Autobody repair costs can vary greatly. Costs can change depending on the type of damage that needs to be fixed and the severity of the repair. There are other factors that the average driver may not be aware of. Knowing the average cost of an auto body repair can help you prepare for the expense. However, there are several important factors which can alter the final cost significantly.
How is the cost of collision repair determined?
When assessing the cost of an auto body repair, the complexity of the repair must be taken into consideration. For example, a simple repair such as a dent or minor scratch may cost anywhere under $1000 in materials and labor, while a more complex repair such as a major collision could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more. However, there are many other factors to consider.
Small dents and scratches are generally the least expensive repairs. These repairs are typically done with a “paintless dent removal” system, which involves using specialized tools to carefully remove the dent from the vehicle’s exterior without damaging the paint. In most cases, these repairs will cost under $1000.
Likewise, fixing a “star” in your windshield can be quickly repaired at little cost, while a large crack may need complete replacement. Losing a side-view mirror may require a part to be special ordered, especially for a luxury vehicle which may have additional functionality besides increasing your field of vision. In the case of a luxury vehicle, the mirror may need additional connections to the vehicle’s computer and sensors, and these functions may need additional testing before the car is once again safe to drive.
All of these factors may increase the time the vehicle is in the shop waiting for parts and may increase the cost of labor, both in hours as well as potentially hiring a specialist needs to subcontract the work to ensure safe and accurate repair or replacement.
More serious autobody damage, such as those caused by auto collisions, require a more involved process of planning, ordering, and workflow to ensure the repair and installation of new parts is done appropriately and safely. In addition to the cost of labor, the cost of parts such as fenders, bumpers, and headlights must also be taken into account. In these cases, the total cost of the repair can range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the severity of the damage and the parts needed.
As with the minor repairs, but in a greater degree, for major repairs the shop may need to hire specialists, and specialty equipment and parts may need to be ordered to complete the repair, and the vehicle may need to be kept longer to ensure proper quality control and testing. Some repairs can be pushed through quickly, but the body shop is required to be cautious about releasing a vehicle unless it is truly safe to drive and fully repaired.
The Pandemic Problem Continues: Parts Shortages and Delivery Delays
In recent years, scarcity has made the costs involved in auto body repair and collision repair increase in both monetary investment and in actual time, from ordering to installation. When parts have to be special ordered and take longer to be delivered than before, customers are often frustrated with the body shop.
This problem has become exponentially worse when added factors such as rarified parts, distance to factory, and made-to-order timelines are extended beyond the norm. No shop will intentionally extend their storage and work on their car if they can help it, especially with so many shops being booked out for months in advance due to parts shortages. Look to your autobody shop to communicate about realistic expectations about when the parts will come in, and practice understanding when circumstances outside of the shop’s control affect your autobody repair.
Ideally, your insurance will cover any additional storage fees accrued while waiting for parts, but in rare cases, you may wish to take the car home until it can be worked on. A reputable collision shop will work with you to make sure that costs don’t balloon beyond what is reasonable, and when the boundary of reasonable cost is approaching, will reach out to you to ensure that you will be satisfied with your repair when the work is done.
The type of materials used during the repair can affect the cost. For example, parts made from aluminum or plastic may cost less than parts made from steel. Working with a reputable auto body shop can help you ensure that the materials used are of the highest quality and will stand the test of time.
The type of vehicle you own and its repair history can also affect the cost of auto body repair. For example, luxury vehicles may cost more to repair due to the type of parts used and the complexity of the repair, as well as the necessity of special ordering parts. Similarly, vehicles that have a history of frequent repairs may also cost more to repair.
It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of auto body repair is often covered by insurance. Insurance policies may include deductibles, or the portion of the cost that must be paid out of pocket. Additionally, most insurance policies also include coverage limits, or the maximum amount of money the insurance company will cover for a particular type of repair.
Body Shop’s Bottom Line
Rest assured that most collision shops want to provide you with the highest standard of customer service, and will ideally prioritize your repair once all parts have been received. If possible, the shop may even release your car back to you for your use if a part has not arrived but the car is still drivable. In this case, you will have to bring the car back to the shop to be finished at a later date, or the shop will arrange to pick the vehicle up and drop it off when it’s done.
A good body shop will communicate with you every step of the way, offer you options to keep the autobody repair within your budget while maintaining safety standards and quality control. Like any business, body shops need to make money, but they are conscious that what they do is help make a wrong right again. No one plans to be in an accident, and a reputable shop will be understanding of the distress that often accompanies a new customer who has recently been in a car accident.
When it comes to auto body repair, there is no easy answer to the question of cost. The amount you will pay for autobody repair all depends on the type of damage that needs to be fixed, the type of repair required, the quality of parts used, and the type of vehicle you own. Researching the cost of auto body repair before beginning the process can help you make the best decision for your situation.
Read on for a final piece of advice.
Advice: What to look for in a good body shop
Some of the things you should look for when shopping around for a good body shop are whether they have the proper credentials. Have they received recognition from organizations such as Assured Performance and Bodyshopology? These organizations provide quality control by investigating the shop, it’s business practices, whether education is an emphasis with their employees, and maintaining the proper equipment. The process for certification can be quite rigorous. Consumers can depend on these watchdogs to maintain excellence in the industry.
Look to reviews on Google, Yelp, Carwise, and other industry platforms for relevant opinions on how the body shop is doing. Excellent reviews are a must, of course, but a few disgruntled one-star reviews aren’t a bad thing. These tell you two things: first, that the reviews haven’t been “farmed” or paid for. Second, that the reviewers are real people.
Remember what you read earlier, about autobody customers needing those services when they’ve just been in an accident? Sometimes, the body shop gets blamed for late delivery of parts or other issues that are beyond their control. Compare the bad review with the good reviews to see if “excellent communication” is mentioned. A lower review can be used to show that the reviews overall are legitimate and the shop is running well.
More than anything else, however, look to your friends, family and coworkers for recommendations of a good body shop. Their personal experience will not only help you feel confident in your repair, it can help build a relationship with the staff. This way, you will feel that your car is in good hands.
This article was created by Newark Autobody Collision and Glass, LLC in Newark, Ohio. All rights reserved. To reuse on your site, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission. Links and shares are welcome. For more like this, to schedule autobody repair, or to follow Newark Autobody Collision and Glass, visit their website, autobodyofnewark.com. We’ll make your car like new again!