Your car represents many different abstractions. It can be a status symbol, an investment, an expression of individuality, and for many people, it almost seems like a member of the family. Whatever your car means to you, and whatever uses you put it to, whether for work, travel, or recreation, you want to keep it looking its best.
Car wraps are one way of accomplishing this. They come in two different varieties: vinyl wrap and clear bra. Though they function in similar ways, adhering to the body of your vehicle, there are many significant differences between the two of them. Which one is better for your vehicle depends largely on what you want the wrap to do for it.
Clear Bra Vs. Vinyl Wrap
Clear bra and vinyl wrap differ from one another in two fundamental ways: the material each is made of and the purpose that each is intended to serve. Vinyl wrap is made of polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC. The purpose of vinyl wrap is to change the outward appearance of a car by changing its color, adding designs or logos, etc.
Clear bra is made of polyurethane, which is a plastic material similar to rubber. It is intended to preserve the original look of a vehicle rather than changing it. It is transparent to allow the vehicle’s paint color to show through, and its primary purpose is to prevent scratches and dings to the body of the vehicle from small stones and other road debris.
Thickness and Durability
Because the specific purpose of clear bra is to protect your car body and paint job, it is thicker and more durable. Vinyl wrap material is about as thick as a sheet of printer paper, 2 to 6 mm. Clear bra material can be more than three times as thick as that, ranging from 6 to 10 mm. Though vinyl wrap may afford your car some protection from minor damage, the relative thinness and brittleness of the material make it prone to punctures or tears if it comes in contact with rocks, keys, etc.
Application and Cost
Because the purpose of vinyl wrap is to change the look of the vehicle, car owners typically have it applied over its entire body. Clear bra can also be applied over the entire car, but many owners opt to have it applied only to the front end of the vehicle, which is likely to receive the most punishment from rocks and other debris while on the road.
A vinyl wrap job to cover the entire vehicle will likely take 2 to 6 days to complete and cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. Application of clear bra can take 1-2 days. Covering only the front part of the vehicle in clear bra can cost about $500, but if you want to maximize protection by covering the entire vehicle, that can cost up to $10,000. The costs vary based on a number of different factors, including the type of vehicle.
Because the purpose of vinyl wrap is to change the appearance of a vehicle, it offers many customization options. It comes in different colors, and you can use it to add logos, designs, lettering, and artwork to your vehicle.
Because a clear bra is meant to serve a protective rather than decorative purpose, there are fewer customization options. As implied by the name, the material is transparent and doesn’t come in any custom colors, but you do have the option of choosing either a matte or a glossy finish.
The question of whether clear bra or vinyl wrap is better really depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to protect your vehicle’s paint job from flying debris, a clear bra is the better choice. Find out more about paint protection for your vehicle from Elite Window Tinting.