Love them or loathe them, custom car wraps are big business these days. But whether they’re used for company advertising or to pimp your rides, the personalized designs are all extremely subjective. And that means the results can sometimes be a little… well, unusual. So while the finished wraps might often have people laughing out loud, they just as easily might leave you wincing or weeping in despair. Don’t believe us? Here are 40 of the most eye-catching custom jobs currently gracing our streets.
40. Watermelon car
Most car wraps are all about changing the exterior of the car into something cool or funny. But here the red interior of the car really sells the exterior watermelon-inspired wrap. We’ve got to give credit to whoever came up with the idea because it’s pretty genius. And for some reason we’re feeling unaccountably hungry all of a sudden. Pass the fruit bowl.
39. Alligator truck
In 2016 Image360, a sign-and-banner service hailing from Illinois, posted a photograph of this brilliant wrap. It would surely lead to a double-take moment for anybody driving behind the truck. Is that really an alligator staring out from the flatbed? We’d love to know how many shocked faces this truck owner has seen in his rear view mirror.
38. Surf’s up!
This taxi wrap must be a conversation-starter for any partygoers being picked up. “Surf’s up, dude!” is what we imagine the revelers would say as they awkwardly bundle themselves into the backseat. Then they’d badger the driver with questions about whether or not they catch waves in real life. Come to think of it, maybe it would be an annoying cab to drive for this very reason.
37. Surf’s up again!
This decal looks like it was commissioned by a dedicated surfer. After all, the truck has got the flatbed in the back to store surfboards and other stuff, and the guy driving the truck has semi-long hair. You know, like surfer dudes tend to have. Look, okay, maybe we’re making tenuous connections here. But you have to give us credit for trying, right?
36. SpongeBob SquareCar
This photograph was posted in the subreddit “r/ATBGE”, which stands for “Awful Taste But Great Execution.” To be honest, it’s the perfect place to show off this custom SpongeBob SquarePants car wrap. It is magnificently produced – but also gaudy and over-the-top. As the Reddit description accurately predicted, it’s hard to know whether to love it or hate it.
35. WeightWatchers bus
This particular wrap, which appeared on the back of a bus in the U.K., is an interesting case. On the one hand, it definitely makes clever use of the ability to warp perspective. It also clearly makes its point about why the weight-loss program is needed by some people. But on the other hand, it could be viewed as mean-spirited and not a little offensive.
34. Bob Ross
We have no idea why someone would want a wrap of iconic TV artist Bob Ross painting DJ Pizza Cat on their car hood. But here it is, and it’s damn funny. We love the idea of the picture-within-a-picture, and Ross’ smiling visage will never not make us happy. Say it together, now: “Let’s add a happy little cat… and his pizza record.”
33. Doggie X-ray
The idea of an X-ray car wrap is genius. Imagining that you’re looking inside the driver’s body and inside the inner workings of the car is super cool. But what makes it even more brilliant is when you place a dog in the driver’s seat of a Foxton Mini with the X-ray wrap. It looks like some kind of crazy human/dog hybrid is driving the car. The traffic sure is “ruff” today…
32. Dodge Hemi: The van
For car enthusiasts, there are few vehicles more exciting than the good old fashioned American muscle car. The Dodge Hemi made its debut in 1953 and must have captured the imagination of the person who owned the van in this photograph. If you can’t have the Dodge Hemi itself, you might as well paint it on the side of your van in an awesome optical illusion.
31. Ukrainian bank security team
This wrap was posted on Twitter in 2015. According to poster Alec Luhn, the van in question is from Ukraine. Judging by the business logo on the driver’s side door, it also looks like it’s associated with a bank. Truly, what better way to advertise the safety of your bank than by driving around in a van that looks like it houses several armed, balaclava-clad mercenaries?
30. This baby’s got teeth
The majority of the car wraps showcased in this list could never be described as subtle. But this one makes an argument for “less is more.” Rather than go overboard by giving their car a full face and eyes, this classy person has simply opted for teeth to be added to the front air intake. We salute you, sir or madam.
29. WWII fighter
Picture the scene. You’re driving on the highway one day, not a care in the world, and then you catch a glimpse of the sharp teeth and beady red eyes of this vehicle traveling behind you. No, you haven’t gone back in time to World War II, and you are not being chased down by an enemy fighter plane. You’re just driving in front of an awesome custom car wrap.
28. Doggie car
Moving to a new house can be stressful at the best of times, but it can be especially taxing for people with pets. Figuring out how to transport your furry friends can be a nightmare, particularly if you are moving overseas. It’s therefore great that services like Air Club For Pets exist. They will handle all the logistics for you and even drive your pets around in a car with an awesomely silly doggie wrap.
Created by the talented folks at Prowrap Professional Carwrapping in Eindhoven, this Pac-Man-inspired design is both sleek and fun. The design could have easily looked cluttered and tacky. Somehow, though, they’ve managed to honor the videogame while also coming up with a design that a driver wouldn’t be embarrassed to cruise around in. That’s no small feat.
Singapore’s WrapStyle unleashed this Spider-Man design in 2016 amid a series of superhero-inspired looks it created. The company wrapped an Audi R8 with Batman’s costume, a Nissan GT-R in the green hue of The Hulk and turned Lamborghini Aventadors into Captain America and Iron Man-style vehicles. But the Spider-Man McLaren 650S was undoubtedly its best work: it’s got our spidey-senses tingling.
25. Coffee Porsche
“The Challenge” is a competition in Holland that has become famed over the years for its use of unique car wraps. In 2018 this coffee-bean-wrapped Porsche was entered in the contest. It was certainly one-of-a-kind – although something about it always bothered us. Seriously, how many potential cups of joe will never get to be because of this performance vehicle? And how long will the beans stay attached if it’s driven in anger? Madness.
24. Land Rover X-ray
This wrap was used by Land Rover to help promote its new Discovery Sport model in 2014. And the tagline “Ready To Discover” is certainly apt. The wrap does give the potential buyer a look inside the inner workings of the vehicle by way of an X-ray. It’s a neat marketing trick and one that we are sure generated some extra interest in the new model.
23. The folly of Deadmau5
In 2014 Canadian DJ Deadmau5 found himself in a spot of legal hot water when he had his Ferrari 458 wrapped in a tribute to the Nyan Cat meme. Ferrari’s lawyers hit him with a cease and desist, leading him to unwrap the vehicle and sell it. But less than a year later, Deadmau5 rose from the ashes of defeat by wrapping a Lamborghini Huracan with the colorful meme cat instead. And yes, he inevitably dubbed the car the “Purracan.”
22. Rick and Morty
Sometimes you just want to emblazon the rear of your vehicle with the faces of your favorite cartoon-mad scientist and his long-suffering grandson. And hey, if your car has double tail-lights on each side, then they can act as the glowing red eyes of the characters. Never mind that they look utterly out of their minds in the design. It’s Rick and Morty nightmare fuel for anyone traveling behind you.
Posted by a frustrated Redditor going by the moniker “GO-KARRT,” this Pokémon-inspired half-wrap was actually liked by many of the site’s users. This would undoubtedly have been much to Mr. Go-Karrt’s chagrin, as his motivation for posting the photograph was that it aggravated him to see the car only wrapped on one side. Oh well. Better luck next time, Go-Karrt.
DHL is one of the major global players when it comes to parcel delivery and logistics. But judging by this wrap design on one of its vans, the company also has a sense of humor. It’s one of those wraps that fools the eye for a moment – before you realize what you’re actually looking at. Good job, DHL.
19. General Lee
The “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger from iconic ’70s and ’80s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard is one of the most famous screen cars in history. Naturally, not every fan of the show will have the privilege of driving the vehicle in their lives. But this particular fan improvised brilliantly by painting the car on the side of his Volkswagen Vanagon.
18. Blurry bus
This genius vinyl wrap was created by a Japanese contact lens manufacturer. Its intention was to make onlookers question how well their eyes were working, as the blurriness would make people do a double take. It caught our attention, that’s for sure. Although there is one flaw. If your eyes are too bad, presumably you won’t see the vehicle at all…
17. The ol’ car on a van trick
When WullieBlake posted this photo to Imgur in 2016, several users in the comments were legitimately fooled by the clever wrap. One person wrote, “I thought it was a car parked next to a van.” Another exclaimed, “At first I was like, ‘I don’t get it, it’s just a car parked next to a van.’” Success!
16. Bengal tiger
Wrapping a Lotus Elise in the colors and distinctive markings of a Bengal tiger is certainly a statement. The owner probably intended it to symbolize how they are the king of the road. You know, the way the tiger is the terrifyingly beautiful king of the jungle. We’re not entirely sure that it worked out, though. The wrap arguably looked a bit ridiculous on the performance car. Whoops.
This modified Volkswagen Beetle looks like it should have the Ninja Turtles spilling out of it. Maybe they’d be primed for action in their never-ending battle against the evil Shredder and the Foot Clan. But it’s certainly one of the most elaborate wraps we’ve ever seen – and must have cost a pretty penny. The turtle head added at the front definitely tips it over the edge. Whether that’s up to the heights of legendary status, or into the depths of abominable taste, is for you alone to decide.
14. Blue-and-pink cheetah
If we wanted to be mean, we might say that the person who paid for this car wrap had more money than sense. But we like to be more charitable than that. So while the owner’s taste could be called questionable, we will forever support their right to spend their money however they wish. Sometimes that freedom of choice leaves you with a blue-and-pink cheetah pattern, and you know what? Maybe that’s okay.
The year 2013 saw Ford give the world a wonderful gift: a bacon-wrapped Fiesta. Released in time for International Bacon Day, the car wrap was actually offered as an option to customers. As marketing manager Liz Elser said, “It’s no secret that bacon inspires a lot of passion, and that’s what the Fiesta celebrates.” She added, “Plus, it’s just awesome to drive down the road in a piece of bacon.” She’s not wrong.
12. Smoking truck
This unbelievably elaborate wrap was created by advertising agency Wpped Cream in 2007. Its brief was to use unusual formats and images to show people how many cancer-causing chemicals are in cigarette smoke. Seeing this truck driving past you on the road would definitely make an impression – and likely lead you to check out the Smoke Is Poison website.
11. FedEx vs UPS
FedEx and UPS are two of the biggest logistics companies in the world. But this awesome truck wrap saw one gain an upper hand on the other. The illusion of UPS trucks being delivered by the much bigger real-life FedEx truck is great! Whether it would encourage you to use one service over the other is debatable – but we reckon FedEx landed a blow on UPS here.
10. Shark bus
This wrap, which appeared on the side of a bus, was totally ingenious. It advertised a new show on the National Geographic Channel and made clever use of the fact that the doors were situated in the middle of the bus. Daring passengers to enter via the gaping maw of a great white shark is a pretty cool way to make the show stick in their heads.
9. Tonka pick-up truck
When Toyota Australia released this one-off pick-up truck in 2017, a generation of people who grew up playing with toy Tonka trucks squealed in delight. The Hilux Tonka Concept was sold as a “full-size dream toy for adults” and was created to celebrate that the Hilux was Australia’s biggest-selling vehicle of 2016. We think the wrap was pretty cool as well!
8. Snake bus
Peder Schack, an art director from Danish company Bates Y&R, came up with this awesome bus wrap. He told The Star newspaper in 2010, “I always like if you can make the illusion of something strange happening to something well-known.” He added, “I especially like the way it almost looks like the snake is smiling.”
The Glasgow-based company Clyde Wraps was responsible for this design, which is truly one of the most convincing illusions on the list. They took a brand new Volkswagen T5 Transporter Sportline and made it look like the oldest, most rusted-over and downright disgusting van around. The idea, apparently, was to discourage thieves from stealing the top-of-the-range vehicle. Mission accomplished, lads.
6. Perth Zoo tiger bus
The Perth Zoo in Australia truly nailed it with this bus wrap. To the casual observer, it looked as though a large tiger was attacking the side of the bus. The claw marks were a nice touch. Tthe way one of the feline’s outstretched paws was seemingly ripping back the paneling on the vehicle’s flank is cool, too. Add to this the tagline, “Come to the zoo before the zoo comes to you,” and it’s a recipe for advertising brilliance.
5. Smart thinking
While it may be practical, the Smart Car will never be the coolest thing on the road. The vehicle looks unusual, almost as if someone has cut off the back end of a car. Perhaps that’s why the owner of this one decided to beef it up with an innovative wrap made to appear like riveted metal. It still looks like a full-sized armored vehicle’s little brother, but hey, it’s cooler than it was before.
4. Levi’s car
In 2016 Indian company HM Graphics Bike & Car Stickering Works posted a photograph of its Levi’s car wrap. As a driving advertisement for Levi’s jeans, it’s a pretty snug fit. We can definitely see why the company would be happy with people cruising around the city in a vehicle with this wrap.
3. A peek inside
If you have a problem that needs fixing in your house or on the road, chances are you need a man with a van to come help you out. This inventive wrap gives a hypothetical glimpse of what is inside that hallowed commercial vehicle. Look at all the tools you have no idea how to use! Look at that yellow hard hat! This van means business.
2. In primate position
Chicago’s In Sight Sign Company has been around since 1999, and its company car is a superb advertisement of just what the business can achieve. It really does look as though there is a gorilla in the back seat, clawing at the front driver’s side door. This is one firm that doesn’t monkey around.
1. Tiernitos bus
We absolutely love this one. Tiernitos is a Spanish dog food brand specializing in healthy products that boost canine energy. So when the company wanted a wrap that sold its product, the idea of making it appear as though a bunch of dogs were so brimming with vigor that they had slammed their owner into the back of a bus was a stroke of genius. Bravo.