A guide to van sign writing

Pros, cons and costs of sign writing your van

For many sole traders or small business owners, tight budgets and small headcount can leave you scratching your head as to how to market your business to a wider audience.

Nevertheless, if your business is the kind that requires a van to keep it ticking over, you may be missing out on a huge marketing opportunity in the form of vehicle sign writing.

Sign writing your van with your brand and contact details can help you reach hundreds, or even thousands more people every day.

For SME’s looking for new, low cost ways to market their business, sign writing a van is just like taking out a moving billboard.

There are cons as well as pros to a sign written commercial vehicle however, and there’s plenty to consider before taking the plunge.

We’ve put together this guide to help you work out if sign writing is a good option for your business.

Is your van covered?

Find out more about van breakdown cover with the RAC, including van-for-van replacement with Onward Travel.

Costs of van sign writing

There are several different types of sign writing you can get for your vehicle, and these can all be removed should you wish to upgrade your van or sell it on outside of the business.

These methods vary in cost, but we’ve outlined the estimated cost of each below:

Cut vinyl graphics 

This type of sign writing is applied using a stencil design and adhesive vinyl, which helps to preserve the paint underneath your signage.

Typically, you can expect to pay around £100 for a small, basic design or up to around £350 if your design is more complicated or covers a larger area.

Vinyl wrap 

A vinyl wrap is fairly self-explanatory; your design is printed on vinyl sheeting and is wrapped around part or all of your vehicles.

Again, the cost of this type of sign writing can vary depending on complexity of design and size/coverage on your van.  Covering a large portion of a small van could cost up to £1,500 while a larger van could cost up to £2,500.

Magnetic 

Getting magnetic sign writing is ideal for those who may wish to remove their design regularly, for example if their business uses rental vans, or if their van is used by others in personal time.

A standard magnetic van sign can cost in the region of £200-£300, however, quality is hugely important and ensuring this type of sign is resistant to motorway speeds is something to consider.

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Pros of van sign writing

Sign writing is an inexpensive marketing tool.

In simple terms, if you spend around £350 on sign writing your commercial vehicles for one year, you are spending less than £1 per day on a mobile advert for your business, which even still works for you while you are parked.

In some instances, a sign written van can also act as a business card, particularly when it’s parked for large portions of time on a site where your work may be visible to passers-by.

Good quality sign writing can also give off a more professional and even successful feel about your business.

A smartly branded vehicle is good publicity for your business and will help you catch the attention of hundreds of people each day.

Cons of van sign writing

Although sign writing your van could deter a thief from stealing the vehicle itself as it makes the van easier to detect, it does also advertise what your business does.

One of the most common reasons for not branding commercial vehicles is the perception that a sign written van is more likely to be broken into, particularly if the type of business you own is associated with expensive equipment.

Tradespeople for example, may opt not to sign write their van if there are likely to be expensive tools left in the van over night.

If you run a larger business with a whole fleet of commercial vehicles sign writing your van also puts your businesses reputation in the hands of your drivers.

Any poor road etiquette or bad driver habits will ultimately be associated with your business.

Is your fleet covered?

Find out more about our Fleet Breakdown cover including access to our free fleet management tool, Business Club.

What else should I consider?

If you do decide that getting your van sign written is beneficial to your business, there are some other considerations you should make before taking the plunge.

Your van will become an advert for your business, so make sure that it is a good one.

Simply slapping your brand on the side of your van is rarely enough, particularly if it isn’t clear what your company does from its name or logo.

Think about the content of your signage and ensure that is accurately displays what your business does and how someone can get in touch.

Also think about the quality of the sign writing itself. Shop around, check reviews and make sure you’re confident in the work being done to your vehicles.

Finally, sign writing your van is a ranking factor with most insurance providers and is likely to be a question you’ll be asked when insuring your vehicle.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your premium will go up or down but when choosing your artwork bear in mind that it could impact your insurance quote.

Blatantly advertising that there could be expensive equipment inside the van for example, is likely to be higher risk for an insurance provider whereas sign writing encouraging feedback on how the driving standard is, depicts a confidence in a driver's care and attention on the road.