Branding Fleet Vehicles: Benefits and Opportunities

To wrap or not to wrap, that is the question.

Well, at least one of the questions fleet managers often ask. Most companies who wrap their vehicles – the process of adhering a logo and/or other graphics to their vehicles – make the decision to do so at the corporate level, so fleet managers need to be informed. Weighing your options and having a good understanding of your investment can help you make the decision whether to wrap or not.

Below are only some of the benefits and opportunities associated with branding vehicles.

ROI of Wrapping Vehicles

Based on the location of the vehicle, a branded vehicle can receive tens of thousands of impressions per day. Whether the vehicle is moving along the highway, parked in front of your business, or on a sales call, it gets noticed.

According to an independent study conducted by the American Trucking Association:

  • A wrapped vehicle that traveled in or around a major city generated more than 65,000 visual impressions per day.
  • A wrapped vehicle that traveled in suburban areas generated more than 30,000 visual impressions per day.
  • 98% of consumers feel that fleet graphics created a positive image for the company.
  • 96% said fleet graphics had more impact than other forms of outdoor media (billboards, for example).

Those are powerful statistics when you consider the cost of other, traditional marketing mediums. Smarter Media says fleet vehicle advertising boosts name recognition greater than any other form of advertising. A wrap can typically last up to five years depending on usage and type; so the ROI of the initial investment is relatively low over the life of the vehicle.

Vehicle Wrapping Logistics

Donlen can help manage the entire process for you, and can work collaboratively with your fleet, marketing, and creative teams to ensure brand consistency and compliance at every step of the process.

Key points when considering a branding program are:

  • Vehicle exterior color
  • Vehicle design
  • Graphics material to choose based on lifecycle of vehicle
  • Generalized ideas of cost
  • Different type of graphics to choose; simple decals, window graphics, partial and full wrap

Depending on volume and model, it’s preferred to select ship thru vendors where possible as this streamlines the process where you have one facility performing installation.

Other items to consider are surplus graphics in inventory (generally 5%) to address graphics that need replacement when a vehicle is damaged, and the shelf life of graphics when storing them for inventory purposes. Typically, our preferred graphics vendors offer a storage program so graphics are stored in a temperature-controlled setting to maintain their integrity and quality. Additionally, graphics are produced electronically, so single panels can be easily replaced if damaged.

Brand Enhancement

Because your wrapped vehicles will be on the road and visible to thousands of people every day, your brand will become more recognizable, and therefore accessible. A branded vehicle is a 24/7/365 moving billboard.

Running a print ad, whether in a magazine or newspaper, has little impact beyond the fleeting first impression turn of the page. Radio advertising reaches a small segment of the population who listens to that particular program; and TV – if included in the marketing plan – is very expensive and time consuming. A one-time investment in vehicle wrapping can yield returns for your brand message beyond the ROI.

Of course, the opposite can also be true: Since the vehicles will be representing you 24/7, it’s important that drivers understand the impact this can have. Is the vehicle dirty or full of empty fast food wrappers? Has it been damaged in a fender-bender and not repaired? Those are impactful brand messages – and people notice. Building excitement with drivers is an important part of a branding campaign.

Generating Driver Excitement

Once you make the decision to brand your vehicles, keeping drivers informed will be key to building excitement for the new process. Of course, it’s company policy and the decision has already been made, but having engaged drivers proud to drive the vehicles sends a powerful brand message to your community.

Here are several ways to increase buy-in and generate excitement:

  • Announce the decision to brand the vehicles in a special newsletter or email to drivers and/or on the company intranet. Inform them of the positive impact to your company brand and potential new business the vehicles will bring.
  • Keep them informed at each step of the process. You may need to select a different vehicle (or color option) depending on the type of wrap you select.
  • Have your marketing and/or creative group develop two different design schemes that leadership approves and let drivers vote on the final design. This will help them to feel part of the process.

When vehicles are delivered:

  • Work with your PR group on a photo opportunity and press release for the first delivery.
  • Ask several drivers if they would like to be part of “Day 1 Festivities” – make them the stars of your photo ops! Work with your internet/intranet team to have photos posted online.


For extensive branding, it’s easier and less expensive to unwrap a vehicle than to repaint it when it comes time to sell. When a vehicle is either painted or uses decal with a logo or other branding elements, there can often be remnants when removed. We can all think of a truck we’ve seen on the highway with “ghosted” letters still showing; not a good representation of the brand. Full wraps eliminate that issue.

For companies with signature colors that you never want the second owner to use, wrapping is a great solution. The vehicle can be cycled while there is still value in it without having to repaint over the signature color first. Wrap in the signature color and peel it off when you’re done with the vehicle.

For big fleets, a national rate per vehicle can usually be negotiated for the unwrap process.

Donlen Support

Whether planning the vehicle wrapping process, selecting the appropriate vehicle, implementing driver communications, or creating your company policy, Donlen will be with you each step of the way and can provide consulting on best practices and options for your fleet.

If you’d like to discuss wrapping your vehicles, please contact us.

FleetWeb® Tips

Create visibility to your carbon emissions in your FleetWeb Dashboard.

  1. Type “dashboard” into the FleetWeb Search field, located in the top right of your screen, and click “Donlen Dashboard Preferences.”
  2. Select “CO2 Ibs per Thousand” selection box and click Submit.
  3. Open Dashboard, and your new dial will display. Click dial to drill down through your information.
  4. Carbon information will be displayed by year, make and model.


Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week


donlen-hertz-value-lease-toyota-rav4-05132012 Toyota Rav4 Base*

  • Estimated Mileage: 30,136
  • Exterior Color: Brown
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $19,945

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The exact vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only. Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Driver’s Corner

If you’re eating in your car, you could be hurting the resale value. Spills and stains often require cleaning before it goes to auction. Lingering smells from food wrappers and wet carpet can often go unnoticed by the driver, but are evident to a passenger or potential buyer. People often perceive cleanliness with care – so clean out your vehicle as often as possible. Don’t forget, your company vehicle ultimately represents the company who provides it.

And finally…

There’s no brand that has embraced vehicle wrapping more than NASCAR. Every week, those vehicles roll to the starting line covered in sponsor logos – oftentimes different sponsors from week to week, race to race – so they’re constantly wrapping and re-wrapping cars. Personally, we’re fascinated by the designs and each week check out which livery works better on TV than others. (Yep, we’re big NASCAR fans here at FridayFleet!) Sometimes it’s the background color: how do the sponsor logos “pop!” against the color field? Sometimes it’s the logo itself – the typeface, the color, and the complexity all factor in to legibility. And sometimes the cars carry a special, one-time livery to commemorate an event or support a non-profit organization or cause. This time-lapse video of the #18 car getting a special wrap to honor 9-11 is really cool. Think these guys have done this before? >

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on May 10, 2013

About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development” and the “2012 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America.” Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit