What’s the Best Vinyl for Car Decals? Here’s Your Answer!


Home » What’s the Best Vinyl for Car Decals? Here’s Your Answer!

Car decals have been around for a while, but recently they've become increasingly popular with everyday drivers.

Whether you're looking to spruce up your car with something fun or you want to make a statement with professional-looking graphics, vinyl car decals are the way to go.

But not just any vinyl will do – it's important to invest in the best vinyl for cars if you want your decals to look great and last.

We want our car decals to turn heads for all the right reasons, not because the vinyl is fading in the sun and peeling from exposure to harsh weather conditions.

Best car decal vinyl

Don't have time to read the full article?


Oracal 651 is a popular and high-quality vinyl used most often for car decals.

It is a durable and weather-resistant material that can withstand exposure to harsh outdoor conditions.

Check Prices and Colors Available on Amazon

When it comes to vehicle decals, you need a type of vinyl that can withstand harsh weather conditions and UV exposure outdoors.

This means investing in a high-quality material that is specifically designed for outdoor use and car decals.

There aren't many types of vinyl on the market that meet all the needs required from outdoor vinyl, such as car vinyl, so it's important to pick the right kind for your vehicle.

Today we wanted to outline a type of vinyl that is brilliant for car decal use.

We’ll take a look at a few criteria you need to consider before understanding why this vinyl is the best vinyl for vehicle graphics. 

Wondering What Kind of Vinyl to Use for Car Decals? Here is Some Info First

What's the Best Vinyl for Car Decals

So before we talk about which vinyl is the best for cars, let's focus on some really important questions – you will need to answer all of these before you can decide which vinyl is best for your use.

  • How durable does the vinyl have to be? Is this a temporary decal or one that you would expect to last for many years?
  • Which part of the car do you wish to adhere the decal on?
  • What kind of surface is it?
  • What sort of conditions will the vinyl need to be able to withstand? Is it parked undercover or does it stand outside in the sun all day long? Do you drive on dirt roads or gravel roads?

There are a lot of vinyl varieties and brands, some types of vinyl are expensive but don't really last.

It is really important to invest in a vinyl that was designed for outside use and one that can withstand harsh weather conditions of snow, cold, heat, and rain.

We don't want vinyl that will start fading too quickly and we need vinyl that has a strong adhesive so that it doesn't peel.

We also need the vinyl to be able to withstand detergents that will be used when you need to wash the car.

Do you need removable vinyl or permanent vinyl?

Before we look at which vinyl brand is best to use for decals, it is important to understand that adhesive vinyl can be removable or permanent. 

The difference between these two vinyl types is how strong the adhesive is which impacts how permanent the vinyl will be (how long it will last). 

In a nutshell, removable vinyl’s adhesive is not as strong as permanent vinyl. Removable vinyl is best for indoors and permanent vinyl can be used both indoors and outdoors.

There is a place for both types though.

For example, if you only need a temporary decal (for example for a wedding car), then removable vinyl is your top choice.

removable vinyl for car decals

However, if you want to keep the decal long-term then a permanent vinyl decal is best.

If you want to know more about removable and permanent vinyl you can read our blog post.

Ultimately you will either want to apply the car vinyl sticker to either the body of the car or the car window. Let's first have a look at what the best vinyl for car window decals is.

What Vinyl to Use for Car Window Decals

best vinyl for car windows

Vinyl is a great choice for car window decals. It allows you to customize your vehicle with unique designs or graphics and can be easily removed when needed.

When selecting the right type of vinyl, however, it’s important to consider its durability and resistance to the elements.

vinyl for Window car decal


Oracle 651 is an excellent choice for car window decals due to its durability, weather-resistant properties, and ease of use.

Check Prices and Colors Available on Amazon

One popular choice of vinyl used for car decals is Oracal 651.

This vinyl has a permanent adhesive (of up to 6 years) and is made from an outdoor-grade polymeric film, making it resistant to water, weathering, abrasion, and fading due to UV rays.

Oracal 651 vinyl is a glossy vinyl and comes in a variety of colors. It’s also easy to cut with standard vinyl cutting machines.

With these features in mind, it’s no wonder that Oracal 651 is the go-to choice for car window decals.

You can purchase Oracal 651 on Amazon in either sheets, rolls, or some bulk packs that come in a range of colors. Click here to check prices and colors on Amazon.

If you prefer to be in control and choose your own colors, you can purchase individual 12 x 12″ sheets for $0.65 from Share A Sale. Click here to check colors.

What is the Best Permanent Vinyl for Car Decals

car vinyl decal

If you're looking for the best vinyl for car body decals, there are a few different options to consider.

It really depends on your individual situation, as cost-effectiveness and longevity may be of utmost importance to you.

If you need something that is quick and easy to apply or remove, or if you plan to switch your decal frequently, you may want to opt for a more affordable option.

Oracal 651, 751 or 951

Oracal 651 Adhesive Vinyl

Oracal 651, 751 and 951 vinyl ticks all the boxes that are required from a car vinyl decal. This brand makes superior-quality vinyl.

  • All three of these types of vinyl are permanent outdoor vinyl.
  • They all have a strong adhesive and silicone-coated surface, which means that they can withstand harsh weather conditions easily.
  • It is also water-resistant which makes it perfect for cars.
  • It also comes in a range of colors and is easy to work with.
  • Your vinyl cutter will be able to slice through this vinyl easily, the vinyl is easy to weed and easy to wrap around corners.

Even though this vinyl is permanent vinyl, you should still be able to remove the vinyl without leaving adhesive marks behind (or damaging the paint finish of your car) if you follow the correct procedures.

The Best Vinyl for Car Decals

The differences between these types of vinyl really down to their price points and how long you would expect the vinyl to last.

Below, we'll explain three different types of vinyl and which one is best for hobbyists or businesses.

1. Oracal 651 Car Decal Vinyl

Oracal 651 is the cheapest vinyl to apply on cars. It is great for cars that are mostly parked in the shade.

It is a short-term permanent vinyl (6 years) – and believe it or not, 6 years might be long enough.

We find that many people have to do repairs to their cars, update/change the decal, or even sell their cars during that period of time, so a short-term vinyl might just be perfect to use.

I would also typically choose to use Oracal 651 on car windows as this type of vinyl is easier to remove in comparison to 751 and 951.

This is the most popular option and it is a great vinyl to get started with.

We love transferring our Oracal 651 decal designs with R-TAPE. R-Tape is a high-tack rubber adhesive transfer tape that works perfectly with Oracal 651 vinyl.

It is pretty pricey though, so a great cheaper alternative is Oracal Transfer Tape.

2. Oracal 751 Car Decal Vinyl

If your car really goes through hard work, stands outside in the sun, has to handle gravel roads, etc. you might wish to upgrade to the higher-quality Oracal 751 vinyl.

It comes at a premium price but will withstand harsher conditions better than the 651 does.

3. Oracal 951 Car Decal Vinyl

Oracal 951 is really for permanency, it is a super pricey vinyl and it is really hard to come by.

We really feel that 651 and 751 are long-lasting enough and work extremely well for car decal needs.

However if you need something super permanent, then you can find either the Black Oracal 951 or the White Oracal 951 on Amazon.

I hope you now have a better understanding of what type of vinyl is used for car decals.

Best Vinyl to Use for Car Decals FAQs

So let's get straight into answering some of the most commonly asked questions about what vinyl should you use for DIY car decals.

1. How Long Will the Car Decal Last?

DIY Car Decal Vinyl

The duration of the life you will get out of the vinyl decal depends on where you live, which type of weather conditions it will be exposed to, and what sort of heat it will have to withstand.

  • Oracal 651 is meant to last 6 years
  • Oracal 751 (which is at least 2 x more expensive than 651) is meant to last for 8 years
  • Oracal 951 (the most expensive vinyl) is meant to last for 12 years

I have seen Oracal 651 used on boats, trailers and cars and after 4 years the decals still look close to new.

The beauty is that you need to remember that most businesses update their logos as time goes by and many people choose to refresh their logos by choice (even before the vinyl starts to show wear and tear).

2. Can you Use Oracal 651 on Car Windows?

If you’re also wondering what vinyl to use for car window decals, don’t worry.

You can use this vinyl for car windows as well. The Oracal 651 vinyl is quite versatile. It will stick perfectly on any window surface.

3. What is the Best Oracal Vinyl for Car Decals?

Best permanent vinyl for car decals

Oracal 651 is often considered the best vinyl for car decals. It is a high-quality intermediate vinyl that is durable and long-lasting, making it perfect for outdoor use.

Oracal 651 vinyl is known for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist fading, making it ideal for use on car windows and surfaces.

It also has a strong adhesive that allows it to stick well to the surface of the car without peeling off.

4. Which Cricut Vinyl is Best for Car Decals?

Cricut permanent vinyl is weather and fade-resistant, which makes it ideal for projects that will be exposed to the elements, such as car decals, glassware, or outdoor signs.

While Cricut Permanent Vinyl can be a good option for car decals, it may not be as durable and long-lasting as Oracal 651, which is why we personally prefer to use Oracal 651 over Cricut Permanent Vinyl.

5. What are the Negatives About Using Oracal Vinyl on Cars?

Vinyl for Car Windows and Car Decals

Whilst Oracal vinyl happens to be one of the best vinyl to use on cars, it is not perfect.

The best way to preserve the vinyl decal would be to ensure that your car is parked undercover and does not stand outside in the full sun all day long.

Cars that tend to be outside in the full sun every day, will often see the vinyl shrink over the years.

This means that you might have to remove your decal and replace it with a new one to freshen it up (at least it is an affordable vinyl so this is not the worst news).

The vinyl might also create small cracks where the heat seems worse, such as on windows.

If your car will be standing outside in the full sun each day, I would highly recommend steering clear of vinyl and looking towards using paint for your decal instead.

However, I love using vinyl, because you can remove it and replace your decals with newly updated decals.

I have seen Oracal 651 vinyl look like new after 4 years on cars that were used for business purposes, however when used on an industrial truck it lasted only 18 months – it really comes down to how you use your vehicle.

Final Thoughts On The Best Vinyl For Vehicle Decals

If you are still feeling confused, I would urge you to purchase Oracle 651 for your first car decal. The 651 is the most affordable type of vinyl that is suitable for DIY car decals.

Best car decal vinyl

Don't have time to read the full article?


Oracal 651 is a popular and high-quality vinyl used most often for car decals.

It is a durable and weather-resistant material that can withstand exposure to harsh outdoor conditions.

Check Prices and Colors Available on Amazon

It is easy to use, easy to weed, and wraps around corners beautifully. It does a fabulous job of withstanding harsh conditions and has an outdoor life of 6 years.

It is the vinyl we use 80% of the time when we design car decals and I know that you will be happy with it too.

Not sure what to do with all your scraps of vinyl from your car decals? We have loads of vinyl craft tutorials for you here.

What is the best vinyl for car decals?
How to make vinyl car decals
Hi, I’m Jolene! I have a whole career based on working with all different types of crafts. Some of my work has also been featured in craft magazines. I’m passionate about helping others to unlock their creative potential and turn it into something beautiful. I don’t just provide tutorials on my website, but also inspirational ideas and advice to help kickstart your creativity.

1 thought on “What’s the Best Vinyl for Car Decals? Here’s Your Answer!”

Leave a Comment