Article by Matilda Douglas-Henry
A slick, high-quality paint job is a surefire way to feel good about your car and its value. Paint damage is one of the most common external issues for a vehicle, and also one of the hardest for a vehicle owner to control: when you’re driving on a dirt road and pieces of debris hit your guards and quarter panels—or hail damages your car’s bonnet when parked overnight—there’s only so much (or so little) you can do. Luckily, the damage is more often than not aesthetic and does no harm to your car’s internal mechanics, and it’s such a regular problem that DingGo can have you fixed and back on the road as soon as possible.
Here you will find a guide to paint repair costs, including:
- What causes a need for paint repair
- The different types of paint repairs your car might require, and how long they each take
- The varying costs of car paint repairs
What would cause my car to need a paint repair?
There are myriad circumstances that would cause your vehicle to need paint repair, especially because a wide range of external damage—from small dents and chips, to major cracks and scratches—will result in some sort of paint job.
The aforementioned occurrences are incredibly common: unavoidable obstructions, like hail and debris, often make contact with the outside of your car. Minor or significant collisions with another vehicle (or large object) will typically require a much more substantial paint repair.
Then there are rarer instances that create the need for paint repair: a malicious act like car-keying, or even a poorly done paint job in the first place, will have you taking your vehicle to a car repair shop for a service.
It’s important to have any external damage fixed promptly, because it can worsen when exposed to the natural elements.
What are the types of damage that require car paint repairs, and how long will they keep my vehicle off-road?
There are three main categories of damage that will cause your car to need paint repairs: deep scratches/dents, stone chips, and cracked paint.
Deep Scratches or Dents
Deep scratches or dents are just as they sound: significant external damage that runs far beyond the initial layer of paint. The severity of a dent is pretty obvious upon initial examination, and it’ll be up to your technician to determine whether or not it will require paint repairs. For a scratch, you can assess the extent of the damage yourself by running your finger across the place of impact. A deep scratch will feel like a ridge. In this instance, the paint has been cut into and may even be exposing the metal beneath it. A more superficial scratch, where only the top layer has been affected, will feel much thinner, similar to a piece of paper*.
Stone chips are small, deep, and localised, caused by debris flying up and hitting your vehicle at high speeds*.
Cracked paint occurs when there are structural issues in the sheet metal, or when an imperfect paint job is wearing over time*.
How long does a paint repair take?
A paint repair could take anywhere from a few hours to 6-7 days. You can get an idea of your own repair timeline for scratches by using the finger-running test: if your fingernail does not catch on the scratch, it can probably be removed with wet sanding in approximately two hours. If it catches, the scratch will need to be repaired and repainted and thus take longer*. To give you a basic idea of what makes up this time (using a bumper repair as an example) the damaged bumper needs to be removed and repaired, then primed. The primer needs to dry over night, to then be painted the next day. The paint then needs to dry overnight for the bumper to be reattached the next day. That basic process is 3 days. For more information you can watch a full video demo of this repair process here.
Something to consider regarding time spent off-road for paint repairs is not only the severity but the scale: just how much of your vehicle requires attention? In most cases paint repair is a localised issue, but let’s say you have a deep scratch on one side door, and some cracked paint peppered across the other. Repairing two doors naturally takes longer than repairing one; and if it makes more sense to get a full paint job, your car will be off-road for approximately a week*.
How much will my car paint repair cost?
There is a lot to consider when it comes to the cost of car paint repairs. The extent of the damage, the make and model of your vehicle, and the location of the point of impact all play a huge role in determining a price. Metallic paint, for example, will automatically result in a higher cost.
Most repair shops use S.M.A.R.T (Smart Area Repair Technology), which means that they will be able to achieve a high-quality result without having to remove the entire panel for localised damage. However, in some cases not only do parts need to be removed for paint repair, they may need to be replaced entirely. You can pay anywhere between approximately $160 and $2500 for paint repair, and we’ll break down these costs comprehensively below, accounting for as many factors as possible.
Please note that the following are rough estimates.
Car Bumper Bars Repair Costs
- $350-$450 if your bumper bar only has small, localised scratches, and the bumper doesn’t need to be removed from the car.
- $400-$650 if there are larger scratches and a larger area to paint (possibly the entire bar) and it may need to be removed to repair.
Car Doors Repair Costs
- $480-$700 for a small, localised repair.
- $600-$1000 if the door needs to be painted, and adjoining panels blended.
- $900-$1700 if the door needs to be painted and surrounding panels blended, and the damage is significant enough to require major repairs (i.e. a deep rather than superficial scratch).
Car Guards (Area Near Front Wheels) Repair Costs
- $450-$800 for a small dent isolated to the guard that requires painting and possible blending to surrounding panels.
- $900-$1700 when the dent is larger and there is also damage to the bumper, making paint necessary for the guard, bumper, and blend bonnet.
Car Quarter Panel (Area Near Rear Wheels) Repair Costs
- $650-$800 for light scratches and damage that extends onto the door’s edge.
- $900-$1350 for significant damage that requires the part to be removed (very labour-intensive for a quarter panel).
Car Tailgate or Boot Repair Costs
- $700-$1000 for localised dents and scratches.
- $2500+ for a significant dent or scratch where the tailgate needs to be replaced, the bumper needs to be repaired, and both need to be painted.
Car Bonnet Repair Costs
- $500-$700 to repair the damage and paint the isolated area of the bonnet.
Repair costs for smaller parts of the car
- $160-$250 for a door handle.
- $220 for a brush touch.
Unsightly paint damage is never ideal, and it’s always daunting to consider just how much it will cost you to repair, especially when there is such variety in price. That’s where we come in: DingGo is here to compare quotes for you, and find the best value for your car. Use our quick quotes service today.