Owning a used car can come with many responsibilities if you want to keep it running and in good condition. After all, the more miles on your vehicle, the more likely it will be to develop issues. And when this happens, you will always have to decide whether or not it is worth fixing. Knowing the cost of these fixes can help you determine if it will be a good investment or if it is best to sell the car and buy a newer one.
Most of the time, these decisions will have to be made when they pertain to the car’s performance. Issues with things like the transmission, head gasket, and engine block can be more expensive than it would be to simply purchase a different car. However, scratches and dents can also decrease your enjoyment of the vehicle. Knowing whether it is worth it to fix these blemishes in your vehicle’s finish can help you make the right choice.
How to Determine If You Should Fix Dents and Scrapes
As your car ages, it will likely develop cosmetic issues like scratches, dings and dents. These things can result from debris flying up from the road or damage from parking lots. When they happen, they may make you feel less pride in your vehicle and make you less excited about driving the car. If you are simply using the vehicle for transportation, you may not mind having some light cosmetic damage. Being able to weigh the cost and benefits of fixing these issues can help you decide if it is worth it.
Can it Be Fixed at Home?
One of the first things you should consider when deciding if you should fix cosmetic damage is whether or not you can fix it yourself. If a scratch is very light, you may be able to buff it out with car polish and a microfiber cloth. If it is slightly deeper, you may be able to find a touch-up paint kit from your vehicle’s manufacturer. These touch-up paints will be perfectly matched to your car’s original paint and can be applied using a small brush provided with the kit.
For smaller dents, you may be able to fix them yourself. You can purchase a dent puller, a tool with a strong suction cup on one end and a handle on the other. If the dent is small enough, you can pull it out and straighten the panel. This, combined with some touch-ups on the paint, can get your car back to normal without spending much money at all.
What Will it Cost?
If the damage is too extensive to fix yourself, you may want to find out what it will cost to have it repaired by a professional. The issue with this is that the cost to take your car to an auto body shop can vary widely from shop to shop. It is difficult to pin down exactly how much a repair is going to cost because each cosmetic repair is different depending on the severity of the damage and how much reshaping is needed.
Most dents will cost somewhere between $50 and $2,000 to fix at a typical auto body shop. If you can fix the dent without any painting, sanding, or filling, it will usually cost between $50 and $125. If fixing a dent exceeds $1,000, it may be cheaper to replace the entire panel. If the car is heavily scratched or has many scratches, a new paint job will usually cost between $500 and $2,500.
Will it Increase the Car’s Value?
The main thing you should think about when deciding to fix dents and scrapes on an older car is whether it is going to increase its value. Doing a cost and benefit analysis will help you determine if it will be worth paying for or if it is a better idea to leave it as-is. If the car is old enough that you are most likely the last owner and you don’t mind driving a car with cosmetic damage, it will almost always be more economical to leave the damage unrepaired.
If, however, you plan on selling your vehicle when you are done with it, getting the repairs done might be worth the money. The best way to determine this is to get a quote from a few different auto body shops. Then, compare these quotes with the Kelley Blue Book value of the car. If the cost of repairs is close to the projected value of the entire vehicle, it may be best to try to sell the vehicle with the damage and get what you can for it. Being informed about the cost of repairs and the value of the car can help you make this decision.
Protect Your Car’s Exterior With an Extended Warranty
Protecting the exterior of your vehicle is just as important as protecting what is under the hood. If you want to make sure that your car stays in good condition, an extended warranty can help. Getting the right coverage for your vehicle can ensure that you stay happy with the way your car looks and that you can stay excited about it for years to come. On top of that, you can feel confident that you will be covered if anything goes wrong with the powertrain, brakes, or any other component that keeps your vehicle running safely. Explore our extended warranty provider reviews and buying guide to find out which extended warranty will work best for you and your vehicle.