Did you come back from shopping to find a dent in your car? Or misjudge your space as you pulled into the garage? Whether it’s a small or large dent, it can be unsightly and reduce your resale value. You may ask, “how much to fix a dent in a car?” Or wonder if it’s possible to do it yourself (DIY). Your price and dent removal method depend on a few factors, so explore your options before deciding.
How to get a dent out of a car
The best way to get a dent out of a car is to schedule a visit with a collision center or auto body shop. Trained technicians can actually save you money by removing the mark without damaging the paint or causing rust in the future. However, there are many DIY tricks that you can find online if you’re the type of person who likes a challenge.
How do auto technicians remove a dent?
To remove a dent, auto technicians start by cleaning off the surface and assessing the damage. This also helps them determine the dent repair cost. It may be less expensive to replace the part on your car than to remove the dent in some cases.
Next, many auto repair shops use one of the following methods:
- Paintless dent repair (PDR): Technicians use special tools on the backside of the damaged panel to gently push out the dent. This method is a delicate process as it attempts to fix the dent without harming the paint.
- Stud welder: With a stud welder, a technician places studs into the dent and uses pliers or a similar tool to pull the dent out. Once the mark is fixed, the studs are removed.
- Dent puller: Technicians use a large suction cup tool to pull a dent out. This tool is similar to do-it-yourself versions but industrial grade.
- Dolly and hammer: Auto techs place a large piece of metal against the car and use it while hammering out the dent.
Dent repair cost estimates
Your total dent removal cost can vary greatly depending on several factors. Get a few bids from different collision or auto body shops before making a decision. Like the cost to fix a scratch on a car, the price of a dent repair differs according to:
- Size: Larger dents or abrasions involving other types of damage cost more than a small indentation.
- Dent location: Hard-to-reach dents, high-strength steel materials, or dents requiring removal of multiple parts may increase your dent repair cost.
- Depth: In general, a shallow dent costs less than one that is medium to deep. Shallow repairs may be easy for a DIY repair.
- Your location: Costs vary by city and state due to competition, availability of parts, and hourly labor rates.
- Repair facility: Dealerships tend to charge more than independent body shops, but this differs by location.
- Make and model: Luxury cars usually carry a higher price tag for repairs versus less expensive brands.
Technicians may use a dent repair cost estimator to determine what to charge you. This tool lets technicians input the size and depth of the dent. Some applications use your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to assess the accessibility of the dent. Other auto body shops compute the price manually by taking each aspect above into consideration.
What does a professional dent repair cost?
The dent repair cost may range from $50 to $2,500. Although that’s a broad range, most small dents that are roughly an inch in size may cost around $50 to $125. Small indentations may come from a flying rock or piece of hail. Dents stemming from a collision are typically larger and cost $150 or more.
Higher-end prices come from dents on parts with sensors like a bumper, dents involving multiple panels, or a need to replace parts or panels. Expensive removal may include repainting, sanding, or touch-up repairs.
How much does DIY dent removal cost?
DIY dent removal tools or kits start at $4 for a simple dent puller and may cost as much as $800 for a PDR kit. On average, you can expect to spend around $50 for a versatile kit that comes with several different tools. However, you may damage the paint and require a touch-up paint kit, which can run you from $5 to $70. Some DIY measures may worsen the damage, requiring professional intervention and additional cost.
Is it worth fixing a small dent in a car?
Small dents may cost $100 or less to fix. At this price, it can be a good idea to get it fixed if you’re bothered by the dent’s appearance or want to sell your car. But, doing it yourself may cause paint damage. Plus, even a repaired dent can result in rust down the road. You may pay roughly the same amount for a professional repair, which can give you greater peace of mind.
Fixing a dent to trade-in your car
If you want to trade-in your car to a dealership, a dent may lower its value. The dealer usually intends to repair the dent before reselling a used vehicle. As long as the dent is small, it won’t be a significant drop in value. Still, removing the dent for a small fee is a good idea before trading in your vehicle.
Repairing a dent for a private sale
When selling your car, even a small dent can decrease the perceived value of a vehicle. The damage also may increase the time it takes to make a sale. People may be put off by a dent or worry that other hidden damage exists. Consider how much the dent removal costs versus your desired selling price. Often, it’s a good idea to fix a small dent before selling your car.
Estimate your dent repair cost
Although a dent and the cause can be distressing, it can be an easy and low-priced fix. Before worrying over the price, talk to your local auto body shops and get a few estimates. Knowing your costs will help you decide if it’s worth removing a dent.