Recent advancements in vinyl development have led to new types of vinyls specifically for doing wraps, such as vinyls that feature air channels to prevent bubbles, and microscopic glass beads that prevent the adhesive from taking hold until squeegeed down. This feature allows the material to be lifted and reapplied as needed during the wrapping process, without compromising the longevity of the wrap. Decals can be made to cover side and rear windows on a vehicle, though for obvious safety reasons, the front windows used by the driver are not covered. The decals on side windows are typically perforated so that it is still possible for passengers to look outside. A wrap must often be divided into a number of smaller pieces to appropriately cover any movable panels on the vehicle, such as the fuel tank cover, trunk (boot) openings, and other doors.
Wrapping is also sometimes used instead of paint as a less-permanent way of applying its operator’s standard livery than paint. This has become particularly common in the United Kingdom where, since the privatisation of British Rail, it has become quite frequent for trains to be transferred from one company to another and thus require many changes of livery.
Industry analysts, researchers and trade representatives have researched the effectiveness of mobile billboards. Outdoor Advertising Magazine said that outdoor mobile media billboards have a 97% recall rate, and 96% of survey respondents thought mobile advertising is more effective than traditional outdoor advertising. 3M and the American Trucking Association noted 91% of the target noticed the text and graphics on truck advertising, and the Traffic Audit Bureau noted that on local routes monthly impressions ranged from one to four millions hits. Product Acceptance and Research said 94% of respondents recalled seeing the Mobile Billboard, with 80% recalling the specific advertisement; the billboards resulted in a sales increase of 107%.
The vinyl may wrinkle or separate from the glass on curved windows because the polyester laminates are designed for flat windows.
Washing windows with solvent glass cleaner (e.g. with Windex) prior to application is not recommended. Solvent can affect the adhesive on perforated vinyl film causing it to not adhere properly to the glass. This can cause distortion in the image. Instructions usually accompany products.