It’s happened to the best of us. We come out of the grocery store and there’s a new dent in the car door with no insurance information to be found. Whether it’s a small or large dent, it can greatly affect the resale value and overall appeal of your vehicle. This leaves one to wonder, “how much does it cost to fix a dent in a car?”.
It can cost between $50 to $2,500 or more to fix a dent in your car, but the price can vary depending on the size and location of the dent. Dents that come from a collision can cost $150 or more.
We know that dents in vehicles are unsightly and can lower their retail value. There are several factors that come into play when determining how much your dent repair is going to cost. We’ve gone ahead and written this article as a guide for you.
|< a quarter||$50-$200|
|> 1-2”||Up to $10,000|
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Dent In A Car?
It may cost between $50 to $10,000 or more to fix a dent in your car depending on the location and size of it, but the average cost is $125-$500+.
Dents that are located on parts with sensors such as bumpers or dents that involve multiple panels can cost more than your average dent removal. This is even more so if the dent repair may include sanding, repainting, or touch-up repairs.
Minor dent damage, typically smaller than a quarter, can be fixed for between $50-$200. Most common dents will fall into this category.
Moderate dents between 1-2 inches and caused by a foreign body can cost $2,000-$5,000 to fix as they require more time and effort to repair.
Severe dent damage that may be large and deep will require more skill to repair. These repairs can cost up to $10,000 and should only be done by an expert.
Here’s all you need to know to better understand the dent removal process.
How Are Dents Removed?
A collision center or auto body shop can remove a dent by cleaning the surface and addressing the damage.
There are several methods technicians will use to fix a dent in your vehicle.
The traditional way to repair a dent involves pounding the dent out of the car’s external body. The tech will then sand down the area with skill. They will apply layers of bonding material to reshape the dented area to replicate the original form. They will then sand it and paint it to match the rest of the body. This is a more economical choice than paying for replacement panels.
The next first method is paintless dent repair. A tech will use a special tool on the back of the damaged panel to push the dent out. This is a delicate process since it is an attempt to fix the dent without harming the paint. This method is only suitable where the paint is intact. It won’t be used where there are scratches, chipped paint, scrapes, or where the paint may be peeling or bubbling.
The tech may also opt to use a stud welder. With a stud welder, the tech will place studs in the dent and use pliers or a smaller tool to pull out the dent. Once the dent is fixed, the studs are removed.
A dent puller is another tool that may be used. This is a large suction cup similar to a plunger. The tool gets placed on the dent and is meant to suction the dent out. This is similar to a do-it-yourself version, but industrial-grade.
Lastly, they may use a dolly and hammer. This is when they place a piece of large metal against the car and use it while hammering the dent.
Each of these methods may come with its own cost, but it also depends on several other factors.
Dent Repair Cost Estimates
As mentioned earlier, the price to fix a dent can vary depending on several factors and your location. Here’s how most mechanics will estimate the cost of a dent repair.
Large dents and/or abrasions that involve other types of damage will cost more to repair than a simple small dent caused by hail or another person’s door.
The location of the dent can cause the repair to cost more. If it’s in a hard-to-reach location, on high-strength steel materials, or they require the removable parts, your estimate will be higher.
Shallow dents will cost less to repair than medium or deep dents. Shallow dents may allow you to do a DIY repair using a suction cup.
Due to competition, costs to repair a dent can vary by state, city, availability of parts, and hourly labor rates.
Dealerships will charge more than independent body shops but may differ by location.
As with any vehicle repair, the make, and model of it can affect the price of the repair. Luxury cars are generally more expensive to repair than less expensive vehicles.
Most technicians will use a dent repair cost estimator to determine what to charge. The tool will allow them to input the size of the dent and depth. Some tools may use your vehicle’s identification number to assess the accessibility of the dent. Other repair technicians may manually compute the price by taking the above factors into consideration.
If you have a small dent in your vehicle, you may wonder whether or not it’s worth it to repair.
Is Fixing A Small Dent Worth It?
Yes, if you plan on selling your car or are bothered by the dent.
Since small dents only cost $50 or so to repair, it may be worth it to fix the dent, especially if it’s bothersome or you plan on selling your vehicle in the near future.
If you plan to trade in your vehicle, a dent may lower its value. As long as it’s not a huge dent, it shouldn’t have a significant impact on it. Removing the dent for a small fee is a good idea before trading your vehicle in.
If you’re selling your vehicle on your own, a small dent may still decrease its value of it. The damage may also increase the time it takes to sell your vehicle. Consider how much it will cost to get the dent removed versus what you’re selling the vehicle for.
If you don’t want to shell out the money to repair the dent, you can try to do it at home, but it’s not recommended.
Can A Dent Be Fixed At Home?
Yes, but it’s really not recommended.
Believe it or not, there are several methods you can use to remove a dent in your vehicle depending on its size and location of it. It’s not recommended that you repair dents on your own since it can cause more harm than good, but if you really need to remove a small dent, here are some common methods that have been used.
The Plunger Method
The plunger method is one of the most common ways to remove a dent from a vehicle. You will want to first splash some water on both the plunger and the dent.
Suction the plunger to the dent and start pushing and pulling until the dent pops out. You will want to use a cup plunger for sinks, not a flange one for toilets.
One of the easiest ways to remove a dent from a car is to reverse it. For plastic bumpers, this is what you’ll need to do and it doesn’t even require removing it.
You can pour some boiling water over the dent. Once the plastic is hot, you should be able to manipulate it back to normal. The heat won’t last very long, so you need to work fast.
Hair Dryer & Compressed Air
Another popular and affordable method for repairing a dent is to use a hairdryer and compressed air. You will begin by heating the dent with the hair dryer at its highest temperature, which will expand the plastic.
As soon as it’s hot enough, grab the compressed air, turn it upside down, and spray the same area. The cold air will cause the plastic to contract and the dent should pop out.
This method should be used very carefully and it’s not highly recommended. Dry ice is used as a cooling agent. It can get small dents out of your vehicle.
You should wear protective gloves while performing this method. You will hold a piece of dry ice on the dent and rub it around until you hear the dent pop back in place.
Vacuum Cleaner & A Pot
This simple technique is similar to the plunger method. You will put a small hole under the pot and tape it around the dent.
Place the vacuum cleaner hose over the hole under the put and turn it on. If the dent isn’t too shallow, the suction should pull it out.
As you can see, there are many methods that can be used to remove a dent from your vehicle. It’s recommended that you take it to a professional as opposed to doing it yourself.
Doing it yourself can cause more damage. A small dent is pretty affordable to fix, so it may be worth it in the end. It’s our hope that this article gave you some helpful insight.