How Much It Cost To Install Racing Stripes? [DIY vs Pro]
Adding racing stripes to your car is an excellent way to pay homage to the long history of car racing. If you’ve been considering adding racing stripes to your car, you may be wondering how much this project will cost.
Depending on whether you choose vinyl or painted racing stripes, the cost of adding them can vary anywhere from $25-$2,000.
Vinyl stripes will cost significantly less than painted stripes, and can usually be done with a DIY kit. Painted stripes, however, will need to be put on by a professional.
Keep reading to learn more about the cost of adding racing stripes to your car, as well as some other factors you might want to consider when making this decision.
How Much Do Racing Stripes Cost?
The price of adding racing stripes to your car will vary greatly based on the type you choose. If you want racing stripes painted onto your car, it can cost anywhere between $500-$2,000.
Choosing to add vinyl racing stripes, however, will only cost around $25-$100.
Keep reading to learn about the differences between vinyl and painted racing stripes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Painted Racing Stripes
This type of racing stripe will usually have to be painted on by a professional body shop or car painting shop.
While the price depends on where you go and what kind of process they use, you should expect to pay no less than a few hundred dollars for this project.
When you take your car to the shop to be painted, they’ll first tape off the area where your racing stripes will be. Next, they’ll sand the area in preparation for painting, and then spray it with some kind of base coat.
Once the area has been properly prepared, they can start painting your color.
Many people prefer painted racing stripes because they last much longer than vinyl. When done correctly, they should last (or even outlast!) your factory paint coat.
They are also better if you have any uneven contours on your vehicle because they lay nicely and fit the surface well.
On the downside, however, painted racing stripes cannot be removed as easily as vinyl. If you decide you don’t want them anymore, you’ll have to get them professionally painted over.
Vinyl Racing Stripes
Vinyl stripes are best for anyone working with a budget. You can typically purchase a DIY racing stripe kit for anywhere between $25-$100, depending on the specific type of car you have.
One of the main advantages of vinyl racing stripes is that they are very simple to install. Usually, you’ll be able to complete the entire process yourself within 1-2 hours.
Depending on how complex your specific project is, it should take just three hours at most.
If you apply them well, your vinyl stripes can last up to six years. However, this depends on how they’re applied, how often your car is in the sun, and what color stripes you have.
You might be surprised to learn that the color of your racing stripes affects their lifespan. Black racing stripes will typically last the longest, followed by white, and then followed by other colors such as red and blue.
Some people opt for metallic stripes, but these have the shortest lifespan due to the metal in the material.
Why Do People Add Racing Stripes to Their Cars?
Racing stripes have always been popular on different types of muscle cars, and they seem to never go out of style. But, why did people start adding racing stripes to their cars in the first place?
There’s no doubt that stripes add a certain “oomph” to certain cars, such as Mustangs and Corvettes. In-car racing’s heyday, stripes were painted onto cars so that race teams could distinguish their car from others.
It helps the team keep an eye on their cars on the track, and allows them to spot the cars more easily during pit stops.
Racing stripes don’t only allow the crew to notice their cars more easily, but they also serve the same purpose for fans! When fans can tell by the stripes which driver they’re rooting for, they’re more likely to pay close attention to the cars as they drive around the track.
Today, many racing fans choose to paint stripes onto their own cars in honor of racing history. It allows them to show their appreciation for the sport and add a little extra something to their vehicles.
Common Racing Stripes Styles
Most people are familiar with the “Hannover” style of racing stripes, which include two equally-sized, wide racing stripes going from the front of the grill to the dashboard. However, there are seven common styles to consider adding to your car. Below, we’ll discuss what each style includes.
As mentioned, this style includes two equally-sized stripes and is the type that most people think of when they picture “racing stripes.”
Berlin-style racing stripes include one wide stripe, and one narrow stripe right next to it.
Like the Hannover style, Munich-style racing stripes feature two wide stripes. However, they also include one narrow stripe on the outer side of each wide stripe.
Frankfurt-style racing stripes feature one wide stripe, with a slightly less wide stripe right next to it.
Stuttgart racing stripes include only one wide stripe, with one narrow stripe on either side.
Hamburg stripes are a little more complex, featuring two narrow stripes in between two wide stripes.
Dusseldorf style stripes are similar to Hamburg stripes but feature only one narrow stripe in the middle rather than two.
As you can see, there are many different styles of racing stripes to choose from. If one type speaks to you more than another, try searching specifically for this style! Your painter will most likely know the difference between the seven styles.
If you’re doing the stripes yourself, you will be able to easily find the right DIY kit when you know what to search for.
Do Racing Stripes Really Increase Your Insurance Costs?
There are many misconceptions about what does and does not increase your insurance costs. However, racing stripes are one thing that may increase your insurance premium, depending on a few factors.
If your car did not come from the factory with the stripes already painted on, it may be considered a “cosmetic modification.”
Most insurance companies will have certain rules and regulations related to modifications, so it’s a good idea to check your policy before making any changes.
Depending on your insurance policy, as well as the modifications you make, there could be several repercussions.
Your insurance rates can increase, or you may be denied coverage for these modifications in the event of an accident.
Whenever you make any kind of modification to your car, regardless of how small it may be, it’s essential to report it to your insurance company.
Failing to report these things may get you flagged for “material misrepresentation,” which could have consequences from claim denial to insurance policy cancellation.
How Do You Remove Racing Stripes?
While painted on racing stripes will need to be removed by a professional, removing vinyl racing stripes is relatively easy and can be done at home.
To get started, all you’ll need is a hair dryer or heat gun, a plastic paint scraper, adhesive remover, and a rough sponge.
If you’ve decided you don’t want your vinyl racing stripes anymore, or if you need to reapply them, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Go over the entire surface of your racing stripes with heat, using either a hair dryer or heat gun. Keep going over it until the adhesive begins to soften.
- Once the vinyl adhesive begins to lift, gently wedge your paint scraper underneath the stripe. It’s important to not be too rough because you don’t want to scratch or damage the paint underneath.
- Once you’ve scraped off enough material to get a grasp on the vinyl, use your fingers to gently pull off the stripe.
- If any of the material breaks off as you pull, reheat the area and try to pull it off again.
- Once you’ve finished removing the vinyl, use an adhesive remover to get off any leftover adhesive. Make sure you find one that won’t remove the paint from your car!
- After you’ve finished removing everything, wipe the area with a rough sponge to remove any traces of adhesive or adhesive remover.
Remember to be careful when removing your racing stripes. You don’t want to leave any adhesive behind, and you especially don’t want to scratch the paint underneath.
Always work gently, and use a safe adhesive remover to take off any residue.
The Bottom Line
Depending on whether you choose vinyl or painted racing stripes, the entire cost of the project can vary greatly. Vinyl stripes may cost as little as $25, while painted stripes can cost up to $2,500 when done by a professional. Make sure to consider all the factors listed above when making your decision.