We have noticed a little bit of misinformation floating around regarding wrapping your vehicle in chrome/coloured chrome.
Chrome is arguably the most amazing finish on larger vehicles and those with some extreme curvature, but there is a few downsides that you might want to take note of prior to making the decision to coat your entire vehicle in it.
Conform chrome is probably the most difficult film to wrap a vehicle with, easily doubling the average install time. Usually a full vehicle with one installer takes roughly 4-5 days to complete an entire wrap (properly), with chrome you would be looking at 9 to 12 days to complete the job to a similar standard.
Most decent brands of vinyl film only make chrome between 1220mm wide and 1370mm wide, which is a bit narrower than standard films that are predominantly 1524mm wide. This makes wrapping larger panels much harder to do in one piece and sometimes is not possible without putting a seam in the installation.
Misconceptions About Chrome
As great as chromes and coloured chromes look, there are a few facts to be aware of with the overall finish that are good to know prior to installation.
- Chrome is EXPENSIVE – Compared to other standard gloss, matte, satin and metallic films, chrome and coloured chromes nearly cost around double just for the material.
- Chrome is shorter in width – Depending on the brand, chrome films range between 1220mm and 1370mm…less than the standard 1524mm width.
- Chrome has a shortened lifespan – In comparison to standard colours that last 7-10 years, you will find Chrome only lasts a percentage of that, around 3-4 years, with average sunlight exposure.
- Chrome scratches very easily – In all chrome installations, we always laminate the film in a clear gloss laminate to avoid the scratching issue, however, this obviously costs extra for the film and time to laminate.
- Installation time blows out – Due to the mirror reflection in the film, ensuring the installation is perfect, alot more time is needed to conform the film around panels of the vehicle.
AND LASTLY…the question we get asked all the time…
Is Chrome or Coloured Chrome illegal?
This would depend on the state you reside in. We have been made aware that it is illegal in NSW, ACT, SA, and WA, however, laws do chop and change regularly so to be sure, check with your local transport authority.
It is however heavily frowned upon in any state, so if you are planning to wrap your entire daily vehicle, then expect to get pulled up regularly.
Coloured chromes are not as bad due to the coloured laminate reducing the intensity of the reflection and in some cases, flattening the colour to the degree of a highly polished gloss finish.
FML Design suggests having a letter sent to you from the local transport authority stating their ruling on the reflective chrome (even if a coloured chrome) being the primary vehicle colour in your state just to be safe, and of course, which you can produce if you are ever questioned by police or transport officers.