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How Long Do Van Decals and Graphics Last?

How Long Do Van Decals and Graphics Last?
November 9, 2018 TheHoth

Van decals and graphics can be great investments for your business. Every time you drive to a customer, you’re gaining advertising exposure and getting your name out there.

How long will that investment last, though? Many business owners expect their decals to always look the way they did when they first installed them. As you might expect, that’s not realistic.

To find out how to budget for your van wrap or decal, here’s a look at what you can expect.

How Long Do Van Decals and Graphics Last?

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that there’s no hard-and-fast number. There are plenty of variables that affect your decals.

Still, we recognize that it’s helpful to have a general idea. You can expect most decals and graphics to last about seven to ten years.

Factors That Impact Your Decal’s Lifespan

Of course, that seven-to-ten-year timespan comes with a massive asterisk. There are a variety of factors that affect how long your decals last before it’s time for a replacement.


When you’re shopping around for van wraps and decals, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. One company might seem like a wise choice because they charge 25% less than another company.

However, there’s a good chance that the cheaper company is using less durable materials. If the decals last half as long as they would with more expensive materials, it costs you more in the long run.

You want to look for polymeric calendered vinyl. Some companies use lower-quality monomeric instead, but it doesn’t tend to hold up as well.

Graphic Production Process

The way your graphics are produced will impact their longevity as well. While digitally printed wraps and decals may look bright and eye-catching, they don’t last as long as single-colored options. The digital ink will fade at a faster rate.


When it comes to installing your decals, you need a professional who knows what they’re doing.

The installer should first make sure your vehicle is clean. Surface dirt and debris will make it harder for the decals to adhere to your vehicle, leading to possible peeling.

It’s also vital that the installer doesn’t leave any bubbles or bumps in the decal. Each bubble is an opportunity for the decal to lose its grip. When the job is done, make sure you check the entire vehicle for bubbles before you drive away.


Your vehicle will spend time out in the elements, and your local climate will impact the decal. Climates that are hot and sunny are the least decal-friendly. The heat can cause the vinyl to peel and crack. At the same time, sun exposure makes the ink fade.

People in climates with rough winters tend to have issues with decals as well. Salt and other chemicals that de-ice roads will damage your decals the same way they damage your auto paint.

While you can’t control your climate, there are ways to reduce its effect on your decals. If you live in a sunny climate, ask for decals with UV protection. If you live in a place with plenty of road salt, limit how often you drive your vehicle in the winter.

Investing In a Long-Lasting Vehicle Decal

Van decals and graphics can be great sources of exposure and strong brand-building opportunities. The key is making sure your investment lasts a long time by controlling the factors above.

If you’re ready to replace your van wrap or get a new one, contact our vehicle customization experts.