How much does it cost to wrap a Tesla?

Despite its cutting-edge technology and futuristic design, Tesla has poor paint quality. The company uses soft paint that chips and pits easily. It also offers its vehicles in limited color options.

As a solution, Tesla owners usually have their cars wrapped to achieve their preferred color and at the same time protect the original paint. In this article, we will discuss how much it costs to wrap a Tesla, the best way to wrap your car, the pros and cons, and the effect on your warranty.

What is a car wrap?

Car wrapping is simply a method used to change the look of your vehicle instead of a paint re-spray, which might be more expensive. In case you are still trying to picture what a wrapped Tesla car looks like, imagine applying wallpaper in your home, but this time, it is skillfully used for your car.

Car wraps come in various colors, finishes, and designs. You can even get them custom-designed with graphics or images.

They are made of flexible vinyl film or PVC material. The wrapping material has a strong adhesive on one side that sticks to your vehicle and a non-adhesive pattern face on the other.

Liquid wrap is also gaining popularity. This type of wrap uses polymer coatings such as Plasti-Dip and AutoFlex coatings. It is applied using a spray gun.

Advantages and disadvantages of the film

If you are deliberating whether to wrap or not wrap your Tesla car, below are some pros and cons:

Advantages

Customization

Wraps offer a wide range of colors not possible with paint. It allows you to easily personalize your Tesla car with logos and images that might be unachievable or expensive to achieve through traditional painting.

Paint protection

A car wrap can be treated with UV and scratch-protective coatings to make it last longer. Even when they are not, they still offer protection for the original paint job underneath. Retaining your car's factory paint can significantly boost its resale value.

Cost-effectiveness

When compared with a high-quality paint job, car wrapping is generally less expensive, especially for custom designs and logos. It is also budget-friendly, as you can opt to only wrap specific sections of your car for customization.

Disadvantages

Removal cost

Unlike paint, car wraps are removable. However, the removal is not always free, as you may need to pay a professional to do it to avoid damaging the original car paint. Regardless, the removal option makes it easier for Tesla owners to change their car look whenever they want, of course, at a price.

Maintenance

Car wraps require similar maintenance as traditional paint. Wash your car regularly to keep it clean and get rid of contaminants like bird poop and road salt. To make the wrap last longer and maintain its vibrant color, always park your Tesla vehicle away from possible pollutants.

Defects

Although a wrap can help make your car look different and aesthetically pleasing, it cannot cover car defects such as damaged panels. Unless the defect is fixed before installing the wrap, it can be noticed after the wrapping.

On the other hand, wraps can efficiently cover panel repairs to make the car look perfect without needing a full-body repaint, such as when a part is replaced with a spare of another color.

Wear and tear

A vehicle wrap is prone to wear and tear. Typically, it can last between 3 and 5 years after installation. Some high-quality wraps can last up to 7 years but depend on factors such as sun exposure, climate, and frequency of washing.

The car wrap of a Tesla vehicle usually parked on the road under the sun will experience wear and tear faster than another parked under a shade.

The cost of the Tesla Model 3 film

Tesla's official website offers wrap for the Model 3 for $5,700 to $6,000, depending on color. The service is only available at a few Tesla service centers.

Meanwhile, you can get it done at local shops in your area. Tesla Model 3 film can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $12,000. The cost is usually affected by several factors, including the type of wrap, wrap finish, and customization. Basic colors are the cheapest, while chrome wraps, color-flip finishes, and custom-designed wraps are more expensive.

The vinyl quality and finishes will also affect the cost. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) wrapping is cheaper, but hiring a professional, even though more expensive, guarantees a quality result.

Is a film Tesla worth getting?

Getting a film Tesla is worth it if the wrapping is done by a professional. First, it allows you to own the car in your preferred color. Your Tesla’s distinct color makes it stand out.

Secondly, the wrap keeps the original paint in good condition. In the end, it all boils down to personal taste. It is not a must to wrap your Tesla; you can instead use Paint Protection Film (PPF), which can also protect the original paint and enhance the car's look.

How to wrap a Tesla?

Wrapping a Tesla car requires patience, precision, and the right tools. Below are the things to do to achieve an impeccable result:

Select

There are different types and colors of wraps you can choose from, like carbon fiber, matte, satin, chrome, and camo. Deciding on why you want to wrap your Tesla car can help you select the best one for your car.

Prepare

Measure your car to estimate how much wrap will be needed. Next, wash and clay-bar the surface to remove any dirt or contaminants. The wrap installation should be done in a well-lit, temperature-controlled space to minimize dust and avoid shrinkage of the wrap material.

Remove fixtures

Features like door handles, side lights, headlights, mirrors, trims, and emblems will be removed to allow a seamless tuck of the wrap. Some of these features may also house dirt and grease; removing them allows for a thorough cleaning and preparation of the car for the wrap installation.

Apply

Pull off the adhesive back and skillfully apply the wrap to the cleaned and prepped surface of your Tesla. Once the back is pulled off, do not waste time before applying, as it may lose its adhesion when exposed to air for too long.

Trim and fold

Trim the excess wrap around the edges. Be careful when doing this to avoid damaging your paint with the blade. Leave about one-quarter inch of excess. Tuck it to fit the car structure.

Reassemble

Reassemble the removed features. Before reassembling, clean every nook and cranny of the hardware to give your car a clean look.

Post-heat

It is possible to notice some imperfections after applying the film. Use a heat gun to set the wrap in place. Use a squeegee to smooth it out.

Will the package void the Tesla warranty?

Yes, and no. Wrapping your Tesla will not void your warranty for the car’s mechanical and electrical components but may invalidate the warranty for the original paint job.

A mobile service technician may also decline to work on your Tesla if they need to access or work on wrapped parts.

Final words

Wraps are a cost-effective alternative to high-quality repaints. They help retain your Tesla car's value, upgrade its beauty, and make it stand out.

Quality and brand contribute to the overall cost of the wrap. Nevertheless, it is budget-friendly, as you may decide to only wrap a few sections of your car.

To avoid damage to your car's paint, use the service of a professional. If you are worried about the effect on your warranty, talk to your local Tesla service center and insurance company before wrapping the car.


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