Car Toppers

Hey everybody…

I think I’m starting to get interested in getting a car topper or two. I’m getting sick of seeing DP and PH with their car toppers, I thought I would switch over to that side.

Can anyone provide some experience or advice about car toppers? What to look for? Lighting brightness, sizes, battery or corded etc? I look online and theres tons of places that sell and offer them and I can’t tell the difference. Since this is my first time, I don’t want to get hosed. I want a bright, big, quality lit sign that people will notice.

Thanks guys!!!

We use HTH quad signs. They work well and they have been a great company to work with. We tried one of the rechargable led kits from a different company… Huge disappointment. Not nearly as bright and not visable from as far away. It doesn’t matter which company you use, they will be one of the best investments you can make for your business!

You can sometimes find stolen ones on eBay, I understand.

PJ’s are made by HTH.

I’ve worked with a few different styles of topper, I’m one of the few drivers that actually likes to work with a lit one because it eases problems with parking and let’s people know that I’m working and not just some aggressive driver. The cheapest option are the flags that roll up in the window, they are easy and look cool if you put one on each side of the car, but aren’t too visible at night and require the window to be cracked open if the weather is cold. There is a also a window mounted illuminated sign that I have used that uses suction cups and a plastic piece that hooks over the top of the window, much more visible and way harder to steal than a standard magnetic sign. My biggest problem with the magnetic signs is that they tend to dent car roofs if they aren’t designed properly, and the rubber pads get worn down so they can scratch the paint. They are also not very secure and require the wires to be slammed in the car door a lot, but I think they are probably the most visible type of sign at night, though they do make your cars look like taxis. I’ve also seen a flat lighted sign that hangs fully inside the car suction cupped to the window, they look nice and are secure but are only visible from right next to the car. Door magnets are also an inexpensive option, probably best if combined with some other sort of sign though.

Whatever you go with, make sure that any lightbulbs inside the thing are non-proprietary automotive lights, it will make replacing the bulbs much easier. Also be sure to get both the type of cord that goes into a cigarette lighter socket, and the direct battery connection type, some cars will blow fuses if you go through the lighter socket. If you do go with the magnetic taxi style signs, you also should consider getting some adhesive felt furniture pads and sticking them to the bottoms of the magnets, just replace the pads when they get gunky and the rubber magnet covers will last longer.

I’ve got a couple car toppers that we inherited when we bought the business, but the former owners didn’t use them. I found them, fixed them, and tried to implement them. But, all my drivers are high school kids that don’t want to look dorky or scratch the paint on their sweet rides. I know they’re definitely good to use because the few times I did, we got calls from the areas we delivered to, right after we delivered there. But, how do I convince the drivers that they’re safe to stick on their cars?

Make sure they are safe (older models would scratch easily), then teach them to clean the rubber on them.

Either let them know that they must use them to keep delivering or compensate those that use them differently from those who do not.

Personally, I think you should make it mandatory as they are extremely effective. And if you live in the same town as your store, I would have one on your own car all the time.

I use the HTH signs, make sure you get some spare rubber feet/covers as they do get lost (how I do not know but they do). Also whatever you get, make sure you get some locks for them (HTH do some) to make it a bit harder (but not impossible) to steal.

And yes they do work: 1) You get great advertising and 2) you know (normally before the guy gets back to the store) when your drivers are driving badly.

Thanks for all the posts guys! Very informative.

Use one on your own car, and offer a per-run bonus for using them. Sure, you could just decree it, but it’s much less trouble in the long run to at least give the appearance of a choice, and you are deriving a business benefit from the extra advertising and cutting the drivers in on a bit of that will more than pay for itself. If the scratching is such a concern for your drivers, try my adhesive felt furniture pads trick, or put down a folded over apron between the top of the car and the magnets. The denting is more troublesome to prevent, but the apron will work for that too.

Please, PLEASE take any random calls about crazy driving with a MASSIVE grain of salt. You would not believe how many high school and college kids think it’s funny to mess with the pizza guy, including calling in fictitious driving complaints. Same thing goes for people with children in the 'burbs, you can be doing 5mph under the limit and they’ll still yell at you to slow down and call in about your “reckless speeding” through their burboclave, it’s a common belief on TTPG that the topper adds an apparent 15mph to suburban observers. There is no faster way to make a previously loyal employee want to stab you in the walk in than jumping their case about an imaginary driving infraction that some schmuck with a cellphone thought would be “funny”. Unless it’s a well defined pattern of calls about a particular driver, I would highly recommend ignoring such calls entirely, any seasoned driver knows that blatantly breaking traffic laws is a losing game in the long run, and it’s easy to fob off the caller with “I’ll be sure and talk to him about it, etc etc”.

A good washing and waxing of the roof will help with scratches too. I have HTH quad signs and they do work. We will frequently get a call from a neighborhood right after a delivery on that street.

We have one window wing for camaro’s and such without metal roofs. It is not stable if you are not very carefull about installing it.


Got my autoadvertiser from HTC the other day. It is really really nice, super bright too! I highly recommend this company. Great customer service and very prompt artwork proofs.

Thanks guys for recommending these guys!

I recommend finding better, more effective and safer ways to advertise. Many drivers are worried about little things like gas mileage and scratching their beaters’ tops. But others, managers, customers, drivers alike see the danger these signs represent. Robbery happens all the time. Treat your employees with respect and do not force them to have these things on their cars. This won’t stop all thieves determined to snatch that $20 or $40 from the guy that just delivered to the neighborhood next to his apartment complex, but at least they won’t have a sign that tells them this guy/girl has cash on them.

The only time I feel they might be worth having is during snow emergencies just to let customers know you’re delivering. But for all other times, people have become desensitized to them. They’re not typically going to see the specific sign and order from that store, they’ll just think “pizza delivery” and call your competitor if that’s their favorite.

But I’m sure you’ll brush me off as just a driver that makes minimum wage. I don’t own the business so wtf do I know, eh?


Yup, I will brush your thoughts off on this but not because you are a driver, you earn minimum wage or that you don’t own your own business. I’ll brush you off because I find car signs to be some of the best, most effective advertising and do not believe they add danger to the job.

Yeah, that was whiney of me.

But seriously, you don’t believe they add even a hint of danger? Fraction of a hint? Nothing at all? Really?

I believe they add as much if not more safety to the job as they add danger. Do they draw attention to the delivery driver? Absolutely! Is attention being focused on the driver always a bad thing? No. People looking to get $20 or $40 for crack want to do so with as little attention as possible. If given an opportunity to rob someone carrying a pizza bag to an unmarked car I feel they will see that as a much more desirable robbery. Someone walking back to a car with a lit sign on top attracts attention, something the crackheads want to avoid.

(Knock on wood) My store has delivered over 150,000 deliveries in the last two years with a total of one driver robbery. I can list stores in my town that haven’t taken close to that many deliveries and had significantly more robberies despite not using signs. I’ll take my percentage of robberies(although I would love to find a way to eliminate these all together) and keep on using signs. I’ll just keep using the security procedures that seem to work for me.

I would say that the signs attract attention of other people in the area there by reducing the danger. A driver in an unmarked car, in my opinion, is at agreater risk than one with a sign.

As to dismissing someone’s opinions because of their wages or job title, that’s an ignorant thing to do.

5 years . . . one incident. That one incident would have happened regardless of the topper, as it was an “ambush order” where he was waiting in the bushes for the driver to leave the empty house and be surprised. Cartopper made little difference . . . . except the police could find her RIGHT AWAY to begin area search.

I find that our drivers net more per hour than our police force . . . In general, I believe that they are paid well enough to put a topper on the car. Use a towel or bar rags if worried about the paint. It’s a job requirement for us. Bottom line.

I look at the overall stats of deliveries versus incidents. I’m talking total delivery contacts versus danger incidents in a delivery area, county, region, state, etc. I would suspect that the numbers are really, really small since our liability insurance (the insurance paid for solely by the employer) is still affordable for those offering deliveries.

Paper towel, thin enough for the magnet to stick and prevents scratches, thats what some people at my store use. They just put paper towel under the magnets. And the topper hides the towel for those employees that will argument it will look ridiculous.

I manage Dominos Pizza in VT. We prefer the rooftop signs over the window wings. Window wings, if improperly mounted, CAN break windows. It’s not frequent, but we’ve paid for several over the 20-odd years I’ve been on the job.
Drivers on occasion have been heard to grumble about them, listing a slew of reasons why they shouldn’t. Our compensation stipulates 6% commission PROVIDED they wear a lit car top sign. The bottom line is that a lit car top sign is an advertisement, and I LOVE seeing a competitor’s driver with an unlit sign.
I still drive at least one day a week (it’s a great way to keep in touch with the general populace and it has earned me a lot of respect from my driving crew in that I KNOW what issues they face while out there) and I prefer the battery cord over the cigarette lighter cord. You don’t blow fuses by using the battery cord.
If someone were to complain about feeling conspicuous while wearing the car top sign, I point out that they’re not too proud to cash their paycheck. Also, 6% of sales is a pretty persuasive cash incentive.