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Using Your Vehicle to Advertise Your Small Business

Using your car as a mobile billboard can be a great way to reach new clients. Once you cover the initial investment, it’s a low-cost marketing technique. Here’s a closer look at the logistics and how to make the most of this type of marketing.


There are three main options for advertising your business on your car — magnets, decals, and wraps. Magnets typically adhere to the door of your car, but you can use them in other spots as well. Decals work best on windows but can also be affixed to bumpers, trunks, and rear doors. In contrast, vinyl wraps cover the entirety of your car. You can customize all of these options to meet your specifications.

Magnets and decals tend to be the least expensive. Magnets have the extra advantage of being removable for those days when you want to drive discreetly. Vinyl is more expensive, and it’s a commitment — once it’s on your car, it’s an involved process to remove it, with most wraps lasting three to five years. Some analysts estimate vinyl costs about 4 cents per 1,000 impressions, meaning it costs less than a nickel for every 1,000 people who see your advertisement. However, those numbers vary drastically depending on how much you spend for the wrap, how often you drive, and the number of people in your area.

Best Practices

Whether you opt for decals, magnets, or wraps, you should opt for visuals and logos that reflect your brand and simple text. Ideally, you want to draw attention without distracting drivers. Additionally, you should use short email addresses or phone numbers with words, such as 555-HAIR.

Also, remember that when you drive a car with decals advertising your business, your driving reflects on your brand. Don’t speed or drive recklessly unless you want potential clients to have that impression of your business. By extension, if you hire people to advertise your business with their car, make sure that they are committed to representing you positively with their driving.


To assess the effectiveness of your mobile advertising campaign, you may want to track how many clients patronize your business based on your vehicle. To this end, use a questionnaire, and ask clients to note where they heard about your company. Additionally, consider using a distinct phone number or web address on your car, so you can easily track which clients contact you based on your car-advertisements.

Tax Time

The Canada Revenue Agency allows small business owners to deduct advertising expenses from their business income, allowing you to write off the cost of magnets, decals, and wraps. Additionally, the Canada Revenue Agency allows you to claim vehicle expenses when you use the car for work. However, you should make these claims carefully. For example, if you are driving to see a client, you can claim those miles as business miles. Conversely, if you are taking your dog to the park, this is not considered a business expense, even if your car is working hard advertising your company.

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