Should Your Company Be Branding Its Vehicles?

Man applying a green, yellow, and blue coloured car wrap to a vehicle.

Would you like free advertising for your local service-based business? Get vinyl vehicle branding applied to your fleet vehicles. It’s a cost-effective and practical way to promote your company and attract new customers without worrying about the complexity and costs of paid advertising. 

Vehicle branding includes your company’s logo, visual branding elements, and brand messaging printed on a vinyl sticker that’s affixed to your vehicle. It could be as small as a logo for your door or can be a full vehicle vinyl wrap. 

In this article, we’re going to look at how to get a vinyl wrap for your fleet vehicles, the benefits of this type of advertising for your business, and tips for measuring its effectiveness for increasing brand awareness and bringing in new leads. 

How do you brand a car?

1. Decide on a Design

Hire a professional vehicle wrap designer or talk to your installer to see if they offer this service. Provide them with high-quality vector images for any branding elements, logos, and fonts to be incorporated in the design. 

2. Install Your Design on your Vehicles

While DIY vehicle wraps are possible, we don’t recommend it unless you only apply a small decal. Get a professional installation to ensure it’s applied correctly. 

Your installer will first clean the exterior of your vehicle so no dust, dirt, or debris are present. Then, they will inspect for any existing chipped paint. The vehicle’s surface needs to be as smooth as possible to avoid bubbling and cracking. Finally, they use special tools to apply the vinyl to your vehicle tightly.

How much does a vehicle wrap cost?

The cost to wrap your vehicles varies depending on the vehicle size and surface. If you choose to only cover part of your vehicle, like the back window or a small decal on your side doors, the costs will be much lower. 

To give you an idea here are a few vehicle wrap cost estimates:

  • ~$2,000 for a small compact car
  • ~$3,500 for a compact crossover
  • ~$4,000 for a full-size SUV or similar

If you have a larger cargo van or trailer, it could cost more as you have more surface to cover.

How long do vehicle wraps last?

A well-cared-for, full-vehicle wrap can last 3-5 years. You can help maintain your wrap by avoiding drive-through car washes (the brushes can damage and scratch the vinyl).

Tip: To extend the life of your vehicle wrap, opt-in for gentle handwashing. 

Vehicle wrap specialists also recommend cleaning any dirt, dead bugs, and debris off as soon as possible, and avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

8 benefits of branding your fleet vehicles

Using a vehicle wrap or other branding for your fleet vehicles comes with many benefits for your business:

1. Attention-grabbing

Studies have shown that movement grabs attention. For example, when placing an ad online, an animated ad will garner more attention than a single image, static image ad.  

The same goes for real-life advertising. Since your vehicle is moving on the roads, it is more likely to grab the attention of onlookers than a stationary billboard or bus stop advertisement. 

2. Cost-effective advertising

Advertising can get costly depending on where you choose to publish your ads. When you add your logo, brand, and contact information on the side of your vehicles, however, it’s more cost-effective than traditional print or online advertising. Once it’s applied to your vehicles, there are no ongoing costs to advertise, until you need to refresh the wrap.

3. Increase reach

Your vehicles are driven around your geographic service area and past your ideal customers every day. A branded car will get noticed in a crowd of standard passenger vehicles that all look the same. 

4.  Stand out from the competition

There are likely many home services businesses in your community. Vehicle wraps are a great way to gain some brand recognition and increase the likelihood of customers coming to your website when they have a job. 

For example, if someone sees your company-branded vehicle courteously stopping to let someone safely cross the street rather than racing through the intersection, it shows your customers that you care about the safety of your community. 

If someone sees your driver cutting people off, driving aggressively, or being disrespectful while on the road or at a job, that’s not going to leave a professional-looking impression with potential customers. 

5. Advertising during “downtime”

When stopped at a red light or stuck in a traffic jam, your business isn’t making money; however, if your company vehicle has your logo and brand, you’re advertising to everyone else stuck in that same traffic, with nothing else to do but get exposure to your brand. It’s a great way to turn otherwise wasted time into a free advertising opportunity. 

Also, depending on where you park your vehicles outside business hours, they can continue to provide “free” advertising, even when not in use and sitting in your parking lot. 

For example, if you run an HVAC company and park your vehicle outside your clients’ homes, other residents in the neighborhood who may need HVAC services as well may take note of your contact information based on your vehicle’s branding.

6. Less spammy advertising

Consumers hate being sold to. Getting unsolicited emails or ads on Facebook can feel invasive for many people. With vehicle wrap branding on your fleet, they have the choice to take notice or not. This can lead to a higher return on your investment over time. 

7. Protects cars from damage

When you get a full vehicle wrap, it also protects it from vehicle damage. Think of it as a screen protector for your phone: it won’t protect your vehicles from more severe damage, but it will protect your fleet vehicles from nicks and scratches that come from everyday use. 

For example, if your home-service business uses tools and equipment (like a plumbing, electrical, or roofing company), there is a high likelihood of your drivers accidentally scratching the side of your vehicle while carrying them onto worksites. A vinyl wrap can help protect your vehicle’s body from minor accidental scratches like these. 

8. Deters vehicle thieves

Auto theft is more likely to occur in motor vehicles that will go unnoticed, without any significant visually distinguishing features. A stolen vehicle like a Nissan Sentra or a Ford Escape is less likely to be noticed compared to a vehicle branded with your logo on it. Car thieves tend to choose cars that are more likely to blend in. If they were to steal your company-branded van, it would draw too much unwanted attention.

Fleet of cars

Is a vehicle wrap good advertising?

Yes! As long as it looks professional, you can expect increased exposure to your brand in the communities where you work. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your company because you only pay for the design and installation of the vehicle wrap. There are no ongoing maintenance costs until you decide to update or change your graphics. 

How to measure the effectiveness of vehicle vinyl wraps

As a marketer, you’ll want ways to measure the effectiveness of your car branding to calculate your return on investment. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Put a unique URL or phone number and track visits/calls.
  • Put a special promo code offer on the vehicle and track who claims it.
  • Track vehicle mileage and compare that to how many leads you get from people who saw your vehicles. 
  • Ask all new clients, “how did you hear about us?” to see who mentions seeing your vehicles. 

A great measure of the effectiveness of a vehicle wrap for your business is to calculate how many leads you can get based on your vehicle mileage. For example, you may figure that for every 200 miles driven, you get an average of 5 inquiries. This helps when you’re ready to scale because you can likely assume that if you add another vehicle to your fleet, and it drives 200 miles, you can add 5 new inquiries from that vehicle route.

Do’s and Dont’s of Vehicle Branding

Here are some general tips for branding your fleet vehicles.


  • Include your logo (at minimum)
  • Focus on imagery and/graphics more than text
  • Include your contact information (phone or website)


  • Add too much text
  • Forget to check how branding appears when doors are opened and closed
  • Apply branding that obstructs the drivers view

Go a step further with GPS tracking for your fleet vehicles

An effective way to track vehicle usage for your fleet is to use Force Fleet Tracking. With our GPS vehicle tracking devices, you can accurately pinpoint your vehicle’s location in real-time, and get details about critical vehicle maintenance information, including mileage records. This information can be used to measure the effectiveness of vehicle branding marketing campaigns. 

The GPS tracker plugs into your vehicle OBD-II port, and set-up only takes a few minutes. Get your free 14-day, no-risk trial to see how you can increase business efficiencies and track vehicle branding effectiveness. 

Published December 7, 2021
Joni Taisey
Joni Taisey
Director Growth Marketing
Force Fleet Tracking