February 23, 2022

Paintless dent removal guide

Our comprehensive paintless dent removal guide will help you understand what the treatment is and if it works. We’ll review what’s involved and if you can carry out PDR yourself. And we’ll share what it may cost and how long your results will last. It’s everything you need to know about paintless dent removal in one 10-minute guide.

1. What is paintless dent removal?

Paintless Dent Removal or PDR repairs any size dent without the need for filling or painting. To do a PDR, the technician will massage and push the panel from behind. The goal is to restore the original shape without damaging the original paint. As such, it’s not possible to do PDR if there is damage to the paintwork. Paint damage can look like warping, stretching, chipping, thinning, rips, tears or other kinds of paint trauma. So, your body shop will make an assessment to see if your dent is a good candidate for paintless dent removal. They can do this in person or through email if you send high-quality photos. Don’t worry, most dents can be repaired with PDR. And since there is no curing time, this is one of the fastest ways to remove dents.

2. Is paintless dent removal any good?

Paintless dent removal is very effective. According to Dented, “Since paintless dent repair can remove 80-90% of dents, it is the best way to get a dent out of your car. [...] If you want to have your vehicle dent free for a fraction of the cost and in less time, the paintless dent repair process is a great way to restore your vehicle's body panels.” That’s because it uses fewer supplies than a standard dent removal process. There’s no curing time. And there’s no chance of miss-matched paint. Plus, your car isn’t going to lose value through after-market additions. So, that makes it a very desirable repair method.

3. How much does it cost to repair a paintless dent?

PDR is £120 per panel on average. That makes it generally more affordable than standard dent removal which can cost from £100 to £200 per panel. To determine if your car is a good candidate for paintless dent removal, you’ll want to provide high-quality photos of the damage to your body shop for a quote. The size of the dent doesn’t matter with PDR. The only concern is that the paint is in perfect condition. However, you might want to try and remove very small dents yourself with suction or hot water first.

4. Can you do PDR yourself?

Not really. PDR uses specialist tools. And those require training to learn how to use. The metal rods and body picks used in professional paintless dent repair aren’t that intuitive. And the process requires you to manipulate the metal by hand to different levels. In short, this is a precise and meticulous process. It’s not something you’d want to attempt at home. And the tools cost around £40 for you to even try it. Considering the average cost to have pros do it is £120, it’s not really worth it. You might cause more harm than good. However, you can try to remove some very minor dents yourself without these tools or paint. The main two ways to do that is with hot water or with a plunger that’s smaller than the dent.

5. How does paintless dent repair work?

Paintless dent repair works by returning the bodywork to its original shape. This is done by removing the panel or accessing the underside of the dent. During the process, a technician uses body picks or metal rods to work on the panel. Overall, their goal is to return it to its original shape. And they do this by manipulating the metal slowly to bring it to level. In short, it’s effective on nearly any dent where the original paint is not damaged in any way. Since there’s no filling, levelling or curing; it is faster than traditional dent repair. And that makes it cheaper too. Finally, you won’t damage your car's value either. That’s because PDR doesn’t require aftermarket paint or fillers.

6. What size dent can PDR repair?

PDR works best on large and shallow dents in the bodywork. But it can be used to repair any size dent. In fact, 80-90% of all dents can be fixed with PDR. The only requirement is that your paint isn’t damaged at all. Paint damage can include scratches, chipping, stretched paint, missing paint or other forms of paint trauma. Once there is paint damage, then traditional methods must be used. However, PDR can prep your panel for painting too; if that’s needed.

7. Does paintless dent removal last?

Yes. Paintless dent removal is a permanent dent repair solution. It restores your car’s bodywork back to its original shape. And, since there is no repainting, it’s a perfect colour match. When PDR is done effectively, you will not be able to see where the repair has taken place. And it will not decrease the car’s value as no aftermarket filler or paint is applied. Since it doesn’t have any curing wait time, PDR is much faster than traditional methods.

8. Summary

In conclusion, our paintless dent removal guide showed how PDR is effective for most dents. It’s practised by levelling the bodywork from the underside. And, so long as there are no paint issues, it will fix any size dent. While you don’t want to try it yourself, it’s not too expensive to have done. At £120 per panel, it’s generally less than traditional body repair. And that’s because there is no filler, paint or curing time required. As such, you’ll not damage your car’s resale value with any aftermarket additions. Overall, PDR is probably the best way to repair scratches and dents. But we did share that very small dents can be fixed on your own with just hot water or suction in most cases.


If you think you need PDR, why not send a photo over to our team of technicians today for a fast and free quote.


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