After some time of owning the Model Y, chances are you are already bored of the same old color and would like to have something different.
Or you might be looking to protect the delicate paint job of your Model Y and maintain that (not for long) shiny paint.
Whichever the case, I will tell you everything you need to know about wrapping your Model Y.
Wrap Options Available
There are tons of wraps available, making it difficult to decide on one.
Most of the materials used in wraps will give you either the best protection or the best aesthetics. The best option should be the one that gives you the ultimate protection, along with the best of aesthetics.
If your main purpose of having a wrap is to make your Model Y look better, the best options will be different compared to when you want the best protection for your Model Y.
Today, I am going to cover everything related to Vinyl Wrap to get you started.
I recommend not to go for the cheaper options for car wraps as they will damage the paint when it’s time to remove them.
If your Model Y does not have the factory paint, the cheaper options will definitely damage the paint and peel it off when removing the wrap.
Not to mention the Tesla paint job itself, which is not good either. Here’s a picture showing how it peels off regardless.
First, I will give you an insight into what these wraps offer in terms of protection for the delicate paint.
After you have the basic idea, I will move on to the cost of having each of these wraps, along with the pros and cons. I will also give you some tips to maintain them.
What Are Vinyl Wraps For?
Vinyl car wraps give you the protection you need on top of the choice to have any color you desire to put on your Tesla.
Vinyl is like a piece of clothing that you can buy from the market. But unlike clothing, you can’t change the wrap every day.
Even if you have the money to do so, wrapping takes time. Most shops are going to take 3–7 working days to fully wrap your Tesla Model Y.
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Tesla Model Y Wrap Cost
You would have to spend about $5,000 to have your Tesla Model Y wrapped by a professional, though prices can vary depending on your location.
I have a whole section dedicated to the prices of different brands and a list of the best car wrapping services/shops currently available.
Take your time to shop around to get the best possible deal.
What Finish and Wrap Color Is the Best?
Unlike the boring transparent PPF, Vinyl offers numerous color and finish choices, including metallic (lots of shine), satin (less shine), matte (no shine).
And then you have a bunch of others like chrome (way too much shine).
In short, there are plenty of options.
Before I show you a few, I am going to ask you a very common question: What is your favorite color?
Chances are you have a response saved from your childhood, but that’s not necessarily the best color to wrap your vehicle.
I always thought my favorite color was gray, but recently, I noticed I am attracted to purple and orange in vehicles, which made me reconsider my preferences.
The color that appeals to you at the very first glance is probably your favorite one. And that often is not the one that you have always thought it was.
I personally recommend a satin finish for most people.
A matte finish requires a lot of upkeep. Just a little bit of dust will make it look cheap, and then you have the watermarks and other environmental damage that will make you hate it after a while.
Satin finish will give a somewhat matte look as well, but it won’t get unsightly in years to come.
For these vinyl wraps, bright colors tend to perform better than those dark colors.
What Wrap Brand Is the Best for Tesla Model Y?
Since wraps are getting more and more popular, a number of new companies have emerged into the scene. Take a look at the pros and cons of each brand below:
|Brand||Thickness||Longevity||Stretchability||Cost of 5 ft x 60 ft|
|3M||Very thick||Last longer||Difficult to put on||$733|
|Avery||A bit thinner than 3M||Lasts long||Easy to put on/DIY||$600|
|Hexis||Thick||Lasts long||Easy to put on/DIY||$447|
|Arlon||Thick||Lasts long||Very easy to put on/DIY||$260*|
|VVivid||Thick||Lasts long||A bit difficult to put on||$370|
*I called two retailers to quote Arlon’s wrap and they told me they don’t sell less than 5 ft x 150ft, which costs $650. The $260 was calculated off of this so offer an apples-to-apples comparison.
I am a fan of Arlon wraps as you can print any type of graphics on the sheet. Plus, they are easy to put on as well.
3M wraps are expensive as they are one of the most popular wraps out there.
Avery wraps have been the go-to choice for many DIYers out there and have been undisputedly the most easy-to-put-on wraps.
Professional Wrap vs. DIY Wrap
A professional wrap for your Tesla Model Y is going to cost you somewhere around $5,000. Now you can also do it yourself and save about $4,000.
However, the quality of a professional wrap will always supersede the quality of a DIY wrap.
So now the question is, is it worth it to have your Model Y professionally wrapped?
Only you can answer this question. If you have free time to experiment and learn the wrapping technique and perform the wrapping job on your Tesla Y, you can have a close to a professional finish.
But if you are earning more than $100/hour, this might not be for you as you can have a professional do it instead of spending your own time on this.
If you are, however, earning more than $100/hour and still would like to do it yourself, then you are a man of culture, my friend. Go all in.
The most important thing to keep in mind while doing a DIY wrap is the prep work. If the prep work has not been carried out correctly, the wrap will come out as a bubble wrap.
Make sure to follow all the instructions and procedures for preparing your Model Y before you even start wrapping it.
I have a whole section below dedicated to all the DIYers out there, you can scroll down, and you will see this amazing section that will show you how you can do it with perfection.
DIY Model Y Car Wrap
This section is dedicated to all of my DIYer friends out there. DIYing will not only help you save thousands of dollars, but you will also be able to have a good time doing it and appreciating it.
After you have completed the whole wrap yourself, if you would have to redo a panel or two in case of damage later on, you will be able to do it without a hitch.
Helpful Tips on Having a Vinyl Wrap on Your Tesla Model Y
- Try to go for the brighter colors as they will last longer than darker ones.
- You can DIY the whole thing, but you need patience.
- Prepping the surface is the most crucial part of the job.
- Choose the material based on your preferences; expensive is not always better.
- Make sure you have all the materials and tools required for the job.
- A set of helping hands is definitely required.
- Always order extra vinyl just in case.
Here’s a video where you might find some extra tips that will be useful when putting on the vinyl on your Tesla Model Y:
How Much Wrapping Material Is Required for Tesla Model Y
The wrapping material comes in rolls. These rolls are often in various feet options for the width part. It’s best for the 5 feet width as it would give you extra room to work with.
When you are measuring how much wrapping you would need to wrap a Model Y, you can multiply the length of your Model Y three times.
Since the Model Y is 187 inches, you would need 187 x 3, which is 561 inches in total.
In feet, you would need 46.75, but just to be safe, you can order 50 feet or more—or maybe a little more because you know we mess up sometimes. All right, maybe a lot of times.
I have been there, so make sure that you test it out on small objects first, and when you have mastered the art of wrapping, you can start on the hood and move your way to the bigger surfaces.
And in the end, you should be doing the bumpers.
Another reason why you should be buying extra wrap is the damage repair. You might have to redo a panel or two if it gets torn apart or scratched to an extent where there is no going back.
The following are the tools you need to do the job:
- A heat gun
- A squeegee
- A precision knife
- A roll of knifeless tape
- At least 8 oz of 70% isopropyl alcohol
- A spray bottle
- A professional-grade micro-fiber cloth
How to Get The Best Out of DIYing Your Model Y Wrap
You can check out the in-depth tutorial from Ideal cars. I will put down the link here for you to check out. These videos have been made in collaboration with VViVid Vinyls.
When you have all the materials you need for this job, you can follow the instructions step by step and save yourself about $4,000.
- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: Measuring Enough Material, Surface Preparation, & First Vinyl Application
- Part 3: How to Remove Bubbles & Wrinkles, Squeegee Technique
- Part 4: Dealing With Curves, Overlaying Vinyl, & Using Knifeless Tape
- Part 5: Dealing With Handles, Steps to Avoid Edge Failure, & Post-Application Treatment
It is extremely important to prep the surface before you start putting the vinyl.
- There should be zero dirt on the surface.
- Clean the whole surface with 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Never put vinyl on wet panels. The panels should be dry before you put the vinyl.
- Have your family/friends help you out as well; it will make a huge difference.
- The most important advice: Be patient with it.
Which Shop Is the Best to Have Your Tesla Model Y Wrapped?
There are a bunch of good detailing shops that offer wrapping services. I have compiled a list of the best shops in each area where you can get the perfect result you are looking for.
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Los Angeles||Wrap Bullys|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Vancouver||Wrap Guys, Wrap ’n’ Ride|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap San Francisco||Custom Vehicle Wraps ($5200 for complete vinyl wrap, may also include complete ceramic coating)|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap San Jose||Notorious Wraps ($4200)|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Oakland||Custom Vehicle Wraps ($5200 for complete vinyl wrap)|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Berkeley||AV Custom Wraps ($3700)|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Fremont||DoubleTake Auto Spa(for PPF) ($7295 matt finish), ($6995 clear finish) , vinylink $4600, OC Detailing $6000|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Palo Alto||SFG Wraps, SS Customs ($5800)|
|Tesla Model Y Wrap Santa Rosa||Northbay Auto Wraps|
Alternatives to Vinyl Wrap
A Cost Effective Alternative to Vinyl Wrap
Now as a bonus, I will give you a cheaper alternative which also happens to be my favorite. You might be thinking that I am going to give you the plasti dip option but no, that is cheap.
I will give you something better than plasti dip — [drum roll], wait for it, wait for it, liquid wrap.
It is much cheaper than vinyl wrap yet the finish is absolutely amazing with better UV protection compared to the vinyl wrap.
This is my favorite one so far. It will cost you somewhere around $2500 from a professional. The cheaper options are also available in liquid wraps, which can be as low as $850.
However, these liquid wraps are not as strong as vinyl wrap.
Personally, I keep my cars well protected and always park them in my garage with ultimate care.
So in my case, it works, but if you are not having a secure place to park, you might not be able to keep it protected for very long.
PPF/Clear Bra: Expensive Alternative Offering Better Protection
PPF is just like a normal car wrap but transparent. The original color will remain to have a slight bit of extra shine reflected through that thin PPF film.
This film will help keep your Tesla look brand-spanking=new, like in showroom condition.
PPF basically acts as an artificial clear coat made to be used on top of the real clear coat.
Clear coat (the real one) is basically a protection film sprayed on the paint job by the factory. However, the irony is, that even the factories don’t do a good job in these clear coats.
Even a Mercedes Maybach would require a paint correction. You might also come across those orange peels. Here’s a video by Topaz Detailing, which will help clarify what I am trying to say.
I am getting off point, let’s get back to the PPFs. PPFs are so incredible these days that you won’t even notice that there is a whole film covering your Tesla Model Y.
Some people refer to it as a stealth PPF or clear bra (what!). If you want to keep your Tesla in a condition that feels like it just came out of the factory years down the line, PPF is a no-brainer.
Vinyl on the other hand gives you protection but not as much as the PPF. Vinyl is mostly for looks.
Helpful Tips on Having a PPF on Your Tesla Model Y
If you want your PPF to look good and last longer on your Model Y, pay attention to the necessary precautions.
If not paid attention to, PPF on your Tesla won’t look as good as it should and won’t last as long as it should.
- Never use wax on your PPF film.
- Never use powder detergents.
- Do not apply any kind of petroleum/resin-based products.
- Always use PH-neutral products.
- PPF can be polished just as normal paint can be polished.
Most car washes have the PH value listed on their user interface so you can make sure that all the car wash chemicals are safe to use on your PPF-coated Tesla Model Y.
However, it’s best that you don’t go to the commercial/automated car washes, especially the ones with brushes. Man, those brushes are a nightmare for these products. So stay away from them.
If you are out of options and commercial ones are the only option you have, then go for the ones that do not have those big brushes.
Furthermore, Tesla recommends not to use high-pressure water hoses directly on the charging port area.
How Much Does It Cost to Have PPF on Tesla Model Y
You can have a professional put PPF for somewhere around $7,000 or more, but the results you’d get out of it translated to ultimate protection.
PPF Installation: Is It Difficult to DIY
PPF is not as easy to DIY as a Vinyl wrap. It requires much more effort.
This job requires a keen eye for details while having a bunch of special detailing lights with lumens regulated for each specific color to get rid of the slightest bits of imperfections.
I am a DIYer myself and love to detail my prized possessions every now and then, but these coatings are something that I would highly recommend to a professional.
Here’s a video that will help give you an idea of how the PPF is applied to the Tesla Model Y.
If you want to have a detailed understanding of how it works and how you can DIY it, I have a whole article dedicated to all the DIY fellows out there.
However, the results achieved through a DIY job might not be near a professional wrap.
What Is The Most Cost-Effective Way to Protect The Paint Job
Even though it’s possible to DIY wrap, the amount you spend on tools and materials and the amount of time you spend on coating is simply a lot.
If you are looking to save some time & money and have the necessary protection, you can apply PPF on the Tesla Model Y bumper and side skirts only.
In this way, you will have the most endangered parts protected while not having to break the bank.
I would like to have your attention to this video, which explains the basics to get the job done.
As bumpers are most likely to be damaged by rock chips or road salt in winters, you can learn the technique and apply PPF on the bumper area.
But remember that bumpers are not easy to work with. Try to apply the PPF on other objects first to master the technique.
And when you have the gist of it, roll up your sleeves and start working on that Model Y bumper.
There are dozens of coatings available on the market, and most professional detailers use their own secret sauce when it comes to the coating material.
However, most commonly, you will see names like ceramic coating and Teflon coatings. These two are the major types of coatings used in the detailing scene.
Long story short, Ceramic coating performs much better than Teflon overall. However, given certain circumstances, Teflon might be a better choice (for the short term).
A decent ceramic coat will cost you around $600, which also includes paint correction.
Ceramic coating can be applied on PPF as well. Here’s a video that shows how it’s done.
Wrapping Up: Tesla Model Y Wrap Guide
Most Tesla owners would have their Teslas wrapped first thing after having their Tesla delivered.
Wrapping does not only help you protect the paint job from harsh weather, ding damage, dirt, and debris, but it will also give you an opportunity to go wild with the color and graphics options available in the wrapping scene.
It’s best to let the pros handle the work, but if you would like to apply the vinyl or PPF, you can do that.
However, you would have to break a lot of sweat and get the elbow grease to be able to do it properly.
It’s not impossible to do a good DIY job, but it’s a bit difficult. Once you have messed up couple few times, you will be amazed by the results in the end.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
These 5 rare tips can save you so much time and stress – and few owners know about them (even after years of ownership). Sign up below to learn more. It's free.