Car Body Repair Quotes: Estimates and How to Shop

Insurance may cover some car repairs, but the overall repair costs after an accident can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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Your car repair costs may be less than $100 for a minor scratch—or $7,500 or more after a major car accident. It depends on your car, the extent of the damage, and where you go for the repairs.
  • Your
    car insurance
    (or the other driver’s) may cover your vehicle damages after an accident, but it’s still a good idea to check quotes from body shops if you’d need to pay a deductible.
  • To get an auto body repair estimate after a car accident, research reputable auto body repair shops in your area and make an appointment to evaluate the extent of the damage.
  • Compare quotes from at least three reputable auto body shops and check online reviews before committing to a repair facility.

Average car body repair costs 

Collision repair costs only make up a small fraction of the cost of a car accident, but they tend to average out to around $7,500 per incident with non-disabling injuries. 
Your vehicle repair cost will vary depending on what needs repairing and the specific repair facility you choose.
Here are approximate cost ranges for common repair services after an accident:
Repair
Average cost
Description
$300 to $1,500+
This includes the cost to disassemble and reassemble the bumper and any special technology your bumper includes, like a sensor.
$75 to $1,000+
Car door damage can range from a small dent or scratch—which you may want to fix yourself—to the entire door needing a replacement.
$250 to $1,000+
Small cracks can be fixed, but large cracks will require an entire replacement. 
$500 to $2,500+
This depends on the quality of paint your car requires and how much of the car’s surface needs to be repainted.
Don’t forget to factor in the
cost of towing to your collision center
and any mechanical repairs if your car is badly damaged.

How to estimate car body repair quotes

Body repair quotes can vary widely depending on the severity of the damage and the type of car you drive. 
Your repairs will likely be more expensive if:
  • Your car is new or a luxury vehicle
  • Your car needs expensive or hard-to-get parts
  • The damage is severe
  • Your local area has high labor costs
  • You’re going through a dealership instead of a repair shop

Getting a car body repair quote from a repair shop

So, you got into a collision with another driver. Here’s what to do to get the repair process started:
  • File a car insurance claim. The insurance will determine if the other driver is responsible for paying for your auto body repair.
  • Check if your car insurance company has a preferred shop that you should visit.
  • If you have a choice, request quotes from at least three to five auto body shops to figure out the best rate for the best work.
  • Make an appointment with each shop you’re considering to get an accurate estimate. 
The estimate process should take about 30 minutes, and you’ll receive a written quote detailing the necessary bodywork. Be sure they include a breakdown of all the repairs and the costs of parts and labor.

Choosing a reliable auto body shop

You need to consider the reliability and expertise of the car repair shop when making your final decision. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Customer satisfaction and certifications: Use sites like
    SRCS
    to verify a shop’s certifications and confirm that they are up-to-date with equipment, training, and manufacturer specialties. Check
    Carwise
    to verify the shop’s standards based on online reviews from real customers.
  • Logistics: Ask about the base price for labor, how long the repair process will take, whether they offer a warranty for their work, and if you will get a free rental while your vehicle is in the shop.
  • Estimates: Estimates are usually free and take about 30 minutes. You may be able to book your appointments online. Remember to compare three estimates (if possible) before committing to a repair facility.

Some repairs may be covered by car insurance

Your
insurance might cover repairs
depending on your coverage and the circumstances. 
  • Collision insurance
    : This will cover your car’s repairs if it was damaged in a collision with another object or vehicle or in a single-car rollover, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive insurance
    : This will cover your car’s repairs if it was damaged by a non-collision event like severe weather, car theft, or a fallen tree branch.
  • Liability insurance
    : If another driver caused an accident that damaged your car, you would go through their insurance company to cover the damages.
If you proceed to
file a claim
, ask your insurer if they have a preferred or approved body shop. You’ll have much less paperwork to deal with and the repairs will likely be handled faster if you go to your insurance company’s recommendation.

When it’s not worth filing an insurance claim

In some cases, you should get a repair estimate first to see if it’s worth filing an insurance claim. For instance, if your collision deductible is $1,000 and your damages are only estimated at $750, then you might be better off
not making a car insurance claim
.
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