How to Start a Car Wrapping Business 101

If you want to start a vehicle wrap and graphics company, you've come to the right place.

How to Start a Car Wrapping Business

If you want to start a vehicle wrap and graphics company, you've come to the right place. If managed effectively, this line of business is primed for rapid expansion. All you need to start a vehicle wrap business is some basic equipment, training, steady hands, and a well-thought-out business plan.

The Business Plan

Every successful business has an excellent business plan, and you will need one too. Write a business plan that considers industry-specific challenges and verticals.

A few questions to consider: How will you obtain business licenses? What are your marketing plans? Will you print your own designs, or will you seek a third party? How will you finance your endeavors? Will you start to build your business from the ground up or buy an existing franchise? Very few small businesses make it past five years. Franchises have an established name and a built-in consumer base, making it a safer bet. But, they are costly to acquire and might not be suited for your vision.

If you do start your own company, where will it be located? Vehicle wrap business must be climate controlled and require lots of space, so it might not be practical to lease in high cost of living areas. The above is a snapshot of what goes into a business plan.


To start a car-wrapping business, you need talent which stems from proper training. Luckily for you, many organizations and manufacturers provide training programs and other professional workshops.

Apart from learning how to apply wraps and decals effectively, you need to be a master of design. This usually necessitates some graphic design and software knowledge. Learning a few design software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or CorelDraw, is crucial to taking your business to the next level.

Before starting your car-wrap and graphic business, do your homework and locate the best training program for your needs. Don't go cheap to save a few bucks; remember, you are training to operate a successful business.


As mentioned in the business plan section, you need to decide whether or not you will be printing your own wraps and graphics, as it will affect the equipment you need. If you decide to keep everything in-house, you can print for other artists, opening another income stream for your business.

Some basic equipment you might need include: heat guns, wrap poles, plotter printer and lamination equipment, a second lamination machine (depending on business levels), knives and blades, squeegees, aftercare supplies, buffers, application gloves, propane torches, rivet tools, cleaning equipment, and so much more.

Remember to invest in high-quality equipment to set yourself apart from the competition.

Find Your Niche

Starting a car wrapping business is no joke, and you will need to find ways to hold a competitive advantage.

What type of vehicles will you service? You may focus on servicing personal vehicles, box trucks, fleet vehicles, or even race cars.

What type of vehicle wraps will you specialize in? Some common wraps include: glossy wrap, matte wrap, satin wrap, brushed wrap, chrome wrap, carbon-fiber wraps, calendared vinyl or cast vinyl (yes, there is a difference between these vinyl materials).

Will you provide luxury wraps and charge appropriately? Will you cater more to the average Joe? Will your customer service be the best?

Whatever you decide on, find your niche, and execute, execute, execute.