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Headlight Bulb Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your headlight bulb replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your headlight bulb 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 a headlight bulb?

The average cost for a headlight bulb replacement is about $15-$100 The actual cost for your headlight bulb replacement will depend on the type of vehicle you drive.
How long does it take to replace a headlight bulb? It usually takes just around .50-1 hour for a certified mechanic to replace a headlight bulb. Your mechanic will likely inspect your headlights to confirm a new bulb is needed, and if so, follow through with a replacement.
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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 headlight bulb replacement and how much do those parts cost?

Here are some of the replacement parts you may need if your headlight bulb isn’t working. Remember to check your owner’s manual for particular part specs you’ll need to look for.
  1. Headlight bulb: The headlight bulb is the main part you’ll need for this replacement. Depending on the type of headlight bulb your vehicle uses, costs could range anywhere from just $10 to more than $100 per bulb. Recommended brands are Philips, Sylvania, and Wagner.
  2. Headlight socket/connector: If your headlight socket or connector also needs replacing, you may spend anywhere from an additional $10 to $100. We recommend brands like Dorman, ACDelco, and Standard Motor Products.
  3. Headlight housing: Replacing your headlight housing is rarely necessary unless it’s damaged. If you need new housing, it usually costs a few hundred dollars. We recommend brands like TYC, Depo, and AnzoUSA.
You can buy headlight bulb parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Generally, it’s best to stick to OEM parts when replacing a headlight bulb—especially when it comes to high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs and LED bulbs. This will ensure your new headlight bulbs have the proper fit and level of brightness. 
You can find plenty of options for replacement headlight bulbs from auto parts stores like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone and NAPA Auto parts—but beware of LED headlight conversion kits because the majority of them don’t meet legally required standards put in place by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto are also convenient options for purchasing parts.

Where can I get my headlight bulb replaced?

Finding a trustworthy mechanic to replace your headlight bulb just got a lot easier— Jerry's
GarageGuard™
helps you compare costs from more than 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US. 
With Jerry's GarageGuard™, you’ll get access to real hourly rates from local shops, see diagnostic fees (and whether they’re included in your service), and read reviews from previous customers.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
129 Reviews
Accurate Smog & Auto Repair
address
7060 Schirra Ct #101, Bakersfield, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$140
166 Reviews
H.A.D. Automotive
address
7080 Hazard Ave ste f, Huntington, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$0
140 Reviews
Zipin Out Auto Service
address
38472 Cedar Blvd,, Newark, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$140
187 Reviews
Midas Auto Experts - Woodbridge
address
495 US-9, Woodbridge Township, NJ
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$49.99
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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 headlight bulb?

Changing a headlight bulb is usually a pretty quick job for a mechanic, but some car headlights can be trickier to work with than others. Here are the general steps a mechanic will take to replace a bad car headlight bulb:
  1. Preparation: Your mechanic will assess your headlights and look for any other potential problems, like battery issues or corrosion.
  2. Access the headlight housing: This process will vary somewhat depending on the vehicle but primarily consists of removing the socket from behind the headlight housing.
  3. Remove the faulty headlight bulb: The mechanic will remove the burned-out bulb from the socket.
  4. Install the new headlight bulb: After successfully removing the bulb, the mechanic will reinstall a new one and reinsert the socket into the headlight housing.
  5. Test the new bulb(s): Once all new headlight bulbs are in place, the mechanic will make sure both your headlights work properly before returning your vehicle to you.

What happens if I don’t replace my headlight bulb?

If one of your headlight bulbs isn’t working and you don’t replace it, you risk getting costly traffic tickets from law enforcement. More importantly, driving without properly functioning headlights will significantly reduce your visibility during evenings or inclement weather, which could put you and others at risk.
If your headlight bulb has gone out, you’ll want to replace it as soon as possible.

What is a headlight bulb?

A vehicle’s headlight bulbs illuminate the road in front of you for better visibility and safer driving. 
Driving with a burned-out headlight bulb puts you at greater risk of getting into an accident or receiving a traffic ticket.

When should I replace the headlight bulb on my car?

It’s usually pretty clear when it’s time to replace a headlight bulb. Here are the main signs you’ll notice:
  1. Headlight won’t turn on at all: If your headlight bulb is no longer turning on, and its connections don’t appear to have any problems, it’s time to replace it as soon as possible.
  2. Dimming or flashing headlight: If your headlight bulb appears to be dimming or functioning erratically, it might be nearing the end of its life—especially if only one bulb is affected. That said, these issues could also be symptoms of other problems, like electrical wiring issues, corrosion, or a dying battery—so you may want to do some troubleshooting before deciding to replace your headlight bulb. 
  3. Visible damage: If the front end of your vehicle recently took some damage, you might need to replace one or both headlights’ bulbs.

How often should a headlight bulb be replaced?

It depends on the type of bulb: Halogen headlight bulbs are usually the least expensive bulb type, but they also have the shortest lifespan. HID headlight bulbs, including xenon bulbs, and LED headlight bulbs last longer but are significantly more expensive. 
Here are the common lifespans of different types of headlight bulbs:
  • Halogen headlight bulbs: 500 to 2,000 hours of use
  • HID headlight bulbs: 2,000 to 3,000 hours of use
  • LED headlight bulbs: 10,000 hours of use or more
Depending on how heavily you use your vehicle’s headlights or headlamps, bulb lifespans can commonly shake out to somewhere between 5 and 10 years. 
Sometimes, headlight bulbs may fail prematurely due to corrosion from excess moisture, wiring problems, or physical damage. But when one headlight bulb burns out, its pair often doesn’t have much time left—so it’s usually a good idea to replace them both at once.

Can I replace my headlight bulb myself?

Replacing a headlight bulb is one of the easiest vehicle repairs drivers can make on their own—and it can often save money by eliminating the labor cost you’d have to pay at a repair shop. 
That said, replacement will involve working with the vehicles’ electrical components so you should disconnect your battery before getting started. Refer to your owner’s manual or a trusted mechanic for the bulb specifications you’ll need.

FAQs

Replacing a bad headlight bulb is usually pretty inexpensive, but prices vary widely depending on what type(s) of headlight bulbs your vehicle uses. While you might be able to find a halogen headlight bulb for $10 to $20, HID bulbs and LED light bulbs can cost over $100 each.
Labor costs for a headlight bulb replacement can vary significantly depending on your location and automotive repair shop of choice but can commonly fall between $40 and $60.
If your headlight bulb has burned out but the rest of your headlight housing and other bulbs it uses are fine, there’s usually no need for an entire headlight assembly replacement. You can stick to replacing only the faulty headlight bulb.

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.