3M has created the website www.wrapyourcurves.co.uk to find the nearest wrapping firm approved to use its products.
It is also worth speaking to other van operators with wrapped vehicles about their experiences.
When considering a company to wrap your van, look for one that has spotlessly clean, dust-free premises with an enclosed space that can be heated to apply a wrap.
Ask to see other vehicles the company has wrapped and ask for samples of the film and colours that will be used on your van to make sure they meet your expectations.
Once you’re happy its wrapping skills are up to your standards, you can agree on a design.
Most wrapping companies will design your wrap in one of two ways.
The first is to take an image or logo and apply it to a computer template of the van it will be applied to.
This allows the wrapper to make sure the design fits properly and shows your logo in the way you intended.
The other option is to ask the wrapping company to come up with a bespoke design. It will have templates and designs to work from or can design something from scratch.
However, bear in mind the cost goes up the more bespoke the design is.
The typical cost for a small van in a simple complete vehicle wrap would be about £600, while a large van with complicated wrap could be £1,500. Much of this cost is due to labour as it takes around 15 hours to apply.
The wrap is applied to the van in sections, though those using solvent-based inks need to be left until the solvents have evaporated before they can be applied.
Water-based inks are used with most modern wraps and are more environmentally friendly.
More producers of wrapping films are also moving towards non-PVC films as they are less damaging to the environment and are easier to work with.
Other new developments include films that remain pliant at lower temperatures and have no ‘memory’ so they don’t try to spring back into their original shape when applied to a vehicle’s curved bodywork.
When the wrap has been applied to your van, check it covers all of the areas you agreed. Look for neat trimming around panel gaps and doors, and be sure the vinyl film sits right into concave panels, such as the door handle recesses.
Stand back and check there is no distortion of the image or logo and it’s all positioned where you want it.
Novel approach to improve driving behaviour
Karen Karolyi, fleet manager for Virgin Media, says: “It takes time to build a good relationship with a livery supplier, which is vital if you have a number of vehicles.
"However, it’s worth it as you then know what to expect of them and they know what you demand.”