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How Much Does Auto Body Repair Costs?

How Much Does Auto Body Repair Cost

Car repairs and auto body repairs can be a tedious, annoying aspect of owning a vehicle. Whether auto body repairs come from wear and tear, fender benders or a serious car accident, or collision, at some point, your car will see the inside of an auto repair shop.

Having your vehicle get some auto body repairs is inevitable but can still be a real surprise when you realize you need to visit an auto body shop while driving your vehicle. No one truly plans for a car accident or an auto collision -it’s virtually impossible.

You can actually be somewhat prepared for what you will have to pay to have your auto body fixed and pay for auto body repair costs. Outlined below is a look at some common vehicle and auto body repairs and estimated average repair costs at most auto body shops.

This piece will also give you some insight into how much your auto insurance policy will cover auto repair and body work bills after a vehicle collision, and offer some guidance to start hunting for a body repair shop after your vehicle has been damaged and needs replacement.

Auto body repairs are a natural part of your car’s life, and you want to be prepared for them and the repair costs as best as you can.

When to Start Considering Car Repairs

As hinted at above, you do not have to find yourself in the aftermath of a serious car accident or collision to start considering auto repairs. Your car may need some bodywork done after a minor incident or collision with your vehicle, such as a rock hitting your windshield and needing auto glass repair at an auto body shop.

An auto body repair may even be called for just because your car is getting older and some auto body part needs replacement. Natural wear and tear happen to any vehicle and auto body, and at unexpected times, it may need to spend a little time in the auto body repair shop. But no matter how common the need for vehicle repairs may be, it is always a good idea to get an idea of auto body repair costs and whether or not they are worth taking your car in.

How Much Does Auto Body Repair Costs on Average?

It is hard to get a general average for how much you will be handing over to the auto body shop. There are a lot of factors that go into auto body repair costs, such as your car’s make and model, the extent of the auto body damage, how old your vehicle is, and the car repair shop itself.

In general, you could be paying a bill somewhere from as low as $50 to upwards of $2,000 and beyond for the repair costs of your vehicle.

A lot of the auto body repair costs can also depend on how much your car insurance will cover, assuming it can cover any of it. If you are considered underinsured, you may be paying much of the repair cost of your auto body out of pocket.

For these reasons and many others, it is a great idea to prepare for the unfortunate event of getting your vehicle to an auto body repair shop and get an idea of the average prices of any repair cost your vehicle may need.

Common Types of Car Repairs

There are a few different types of common car features that may be damaged after an accident or a collision or have naturally broken down over time.

While those explored are the most commonly seen by auto repair shops, they are by no means the only car features that can be affected after a collision or over the ages. If you believe your car has more auto body damage beyond the features that have been explored, try getting more insight from your auto body repair shop. If you can pinpoint what is wrong with your auto body, it may be worth exploring average estimated prices and getting some estimates from different auto body repair shops.

Here are the five most common areas that could call for auto body repair after a car accident or a collision:

  • Car door or fender repair
  • Paint
  • Bumper
  • Windshield (including windows)
  • Suspension system

This post will look into each of the car features listed above by discussing their average collision repair costs, along with giving insight into how your car insurance may be able to help cover your auto body repair costs.

Car Door Repair

Car door damage can happen pretty quickly. In a parking lot, you may encounter a driver that accidentally hits your car door with their own. Or perhaps you are not aware of how close you have parked to a wall or post and swing open your car door really fast damaging your auto body. These scenarios, along with countless others, can cause some pretty harmful damage to your car door, and getting it fixed after a collision may get a bit pricey.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Your Car Door?

The repair cost to fix a car door depends on the severity of the damage to your auto body.

If it is just a minor dent that requires only the exterior of your car to be fixed, it may cost you somewhere around $350. Some small paintless dents on your vehicle door may even cost you as little as $50 to fix at repair shops.

However, if the dent on your vehicle door is major and has resulted in damage to your lock system, the repair cost may be higher as the work at your auto body has intensified.

Replacement for an entire car door after a collision may have a price tag of around $800 plus the added labor.

What kind of car you have also directly affects the price of car door repairs. Some cars or trucks have auto body parts that are harder to obtain than others and that’s what makes the auto body repair costs spike. Car door repairs after a collision can potentially even get up to thousands of dollars depending on a variety of issues associated with the auto body repair on the vehicle.

Will Your Auto Insurance Cover Car Door Repairs?

Depending on the circumstances around the auto body repair, if you have collision coverage, your car insurance company may pick up a portion of the collision repair fees.

After you pay your deductible, the car insurance company will then pay for the rest of the auto body repair.

Collision coverage insurance typically will cover car accidents along with damage done to your car by objects you have hit in a collision. Comprehensive coverage may also come in handy, but make sure you double-check with your auto insurance policy before filing an insurance claim for collision repair on your vehicle.

Paint Scratches Repair

Paint scratches on the auto body can be a common occurrence for cars. Being the literal first layer of defense on your vehicle, it may take a beating as part of the car’s exterior natural wear and tear or a collision. A branch brushing your car or anything scraping the side of your vehicle can cause your car’s paint to chip away. Sometimes it may be so small you do not even recognize it, but other times, repairing the car’s paint can be part of other damage it has sustained.

For these reasons, it is best to get an idea of what paint scratch repairs after a collision could cost you at auto body shops.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Paint Scratches?

The cost to repair chipped paint on your car varies based on the damage to your auto body and your car. The type of car you have can determine what kind of paint you need affecting the auto body repair cost consequently.

If you have a cheaper car, a single-stage enamel paint will be good for touching up the exterior of your vehicle. The price for such work at auto body repair shops ranges from $300 to $1,000 and largely depends on the vehicle.

If the scratch is significant and may include the need for more detailed work, that can cost you up to an estimated $3,500.

Deep scratches requiring more labor as a consequence of a collision may even cost you closer to $7,000 in auto body repair. This is also the case if you are looking to paint a luxury car or want the finest car paint on the market for the collision repair of your vehicle.

Will Your Car Insurance Cover Paint Scratches?

It is unlikely your auto insurance will cover your car’s paint auto body repair unless it is the result of vandalism or a falling object.

If that is the case, then your comprehensive coverage should be able to cover the auto body repair cost. In this situation, after you file an insurance claim, you would pay the deductible and then let your car insurance pick up the rest of the bill for your auto body repair. If the damage to your vehicle is caused by a collision, you may have to pay for the paintwork costs out of pocket.

Car Bumper Repair

Imagine you’re driving your vehicle along and get stopped by a sudden red light. Someone behind you was distracted and didn’t see you’ve stopped your vehicle. Next thing you know, you’re in a rear-end collision, and your bumper is paying for the collision repair. Or maybe you end up in a car accident, or collision where you are at fault after you accidentally back up into a wall or other object and bust your car bumper.

Either way, your bumper is not looking good, and you now need to know how much this is going to cost you to fix this car bumper on your auto body.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Your Bumper?

Bumper repair costs depend on a couple of things. Naturally, the worse the dent in your bumper is, the more it is going to cost. Regular auto body repairs to your car bumper can cost anywhere from $100 to $600. If it is a deep dent, you may need an entire bumper replacement which can cost upwards of $2,500.

Some newer cars or trucks have proximity sensors in their bumpers to alert the driver when they are close to an object and a collision is about to happen. If these bumpers are damaged in a rear-end car accident, you will end up paying more for a collision repair to have these bumpers fixed on top of just the bumper dent. Even if the bumpers are not directly damaged, they may still need to be disconnected and then reassembled following a bumper repair. This bumper repair alone can add extra fees to your overall bill costs.

In a worst-case scenario, a car accident may cause your car’s whole frame to be bent. If this happens, you could be facing a collision repair bill with costs as high as $10,000. Paint touchups may also be needed depending on the damage to the auto body, which adds to the auto body repair cost as well.

Will Your Car Insurance Cover Bumper Repair?

If you have collision coverage included in your car insurance policy, then car bumper repairs will typically be covered by your auto insurance premium if it is the result of a car accident that damaged your auto body.

After you pay the deductible, your car insurance company will cover the rest of the cost for your bumper repair. Since collision coverage is not required, if you opt-out of adding it to your auto insurance policy premium, you will be on the hook for the repair cost of the car bumper.

Windshield And Window Repair

As you are driving, you may encounter some debris or rocks flying at your windows and windshield. This can happen as the natural landscape is disturbed by the turning of wheels on the road. That can cause damage to the glass on your vehicle. Your windshield and windows may end up cracked as a result of rocks or other obstacles on the road.

When you are faced with such a circumstance, you are going to want to have an idea of what you could be paying to have everything fixed.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Your Windshield And Windows?

Small chips in your car’s windshield can sometimes cost as little as $10 to have repaired. But if the damage is extensive, you may need a whole new windshield which can cost anywhere, on average, from $100 to $400. If you have a car that requires special parts, you may be facing a bill closer to around $500 or even $1,500. Windshields for luxury cars or trucks could cost even more.

As far as window repair costs go, a standard, regular-sized car door window can cost from $100 up to $350. For smaller windows, you may be paying more in the $500 range. While these prices may be alarming, it is always best to get your windows or windshield repaired as fast as you can. Cracks and chips can impair your vision, making driving dangerous, and your chances of getting into a car accident, or collision increase greatly.

Will Your Car Insurance Cover Windshield or Window Repair?

Glass, windshield, and window repairs will generally fall under your comprehensive coverage if it is not the result of a car accident or collision. After paying your deductible, the auto insurance company will pay to have your glass, windshield, and windows repaired. If you fail to carry comprehensive coverage, you will then have to pay for your glass, windshield, and window out of pocket.

Collision coverage may also cover glass, windshield, and window repair if the cracks are the result of a car accident or collision. There is a chance you may pay nothing to have your windshield replaced. Some insurers let you replace your windshield once a year for no cost or a very small deductible.

Suspension Damage Repair

We’ve all had those moments where we saw a pothole and thought to ourselves, “It doesn’t look too deep; my car will be fine.” But then, seconds after hitting it, you realize that your car is most certainly not fine.

Damage to your car’s suspension system can be annoying but getting it fixed is very important. Some features of your suspension system include tires, shock absorbers, wheel alignment, and ball joints. Repair of all of these vary in prices, and you’re going to want to know how much they cost before driving over that fateful pothole.

How Much Does it Cost to Repair Your Suspension System?

As previously mentioned, your car’s suspension system is made up of many parts, all of which come with their own repair price tags.

Here is a look at what you could be paying, on average, to repair parts of your suspension system:

  • Shock absorber replacement - Replacing your shock absorbers may cost you anywhere from $500 to $600. But this varies. Some other sources report that strut or shock absorber replacement could cost more along the lines of $200 to $1,500.
  • Wheel alignment - Fixing wheel alignment on your car may cost somewhere from $115 to $300.
  • Ball joint replacement - On average, ball joint replacements could cost you somewhere from $225 to $300.
  • Full-suspension replacement - a full-suspension replacement could cost you up to $5,000.

Keep in mind that all of what has been explained above is just a rough estimation. Your personal auto repair bills may vary based on the type of car you have, the year it was made, and the exact amount of damage there is.

Will Your Car Insurance Cover Suspension System Repairs?

If damage to your suspension is caused by colliding with a pothole or an car accident of another kind, your collision coverage will cover it after you pay your deductible.

However, if any suspension system issues are found to be the result of just natural wear and tear on your vehicle, your car insurance premium will not cover those repairs. Just be mindful of this before making an insurance claim.

Should You File an Auto Insurance Claim When You Need Auto Body Repair?

The short answer is it depends on the damage to the auto body.

If filing a car insurance claim is a good idea can be determined by what kind of car repair you need. If the damage to your auto body was done as a result of a collision and you file an insurance claim for the collision repair, your car insurance premium rates will most likely increase.

However, car insurance can still help cover a good portion of the damage done to your car. You pay your deductibles for a reason, and the assistance auto insurance provides can come in very handy.

A general rule of thumb for making an insurance claim is if your auto body is serious damage, you have trouble paying for the auto body repair out of pocket, or feel obligated to file with your car insurance company, it is best to do so. Some repairs may be minor enough that filing an insurance claim pays for the auto body repair fully. At the very least, you will be expected to pay your deductible, and then car insurance will cover the rest to get your auto body fixed. But before jumping in, it is still smart to review your auto insurance policy and assess the damage to the auto body in question.

While car insurance claims may cause your car insurance premium rates to rise, they may save you some trouble both now and down the line.

Fixing the Auto Body Yourself vs. Going to an Auto Repair Shop

After analyzing the average costs of specific auto repairs, you may be a bit overwhelmed. But there is little need to fret. Some of the damages to that auto body outlined above may be able to be fixed right in your own garage.

For a bumper repair, if you notice it is a small indent, you may be able to fix it with a hairdryer and a pry bar. After lifting your car via jack stands, you can heat the dent with the hairdryer, and once it is warm enough, you can try to use the pry bar to push it out while under your car. But if you are choosing this route, make sure you know what you are doing.

Look into more detailed instructions as opposed to the description above, as that is just a brief idea of what you may be able to do to save some cash when it comes to getting your auto body fixed. The dent may be too big or have caused other internal damage. Always proceed with caution when repairing your car.

If you are dealing with just a scratch on your car, that may be pretty easy to handle yourself. Many retailers sell touch-up paint pens for vehicles. They cost around $10-$20 and work to fill in minor scrapes on the exterior of your car. They are available pretty much anywhere and can be a great alternative to dealing with an auto repair shop. As long as the scratch isn’t overwhelmingly large, you may be able to save yourself a little time and hassle in your auto body repair.

Is Your Car Worth Repairing?

Be ready to deal with car repairs is always best but there may come a point where you are paying more to upkeep your car than it is worth.

If your car is new or only has a couple of years on it, then repairs are going to be worth it. Your car has a lot of life left in it, assuming all goes well. But if you have an older car, you may want to start doing some math before you shell out all this money for a repair on your auto body. If you find yourself constantly sending your car to the automotive body shop to get your auto body fixed, it may be more financially smart to look into purchasing a new vehicle. But do not forget that new cars or trucks will be more expensive to repair as they can have more technological advancements.

Shopping around for a used car may be a good compromise should you find yourself unable to afford a new car but can no longer rely on your older transportation.

Choosing an Auto Body Shop

After filing an insurance claim with your car insurance company for the auto repairs or collision repairs your vehicle needs, you may be given a list of approved auto body shops by your car insurance company. While they cannot force you to go to one of their recommended automotive body shops, they may still be worth looking into before deciding where to get your auto body fixed.

Auto insurance companies sometimes have a network of auto repair shops they have partnered with, and they may offer a discount or warranty on your repairs. But do not just choose one of their in-network automotive body shops for these perks on an auto body or a collision repair. It is in your best interest to research the company further and make sure they actually can offer quality repairs for your auto body.

Some companies even offer an online calculator, or estimator that can give you an idea of what your specific repair to your auto body may cost, which will then allow you to understand what you should be paying when shopping around for quotes.

It is always best to pull rates and reviews from a variety of body shops, including the ones suggested by your car insurance company before deciding where to get your auto body fixed. While you do not want to break the bank repairing your car, you still want to make sure your valuable asset will be in the best of hands.

Paying For Your Car Repair

Once you receive your quotes, you may find yourself unsure of what to do next when it comes to actually paying for the auto repairs. Of course, as we have discussed previously, your car insurance may be able to help a lot, but it only goes so far.

Here are some other roads you may be able to take should you find yourself in dire need of auto repairs but low on funds:

Payment Plan

If you are worried about paying for your car repair costs, ask the body shop if they have any payment plan options available. Under a payment plan, you will be able to pay your bill for getting your auto body fixed over a set period of time. Just remember to keep up on the payments and be mindful of when the period ends. Falling behind on payments could lead to some financial issues.

Personal Loans

Depending on your credit score, you may be able to secure some reasonable personal loans. Personal loans can be used for pretty much anything, include auto repair bills. You make payments to it like any other loan, so be mindful of interest rates and repayment terms.

Personal loans can be a quick solution when it comes to paying monstrous car repair costs, but repaying that loan may pose its own issues. Make sure to take some time to analyze your financial situation if you find yourself in such a position.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to use the equity on your home as collateral for borrowing cash. If a HELOC is already something you have established with your home, you may be able to enact it to pay for miscellaneous things, like car repair bills for your auto body.

However, you probably want to avoid going through all this trouble with a HELOC if you do not already possess one. It can be a long process and has various risks associated with it. A HELOC may not be worth it just to pay for a car repair.

Credit Cards

Many car owners find themselves in tight financial situations. For those reasons, it may be worth it to maintain an emergency credit card. Sometimes damage to your car is detrimental or requires immediate attention. Not everyone has time to file an insurance claim or scrape up the cash needed to get the auto body fixed at that very moment.

For this reason, keeping an emergency credit card can be useful. Just always make a note of what you are charging to the card and be sure you will be able to pay off said charges once the time comes.

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