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How much do car body repairs cost?

You may have recently been in an accident, or your car body has seen better days; either way, body repairs are a cost that you don’t want to ignore. It can be challenging to determine what bodywork repair costs may be, and how much each body shop charges for the same service.

Here we will look at what bodywork repair you may need, what it could cost, as well as giving you some tips on how to source the best bodywork repair quote.

Types of car body damage repairs

From minor fixes to major repairs, qualified and experienced technicians can perform all kinds of repairs.

Some of the most common car body repairs are:

Top layer damage- clear-coat

Clear-coat scratches and scuffs, otherwise known as “paint transfer”, are caused by contact between body panels or objects and can be an eyesore. Fixing these minor blemishes is relatively inexpensive and often involves sanding down the affected area followed by polishing or painting with a matching colour.

Second layer damage – paint scratches and scuffs 

These are caused by more aggressive contact, and require a body shop to repair. Repainting the scratched area is usually the most cost-effective solution as it requires less labour than body filler repairs.

Third layer damage – deep paint scratches 

If the paintwork of your vehicle has been damaged to the extent that you can see exposed metal, it will require more work and effort to ensure that the repair blends seamlessly into the existing finish.

Dent repairs for bodywork and car panel

If body panels have been dented, repair costs will depend on the size and scale of the dent repair. Smaller dents can often be repaired using a technique known as paintless dent removal (PDR). If larger body panel sections are affected, such as car doors or bonnets, they may require replacement.

Rust damage repair

before car repair
after car repair

In the UK, with its temperamental weather and humidity, it is nearly inevitable that cars will eventually succumb to rusting. This can cause a car’s paintwork to develop bubbles under the surface, heavy corrosion around wheel arches and pitted or pocked chrome metal work – all of which detract from its clean appearance.

Accidental damage 

When we’re involved in a collision, the bodywork of our car sustains much of the damage. Even if you need to replace a panel on your vehicle, it’s essential that you locate an experienced paint sprayer who can precisely match your car’s original colour when carrying out the car body repair — otherwise you could end up with a car door that sticks out like a sore thumb!

Paint matching service

If your car is older, its paintwork may have been damaged and faded from a variety of factors. From sun exposure to regular washing or polishing, the colour of your car can be up to two or three shades lighter than it was when you first bought it from the showroom. If you go to any body repair shop, they are most likely able to offer you a respray service that perfectly matches your car’s paint colour.

Plastic and textured bumper repair

Car bumpers are designed to absorb the impact of collisions, making them one of the most vulnerable parts on a car. As they often share colours and designs with the rest of your vehicle, damage can be difficult to repair without professional assistance. To protect against more costly replacements and ensure that repairs are done correctly, it is essential for any serious bodywork issue to be handled by experts who specialise in modern plastic bumper materials.

Things to consider

Independent garage price differences

Not all body shops are created equal. Whilst most body repair shops offer similar services, their prices can differ massively. Independent garages tend to be quite a bit less expensive (40% in fact!) compared to franchised body repair centres and main dealers.

Estimated repair costs

In the UK, the cost for smart repairs can vary depending on the location and severity of damage. On average, prices can range from £150 to £300, but it’s always best to get a personalised quote from a reputable repair shop as prices may vary based on location and other factors.

Estimated full body typical repair cost

The cost of a full body repair can vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage and the make and model of the vehicle. On average, however, a full body repair can range from £500 to £2,000 in the UK. Once again, it’s always best to get a bespoke quote from a reputable repair shop after they have assessed the damage to your vehicle.

Estimated car dent repair costs

On average, prices can range from £50 to £150 for a single dent. However, if there are multiple dents or if the damage is more severe, the cost could be higher.

Deep paint scratch repair cost

When a scratch has penetrated the top layers of the clear coat and paintwork you can expect it to cost more to repair than a light surface scratch. Prices can range from £150 to £300 for a single scratch depending on the length, depth and location of the scratch.

Alloy wheel refurb cost

Machined wheel repairs start from around £60 and could cost up to £110 depending on the size of your alloy wheels. A full refurbishment job could cost up to £500.

It is important to remember that bodywork repair costs can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, including car make, model, age and location. Therefore it’s always best to get a personalised quote from your body repair shop.

Car body repair FAQ

How many garages should you call?

It can be helpful to call around multiple body repair garages in order to compare prices and services. We recommend that you call at least three body repair shops before making your final decision.

How long should your car be in for repair?

The time it will take to repair your car bodywork can vary significantly depending on the severity of the damage. In general, a smart repair should only take a few hours to complete, while more extensive body repairs could take up to several days or weeks. Be sure to ask your body repair shop for an estimated timeframe when you get a quote.

Will my car insurance company pay for car body repairs?

Some insurance policies do cover bodywork repairs, so it’s best to check with your insurance provider. If body repair costs are covered under your policy, you may need to take your car to an approved body shop in order for the repairs to be valid. This is a great way to save money on bodywork repair bills as well as get peace of mind that the repairs are being done properly.


Overall, bodywork repair costs can vary greatly depending on the make and model of your car, as well as the severity of damage. It’s important to research body shop prices before selecting one, as some body shops may be more expensive than others due to their location or services offered. Additionally, some car insurance policies may provide coverage for body repairs, so be sure to check with your provider if you have bodywork repair costs that need to be covered.

The key takeaway here is to gather some quotes and information from local repair shops and then proceed based on the information and prices they give you.

Call Southend Smart Repairs for your car body damage repairs

If you’re looking for first-class, affordable repairs in Essex, look no further than Southend Smart Repairs. We specialise in bodywork repairs, and our experienced team can help you with any body damage your car may have.

Give us a call today to get a free quote and find out more about how we can help you.

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