against everyday abrasions and contaminants with ease. 


Apart from keeping your vinyl wrap safe from scratches, it also protects it from ultraviolet (UV) damage. This prolongs the overall usage of your vinyl wrap and makes sure that it can live through its projected lifespan without any issues. If you invest in a self-heating PPF, it can also repair itself from scratches and keep your car looking good as new. With proper care, a PPF application can last 5-10 years.


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Ceramic Coating

This top coat is a highly popular way to protect a car’s paint. It is made out of nanoparticles of a ceramic base, which comes in a liquid form but cures to a solid glass after application. Due to its hardness and resistance, it can easily take on scratches, abrasions, and other contaminants with ease. 


When you apply a ceramic coating over your vinyl wrap, it allows you to protect your wrapping job with a sturdy shield. As a result, your car wrap doesn’t get any scratches on it. A ceramic coating is also hydrophobic, which keeps water and other liquids away from your wrap. It also protects your wrap from UV rays. Typically, a premium ceramic coating can last up to 5 years.


You Can Get a Self Repairing Vinyl Wrap

Thanks to the advancements in manufacturing technology, self-repairing car wraps can ensure that scratches become a thing of the past. These vinyl wraps are more expensive than their conventional counterparts., but they come with the added ability to repair minor scratches by simply sitting under the sun or a heat gun. 


These car wraps are also heat resistant, which also provides exceptional protection from UV damage. This makes these wraps a highly sought after application for those who only want the best for their car. 


Follow Best Practices to Keep Your Car Wrap Away from Scratches


If you don’t have the budget for a protective coating or a self-repairing car wrap, you can follow a few best practices to make sure that your wrapping material stays away from extensive scratches.


These tips include:



  • Keeping your car clean. Frequently washing off contaminants such as dust particles lowers the chances of abrasion.


  • Hiding from the sun. Conventional car wraps can get damaged by exposure to the sun, which is why you should take special care with parking your vehicle.


Bottom Line: Car Wraps Do Scratch Easily, But You Can Prevent the Damage


By keeping these tips in mind, you can manage your expectations with your brand new vinyl wrap and also take the required steps to boost its performance. This helps you get maximum advantage out of your car wrap without having to do any compromises on its aesthetic.


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