One evening a few years ago, I had a conversation with a pizza delivery guy driving a brightly-wrapped Fiat 500.

He told me that he didn’t have a car of his own but that his boss allowed him to drive the Fiat provided he kept it clean and shiny. I thought that sounded like a good win-win proposition—he had wheels and the boss had a mobile billboard. But apparently it wasn’t a great arrangement because I was overlooking something.

He said that the arrangement was not as cool as it sounded because he had to keep the car clean. And the problem was that couldn’t just run it through an automatic wash like any other vehicle. He said that the high-pressure hot water would damage the vinyl wrap. If true, this would be a major disadvantage in Canada’s winter of filthy cars and freezing weather. On the one hand nobody wants to hand wash a car outdoors in sub-zero temperatures, but on the other hand, a dirty commercial vehicle is not a good advertisement.

I wondered if Pizza Delivery Guy was right about this. I also wondered if the graphic shops issue car-wrap care and maintenance instructions to their customers. So I looked for answers and found them at that ever-reliable source, Sign Media Canada.

Here’s what Pizza Delivery Guy should have been told by the graphic shop that wrapped the Fiat . . .  Hand wash with water. Pre-rinse and then wash gently with a mild detergent. Use a soft cloth and don’t scrub. Rinse with clean water and dab dry. There are also waterless products for cleaning wraps but one has to be careful because the product to be used depends upon whether the wrap is gloss film or matte.

I hoped that Pizza Delivery Guy’s Fiat had been wrapped by a reputable shop and that understands the concept of added value such as nicely prepared vehicle-wrap care instructions.