Tesla’s are known for their sleek, minimalist designs that come in a limited color palette directly from the factory. While some owners are satisfied with the standard color options, others wish to customize the exterior of their Tesla to suit their personal tastes. Vinyl wrapping has emerged as a popular alternative to painting for Tesla owners who want to change their car’s color or add unique designs without permanently altering the exterior. But is vinyl wrapping worth the investment for Tesla vehicles?
What is Vinyl Wrapping?
Vinyl wrapping refers to the process of applying colored vinyl sheets to the exterior of a car. The vinyl sheets can be removed later without damaging the original paint underneath. Vinyl wraps provide the following advantages compared to repainting a car:
- More color and finish options – Vinyl sheets come in hundreds of colors and finishes like matte, gloss, metallic etc. Repainting offers far fewer options.
- Lower cost – A full vinyl wrap costs $2,000-$5,000 on average compared to $5,000-$10,000 for a high-quality repaint.
- Removability and reversibility – Vinyl can be removed whenever needed without affecting the original paint.
- Protection for original paint – Vinyl protects the original paint from scratches, oxidation and fading.
Cost of Vinyl Wrapping a Tesla
On average, vinyl wrapping a Tesla Model S or Model X costs between $4,000-$6,000. Here’s a breakdown of the typical costs:
|Hood||$500 – $700|
|Roof||$500 – $700|
|Trunk/rear hatch||$500 – $700|
|Door skins (x4)||$800 – $1,000|
|Front bumper cover||$500 – $700|
|Rear bumper cover||$500 – $700|
|Mirrors (x2)||$300 – $500|
|Misc. trim||$500 – $700|
|Total for full wrap||$4,000 – $6,000|
The cost can be on the higher end for custom prints and finishes like matte, satin or chrome.
Advantages of Vinyl Wrapping a Tesla
Here are some of the main benefits of using a vinyl wrap on a Tesla:
- Custom colors and finishes – Vinyl wraps can achieve gloss, matte and satin finishes in hundreds of color options. Tesla’s standard palette is limited.
- Protects original paint – The vinyl protects the factory paint from scratches, chips, oxidation and UV damage.
- Advertising/branding – Full wraps allow custom prints like company logos, brands and graphics.
- Lower cost than repaint – A quality Tesla repaint costs $5,000-$10,000 vs $4,000-$6,000 for a full vinyl wrap.
- Removability – Vinyl can be removed anytime to revert to the original paint without damage.
- Improved resale value – A unique wrap can increase interest and perceived value when selling the Tesla later.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Wrapping
Vinyl wrapping a Tesla also has some downsides to consider:
- Shorter lifespan – Vinyl lasts 4-5 years on average. A repaint can last 10+ years.
- Maintenance required – Vinyl may need periodic cleaning, polish and reapplication on damaged areas.
- Imperfect finish – Minor bubbling and ripples are common, especially around contours.
- Special care required – Vinyl can’t be taken through car washes. Hand washing is required.
- Difficult to apply – Getting a flawless application requires skilled and experienced installers.
- Textured parts can’t be wrapped – Emblems, trim pieces etc. need to be removed and reapplied.
Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Wraps
Proper maintenance is key to maximizing the longevity and appearance of a vinyl wrapped Tesla. Here are some tips:
- Hand wash only using pH neutral cleaners. Avoid automatic car washes.
- Use microfiber cloths and wipe gently to avoid scratches.
- Apply wax or sealant every 3-5 months for protection and shine.
- Inspect wrap regularly and touch up any nicks, cuts or gaps.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners, polishes or rubbing alcohol.
- Clean spills or overspray immediately to prevent staining.
- Garage park to minimize exposure to elements.
- Avoid rubbing against abrasive surfaces that could scuff the vinyl.
Best Vinyl Wrap Shops for Tesla
Choosing an experienced and reputable shop is crucial for getting flawless results from a Tesla vinyl wrap. Here are some of the top national vinyl wrap specialists for Teslas:
|Chicago Motoring Company||West Chicago, IL|
|Signature Custom Wraps||Orlando, FL|
|Fine Edge Signs & Graphics||Hayward, CA|
|Golden State Wraps||Union City, CA|
|Kapow Wraps||Mechanicsville, VA|
Be sure to review examples of their previous Tesla wraps. It also helps to find shops experienced with large format printing for full vehicle wraps.
Popular Vinyl Wrap Ideas for Tesla
Here are some top vinyl wrap ideas, designs and color change options seen on wrapped Teslas:
- Matte military olive green – A popular and rugged matte green color change.
- Satin Ocean blue – Deep blue with a subtle satin sheen.
- Matte black – For a murdered-out, stealthy look.
- White carbon fiber – Realistic carbon fiber print in white or tinted gray.
- Matte brass gold – Unique gold metal finish.
- Gloss fire engine red – Vibrant gloss red stands out.
- Satin baby blue – Smooth light blue with a satin finish.
- Gloss chameleon purple – Color shift purple with rainbow effect.
Are Vinyl Wraps Permanent?
Vinyl wraps are semi-permanent modifications. The vinyl film itself lasts 4-5 years on average before needing replacement. But wraps can be removed sooner if desired to revert the car back to the original paint. Removal must be done professionally to avoid paint damage. Any adhesive residue left behind can be buffed and polished out.
Can Tesla Remove a Vinyl Wrap?
Tesla Service Centers do not offer vinyl wrap removal services. To have a wrap taken off, you need to visit a professional wrap shop. Many of the same installers that apply wraps can also handle removal. The cost to remove a full wrap is around $1000-$1500.
Does a Vinyl Wrap Void Tesla’s Warranty?
Adding a vinyl wrap does NOT void Tesla’s 4-year, 50,000 mile new vehicle warranty. The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship of the car itself. Damage during wrap installation would also not be covered under warranty.
Can You Vinyl Wrap a Leased Tesla?
Vinyl wraps are allowed on leased Teslas, but any wraps must be completely removed at the end of your lease term to avoid extra charges. The wraps must also be done properly to avoid paint damage. Reputable shops avoid using adhesives that leave behind residue when removed.
Vinyl wrapping is an appealing modification for Tesla owners seeking color and design customization at a fraction of the cost of a full repaint. When done properly by a skilled shop, wraps can protect the factory paint while adding unique style and flair. However, wraps require careful maintenance and have a shorter lifespan than a quality repaint job. Overall, vinyl wraps are a recommended option for Tesla owners looking to stand out with a color change or custom exterior graphic for a few years before changing it up again.