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Exterior Door Handle Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your exterior door handle replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your exterior door handle replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace an exterior door handle?

The average cost for an exterior door handle replacement is $100-$500. But remember that the exact repair costs will vary based on your car and your location. 
How long does it take to replace an exterior door handle? An experienced mechanic will generally take 1.5 hours to replace an exterior door handle, though this number can vary depending on the vehicle. 
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my exterior door handle replacement, and how much do those parts cost?

Your
owner’s manual
or vehicle repair guide will contain more detailed information, but here’s a general list of the parts you may require:
  • Door handle: A new exterior car door handle is the primary replacement part you’ll need. It should run you between $20 and $100.
  • Door handle gasket: The gasket or seal prevents water and debris from entering the interior. While this part may come with the new handle, you may need to buy it separately. It should cost between $5 and $20.
  • Mounting hardware: Mounting hardware includes any screws, clips, bolts, or fasteners you may need to install the new handle. These parts typically cost $5 to $20 for a set.
  • Trim piece: Some vehicles have trip pieces surrounding the handle. If your trim piece is damaged, you may need to replace it when you replace the handle. Trim pieces range from $10 to more than $50. 
  • Weatherstripping: Some cars may require weatherstripping or adhesive to ensure a secure and waterproof fit for the handle. If you need weatherstripping, it should cost between $5 and $20.
We recommend purchasing parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend trusted brands such as Dorman, ACDelco, and Genuine Parts Company (GPC). However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
When it comes to car door handle replacements, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vs aftermarket isn’t a big concern. If you want parts designed specifically for your car and with a solid warranty, OEM parts are probably the smartest move. If you’d rather pay a lower price, an aftermarket part is the way to go.
You can purchase an OEM door handle from your local dealership or authorized parts retailer. For aftermarket parts, local auto parts stores—like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone and NAPA Auto Parts—are a smart choice, but you can also visit online retailers like Amazon or RockAuto.

Where can I get my exterior door handle replaced?

Searching for a mechanic can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare replacement costs and hourly rates from more than 2,500 U.S. auto repair shops.
Jerry's GarageGuard™ allows you to compare fair price estimates using real-time hourly rates. You can use GarageGuard™ to budget for car repairs, learn whether you’ll have to pay diagnostic fees, and find the shop with the best customer reviews. 
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to view repair quotes for your area. 
154 Reviews
61 Auto Center
address
1226 Centre Ave, Reading, PA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$70
143 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Staten Island
address
635 Richmond Rd, Staten Island, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$69.95
146 Reviews
Byrider Louisville
address
6507 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
152 Reviews
Olympos Auto Service
address
400 Jericho Turnpike, Mount Vernon, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my exterior door handle?

These are the general steps a mechanic will follow to replace your exterior door handle:
  • Determine the type of door handle: Your mechanic will identify how the handle is attached to the door, whether it contains a lock cylinder, and whether it can be removed from the exterior. 
  • Remove the fasteners: The mechanic will locate the mounting fasteners and remove them. This may involve removing the interior door panel to access the hardware, depending on the car.
  • Remove the old handle: Once the fasteners are removed, the technician can pull the old handle out of the door. 
  • Replace the lock cylinder (if applicable): If your door handles have lock cylinders, your mechanic will have to remove the cylinder from the old handle and install it in the new one. Alternatively, you may order a new door handle custom-keyed to match your key.
  • Install the new door handle: The mechanic will install the rubber gaskets and then the new door handle. Then, they will replace the mounting fasteners.

What happens if I don’t replace my exterior door handle?

If you don’t replace a bad exterior door handle, you’ll likely face the following issues:
  • Difficulty opening and closing the door: If you have a faulty door handle and choose not to replace it, you’ll likely have trouble opening or closing the door.
  • Safety and security risks: A malfunctioning door handle can lead to increased risks of theft or vandalism and result in unsafe situations in an emergency.
  • Inconvenience: If your door handle is bad, you may struggle to enter or leave your vehicle.
  • Damage to other components: A faulty door handle can lead to damage to other components, like the door latch, rods, or linkages, due to increased stress on these parts. 

What is an exterior door handle?

An exterior door handle is what allows you to open and close your vehicle from the outside. It is typically a lever that, when pulled, releases the door’s latch and allows you to access the car’s cabin. Exterior car door handles are usually made of plastic or metal and may have a textured surface or painted finish.

When should I replace the exterior door handle on my car?

You should replace your exterior car door handle if you notice any of the following symptoms:
  • The door handle is loose.:One of the first signs of a bad exterior door handle is a loose handle. If the handle is noticeably loose when you pull it, or it requires more force than normal to open the door, you may need a replacement.
  • The door won’t open: A broken door handle may prevent you from opening the door altogether if the rods or linkages are unable to engage. 
  • The door won’t shut or won’t stay shut: If the door handle or linkage fails, it can prevent the door latch from closing properly. If you have to slam your door to close it, you may need a handle replacement. 

How often should I replace my exterior door handle?

Outside door handles typically don’t have a set replacement schedule, but they are wear-and-tear items, so they will deteriorate over time. You should replace your exterior door handle whenever it becomes loose, won’t open, or won’t close. 

Can I replace my exterior door handle myself?

A door handle repair job can make a solid DIY project if you have the right tools and know-how. If you plan to replace the door handle yourself, you should invest in a quality repair manual for your car. But if you’re inexperienced working on cars or don’t have access to the proper tools, you’re probably better off leaving the replacement to a pro. 

FAQs

Generally, car door handles are not interchangeable. Different manufacturers design and produce handles for their specific vehicle models. It’s important to find a door handle that properly fits your car.
Car insurance generally will not cover a broken door handle since it’s a wear-and-tear part that deteriorates over time. That said, if you have
comprehensive coverage
or
collision insurance
, and your door handle was damaged as a result of a covered incident, your insurance may pay for a replacement.
A locksmith can typically replace a car door handle. Most locksmiths specialize in locks and security systems, including vehicle locks. If you choose to hire a locksmith to replace your door handle as opposed to a mechanic, it’s important to find one that has experience working with automotive locks.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.