One rapidly growing trend in automotive aesthetic modifications is the use of adhesive, conformable vinyl in the place of paint for changing the colour of your car.
A member of a E90 BMW enthusiast forum recently undertook the task on his BMW 335i coupe, and kindly documented the process in photos for his forum compatriots.
Originally a black model, 'gerritg' took his Beamer to vehicle signage specialists to be wrapped head to toe (so to speak) in brilliant white vinyl, made by the gurus at 3M specifically for conforming perfectly to the contours.
While there may still be some reason to doubt the level of perfection you can achieve by wrapping your car in big sheets of vinyl, the trade-off comes from the fact that you're literally saving thousands of dollars in the process. The entire process is completed within a day or two, and it's back on the road.
And you can expect the vinyl to maintain its hold and quality for around 4 or 5 years, so long as you don't live on dirt roads or opposite a shooting range.
The process has been around for some years now?you'll have seen it used on corporate cars and trucks for advertising purposes?but the quality of the vinyl has really started to come good in the last year or so, making it a very viable option for this type of application.
Best of all, if you wrap your car immediately after you buy it, you can peel it off when you're ready to sell the car and it'll be just about pristine.