Should You Repair Cosmetic Damage on Your Car?

Find out if you're getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
No long forms · No spam · No fees
Why you can trust Jerry
Jerry partners with some of the companies we write about. However, our content is written and reviewed by an independent team of editors and licensed insurance agents, and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn more baout how we make money, review our editorial standards, reference out data methodology, or view a list of our partners
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.
If you want a car insurance policy that covers what you need, the friendly experts at Jerry can help you find it. Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. They even help cancel your old policy!

Compare Car Insurance for Your Car

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free