From Dents to Fender Benders: How Much Will Repairs Cost?

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From Dents to Fender Benders: How Much Will Repairs Cost?

repairs cost

In case you don’t know what a car fender actually is or where it is on a car, a fender is the piece of curved bodywork above the tire. Generally speaking, a fender bender is a minor car collision that happens at low speed, often causing damage to the fender. The term fender bender applies to other crashes that result in minor damage to other parts of a car, like dents in the doors and taking out taillights. The drivers of both vehicles are more likely to be scared and worried than injured. You might be wondering how much these types of repairs cost.

From Dents to Fender Benders: How Much Will Repairs Cost?

Fixing a Dent

You could try the DIY method which is to heat up the dent using a hairdryer or a heat gun and then freeze it with compressed air. The heated panel will shrink and pull the dent out. This works on shallow plastic body part dents, but not on metal body parts.

Traditionally, auto-body shops would remove the bodywork and panel beat the dent out. Then they would sand and paint the panel. In those days car bodies were stronger and weren’t designed to crumple to absorb impact. These days it is quicker and cheaper for the auto-body shop to simply replace the part of the car that has a dent and pass on the cost. That said, fixing dents is best left to the professionals and not DIY dent repair quick fixes.

Auto-body Cost Drivers

Labor can cost between $75 and $150 per hour, depending on the skill set required to fix more complex damage. The more damage, the longer it will take to fix, which means more labor hours. Luxury cars have more specialized finishes that need to be matched with paint from the carmakers. Luxury car bumpers come with sophisticated parts such as parking sensors, crash sensors, and headlight wipers. Auto body repair teams will have to disconnect and reinstall or replace all of these features. These too add to the labor bill and the bill for parts.

Quite often damaged door panels, fenders and bumpers are simply replaced with new parts, with little choice but to procure them from the carmaker for a premium. Furthermore, even less severe collisions can cause unseen damage to wheels and axles which a repair technician will need to address. This can add to the costs of what at face value was seemingly a small job.

Estimated Costs

The cost of fixing a dent will depend on the extent of the damage, the time it will take to fix it, and the car you drive. However, luxury cars will be more expensive to fix. Here are some common problems and estimates on how much car accident repairs will cost.

Bumper Damage

Expect to pay between $400 to $1,500.

Modern bumpers are made from lightweight materials to aid aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. They are safer for pedestrians and are impact absorbent for driver safety. If they have sensors, intake grills, or headlight wipers, they become more time-consuming to remove and put back on. This results in an increase in labor costs. The type and cost of paint will also have an influence on the total price.

Scratches and Paint Chips

Expect to pay between $50 to $1,500.

Special auto-paint like pearl or metallic paints need a fair amount of matching and blending in work. The cost will also depend on the depth of the scratch or chip. Hairline scratches could disappear quickly by using alcohol and a paint pen. Deeper and longer scratches and chips will require professional refinishing.

Door/Fender Dents and Dings

Expect to pay between $50 to $150.

If the paint isn’t missing or, if there aren’t any cracks, Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) can keep costs down. It is then a case of pushing the dent out from the back of the body part.

Wheel and Hubcap Damage

In a fender bender, the tires and wheels should be okay. However, there is a chance the car will need wheel realignment and you will need to replace the hubcap. The cost of these will vary depending on if the car was originally fitted with branded hubcaps by the maker or if generic hubcaps were added later. Call the dealer for the cost of a branded replacement hubcap and then shop around for a generic one. Of course, if you go the generic route, you will need to buy four new hubcaps for the sake of uniformity. You can purchase generic hubcaps from an auto-parts store. Most generic hubcaps clip on. Be sure to try one before you leave the parking to ensure that your wheel can accommodate it.


Even if the crash wasn’t your fault you will still need to pay a deductible if claiming the cost of the repairs from your insurance company. The average deductible is in the vicinity of $500 but can reach up to more than $1,000, depending on the age of the driver.

Additional Reading: Does car insurance cover scratches and dents?

Great Plains Auto Body Repair Shops in Omaha & Council Bluffs | Best Auto Body Shops Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA

At Great Plains Auto Body shop Omaha and Council Bluffs, we’re committed to giving you an unmatched level of service. As a company that’s been family-owned and operated for more than 26 years, we’re dedicated to treating our customers as we would treat members of our own family. We’ll keep you informed throughout the entire repair process and make sure you’re satisfied when the job is complete. From estimating and detailing to collision repair and paint services, our ASE-certified mechanics and technicians make sure the job is done right and on time.