A vehicle wrap refers to graphics printed on vinyl and applied to the external surface of a vehicle. You might see these on NASCAR racing cars, buses, and automobiles used to advertise businesses.
Different industries use vehicle wraps for promotional purposes. You may see automobiles bearing ads for retail stores or musical artists. While wraps are common in the U.S., though, they didn’t start here. They are actually a United Kingdom export. Taxis in the UK were the first vehicles to be covered in vinyl wraps. From there, the idea caught on and began to spread to other types of vehicles.
Vehicle wraps quickly became popular in Germany. The government there required all taxis to be beige in color. Repainting the units proved costly, so many taxi operators decided to use beige vinyl wraps instead. With the wraps, not only did the driver avoid having to shell out for repainting fees, they could easily remove the wrap when they returned the car to private use.
The vehicle wrap phenomenon quickly moved beyond Europe as companies saw a way to convert their vehicle fleet into moving billboards. Vinyl, which was discovered by the Goodrich Corporation in 1926, quickly became a high-demand product. The 3M vehicle wrap vinyl and the Avery vehicle wrap vinyl are two of the most widely used materials for vehicle wraps. The field of advertising spawned a new medium—mobile advertising. Instead of stationary advertisements on storefronts or billboards, moving ads were now taking on new territory.