Many Model 3 owners want to customize and have a unique vehicle, and one way to do that is by adding a vinyl wrap.
Vinyl wraps can change the color of your car, protect the paint, and be removed in the future without damaging your Tesla.
How much does it cost to wrap the Tesla Model 3?
Costs vary depending on:
- quality of the vinyl, and uniqueness of the color
- whether or not a ceramic coating is applied
A good estimate is that it can cost between $3500-$5000, with some high end wraps costing up to $8000. If you plan to install the vinyl yourself, the costs are much lower – but prepared to invest a bunch of time!
How long does a vinyl wrap last on a Model 3?
If your Tesla gets lighter use, a high quality vinyl wrap could last up to 7 years or more. If your Model 3 is a daily driver or commuter vehicle, 5 years is about all you can expect from the wrap.
Can I vinyl wrap my own Tesla Model 3? Model 3 DIY Vinyl Wrap
Yes you can – if you have lots of time and patience! The cost for the vinyl, which can be purchased on Amazon, is only a few hundred dollars. Most of the wrapping expense comes in the form of labor, and if you are wrapping your own Model 3, that’s all money you can keep in your pocket.
Vinyl wrapping is a little intimidating buy it’s been done by other DIYers. Here are some videos:
Shaun says the wrap took him about 2 weeks to complete, and he needed a helper for the front and rear bumpers. If he had to do it again, he would do all of the panels and pay someone to do the bumpers because those are the hardest parts.
For supplies, he ordered 55 feet, and ended up needing about 75 total because of all the pieces he wrecked.
Shaun recommends doing the hood first if you want to get over-confident in your skills.
DIY Tesla Wrap by i1Tesla
i1Tesla says it was 2 and a half days of work to wrap his Model 3, and it isn’t quite finished yet. He used knifeless tape to cut the vinyl in straight lines, and to wrap the bumper he removed it from the Model 3.
Another DIY Model 3 Wrap
This isn’t so much a DIY as they appear to be a professional shop, it shows step by step how they do it.
To start with, they prep the Model 3 by removing the front bumper (by first removing the frunk), the front headlights, the sideview mirrors and door trim, the door rubber seals, and roof chrome strips. Then they removed the taillights, and the door handles can stay on because they are flush.
This is definitely more involved than wrapping with all the pieces in place, but by removing the extra pieces, you can apply large sheets with less cuts. This helps speed up the process and requires less detail and stretching work with the vinyl.
SS Customs How-to Vinyl wrap a Tesla Model 3
Not as descriptive as the video above, this shop video from SS Customs does show some close-up work of cuts made around door handles etc and would be useful to view prior to trying to wrap your own Model 3.
More Model 3 DIY Vinyl Wrap Tips
Reddit user Brokemytesla wrapped their own Model 3 and gave some tips on the process:
- First tip for anyone considering doing it. If it seems easy and fun, you’re going to be sorely mistaken! BUT if you have a garage, a lot of time, a warm climate, enjoy thoroughly cleaning your car, enjoy rolling around on the ground holding a heat gun under your chin while trying to contort a piece of this magic vinyl material so it smooths perfectly over your car’s curves, then you’ll love this project.
- be prepared to drive around with a half wrapped car (it’s fun! and people respect the hard work)
- Decide early on how much you want to be a perfectionist. No specs of dirt, obviously. But are you OK making a seam in a strategic location of the bumper? There are panels where I messed up just the corner, and decided to redo the whole panel. If I was doing it again, I would just cut a clean square corner and add a patch. (I decided this about 50% of the way through the wrap and it would have saved me a lot of time)
- Get that “knifeless cutting tape”. It’s fun. I went through a couple rolls of it
- Temperature in the “shop” affects the material (I used 3M satin battleship grey as well). I made the mistake of doing mine outdoors in the cold months. Then I finally got around to doing the front bumper in a warmer climate and found it was sooo much easier to work with. In retrospect, some of the videos online had shops with big warming lamps above the car and it made sense.
In order to figure out where to accurately cut a vinyl roll in preparation for wrapping a Model 3, brokemytesla used cheap picnic table covers and traced the shape of the panel onto the covers. src