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Can You Wrap A Leased Car?

in Car Buying Tips
Car wrap

Source: Pixabay

Leasing a vehicle is a great way to get a new model every few years with the benefit of having routine covered maintenance and a lower down payment. Car dealerships and ownership groups effectively let customers drive their vehicles for a period of time but generally with stricter leasing regulations than they would be than someone buying a car for cash or with a trade-in vehicle because of its higher risk. With these stricter guidelines in place, that usually means drivers aren’t able to customize their rides as much. So for those that like the visual personalization, can you wrap a leased car?

The short answer is yes, but you’ll need to check with your policy and the manufacturer first. Typically, leased vehicles are only kept for a few years, and that period of time is shorter than a car wrap’s normal lifespan, which means a vehicle wrap may be securely placed and removed before being returned to the dealership. Still, you should consult the lease agreement of the manufacture when looking to customize your vehicle with a wrap.

 What Exactly is a Car Wrap, and Do You Need it?

 A car wrap is essentially a big vinyl decal or graphic and is applied directly to your vehicle’s painted surfaces. It can swiftly modify the color and appearance of your cars, allowing for colorful, distinctive, and conspicuous branding. It is completely detachable, making it an excellent option for leased or owned vehicles. 

Here’s why dealers may not want you to wrap a leased car

  • Creates noticeable rust stains
  • Can damage paint (especially new)
  • Many wraps are applied poorly

If you manage to follow the application correctly, get a high-quality product, or allow a professional to install it, you likely won’t have any of these issues. Your paint will not be ripped off by a high-quality vinyl cover, but from a dealer’s perspective, they can’t be sure that it will be applied correctly and want to protect the long-term value of the leased vehicle.


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Can You Wrap a Leased Car Yourself?

 Putting graphics on a car can be a great visual but also can be challenging if not done by experienced professionals. Perforated window film is a great option and is the sort of material to utilize if you’re going to have window graphics on your car. Because you can see through perforated window films from the inside out, they are perfectly safe to use on car windows. These can also be tricky to line up and smooth out and may be best left to professionals.

Pros of self-application

  • More affordable
  • At your leisure

 Cons of self-application

  • Likely a lower quality application (unless you’re a pro)
  • Fewer high-quality brand options
  • More likely to result in damage

When it’s time to remove a vehicle wrap, it simply peels off. It can be more difficult to remove your car wrap if you leave it on for 8 or 10 years, so during a lease term that is likely 3-5 years, it should tear off pretty easily. Many car wrap businesses now provide removal services in addition to installs if you don’t want to handle the removal process yourself.

 Can You Wrap a Leased Car from a Third Party?

 A car wrap can be done by anyone, but you truly get what you pay for. Using the work of a skilled installer and the type of material also counts for total quality. Certified installers not only have access to better materials, but they can also assist you in selecting the best brand and color to accomplish your desired aesthetic.

Vinyl coverings and ornamental graphics are usually allowed in most leases. However, because each car lease is unique, be sure you understand your exact terms and, if necessary, double-check with your leasing agent for confirmation. Leasing a car may be a cost-effective method to try out several types and brands of vehicles.


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Can You Wrap a Leased Car Without Getting Charged?

 The short answer is yes. While some leases may explicitly say you can’t make modifications to the vehicle, others may only charge for visible damage upon the return. Just like it takes time for new paint to cure and dry fully, adding a wrap could take time to schedule and complete. It’s important to preserve the integrity of the body paint, so avoid using a car wrap until the paint has set to avoid damage fees. 

Some good practices to follow to avoid getting a damage charge from your lease dealership:

  • Only use vinyl from a reputable manufacturer
  • Invest in a professional service
  • Remove the wrap within the time range suggested
  • A few words concerning new paints
  • Stick to brand name vinyl products

 Don’t risk a fine by damaging the paintwork of a rented automobile with a faulty or poorly made wrap. Although you may be the sole user of your rented car, it is technically not yours, and the dealership and manufacturer will ultimately have the final say. When applying a wrap on your leased vehicle, you’ll want to make sure that the quality of the wrap is a priority to prevent future damage fines and to provide a better look. It’s important to look at the usage dates of the wrap as they may vary but should outlast your lease term.


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Even if your graphics and wrap continue to look new after the guarantee term has expired, don’t let your wrap stick on any longer than what your wrap specialist has suggested. When a wrap is left on past the warranty expiration date, it might be difficult to remove and might end up costing you some money during the return inspection. Using poor grade glue causes scarring, chemical usage, and potential paint damage, so you’ll want to avoid this.

A poorly placed and maintained vehicle wrap may last fewer than 5 years. The length of time depends on how well you maintain your vehicle, the quality of wrap, and how well it was initially installed. If you’re worried about how long a wrap will last, talk to your local car wrapping provider about the materials they use and how long they recommend you leave your wrap on for.

To be successful, using a fleet wrapping company almost guarantees that the job will be completed with minimal headaches. For the most part, vinyl and wrapping companies provide experienced professionals and will create a solid look with limited damage on removal. This is a great option to avoid fees with your leasing dealership.



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