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Car Stickers vs. Decals – What’s The Difference?

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If you’re looking for an answer to the age-old debate about “car stickers vs. decals”, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re in the market for getting one, we’re here to help you figure out which is the best for you. The terms are often used interchangeably but there are certain difference and things to consider when making a decision. Let’s find out what sets them apart!

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What Is a Decal?

A decal is more or less a sticker that’s used for outdoor purposes. Keep in mind that all decals are stickers, but not all stickers are decals.

Decals are decorative stickers that are designed to be transferred from one surface to another. A decal consists of three layers: the paper on the front, the decal itself, and the paper on the back.

Decals are typically used for car, fleet, and truck designs and are commonly printed onto vinyl material. Decals can have any image, shape, or design that you can think of, the only limitation is your imagination. Decals are often made using an eco solvent printing process which typically lasts around 5-7 years if taken care of and if laminated.

What Is a Sticker?

A sticker is different from a decal in the fact that is usually only made up of two layers. A car sticker is made up of the paper that you peel off and the decorative sticker component that has adhesive on the back.

Stickers can be made from vinyl, paper, or even polyester material. The option that will provide you with the most professional looking and most durable finish is a vinyl material for your sticker. Paper stickers are commonly used in stores for price tags and labels on products and are not as durable as vinyl stickers.

What You Need to Consider


Quantity & Size

Stickers are often used for smaller applications like product packaging, labels, and branded equipment. Decals are commonly used for things like windows, cars, floors, and walls.

Because stickers are used for products and packaging, they are usually ordered in much higher quantities and are much more affordable. Decals on the other hand, are often much larger and might only require one order at a time.

Application Surface & Location

Stickers are used for marketing and advertising in a smaller, more discrete method – but still very effective. They are typically applied on surfaces that are smooth and which can be easily removed from.

Decals are used on a larger scale and are great for windows, walls, cars, and trucks. The type of decals used on windows and walls might differ from those used on your vehicle, so make sure you know what type of decal you need.


Lastly, another factor to consider is the longevity and lifespan. Decals last longer than stickers.

So if you’re looking for something long term, it’s worth spending a bit more for a better, longer lasting result. Stickers don’t last quite as well but are easy to install, are cheap, and can be applied easily.

Looking For Decals or Stickers?

We hope we were able to answer the “car stickers vs. decals” debate! Whether you’re looking to advertise your business, refresh your vehicle, or to just get some stickers to showcase your unique style, the Wrap Factory is here to help.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your sticker or decal projects. Our team can provide you with any additional information that you’re looking for to help you make the best decision.