What is Vehicle Signage?

Vehicle signage is the branding and advertisements that are placed on vans and cars. Most businesses choose to add signage to company vehicles in order to raise awareness of the brand, advertise a particular product or service that they provide or for more short-term signage a special offer they have. Some companies refer to it as signwriting, vehicle graphics, or vehicle signs.  

vehicle signage

Types of Vehicle Signage

There are different ways that you can have signage added to your vehicle depending on your needs, your vehicle size and shape, and budget.

Car Decals

The first option that you have are car decals.

Decals might also be called stickers, as they are type of sticker that has been specifically designed for outside use and will stand up to UK weather.

They’re usually transferred from a paper or card transport sheet which is peeled off and put onto the vehicle. Some may also have a protective film over the top that will then be removed once the decal is in place.

Generally, they will be made using vinyl and those designed for vehicles will go through an eco-solvent printing process to help weather protect them in order to make them last for as long as possible. Typically, a decal will last between four and seven years.

They can have images, logos, words, and patterns on them.

Car and Van Wraps

Vehicle wrapping involves larger sheets of vinyl being used to cover up a larger portion of the car than a sticker does.

It will be heated and moulded to conform to the exact contours of each individual vehicle to ensure a smooth and professional finish.

Vehicle wrapping can be removed at any time, though we advise getting a professional to do so to avoid any damage to the paintwork beneath. A full colour digitally printed wrap should last for up to five years, though you can obviously choose to remove it at any time prior to that.


Magnetic Vehicle Signs

Another way you can add branding to a vehicle is with magnetic signs.

Just like vehicle decals and wrapping magnetic signs are designed to be fade-resistant and durable. They are also easy to apply and remove which makes them great choice if you are only looking for temporary signage or if the advertisement needs moving on the car or even between vehicles.

However, magnetic signs can be removed by anyone not just the driver of the vehicle, and sometimes even extremely strong weather might dislodge them.

Process of Adding Signage to Your Vehicle

The exact process depends on the type of signage you choose to add to your vehicle, but the general steps are the same.

First, you will need to decide what it is you want to put on the vehicle. In order to help decide this you might want to consider the below:

Vehicle – what vehicle will it be applied to? How will the vehicle body shape affect the signage you want to apply?

Size – what size do you want each part and the total signage to be? Will it cover the entire vehicle?

Position – where on the vehicle will you place the signage? Where will particular parts of the signwriting sit? Do you want to be most visible to other vehicles or pedestrians, or both?

Colours – what colour is the vehicle and what colour is your branding, how will they work together?

Contact details – do you want to include the business’ contact details, if so where will they go?


Once you have worked out the signage you want to be applied to your vehicle you will then need to send the designs and imagery over to the signwriting company.

They will then be able to confirm if this is possible and whether there might be any potential issues such as the curve of a bonnet distorting an image.

They will then produce the signage you have requested, depending on their current demand and the size and number of pieces you have chosen this can take a little time.

Once ready they will be in contact to arrange a date to apply the signage, and to confirm the address and vehicle details that the signage will be applied to.

The signage will then be applied at a pre-agreed upon time. This can take a couple of days to complete, though the signwriting company will advise on how long they will need with each vehicle and in total.

If you have opted for magnetic signage then this might instead be sent to you to put onto the vehicle yourself as the process is straightforward.

What Details Should Be Put on a Vehicle Sign?

When you're looking at adding signage to your vehicle you'll want to consider what details to put into the design. 

We recommend including the essential information of:

  • Company name 
  • Contact details
  • Basic info on what the business offers if your name does not explain this
  • Company Logo

Then there may be room for additional features including more details on the services your business provides, further contact methods and images. 

The exact design of signage depends on the size of the vehicle, the location on the vehicle where it is being added and if you're doing multiple decals on one vehicle.  

Reasons to Have Vehicle Signage on Your Fleet

There are a number of reasons that you might choose to have signage added to your vehicle and we’ve rounded up our top four below:

  • Brand awareness – it’s easy to think that vehicle signage doesn’t have a big impact on the general public’s knowledge of your brand but with most people driving daily vehicle signage can be a successful way to boost public awareness of your company. A particularly eye-catching signage can really raise brand awareness.
  • Non-aggressive advertising – advertising seems to be all around us these days with adverts now having more devices than ever to reach us on. Some advertising like personalised social media adverts can feel quite aggressive, and so vehicle signage is a way for you to advertise your business or a specific product without the negative reactions that come with more intrusive forms of advertising.
  • Wide audience – Unlike a stationary advert like a billboard where the audience has to pass by that area in order to see it a vehicle can move which gives it a wider potential audience and constant advertising. Unlike targeted advertising, it also attracts people of every age, gender, ethnicity and income bracket.
  • One Cost-Effective Amount – as mentioned drivers spend a lot of time behind the wheel and this wide audience actually makes vehicle signage a fairly cost-effective method of raising awareness of your brand as it is a one-off payment to get the signage applied to the vehicle.

Vehicle Signage FAQs

We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about signwriting. If you want to ask anything that’s not listed below then please get in touch with us here.

How Long Does Vehicle Signage Last?

The length of time your vehicle branding lasts will depend on the type of product you choose.

If you are leasing then it is likely that the product will last for the duration of the contract.

Is Signage Easy to Remove?

A magnetic sign can easily be removed from the vehicle at any time and you or one of your drivers can take it off.

Decals and wraps can be removed though we advise getting a professional to remove them to avoid the risk of any damage to the paintwork underneath.

Do I Have to Remove Signage from the Vehicle?

If you own the vehicle it is up to you whether you remove the signage from the vehicle at the end of its life. Many businesses find it easier to sell on the vehicle if it does not have existing signwriting on it.

You might also choose to remove signage at any point due to a change of campaign, new products or rebranding.

Lease vehicles will need to have any signage that has been applied removed before they are returned to the funder. For more information on the end of lease process take a look here.

Can Signage Be Applied to Car Windows?

Vinyl wrapping and stickers can be applied to a window however it is a legal requirement that the windscreen and two front windows are not obscured and so cannot be applied there.

Does the Vehicle Colour Matter for Signage?

The colour of a vehicle will not prevent you from having signage added to it. However, you might want to consider the colours that any company branding will be and how this will look against particular vehicle colours.

Black, white and grey colours are a good neutral background if you are not having the entire vehicle wrapped but there may be an alternative colour that works better with your brand colour scheme.

How Long Will Vehicle Signage Take to Apply?

Depending on the type of signage you opt for, the size of the signage and the number of models you are having signage on the process can take a few days if you are having a large portion of your fleet done.

For just one vehicle the process can be finished in a couple of hours depending on the type of signage you choose.

Can Signage be Added to a Lease Car or Van?

Yes, you can add signage to a lease vehicle provided it does not damage the paintwork beneath and is removed before the vehicle is collected by the lease funder.

If it does cause any damage to the paintwork or is not removed prior to collection then you may receive an invoice for the cost of repairs / removal from the funder.

Can Graphics and Signage Damage a Vehicle?

In general graphics and signage will not usually damage your vehicle provided they are professionally applied and removed if you need to take them off the vehicle. However, if you do not use the correct tools or someone untrained attempts to add or remove signage this might result in damage to your paintwork.

Another thing to be aware of is that if you are using small decals or only wrapping part of the vehicle then when the time comes to remove the signage you might see a slight discrepancy in colour. This is because the signage protects the paintwork from sun fading while the exposed paintwork will be under direct sunlight. 

Will Adding Signage Affect the Cost of Insurance?

You should always notify your insurer if you are adding signage to any vehicle, as it is technically considered a modification to the vehicle and not doing so could invalidate the policy.

We cannot confirm whether adding signage to your vehicle will impact your premiums as each insurer calculates it differently however we have given some general advice below.

Please note if you are concerned about your insurance being affected you can always check with your provider before having any signage added.

Some providers may reduce your premiums, as having signage added to a vehicle makes it a representation of your company and so more likely to take care of it.

As the vehicle is branded and advertising the company some see providers see it as encouraging sensible driving and so reducing the risk of rule breaking and accidents.

We mentioned above that signwriting on a vehicle is technically a modification and because of this, some insurers will actually increase their premiums, as repairs are more expensive where modifications are involved.

If you'd like to learn more about how we can help with signage or any other aspect of fleet management then get in touch with us on 01722 322 888


Contact Wessex Fleet