There will come a time when the shiny new car you purchased starts looking dingier. Over the years, the paint on your car will start to wear down, and you might play around with the idea of trading in one set of tired wheels for a new car with more luster. Or maybe you wish to sell your car privately and think giving it a coat of paint will increase the resale value.
A coat of fresh paint will undoubtedly do wonders for your vehicle. However, is getting the paint redone worthwhile, or will you be shelling out more money than it is worth?
There are considerations, such as whether the repainting will be done by a professional, where you take it, and the quality of the paint that determines the average cost of repainting a vehicle. We are going to go over these factors and much more today, so if you’ve been deliberating, keep reading.
Paint Job Price Ranges
If you have been searching for the answer to “how much does it cost on average to repaint a car” and are coming up short, it is because there is no simple answer. You may find someone who is willing to do a repaint job for a couple hundred bucks, but selecting the cheapest route is never a good idea—especially when it comes to cars. Plus, depending on the make and model of the car, as well as the exterior condition, a simple paint job might cost you thousands. Dents, dings, and scratches are all factored into the price, after all.
According to, a price-tracking website, the less you pay to repaint a car, the more unhappy you will be with the results. For instance, a job that totals around $560 is going to be a lot less satisfying than a repaint job that costs between $1000-$3500. That said, a “showroom quality” repaint costs $2500 on average. Those fancy custom paint jobs, on the other hand, average around $4975.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Repainting a Car
Here are some of the factors that affect the final bill:
Repainting a Cadillac limousine is going to cost more than repainting a Mini Cooper. This is based on the fact that there is a lot more surface area to cover with the Cadillac than the Mini Cooper.
Looking to save a few bucks on the paint job? Then you should opt for the most common mainstream colors—shades of black, white, and gray. These paints cost a lot less than customized colors and detailing. But, if you really want that lime green or turquoise car, you will have to take it to a professional shop, where you will pay a premium for both the labor and the paint quality. Keep in mind that altering the color is also going to cost you more because door jambs and other places will have to be repainted as well.
Current Vehicle Condition
Never paint over problems. If you are looking to spruce up the exterior of your vehicle, you are going to need to pay for the repairs first. Otherwise, that expensive paint job is going to be ruined before you know it. For instance, painting over rust is not going to stop the rust from spreading. If there are dings and dents, those should be repaired before handing your vehicle over for repainting. In fact, new paint on old war wounds is just going to make them more visible—the exact opposite of what you want.
Paint Quality and Personal Preference
There are different levels of paint quality (we’ll explain below). The lower the quality, the less you pay. Any high-quality repaint job that combines bodywork is going to cost a lot more. Lastly, a multi-coat paint job and details, like racing stripes or custom graphics, will cost well above $5000.
Figuring Out The Right Course For You
Trying to decide what kind of paint job your vehicle needs? Take a look at the aforementioned factors and compare it to what you need.
First, you need to think about the four types of paint jobs: single-stage enamel, urethane paint, urethane sealer, high-quality paints and primers. These are usually referred to as Basic, Preferred, Premium, and Platinum, respectively.
Single-stage enamel paint jobs are best for older cars that need retouching. These are usually guaranteed for a year. Urethane paint is similar to a single-stage enamel paint, but it is much more resilient and comes with a 3-year warranty.
Premium and Platinum level services are pricier because the job is done in more than one stage. Multiple layers are used, making it a time-consuming task.
Body Shop vs. Dealership
If there is one thing we want to make very clear, it’s that you should NEVER repaint your car by yourself. Most people have neither the tools nor the knowledge to do it properly. If you mess up, it can cost you thousands of dollars just to fix the mistakes. So, that leaves you with two options: a body shop or a dealership. But here’s the catch—dealerships usually outsource painting jobs.
As you would with any other vehicle-related, shop around for some quotes. Do your research on who provides the best service for a competitive price. Pick the place with high ratings and a mid-range price.
Need Your Vehicle Repainted?
Hopefully, this article has helped you choose which side of the fence you are on. Getting your car repainted can be a worthwhile investment if you plan on hanging onto it for many more years or selling privately; getting it repainted to trade-in, though, is not as smart. Remember, having a car repainted is going to take time, and that new paint job is not going to solve other problems.
Looking to have your vehicle repainted? Give Elmer’s Auto Body a call or fill out the contact form. Our professional team is happy to consult with you about your needs. We are devoted to quality auto services, and no job is too big for us to tackle.