Chrome car wrapping may have peaked in the early 2,000s but when you scroll through the internet you might experience a nagging sense that it’s poised for a comeback.
Nothing about chrome car wrapping is understated. And it may even be considered bad taste.
But it’s still happening, even today.
And if you long for that metallic shine and perhaps a blingy personalized color, chrome wrapping may be exactly what you are craving.
Just don’t ask your dealership to do it.
It’s not an actual thing among auto manufacturers.
And one downside is that you might be pulled over by the cops more frequently due to its reflectivity.
So what, exactly is a chrome car wrap?
A chrome wrap is actually a kind of vinyl wrap that gives your car’s exterior a glossy, reflective, and yes, metallic, look, kind of like you dipped your entire car in hot metal.
Think Donald Trump’s penthouse interior with more color choices than gold.
Chrome car wraps are thin but generally considered durable (especially by those who install them) and there are currently four top brands to choose from: Avery, Oracle, 3M, Rwraps, and WrapStyle.
If you don’t find anything you like there, you can also opt for metalized and polyester films, according to the Topmarq blog. Such alternatives are not used as full car wraps. Instead, they can be employed for covering smaller parts of the car and creating special custom graphics that you choose.
But let’s go back to chrome wraps, which allow you to choose from a seemingly endless rainbow of colors: Anything from the more “staid” black, gold and silver to flaming red or pink. (Who doesn’t love a metallic pink Land Rover? Or a glossy pink VW?)
And of course, it’s going to cost you.
For a sedan expect to pay up to $8,000.
Larger cars like a Bentley or Rolls will run you $12,000 or more.
So what are the pros and cons?
You will always make an entrance. There is nothing subtle about how your car will look once you chrome wrap it. In fact, everyone will stop and stare, gape-mouthed, as you drive by.
It might help to prevent scratches. According to proponents, a wrap will actually protect your original paint job in the same way a high-quality synthetic wax does. (Not sure the folks at Rolls would agree with this but we’re just passing along some info from the pro-wrap world). So ostensibly you are preventing nicks and scratches from rock chips, branches, and debris.
They can last several years. Drop a chrome wrap over that Bentley and you might not have to change it for five or six years. Imagine the impression you can make in that time frame! And, for better or worse, you will make an impression.
It’s not cheap. As we already mentioned a glossy metallic wrap for your ride can set you back $6,000 to $8,000 or more depending on the size of the vehicle and the scope of the project.
It’s difficult to maintain. The wrap may be susceptible to heat and cold so your car may have to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment, which can add extra cost.
It’s a little tacky for most tastes. Despite the fact that you might think it looks cool, many others do not think a chrome wrap looks cool. In fact, you might be perceived as a bit out of touch if you drive around in a gold-plated car. We suggest sticking with the colors provided by your luxury car’s configurator or a tasteful tone available at your dealership.
But there’s no accounting for taste…