So you found a ding in your car’s paint. Maybe you put it there, maybe someone (or something) else did. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it sure does make your nice, shiny toy feel a bit less magnificent. If you’ve never had to deal with this before now, you’re probably wondering, “How much does car paint repair cost?” There are quite a few factors that play into what that number will be in your specific situation, and I’m going to break it down for you!
What’s The Damage?
The first question you’ll need to answer is what type of damage your vehicle has. Below is a list of the most common types of paint damage. When you’re clear on what you’re dealing with, we’ll move on to how much it will cost to repair.
Minor: Minor paint chips are pretty small (no bigger than the size of a pencil eraser).
Extensive: Larger chips and chips with cracking/peeling around them.
Minor: Just in the clear coat (if you get it wet, it disappears for a moment) and no longer than 6 inches.
Extensive: Deeper scratches that go past the clear coat into the actual paint, or even to the metal. Scratches that span more than 6 inches are extensive as well.
Minor: Contained in a relatively small area and just on the surface of the paint (you can’t see any metal). Some minor scrapes may even just be transfer from the thing your vehicle rubbed up against and may be easily removed with just a rubbing compound and microfiber cloth.
Extensive: Scrapes that have misshapen the surface of the car itself, cover a larger area, or have taken away the paint completely are considered extensive.
If you have paint damage on top of a dent, you’ll want to get the dent repaired before the paint so the paint job is not affected by the dent repair process.
Minor: Dents that are on a flat surface are pretty easily fixed.
Extensive: Dents on a curved surface take a bit more skill to repair. A dent may be unfixable if the metal has been completely bent out of shape, like on a bumper that’s been crushed in.
Car Paint Repair Cost
After you’ve determined which type of damage you’re dealing with, check out the guide below to see what it’s going to cost you to fix it!
For Minor Damage:
There are very likely mobile technicians near you for all of the types of car paint damage mentioned above. A mobile technician will be the cheapest option and they’ll come to you!
For minor paint chip, scratch, and scrape repair, you’ll pay between $150 and $250 for all of the damage they can fix on your vehicle. Touch-up is great for small, shallow chips and scratches. Dent repairs will cost about $75 per panel.
Touch-up repairs won’t necessarily make your car look brand new, but they will be significantly cheaper than a body shop and will look much better. They’ll keep the damage from getting worse and should last as long as you have the car. For paint repair, look for someone who uses the Dr. Colorchip system! (Read our blog post here on why we only use Dr. Colorchip paint.)
For Extensive Damage:
If your vehicle’s paint damage covers a lot of area and is quite deep, you may want to have it sprayed rather than touched up.
If you have moderate damage on a vertical surface (like a car door), you could use mobile spray paint services. This will cost you $200-$400 and may be your best option for damage on multiple panels.
If your vehicle’s moderate-extensive damage is on a horizontal surface (like the hood), it’s too much for touch-up or mobile spray painting, or if you just prefer for it to look brand new, then you’ll need a body shop.
The differentiation between horizontal and vertical surfaces has to do with dust and other particles settling on the car. It’s nearly impossible to keep particles from interfering with a spray paint job on horizontal surfaces outside of a controlled environment. This is why you’d be better off taking your car to a body shop with access to a clean, well-ventilated room specifically for that purpose.
A body shop will charge anywhere from $250 to $600 per panel, depending on your location and the shop.