Let’s imagine you own a roofing company that’s just purchased three new work trucks and two work vans for the business. You’re checking out your new fleet and while the trucks and vans looks great, they’re doing nothing for your business with their boring stock paint and design.
If you’re truly going to make the fleet a part of your company, you need vinyl fleet graphics. Fleet graphics use bright colors and custom designs to advertise your business everywhere your fleet goes. Your new vehicles are an investment, and you want them around for years – do vinyl fleet graphics damage the car in the long run?
Do Vinyl Fleet Graphics Damage the Car?
High quality fleet graphics installed by reputable wrap companies will not damage the vehicle they’re installed on and could even help protect your vehicle and paint in the long run.
Let’s learn how vinyl fleet graphics can protect vehicles and the best ways to take care of your wrapped vehicles. Vinyl fleet graphics set your company apart and offer more than a flashy design.
How Fleet Graphics Protect Your Fleet
Vinyl is not incredibly strong or durable, but it’s strong enough to protect the vehicle its applied on.
Think of the biggest enemies of your vehicle’s appearance – sun, wind, extreme temperature, and scratches. Vinyl protects your vehicle’s stock paint job and finish from these elements simply by being applied. Think of an area your patio that’s covered with a tarp compared to an area that’s open to the elements. The tarped area is still moderately exposed to the weather but will look cleaner and brighter thanks to a simple piece of material.
Vinyl graphics are not high strength armor, but they’ll still protect your vehicle from damaging sun and scratches from runaway grocery carts or cars doors opened on your vehicle.
When You Get Problems
Fleet graphics aren’t perfect but most of the issues come from improper care and are easily fixable. The biggest issue seen in fleet graphics is ‘ghosting.’ Ghosting is when you’re able to see the previous imprint of vinyl graphics after they’ve been removed from the vehicle.
Ghosting is caused by a lack of regular cleaning and excessive sun exposure. The areas of your vehicle that are wrapped and areas that aren’t wrapped age differently when covered in road dust and gunk so a constantly dirty car, or fleet parked outside 24/7, will age more dramatically the two surfaces causing ghosting.
How to Care for Fleet Graphics
Avoiding ghosting and premature graphic aging takes regular care but the good news is there’s not a lot of work involved. To best care for fleet graphics, you should wash your fleet frequently. Regular washing removes road grease and gunk which are known to prematurely age vinyl and cause possible ghosting when the graphics are removed. Adding a ceramic coating to your fleet vehicle also helps prevent ghosting and preserves the integrity and look of your paint and vinyl graphics.
For more information about how to care for your fleet graphics or vinyl wrap, check out our blog – Can you wash vinyl wrapped cars?
How to Correct Ghosting
Ghosting is ugly and makes your fleet vehicle look bad when the graphics are changed or removed. If you peel off the wrap to find ghosting, you’ll need a good paint correction company to restore the luster of your factory paint. Many reputable wrap or auto paint companies can use color correction to to make your vehicle look good as new.
Other Tips to Avoid Damage
Don’t Drive with a Worn-Out Wrap
Even a properly cared for wrap will begin to wear out after five to seven years. Driving around with a cracked and torn wrap not only makes your company look bad but can cause ghosting and uneven color patterns on your vehicle. When your wrap has seen better days it’s best to get it replaced right away.
Use High Quality Vinyl
Not all wrap vinyl is created equally. High-quality vinyl will look better, perform better, last longer, and can help you avoid ghosting. You’re not expected to know the different qualities of dozens of vinyl companies but if you choose a reputable wrap company you shouldn’t have to. Reputable wrap companies only use high quality vinyl from companies like Avery Dennison and 3M to give their customers a fantastic job.
Avoid Automatic Car Washes
An automatic car wash every now and then won’t make a big difference but you should avoid regular washes in automatic systems, even touchless. The chemicals and brushes are made for metal, not vinyl, and can damage your fleet graphics.
Never Use Protectants
Never use auto protectants like polish and wax on your fleet graphics. While protectants can enhance normal automotive metal, they’ll damage vinyl. Vinyl wraps are bright enough by themselves without finishes but there are vinyl-appropriate polishes if you really need your fleet to shine.
Getting the Most Out of Your Fleet Graphics
Fleet graphics won’t damage your vehicle’s finish if properly cared for with regular washing. Use high-quality materials, regularly wash your fleet, and your graphics will look great for years.