Skilled livery application can protect residual values, says Sign Language

livery being applied to a van

Fleet managers need to focus on whole life cost of livery application and removal, not just the cheapest price, according to Sign Language.

Tobin Jenkins, managing director of Sign Language, says specifying quality livery vinyl and wrapping at the outset of a company car and van’s fleet life is critical to safeguard vehicle value at defleet time.

He urges fleet chiefs to ensure their livery and wrapping is applied to vehicles by fully trained and experienced applicators in an unregulated industry.

Jenkins also says that fully wrapping a vehicle can provide a financial bonus on defleet as the vinyl protects paintwork from ultra violet light degradation as well as from stone chips and minor abrasions.

He said: “These are among the clients that we work with which have recognised that using cheap vinyl livery and wrapping can severely impact the second hand value of vehicles.

“Companies can spend a lot of money decommissioning vehicles at the end of their life, but that cost could have been more than offset had they used top quality vinyl when initially selecting their livery and wrapping partner. Quality vinyl is more easily removed at the end of life - notably if reflective chevrons are applied on top of vinyl and not directly on to paintwork - thus not leaving any trace on a vehicle.

“Additionally, inexperienced applicators using knives and scalpels to cut vehicle livery can easily damage a vehicle’s paintwork. That can ultimately result in corrosion and rusting of the bodywork also impacting on residual values at defleet time - or result in potentially costly repairs.

“There are some highly skilled applicators carrying out livery work, but there are also unskilled people who perceive the work as easy. It is far from that, so fleet managers should check the skill levels of applicators before they start work. Unlike vehicle mechanics, there is no industry-wide training scheme or accreditation body for applicators.”

Jenkins explained: “The wrapping provides an additional layer of protection for the paintwork. Therefore, if a quality vinyl is chosen and applied by skilled applicators, on removal the paintwork below will be in pristine condition. That will make the car or van standout from the pack in an auction hall or on a forecourt so attracting a residual value windfall in comparison with ‘damaged’ rival models.”

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