So I took my Mom’s car to get repair estimates at 3 different body shops. All the quotes were in the region of $1,300 to $1,800, depending on whether I wanted to get a separate fender ding fixed. Here’s what I learned.
The process is expensive mostly due to the labor. The cost of materials and supplies is about 25% of each quote. The labor is high since the doors have to be stripped of their trim, the panels repaired and then repainted. Painting is generally estimated to take 25% of the labor, with total labor all quoted in the 25 to 28 hour range at $40 to $42 per hour.
The label in the driver’s door jam contains the car’s paint code. From this a body shop can use it to look up a recipe for the paint mix. Then the technicians can tint the paint to match a specific car to account for any wear and fade that’s already taken place, an art form in itself.
The idea is to match the whole side of the car, though in this case it would require painting more than just the doors. Once the car is painted and clear coat is applied, the car is generally baked at around 150 degrees (F) to finish the job.
This should not damage the car but it does typically require the car to be out of service for several days (all quotes were 5 to 7 days) due to the amount of time the whole repair process takes.