First impressions matter! As a fleet manager or business owner, one top priority is keeping your vehicles in good condition. This is especially critical when your fleet serves as a mobile advertising platform for your business. One way to protect and customize the appearance of your fleet vehicles is to use commercial fleet wraps. Choosing the right 3m vinyl wrap thickness can be a daunting task, as there are several factors to consider.

In this article, we share our insights on 3M vinyl wrap thicknesses. Read on to learn more about which 3M vinyl wrap options will help you keep your fleet looking its best.

What Is 3M Vinyl Wrap?

3M—originally the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company—produces a wide range of products, including window films, paint protection films, and vehicle care products. 3M vinyl wraps make an excellent choice for protecting commercial fleets from dirt, dust, UV rays, and more.

Made from durable, conformable vinyl, a 3M vinyl wrap can work with any shape or size vehicle. The flexibility of this product is what makes it so attractive as a vehicle wrap.

3M Vinyl Wraps come in a variety of colors and finishes. Flexible materials and color choices make 3M’s vehicle wraps one of the most popular on the market today.

Add easy installation and maintenance, and you have the ideal vehicle wrap for your commercial fleet.

Two Types of Vinyl Wraps

Depending on the project, you may need to choose between cast and calendered vinyl wraps. Cast vinyl and calendered vinyl are two types of vinyl materials used for vehicle wraps, signage, and other graphics applications.

Cast Vinyl Wraps

Cast vinyl is made by pouring liquid vinyl onto a casting sheet and slowly curing it in a controlled environment. The result is a thin, flexible material. Cast vinyl has no memory, meaning it won’t try to return to its original shape once stretched or conformed to a surface.

Considered to be the most durable of the two, cast vinyl can last up to 10 years or more. It resists fading, cracking, and peeling, even in harsh outdoor environments.

Cast vinyl is exceptionally conformable. An installer can stretch and mold it around curves and contours without the material creasing or wrinkling. Its flexibility makes cast vinyl ideal for complex curves, deep recesses, and other challenging surfaces.

Calendered Vinyl Wraps

The manufacturing process for calendered vinyl includes extruding the material through a series of rollers. This compresses and flattens the material. The end product is a thicker, stiffer vinyl with a memory, which can make it more difficult to conform to curved surfaces.

Although still considered quite durable, calendered vinyl has a shorter lifespan. Depending on the environment, it’s sometimes more prone to fading and cracking.

Because it’s less conformable, you may need to heat calendered vinyl to get it to lay flat on a curved surface.

What about the cost of vinyl wraps?

Calendared vinyl generally costs less than cast vinyl. Even so, whichever vinyl material you use for your fleet wraps, you’ll likely pay less than what you would pay to paint the vehicles in your fleet.

Understanding 3M Vinyl Wrap Thickness

With a wide range of thicknesses available for 3M Vinyl Wraps, it’s important to understand your options. The most common thicknesses are:


The 2-mil vinyl vehicle film is popular for vehicle wraps due to its ease of installation and conformability to curved surfaces. Manufacturers usually make 2-mil film from cast vinyl.

This film is typically made from cast vinyl, meaning it is a high-quality, durable material that can withstand the elements and preserve its color and finish over time.

Customers who want to wrap vans and trucks often prefer 2-mil vinyl vehicle film. It works great on flat and slightly curved surfaces.

Another reason people like to use this thickness for truck wraps is because it’s suitable for adding graphics and truck decals. 

Because the film is thin, it conforms well to the contours of the vehicle and provides a smooth, seamless finish without any visible ridges or bubbles. This makes it an excellent choice for creating intricate designs and patterns, such as custom graphics, racing stripes, and logos.

3.5 Mil

The 3.5-mil vinyl is thicker and more durable than the 2-mil vinyl film. It’s best suited for larger fleet vehicles such as buses or trailers. 

3.5 mil vinyl is an excellent choice for applications that need higher durability and protection. If you use your fleet vehicles for advertising, this thickness may be the best choice.

It’s also an excellent vinyl wrap material for customers who want to add custom finishes, such as carbon fiber or matte, to their vehicles.

In addition to these thicknesses, 3M offers other vinyl films for vehicle wraps in different thicknesses and finishes to suit various applications and preferences. 

Choosing the Right 3M Vinyl Wrap Thickness for Your Fleet

Choosing the right 3M Vinyl Wrap thickness for your fleet isn’t something to take lightly. Your decision will directly impact the durability and longevity of your fleet wraps.

When selecting a 3M Vinyl Wrap thickness for your fleet, you should consider both form and function.

Thin Vinyl Wraps 

  • Better suited for curved surfaces
  • Nearly endless customization possibilities
  • Cost-effective
  • More prone to damage from extreme weather

Thicker Vinyl Wraps 

  • Greater protection against abrasion and wear
  • Holds up well under harsh weather conditions
  • Provides a smoother, more consistent finish
  • Easier to install

Finally, when you’re ready to install commercial fleet wraps, it’s critical to find a certified installer. We’ll talk about that next.

A Certified 3M Installer Makes All the Difference

When searching for an installer, look for one with experience working with 3M products. A 3M-certified installer is even better!

Quality Assurance

3M-certified installers receive specialized training from 3M. They must meet specific standards to ensure the vinyl wrap installation meets or exceeds 3M’s quality standards.

Certification assures that the installer has the necessary knowledge and expertise to install the vinyl wrap properly.

High-Quality Materials

Certified installers use high-quality 3M vinyl products and materials. This helps guarantee that your vehicle wrap will last many years and provide maximum protection for the vehicle’s surface.


When you use a certified installer, you will receive a warranty from 3M that covers the vinyl wrap installation against defects and workmanship issues. Knowing that your investment is protected gives you peace of mind.

Choosing a 3M-certified installer ensures that you get a high-quality vinyl wrap installation that will look great and last for many years.

We Specialize in Commercial Fleet Wraps

Your fleet is a significant investment, and it’s important to do everything you can to protect that investment. Commercial fleet wraps are an excellent way to extend the life of your vehicles and keep them looking their best. 3M offers a variety of vinyl wrap thicknesses to suit your needs.

Be sure to find a 3M-certified installer to apply your wrap.

For over 20 years, Roadrunner Wraps has installed vinyl wraps on all kinds of vehicles, including commercial fleets. If you’re ready to take the appearance of your fleet to the next level, reach out and get a free quote.