If you’re considering repainting your car, a quick online search will reveal a wide range of costs that can be confusing. However, unless you have a luxury car or are restoring a classic, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on a quality job.
If, like many Americans, you are keeping your vehicle up to the national average of 11.5 years or longer, repainting your car is one way to keep it in good shape. A few hours in a body shop can cover age, minor scrapes, and fading that occurs after years on the road.
How Much Does Repainting Your Car Cost?
New cars are expensive, whether you buy or lease them. If you’d prefer to refurbish your old car rather than making a new monthly payment, repainting your car may be worth it. The question is, how much of an investment in repainting do you want to make?
You can go for an economy job from a national chain that might cost $250-$400, or go to a reputable body shop and spend $1000-$5000. The answer often lies in how long you plan on keeping the car and on how valuable it is on the resale market. If you have a Chevy Cavalier from 2004, the resale value on the car might range from $800-$1800; while you might want to keep it looking nice a few more years, it doesn’t make sense to invest $5,000 in repainting your car. On the other hand, if you have a 2004 Lexus sedan with a resale value that exceeds $20,000, you might want to put more into the paint job.
Material Costs Raise the Price of a Paint Job
The difference in the pricing of car repainting is based on materials and labor. Car paint ranges from $30-$100 per gallon, but some paint used on high-end cars can cost more than that per quart; there is even specialized paint that costs more than $100 per gallon that would be used on a custom paint job that might exceed $20,000.
A good body shop will direct you toward the right paint for your car and needs.
The Impact of Labor Costs on the Price of your Paint Job
When repainting your car, body shops use different techniques that can impact the cost. For example, to repaint certain areas of the car, they can either remove adjacent parts or tape and cover them to prevent overspray. The extra costs involved in removing and then replacing parts will increase the cost of your job.
The same logic of “more time, more money,” applies when you change the color of the car. This means that every part on the exterior of your car, including door jambs and the trunk, must be carefully painted for total coverage, a time-consuming task. If you have a clear coat or special effects in your car finish, the labor costs will increase as it simply takes longer to complete the job.
The body shop you select will also impact the cost. A shop with costly overhead, whether from expensive rent in a big city or highly skilled technicians that demand more compensation, is forced to pass those expenses along to customers.
Choose a Quality Body Shop When Repainting Your Car
While the cost of repainting your car can vary, it is possible to get a job you will be satisfied with at a price you can afford. For best results, get estimates for repainting your car from multiple shops and make a selection based on where you will get the best quality for your money.