Car Wrap: Why Motorists Are Shifting From Conventional Paint to Expensive Covers

A photo collage of a mechanic installing a car wrapper (left) and a car being painted (right).
A photo collage of a mechanic installing a car wrapper (left) and a car being painted (right).
Auto Express

Car enthusiasts are always willing to go over and beyond to make their machines look good both on the exterior and interior.

Occasionally, motorists spend thousands of shillings to improve their vehicle's image including the installation of car wraps which is becoming more common among Kenyans.

Speaking to a Nairobi-based mechanic John Otieno on Saturday, March 17, he noted that motorists were increasingly seeking to have wraps installed on the vehicle's exterior in preference to painting. Remarkably, the wraps are more expensive than painting.

On average, most motorists spend between Ksh40,000 to Ksh70,000 to paint their cars. Car wraps, on the other hand, can go as high as Ksh200,000 depending on the quality and type of car.

A photo of a car with golden wrappers.
A photo of a car with golden wrappers.

So why are they settling for the more expensive option?

Faster Installation

Compared to the normal paint job, installing a car wrap takes almost half the time. In workshops where they are a number of employees, car wraps can be done within a day.

Painting, on the other hand, takes time as the existing coat has to be removed before the paint job begins. Additionally, during the painting, one has to wait for layers to dry up before another coat is painted.

For motorists who want to use their cars to run errands, car wraps become the best option for them.


Motorists are also settling for car wraps because they come in various varieties. Car wraps are usually manufactured in different colours, sizes and patterns.

This makes it enticing for motorists who would like to play around with the outlook of the vehicles. A case in point is motorists who like parts of their vehicles decorated with flames.

Low Maintenance
Once a vehicle has been wrapped, motorists hardly have to tender to the vehicles as they require little maintenance.

An original quality cover can stay for years without being replaced, unlike the paint that can force motorists to paint their vehicles after a few years.

Therefore, despite being expensive at the installation stage, the wraps are cheaper in the long run.

Cars received by NTSA for the Usalama Barabarani on Friday, November 18, 2022.
Cars received by NTSA for the Usalama Barabarani on Friday, November 18, 2022.

Protects the Car Paint

Apart from serving an aesthetic purpose, wrappers also protect the initial car paint from being damaged by scratches.

This makes it preferable for motorists who want to protect the value of their vehicles and plan to resell them in the future.

Easy to Remove

Car wraps are also easy to remove as compared to paint. Removing the wrapper requires one to heat the wrapper with minimal heat and then peel it off gently.

Heating is required to loosen the adhesive so that the wrapper comes off as a whole.

Removing paint on the other hand requires a professional to do it. More often than not, sandpaper is used in the process. Some workshops also use the doff machine.


Apart from being expensive, one is required to notify the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA)  of the changes - if the motorists pick another colour or design that is not on the car log book. 

One also pays for the changes to be effected on the log book.

Another disadvantage is the fact that there are few technicians who know how to properly install car wrappers.

A car at a mechanic shop being repainted
A car at a mechanic shop being repainted.
Indian Auto