Can I Change the Colour of My Car?

So, you've got a car that's perfect in every way, but the colour just isn't doing it for you. Maybe it's a hand-me-down, or perhaps you've just changed your mind about that lime green paint job. Whatever the reason, you're now wondering if you can change the colour of your car. With that in mind, this guide has all you need to know about the colour of your car and if you can change it. 

How Do You Change the Colour of a Car?

When it comes to choosing the right car colour and how to implement the change, there are two primary options at your disposal: spray painting and wrapping. Both methods have their own set of pros and cons, and the best choice ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget and the look you're going for.

Spray painting

Let's start with spray painting, the classic method for changing a car's colour. It starts with stripping the car down to its bare metal, a process that removes the old paint and any imperfections potentially lurking beneath. What you're left with is a clean, smooth surface that's ready for the next step: priming.

Priming prepares the car for the new paint, ensuring it adheres properly and provides a uniform surface for the paint to stick to. Once the primer is dry, you'll need to apply several coats of your chosen paint. This is where your car transforms from its old colour to the new one you've chosen.

The result? A high-quality finish that can rival, and sometimes even surpass, the original paint job. But keep in mind, this method requires a significant investment of time and should be done by a professional to ensure the best results.


On the other side of the coin, you've got car wrapping. With car wrapping, you're essentially giving your car a new outfit. Instead of applying paint, a large vinyl decal is applied over the entire car. The wrap can be any colour or design you like, as it allows for a high degree of customisation.

Wrapping is a great way to change your car's appearance without making a permanent alteration. You could say it's a bit like a temporary tattoo for your car – when you're ready for a change, you can simply remove the wrap and either return to the original colour or choose a new wrap.

One of the major advantages of wrapping is that it's generally quicker and often cheaper than a full respray. It's worth noting, however, that while wraps can offer a stunning visual transformation, they may not have the same depth of colour or shine as a high-quality paint job.

How to Prepare a Car for a Re-colour

Preparation is key regarding changing the colour of your car. If you're going for a respray, you'll need to strip the car down to its bare metal, which involves removing all the trim, lights, and windows. If you're wrapping your car, you'll need to thoroughly clean and dry it to ensure the wrap adheres properly. Either way, it's a job best left to the professionals.

How Much Does it Cost to Change the Colour of My Car?

One of the most important considerations for changing the colour of your car is the cost. The price tag attached to this type of transformation can vary quite a bit, depending on a few key factors.

Full Respray

Again, the method you choose to change your car's colour will significantly impact the cost. If you opt for a full respray, you're looking at a more substantial investment. This process is labour-intensive and requires a high level of skill, which is reflected in the price. A full respray can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £5,000, depending on the complexity of the job and the quality of the paint used.


On the other hand, if you choose to wrap your car, the cost can be somewhat less. Wrapping is generally quicker and requires less preparation than a full respray, which can help keep costs down. You can expect to pay between £1,000 and £3,000 for a car wrap, depending on the size of your vehicle and the complexity of the wrap design.

Vehicle Size

Another factor that can influence the cost is the size and type of your vehicle. Larger, SUV-type, vehicles require more materials, whether it's paint or wrap, and this can increase the cost. Similarly, more complex vehicles with lots of curves and angles may prove to be more of a challenge to work on. 

Of course, these figures are just estimates, and the actual cost can vary based on your specific circumstances. It's always a good idea to get a few quotes before deciding on a provider to guarantee you're getting the best deal. And remember, while cost is an important factor, it's also necessary to consider the quality of the work to ensure you're happy with the end result.

Do I Need to Tell the DVLA If I Change the Colour of My Car?

Yes, if you change the colour of your car, you'll need to inform the DVLA. It's a simple process – just fill out the relevant section on your V5C registration certificate and send it off to the DVLA. They'll update your details, and you'll be good to go with a shiny new colour motor.

Can I Change the Colour of My Car if I Bought it Using Car Finance?

This is a bit of a grey area. In most cases, any lender offering you personal contract purchase (PCP), hire purchase (HP) or a lease won't allow you to change the car's colours. Although, it's always worth checking the terms of the contract to be sure. 

If, however, you get car finance to cover the vehicle's entire cost, you'll be the outright owner of the vehicle. In this scenario, it's likely that you'll be able to change the colour. Still, it's worth checking the Ts and Cs of any car finance agreement before you get the spray paint out. 

So Many Colours

That should be just about everything you need to know regarding changing the colour of your car. Whether you choose to respray or wrap, you'll be cruising around in your newly coloured car in no time. Just remember to inform the DVLA, and check your finance agreement if you don't own the car outright. Now, all that's left to do is choose your new colour and hit the road! 🚗💨