What is a Van Wrap?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A van wrap is a type of advertising which is applied directly to a van. Auto wrapping in general can be used to wrap everything from city buses to cars, and is a popular method of cheap advertising. People can order van wraps for company vehicles or personal vehicles, and some companies will pay people to drive wrapped vehicles as a form of mobile advertising. Some companies specialize in van wrapping, while others may offer it as part of a larger suite of auto body services.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Van wraps are made by designing advertising which will cover a vehicle, and printing it out on a high-quality vinyl which is applied to the van. A laminate is also applied to seal the van wrap and prevent scratches and similar problems. A high quality wrap can last five years with crisp colors and an even appearance. Some wraps are less durable, especially if they are not done properly. The design takes some work, as it is necessary to come up with something which will be easily read, visually interesting, and engaging from a variety of distances.

A classic use of a van wrap is on a company vehicle. For example, a bakery might wrap its delivery van with promotional materials about the bakery so that while the van goes through town, people will see the advertising. Van wraps are used to advertise personal businesses, and can be a powerful advertising tool for a company which cannot afford a more extensive ad campaign.

Decorative van wraps are also available. In this case, nothing is being advertised, with the wrap being used to add color or interest to a vehicle. Someone might decide, for example, that they passionately want their van to look like a giant rolling pickle, in which case a van wrap with a pickle design would be applied.

Laws about covering the windows on vans varies. In some regions, covering some windows is permissible, although people may be advised to use a wrap material which is perforated, for some visibility. Usually the driver's window and the front windows need to remain clear for visibility. For those who are concerned, officials at a police station or department of motor vehicles should be able to cite the relevant section of the vehicle code.

Costs for a van wrap vary. It is advisable to get several quotes and to ask to see the portfolio of the company, asking specifically for pictures which show how well the wrap wears over time.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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