Are old fleet graphics hurting your business? It’s easy to lose track of what your vehicles look like on the road. And the more extensive your fleet, the more difficult it can be. The fact is, your fleet graphics make an impression. The question is, what kind of an impression do they make? So, are old fleet graphics hurting your business?

Are Old Fleet Graphics Hurting Your Business?

There are several contributing factors to the life of your vehicle graphics. Determining if old fleet graphics are hurting your business begins with assessing the condition of your adhesive vinyl.

There are many types of adhesive vinyl material. Using the wrong material for the job can lead to early failure of the adhesive vinyl. Some types of adhesive vinyl are meant for flat surfaces only and should never be used on a full wrap. Other materials are designed to be temporary, and still others are designed to be heated and stretched to conform to curves. If you’d like to learn more, read this FAQ: Are There Different Vinyl Graphics Materials? 

Has the Wrap Been on Longer Than it Was Intended? 

Vehicle wraps and graphics are a significant investment in time and money, but they’re also an investment in your organization’s reputation. Vehicle graphics that look worn and dated send the wrong message about your business. On the other hand, vehicle graphics that stand out send an impactful message to prospects. Allowing vinyl graphics to remain on your fleet vehicles past their intended date sends the wrong message. So, how long do adhesive vinyl graphics last?

A quality material such as 3M 1080 series can last up to 7 years. The expected performance life—that is, the length of time the 3M wrap should look good and stay adhered—is up to 7 years if properly maintained. Get more details here: 3M Product Bulletin 1080.

If you’d like to learn more read this post, FAQ: How Long Will My Vehicle Wrap Last?

Fading Graphics

Fading of adhesive vinyl can be caused by several factors, including quality of material, climate, color, installation, and care. However, using an overlaminate to protect your vehicle wrap makes it far less susceptible to fading.

According to Sign & Digital Design Magazine, “Laminate on vehicle wraps provides protection against abrasion from road grime and rocks, as well as moisture. The UV protection laminate provides will help protect the printed graphics against fading and deterioration.”

Although several factors contribute to vehicle graphics fading prematurely, one of the leading causes is not using an overlaminate to protect the vinyl graphic. Lamination also offers the bonus of enhancing the graphic; whether the desired effect is glossy or a flat, glare-reducing finish, lamination enhances the look of the final product.

If you’d like to learn more, read this post, FAQ: Why do Vehicle Graphics Fade?

Lifted Edges

There are many reasons edges begin lifting on vehicle graphics. It starts with poor pre-installation preparation and includes improper application, such as overstretching the material. Using the wrong tools or using the right tools the wrong way can lead to lifted edges.

Lack of maintenance and improper cleaning can also lead to lifted edges. Not only do lifted edges look bad, but they usually lead to rips and tears. Here’s more about Caring for your New Vehicle Graphics


Bubbles left unattended during application can be disastrous. A bubble can and will retain moisture, which expands and contracts, eventually leading to a tear. So, what causes bubbling? The are several reasons for adhesive vinyl bubbles. It could be using a cheaper material that was never meant to conform to the curves of the vehicle on a full wrap.

Another common reason for bubbles is less than perfect prep and cleaning. Before adhesive vinyl is applied to any substrate, it must be immaculate, without any oily or cleaning fluid residue, and it must be completely dry.

Improper application methods, especially when using heat guns or squeegees, can lead to bubbles as can installing in a poor climate such as humidity levels above 50%.

3M says,For installation‚ the ultimate temperature-controlled environment is 70° F (21° C) with 50 percent humidity. For best results with films recommended for vehicle wrapping‚ always apply when the air and vehicle surface are both above 60° F (16° C).”

During application, an installer may find a bubble or two. It’s important they’re addressed then and there. A standard method is to make a pinhole in the bubble and then squeegee it out. You can read more on How to Avoid and Repair Vehicle Graphics Bubbles.

So, Are Old Fleet Graphics Hurting Your Business?

Are old fleet graphics hurting your business? The condition of your fleet graphics says a lot about your organization. Unfortunately, too often, the story your fleet graphics tell isn’t one you want to send to potential customers. You can avoid this embarrassment by hiring a professional fleet graphics provider, correctly maintaining your fleet graphics, and replacing them when it’s time.

If you’d like further information or advice, be sure to Contact Us. If you’d like a free estimate for your fleet or vehicle graphics, you can Request A Quote.


TKO Graphix is a national fleet and vehicle graphics company helping customers since 1985. We provide full-service graphic design, digital printing, screen printing, graphics installation, and removal of large format graphics.

We’ve been helping businesses, large and small, brand their fleet of tractor-trailers, work trucks, and company vehicles. Whether you have a fleet of thousands or a few vehicles, we are here to lead you through the vehicle branding process.

TKO Graphix is proud to be a 3M™ MCS™ Warranty graphics manufacturer. We employ the largest 3M Certified installation crew in the country. If you’d like to learn more and get a free quote, contact us today.