Exterior Styling Graphics Buying Guide

No matter which city streets in the United Kingdom a driver is cruising, one good way to draw attention to his or her vehicle is by placing exterior styling graphics on it. Whether it is for business or simply for show, exterior styling graphics help others on the road notice vehicles. Drivers can use these graphics to make personal statements or spread messages about businesses. In both cases, the right graphics are sure to grab attention.

Exterior Styling Graphics Buying Guide

There is a broad range of exterior styling graphics from which consumers can choose. In addition to local and online retailers of vehicle customisation items, eBay is a good source to buy exterior styling graphics from. In order to shop successfully on the site, consumers should determine their objectives in placing graphics on their vehicles, understand which types of graphics are available on the site, and consider a few important points about exterior styling graphics. With good knowledge of these graphics, consumers can achieve the desired look for vehicles.

Objectives of Exterior Styling Graphics

Consumers should have the objective in mind when choosing exterior styling graphics for vehicles. The objective for exterior styling graphics is usually either advertising or just plain show.

Exterior Styling Graphics for Advertising

Many businesses use vehicles for marketing. Placing advertising exterior styling graphics on a vehicle is a good way to market a business, because business owners pay once for the graphics, but can use them for many years. The right graphics not only catch the eyes of potential customers, but they can also send a message that the business is successful. Whether it is a company logo splashed across the side of the van or contact details on the vehicle's rear windshield, exterior styling graphics help spread the word locally in an inexpensive manner.

Exterior Styling Graphics for Show

Many consumers like to get exterior styling graphics for their vehicles simply for show. Placing graphics on a car is a good way to draw attention to it, and consumers have a wide range of options to choose from. Those who want exterior styling graphics for show must choose designs, sizes, and colours that suit their vehicles. This can be a challenging process for those who are not artistic, and it is important to consider this carefully because affixing exterior styling graphics can be time-consuming.

Types of Exterior Styling Graphics

Whether employing exterior styling graphics for advertising or for show, consumers must choose between decals and wraps. The former are smaller graphics that consumers can place on various spots on vehicles. The latter more fully alter the look of a vehicle's exterior.


Decals are adhesive-based graphics that consumers place on cars. They can vary widely in size and style, and they generally have a durability of three to six years. One of the advantages to using decals over painting graphics onto a car is that decals are relatively easy to remove, while paint is not. Decals also tend to cost less than paint. Furthermore, the design of a decal is pre-set, whereas a consumer must specify the design for paint.


Decals are usually made of vinyl. The vinyl generally has a mil rating that indicates how thick the material is. The lower the mil number, the thinner the vinyl is. Consumers often prefer thinner mil because it makes the decal look more integrated with the vehicle's paint. Vinyl of thicker mil may make the decal protrude slightly from the vehicle's surface.

Vinyl featuring laminate holds some benefits for consumers. The laminate protects the vinyl from weather-related damage and UV fading, helping the decal last longer. Laminates are generally quite thin and not easily detectable on a decal.

Vinyl Types

The table below describes the two main types of vinyl for decals: calendered and cast.




Materials mixed together without solvents; baked in a single oven; results in thicker mil


Materials and solvents mixed together; spread onto casting sheet and baked in series of ovens until solvents removed; thinner mil

Calendered vinyl is often less durable than cast vinyl, and it is therefore ideal for shorter-term graphics. Cast vinyl also tends to have greater aesthetic appeal due to its thin mil and flexibility for stretching over the curves of a vehicle.


Wraps present more full exterior styling graphics than decals do. They cover a large portion of a vehicle, if not the entire surface. Like decals, wraps use an adhesive to affix to a vehicle's surface. This makes them easier to remove than paint, though wraps generally last a few years while paint does for a longer period. A wrap can feature integrated graphics, a pattern, or a solid colour. Due to the size of wraps, many consumers are likely to hire professionals to affix wraps to vehicles. The size of wraps makes them appealing to businesses since they can use them for placing large advertisements on vehicles.

Exterior Styling Graphics Considerations

Consumers must make a few further considerations for exterior styling graphics once they have decided on decals or wraps. Design is one of the primary considerations, and placement and size are also important for decals. Some graphics are only compatible with certain makes and models of vehicles, so it is important to make sure that it is possible to put a particular graphic onto a vehicle.

Design of Exterior Styling Graphics

Consumers have a wide range of choices when it comes to the design of a decal or wrap. Racing stripes are a popular choice, as are flames. As mentioned previously, one may use wraps to change the colour of a vehicle. Wraps may also feature a pattern or give a vehicle's exterior the look of finished wood. There is no limit to the design options for exterior styling graphics. It is only a matter of finding a specific graphic that a consumer has in mind.

Placement of Exterior Styling Graphics

Wraps generally cover a whole vehicle or a section of it, such as the hood and fenders. Consumers have more flexibility about where to place decals. They can put racing stripes on the hood or flames on the fender, for example. Some decals look great on windows, and many consumers like to share thoughts, philosophies, or their sense of humour on bumper stickers. A spare wheel also makes a good spot for exterior styling graphics. Many drivers who have distinctive Brembo brake callipers showing through the rims on their vehicles often place Brembo stickers and decals on the callipers.

Size of Exterior Styling Graphics

Decals can vary in size. One must therefore decide if the graphics on a decal is to function as an accent or a dominant styling theme. Those who want to use exterior styling graphics for advertising may want larger graphics. This can draw attention to the vehicle and the marketing message that the graphic is sending to potential customers.

Vehicle Make and Model

The make and model of the vehicle that is meant to be styled is an important consideration. Many decals and wraps are designed to fit specific vehicles. Consumers should therefore check with sellers to make sure that they can affix their graphics of choice to vehicles. Graphics sellers are able to advise their customers in this regard.


Exterior styling graphics are a good way to make a statement through a vehicle. Affixing graphics to a vehicle's exterior helps that vehicle stand out. When choosing the exterior styling graphics to purchase, consumers must decide if they want the graphics for advertising or for show. No matter the objective, consumers should be familiar with the different types of exterior styling graphics that are available in the market. They should also make important considerations, such as the design, size, and planned placement of the graphics. It is also critical to make sure that exterior styling graphics are compatible with the make and model of vehicle that consumers plan to put them on.

eBay is a good source from which to buy exterior styling graphics, so consumers can benefit from learning how to effectively use the site to find the graphics they want. With good knowledge of exterior styling graphics and the eBay buying process, consumers can achieve the look they want for their vehicles.