How Much Does it Cost to Repaint a Car?

How Much to Repaint a Car

The finish of your vehicle is one of the first things people notice when you drive up. If you have an older car, it has seen many types of weather that may have created some wear and tear on the paint. Just because you have an older car or have sustained paint damage does not mean it has to look that way.

So how much does it cost to repaint a car? Let’s take a deeper look into the reasons why and the cost factors.

Reasons to Repaint Your Car

There are several reasons why you should repaint your car.

Environmental Damage

Depending on where you live, your vehicle could sustain surface damage from salt and sand on the roads during the winter months, causing decay and rust. Some locations with consistent heat and UV rays will show sun damage on areas of the paint. Hail damage can cause pits that will crack the surface and encourage rust to form over time.

Resale Value

If you are looking to trade in your vehicle or sell it privately, having a new paint job will bring you a higher resale value. Image is everything, especially when it has some miles on it. First impressions are everything, and a shiny new paint job will catch your buyer’s eye and could take their focus away from the age of your vehicle.

Repairing Accident Damage

Cars that have been in an accident will often need panels replaced or pieces fixed. It can be hard to match the paint if your vehicle is older and the color has faded somewhat. To make your car look seamless and not like it was just in the repair shop, having a complete repainting can bring it back to life.

Protect Your Vehicle

If you love your car and want to drive it for many more years, repainting it can help protect the exterior and extend its life. A complete repainting is a terrific way to seal the surface of your vehicle and keep it looking sharp even years after you bought it.

Factors That Determine the Cost

Many factors will help determine the total cost of repainting your vehicle.

Current Surface Damage

Repainting a car will not get rid of previous damage, unfortunately. Do not paint over scratches, dents, holes, or rust since the paint will not keep further damage from happening. Before painting can occur, the surface will need bodywork repairs to ensure that you will not face any problems later.

Size of Your Vehicle

The size of your vehicle will impact the overall cost, depending on the supplies needed to repaint it. As with any car, the more paint you use, the higher the price will be.

Total Time it Takes

Time is an essential factor in the total cost of repainting a car. Labor costs can run you anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the type of car and the complexity of the painting job. Disassembling fenders, mirrors, and other items are time-consuming but necessary when repainting a vehicle.

Quality of Paint, Features, and Finishings

If you are on a budget and still want to repaint your car, it is possible. Different quality paints will each carry separate price tags. By spending more money, you will have better paint products for your vehicle.

Racing stripes or other unique touches to the paint will bump up your total bill quickly. You may want to reconsider fancy decals or special finishes if you’re going to keep your costs low. Sealants and coatings will also increase your total expenses on top of painting supplies.

Total Cost to Repaint a Car

The price range for repainting a car is significant when you consider the factors affecting the total cost.

For a general guideline to repaint a car, you can expect:

  • $400 to $1,200 for a simple low-quality respray car repainting
  • $1,250 to $2,200 for an average mid-quality repainting job
  • $2,300 to upwards of $9,000 for a high-quality painting service

Should You DIY or Use a Body Shop Service?

Many car owners may think they can repaint their car themselves as a weekend DIY project. Unfortunately, most of the time, these tasks will not give the same results as a body shop can and will leave you with a paint job that looks unprofessional.

Granted, you will not spend as much money by completing the job yourself, but it will require the use of a garage or shop away from dust or other particles. Working knowledge of repairing, sanding, and finishing any body damage, as well as the time it takes to complete the job, can be more than you anticipate.

Many hobby mechanics will not own all of the necessary tools and supplies needed to complete a repainting, and it is more cost-effective to have it done correctly at a body shop. You can save yourself stress and hassle by letting a professional handle the job.

You cannot repaint a car over a weekend. There are several steps in the process, and each step will require finishing time, such as product drying before reassembling the vehicle. You can expect to have the car out of commission for approximately one week, depending on the complexity of the paint job.

The Takeaway

If you are considering repainting your car, elements such as current body damage and the quality of paint you use will significantly impact the total cost. With any painting job, the more money you put into the process, the better result you will get in the end.

The reason for repainting your vehicle can help you determine if you want to spend the bare minimum on a quick respray or if you want it to look brand new again to enjoy for years. Repainting a car is an investment, so you want to explore all of the options available before deciding which route will suit your vehicle and budget best.

Brett Gordon

The engine behind editing at DigMyRide and the brains behind its build. During the day, Brett is a thirty-something dude from SoCal climbing the corporate ladder, but by night, he spends his time contributing to the online world of automotive tech & trends.