If you’re wondering “is body damage expensive to repair”; the answer is, it depends. The make, model, age and extent of the body damage are the main contributing factors to the cost. If the parts are hard to find or the damage is serious - it will cost more. This is due to the hours required to fix the problem and the price of any replacement parts.
Auto body repair is the process of repairing, restoring, refinishing or replacing vehicle chassis, frames, panels, windshields and glass. It’s used to return the car, van or truck to good working condition, usually after an accident. The types of tools an auto body repairer uses and the processes they apply depends on the type of damage they are fixing.
The make, model and age of your car are big factors in how expensive a repair will be. But some of the universally most expensive things to fix on a car are:
The most common car repairs are spark plugs, fuel cap tightening, oxygen sensor replacement, brake jobs, oil changes, tyres, ignition systems and electricals. How much this repair will cost and how long it will take depends on the configuration of the vehicle, easy access to parts and the skill of the car repair technician. Always go to an accident repair centre with expertise in your vehicle, especially if it’s a classic or rare car.
Reader’s Digest CA explains, “The availability of parts is one of the biggest challenges classic car owners face, and it can be a tough one to overcome. You can increase your chances of getting the parts you need by joining a local classic car club, attending auctions and car shows and learning about online sources of vintage parts. You can also seek out modern-day equivalents to classic parts in cases where the originals are simply not available.”
Anything that requires you to take out the engine or the transmission is the hardest repair on a car. This might be an engine replacement or transmission repair but even when replacing a clutch the transmission needs to be removed, so it’s a tough job too. Beyond these two components, the Air Con is a difficult fix involving a lot of different parts which can be fiddly to manage. Lastly, bodywork (especially frame straightening) is a specialist field requiring fairly specific training to get a good and seamless finish.
Fixing a scratch on a bumper is quick and easy costing around £150-£250 to complete. That’s good because these sorts of car repairs are common as nicks and dings in the parking lot will happen over the life of your car. Remember that you can get a quote before visiting a body shop by sending in a picture of the damage. If you’ve only scratched the clear coat, you may be able to remove this yourself with a repair kit from the shop. But, if the paint is scratched, you’ll want to take it to a professional.
This depends on the amount of damage to the bumper. If it doesn’t need to be replaced, costs can be as low as £600. If you do need to replace the bumper, parts are around £300-£700 and it will take a few hours to get the old bumper off and put the new bumper on. For this, expect your bill to be around £800-£1000 and take around two working days to finish. But, you will have a brand new bumper afterwards with no weak points.
Finding a good accident repair centre isn’t a mystery. First, it’s a great idea to ask friends and family for their recommendations. These are people you know and trust who can provide full context to the service and quality of the auto body shop. But, if that’s not an option, maybe because you live in an isolated area, why not turn to online reviews. Trustpilot and Google reviews can give you a wide-ranging snapshot of the mechanic on their best and worst days. This can help you make a decision about two or three places to contact for a quote.
To get the best quote, send them pictures of the body damage you’re looking to repair. Get a few quotes for an all-in price. Don’t forget to ask them if they’ve worked on your make and model before. This might be the deciding factor if the quotes come in an all-around similar range. Remember that you can ask for any old parts back and if you’re not happy with the repair, ask them to fix it before you pay. If they are unable to resolve your issue, talk to the Motor Ombudsman for support.
Is body damage expensive to repair? Not always. Scratches can be fixed in under an hour by a qualified technician for under £250, even when the bare metal is showing. Bumpers and panel replacements cost a lot more - into the £1000 range. And any job where the transmission and motor need to be removed is likely to be pricey. But keeping your car in good condition and repairing body damage is the key to protecting your investment.