Did you know that vehicle graphics are the most cost-effective form of advertising out there?
Many businesses choose to include vehicle graphics as part of their advertising strategy. Why?
Just think about it. If you’re out in traffic, if you’re out driving around your town, your state, your city, look around. How many vehicles out there have their advertising, their logos, their phone numbers, on their vehicles?
How much time do you spend in traffic? In Atlanta, it’s said that people spend over 120 hours a year in traffic. So, what better way to advertise your business?
It builds brand awareness and provides contact information (a call to action). If you think about it, having your business information on your vehicle puts your business in front of people. It’s a great way to advertise your business with minimal effort.
So, as a business owner, what do you need to know about vehicle graphics? You need to know how to maximize the impact of your graphics for your budget. To begin, you need an understanding of the different types of vehicle graphics.
What are the different types of Vehicle Graphics?
There are many different types of vehicle graphics. It really depends on your budget.
Whenever someone calls Pinnacle Custom Signs, the first thing we ask is, “How much money are you looking to spend?” It’s not because we’re trying to design a sign to maximize their budget; it’s really because the cost of vehicle graphics can range from $100 up to almost $5,000. There’s a wide range there, depending on whether you’re a startup business or someone that has a fleet of vehicles. We want to make sure that we have the best vehicle graphics for you.
The different types of vehicle graphics we talk about are magnets, decals, rear windows, partial wraps, and then full wraps. Let’s take a moment to investigate the benefits of each one of these.
They are the least costly. Most sets of magnets – two magnets that go one on each door (passenger and driver side door) – have your phone number, logo, and information like that, typically run about $100, give or take. It is the least costly way of adding graphics to your vehicle.
They’re removable. You may own a business and operate it out of your house; you want to advertise your business but your homeowners’ association does not allow you to have advertising on your vehicles. Well, guess what. When you get home at night you can go ahead and take those magnets off your vehicle and you are in compliance with HOA regulations.
You can provide it to contractors. Let’s say that you have 1099, or contract employees, that you don’t want to logo their vehicle or anything like that but they go out on jobs for you. When they’re on jobs for you, they can put magnets on their vehicles.
Let’s talk about decals. We call them decals, but it really is vinyl. It could be as simple as your logo and phone number on the side of the vehicle or on the back of the vehicle or as complex as having multiple decals. It just depends on how big the vehicle is. Many businesses advertise their business on the doors and the rear of the vehicle.
Now, when I say the rear of the vehicle, if you think about it, when you’re sitting in traffic, where are you more likely to see phone numbers, websites? When you’re sitting behind a vehicle and you’re staring at the back. The rear of a vehicle is obviously one of the better places to put contact information.
It can also show brand. As you see in the picture here, this is Miner Corp. They do a lot of decals on their vehicles. It’s not just the basic logo, it’s a bunch of logos.
It’s cost-effective. Whereas magnets run about $100, decals can run anywhere from $350 up to $1,000, depending on how many decals you put on a vehicle. You could include as much information as you like – it just depends on how busy you want the vehicle graphic to be.
Rear Window Graphics
Rear windows are also a great way to advertise your business. If you think about it – if you don’t want to put vinyl on the body of your car but you have a vehicle with large windows, you can have a large graphic on that window. The size of the graphic does depend on the size of the window.
It allows people following the vehicle to see the graphic. We talked about in the previous section that people are more likely to see your contact information looking at the rear of a vehicle in traffic than at the side of the vehicle.
There’s actually two ways to do rear windows. One is with perforated vinyl. This is vinyl that you can print on and, when you’re inside the vehicle, you can actually see through it so it doesn’t obstruct your view. This is great if you want to have a printed type of graphic on your rear window.
Then there is regular cut vinyl that is opaque. We don’t recommend that you cover the whole window because you won’t be able to see out the back, but you could put your logo and other information with regular vinyl on the back window of a vehicle.
Rear windows usually cost about $200 to $300.
The next step up is partial wraps. Partial wraps, as the name indicates, is a partial wrap of your vehicle. Partial wraps are very useful when you’re using your color scheme as part of the vehicle.
For example, if part of your color scheme is white for your logo or for your colors of your company, you can go ahead and purchase white vehicles and put partial vinyl on them, and it looks similar to a full wrap of the vehicle.
We have a customer here in Atlanta called Unlimited Landscaping. Their colors are green and blue. What they do is they purchased pickup trucks and other trucks that are painted blue, and we just do partial wraps on them. Saves them money from a vinyl and a wrap standpoint, but it gives them a very good, crisp look.
Typically, a partial wrap covers half of the vehicle or more. We’ve gone from a half to three-quarters, but it does not cover the whole vehicle. And it’s less costly than a full wrap.
We talked about magnets are about $100, decals are about $400 to $1,000, rear windows about $200 to $300, a partial wrap is about $1,400 to $2,000, which, again, depends on the size of the vehicle and the amount of coverage.
Then we step up to full wraps. You see these all the time because they are very eye-catching.
We have done several fleets of vehicles that are full wraps. The interesting thing is, on the full wraps for our fleets, they have different types of vehicles. We have one customer that has pickups, Priuses, box trucks, and vans – all different types of vehicles. But we put the same look and feel on those vehicles because we’re able to take the full wrap design and include it into their vehicles.
They’re eye-catching. The first thing you’ll notice about a full wrap is it catches your eye. But it’s important you work with a professional designer because eye-catching is one thing but it’s got to build brand awareness too. If it’s so busy you don’t know what it’s advertising, then it did a great job of pulling your eye to the vehicle but a lousy job of advertising your business.
It also includes contact information on there. Again, as we talked about earlier, there’s got to be a call to action for you, whether it be a website, whether it be a phone number, some sort of call to action so that they can take a look, they can draw your attention, and then you can go ahead and get calls from that.
One of our larger customers for wraps is a company in Atlanta called Stuart Pro Heating & Air. They wrap all their vehicles. We’ve wrapped about 60 or 70 of their vehicles. Well, what they will tell you is that the majority of their new customers come off of people looking at the wraps, seeing the phone numbers, and calling in. They track that. That’s why it’s important to them that they wrap all their vehicles.
Talk to a professional designer!
Regardless of what form of advertising you have, from a magnet to a decal to rear windows, partial or full wrap, it’s important to get a professional designer involved with that.
At Pinnacle Custom Signs, we have professional designers that, if you brought your vehicle in, they can go ahead and measure up the vehicle, take a look at the vehicle, and go ahead and design a graphic presentation and show it to you on a proof from so you would know what your vehicle looks like.
There are many other professional sign companies that can do that as well, but it is a very hands-on experience so that, as a customer, you can get exactly what you would like to see on your vehicle because, when you put something on your vehicle, it’ll be there for a while.
Color change wrap versus a paint job
There’s a new trend in wraps as well. It’s been out there for a couple of years. It’s called a color change wrap versus a paint job.
Basically, it changes the color of your car by doing a full vehicle wrap. If you have white car, but want it to be black; or a gold car and what it to be carbon fiber blue – it can be done with a vinyl wrap instead of with a paint job.
Why do you do one? Well, you price compare with painting a car. If you look at what painting a high end vehicle would cost, it typically runs $8,000 to $12,000 because you spend a lot of money on the car. A color change wrap could wind up costing you between $3,500 and $5,000 at the most.
Also, it’s not just a new color. You include new textures, new materials. You can do chrome, you can do matte, you can do metallic, you can do carbon fiber. There are all different types of vinyl that you can put on your car. Depending on the type of vinyl and the coverage you want, that’s what will determine the price for this.
Evaluate Your Options
So, when you are looking at vehicle graphics, make sure that you understand what your budget is, what you are trying to convey, and understand the price points. Magnets run about $100; full wraps run $2000+. It all depends on the size of the vehicle and the size of your graphics.
These numbers are just a ballpark for what we charge at Pinnacle Custom Signs. For a more accurate estimate on what your vehicle graphics would cost, contact us. We’ll work with you to evaluate your options and help you find the right solution for your business.