Should You Repair Cosmetic Damage on Your Car?

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When a car is damaged, people usually think about making repairs as soon as possible. However, if the damage isn’t severe, you might be considering whether it’s worth the fix.
Cosmetic damage can be annoying to repair, but oftentimes it feels necessary to keep a car looking good and help maintain its integrity. According to Motor Biscuit, though, there may be times when repairing your car’s cosmetic damage might cost more than it’s worth.
Close-up of dent near gas tank lid on a silver car
You’ve accidentally made a minor dent in your car, is it worth it to fix it?

What is cosmetic damage?

Cosmetic damage is damage to your car that doesn’t necessarily impact the car’s integrity or ability to drive. This could include paint scratches, dents, and other small imperfections.
Car insurance may only cover certain kinds of cosmetic repair, or might not cover any, and the repair costs can range from under $100 to over $1,500.

Should you repair cosmetic damage?

Whether cosmetic damage is worth repairing largely depends on what the specific damage is.
According to Bumper Buddies, small dents are usually on the lower end of repairs, so it could be worth repairing, even if the damage is minimal. Deeper dents, though, might require replacing a panel, which would increase the cost of repair quite a bit. If the dent is large enough, the damage may have compromised your car’s integrity, so it’s at least worth getting the repair appraised.
A scratch on the paint can be expensive too, depending on its depth and length. If your car is a bit older, the cost of the repair might be more than what you want to put into the car at that point. However, unlike dents, paint scratches can allow rust to develop. If your car starts to rust, that could compromise the strength of the metal, weakening its ability to protect you in an accident.  
These types of scrapes and dents also impact the value of your vehicle, which is important if you're thinking of selling it at some point. Though waiting on repairs until you’re about to sell may sound efficient, those repairs can increase in price if the damage gets worse over time. Getting repairs done as soon as possible will help ensure that you’re not paying more than you need to fix your car.
Despite older cars being lower in value on average, that won’t necessarily translate to inexpensive repairs. Repair cost factors in the cost of labor and parts, both of which aren’t likely to decrease with the value of your car, so be aware of that when looking to make repairs.

Does my car insurance policy cover cosmetic damage?

Not all car insurance policies will cover cosmetic repairs, so it’s important to check with them. If you have coverage, that may influence whether the cost of the repairs is worth it.
If you see the repair costs as outweighing the value of the car and are aware of the risks of keeping the damage, then it might not be worth repairing.
However, if you plan on driving the car for years to come or selling it soon, you may want to invest in the fixes, both to improve the look of the car and to avoid exacerbating the damage further.
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