You come back home after a long trip only to discover your fender cracked. Perhaps you’ve already had a mechanic give you an estimate on how much it might cost to get the fender repaired. If not, how much does a car fender repair typically cost?
A car fender repair costs between $300–$6,000. Several factors can affect the cost of repairing a fender, including the severity of the damage, the car’s year, make, and model, and the mechanic’s rate card. In general, high-end and off-road vehicles are significantly more expensive to repair.
In this article, I’ll describe the factors that affect the cost of a car fender repair to help you figure out how much it’ll cost to get your car looking shiny and new again. Read on for helpful tips to help you get a good bargain and answers to some frequently asked questions.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair a Fender?
It can cost anywhere from $300 to over $6,000 to repair a fender. Generally, minor scratches or dents might only cost a few hundred dollars to fix, but severe damages can cost thousands of dollars. If the damage is bad enough, the entire fender might need to be replaced.
In general, though, it’s usually cheaper to repair a fender than to replace it. So if your car is in otherwise good condition and the fender only needs a small amount of work done, it may be more cost-effective to have it fixed.
But if the damage is more extensive, or if you’re not comfortable doing the repairs yourself, then it may be best to take it to a professional. Be prepared to pay a little bit more for high-quality work. Mechanics will generally charge between $47 and $215 an hour, depending on whether it’s a major or minor repair.
Here’s a demo of the typical car fender repair process:
Factors That Can Affect the Cost of a Car Fender Repair
Now that you have a better idea of how much it might cost you to get your fender repaired, let’s talk about some factors that affect the final price.
Here’s a rundown of the critical factors to consider when budgeting for a fender repair:
The Car’s Year, Make, and Model
Generally, cars that are newer or in higher demand are costlier to repair.
If your car is a classic or rare model, such as the 1960s-era Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet, then you might have to pay more for parts and labor.
Similarly, if it’s a luxury brand like Mercedes-Benz, the price of repairs also tends to be higher.
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The Extent of Fender Damage
If your fender has just a few scratches or scuffs, then it might cost you $100 to $200 to fix.
For minor accidents like small dents and scrapes, the mechanic may use air tools to remove the damage by inflating the metal back into shape. With this type of minor damage, only the paint may need touching up afterward.
Sometimes, there may be holes in parts of the damaged area that need to be welded before removing any ridges and smoothing things out with a grinder. Any body filler and primer required for repairs will add an extra expense to the total price.
If the area around the damage is rusty, you may incur a higher repair fee. Suppose the fender needs to be sanded down before removing the rust, or if any replacement parts like new brackets or supports are required. In that case, you may need to factor in another $100–300 for labor and materials.
Of course, if the fender is in such bad condition that it needs to be replaced altogether, then you’re probably looking at a much higher total cost.
Read: How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Windshield Without Insurance?
The Mechanic’s Rate Card
The hourly rate that mechanics charge for repairs varies widely. Some work on a basic, low-cost, flat fee, while others charge you by the job or even per hour. As such, it can be challenging to pin down what type of repair costs might apply to your situation.
You may need to do some research to get an idea of what you should be charged for this type of work.
For example, the mechanic is affiliated with a major car company like Honda. In that case, they might charge more than shops that don’t offer these types of factory-authorized services.
The Mechanic’s Location
If you live in a remote or rural area with fewer repair shops, your options will be limited. In that case, there might not be much room for negotiation when asking the mechanic for a better price.
On the other hand, if you’re in an area with plenty of mechanics competing for your business, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
On top of that, if your fender requires extensive or specialized work that has to be sent out to a body shop, then the mechanic might not have much control over the price. They’ll also need to factor in any costs for transporting your car and making arrangements with the other shop.
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How To Find the Best Deal on a Car Fender Repair?
Now that you know some of the factors that could affect how much it costs to get your fender repaired, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to get a quality repair at the lowest cost possible.
Here are 4 tips to help you find the best possible price when repairing your car fender:
Shop Around for Car Fender Repair
You should consider getting at least two different estimates from nearby garages or body shops to make sure you’re not paying more than necessary to get your fender repaired. Even if there are no other local options, you might be able to get an online estimate through services like RepairSmith.
Note: Before allowing the mechanic to do any work, ask them for a written estimate so you can compare it with their competitors’ prices and decide where to go from there. This will give you a clear idea of what labor and replacement parts will cost.
Get an Estimate for Multiple Repairs
If your fender isn’t too severely damaged, but other parts of the car require repair at the same time, then getting a quote for multiple repairs can help you save money. Virtually all mechanics will offer discounts when their customers ask them to do several jobs at once.
Besides, repairing the fender could expose other problems underneath it, so it’s essential to consider what else might need to be fixed at the same time.
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Check for Discounts
Mechanics often offer their best prices to customers referred by existing clients. Newer mechanics might also want to gain more experience and build up a clientele before they start asking for the total price.
You could ask your mechanic whether they offer discounts or reduced rates for first-time customers if it’s your first time in the shop.
Ask About a Warranty
Even if the damaged fender is just a cosmetic part, you should always ask about any warranties that might be available with the work being done to your car. If possible, choose a mechanic that offers work with at least a 12-month warranty to give you extra peace of mind regarding their quality of service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few commonly asked questions about fender damage and repairs.
Is Fender Damage Bad?
Fender damage is bad for a car. A damaged fender compromises the vehicle’s safety and performance. Besides, severe fender damage hurts a car’s resale value; hence, it’s best to repair such damage as soon as possible.
Therefore, you should get your fender repaired as soon as possible. If you establish that the cost of repairing your fender is too high, then it’s best to buy a replacement. This helps you get the car back to its normal state and minimizes safety risks while driving.
Tip: If you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to protect your fender from damage when working on your car, I recommend getting this Powerbuilt Plush Vinyl Fender Cover from Amazon.com. It protects the whole fender from minor scratches, making it a helpful addition to your auto repair kit.
Read: Why Your Brakes Are Grinding When Driving
What Causes Fender Damage?
Fender damage is usually caused by collisions with stationary or moving objects. These impacts are often the result of parking too close to an object or not setting the parking brake. A strong impact with another car might also cause fender damage.
Therefore, you should be driving safely. Also, be mindful of how you park your car and make sure to use the parking brake at all times.
How Long Does It Take To Replace a Fender?
A fender replacement usually takes between 3–6 hours to complete. The type of vehicle and the availability of a replacement may increase or decrease this duration. For example, it might take longer if the new part has to be ordered from a dealership or supplier.
In addition, the mechanic’s experience influences how long it takes to replace a fender. Therefore, you must find someone with experience to get a proper replacement part with the fit and finish to match.
- Car fender repair costs vary depending on several factors.
- Consider getting quotes for multiple repairs, asking for discounts, checking if the mechanic offers a warranty, and determining how long it’ll take to replace your fender.
- Be keen on safety while driving, and don’t forget to use the parking brake when necessary.
- If you have any more questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask your mechanic.