There’s a common car sign question to which many people don’t know the answer: Car magnets or car window decals-which should I choose? Both are popular products which are relatively-inexpensive and fully-customizable, so what’s the difference between the two? Here is an evaluation of both car magnets and car window decals which highlights the benefits and drawbacks of each product, so that you may make an education decision when purchasing car signage.

Car Magnets

  • Definition – A magnetic material that is specifically-formulated for use outdoors. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, but 30 mil is the most-common and strongest for vehicle use. Common sizes are 12″x18″, 12″x24″, and 18″x24″, but it’s always a good idea to measure the area of the vehicle to which you will be applying your car magnet and then order a custom size to ensure the perfect fit.
  • Pros – With proper storage, car magnets are fully-reusable as they can be taken off the vehicle and reapplied. They are also quite affordable.
  • Cons – Car magnets do not work for non-metal vehicles (fiberglass and plastic), and they must be applied to a flat, smooth area on the vehicle, which can sometimes limit the size.
  • Applications – If want temporary signage, car magnets are a great choice. If you use your personal vehicle for work purposes, the removability of magnetic signs is great, as you can take them off when you’re not at work. Some HOAs and neighborhood associations prohibit vehicle signage when at home, so magnets are a great solution for this problem (ordering magnets which can be removed while at home or ordering blank magnets to cover up more-permanent vehicle advertising).

Car Window Decals

  • Definition – A variety of materials are available, but the most-popular and easiest to use is a perforated adhesive film called one-way vision. The size of the decal depends on the size and shape of your vehicle’s rear windshield, unless you choose to order a centerpiece.
  • Pros – Since most rear windshields are fairly upright, these decals are highly-visible to passing motorists. The perforated material is see-through from the inside but allows for full-color printing on the outside.
  • Cons – These decals are adhesive, and thus are not removable and reusable (like magnets). Depending on the size you order, they can also be more expensive.
  • Applications – If you want to promote your business’s products and services, choose a car window decal for maximum exposure. If you’re looking for something you can install once and be done, an adhesive decal such as this is the perfect product.

When choosing which car sign to order, consider two things: 1) reusability and 2) ease of installation. Car magnets can easily be removed and reused, but they do require maintenance and must be stored in a safe, flat place. If you’re looking for a one-time application, go with car window decals. Remember, however, because car window decals have an adhesive, they are not removable and reusable.


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