How Much Does Auto Body Cost?

Cost Factors – Amount and Type of Damage

A stack of coins in front of a wall clock

Regardless of all other costs associated with auto body repair, the big cost will be dependent on the amount and type of damage your vehicle has sustained. In order for an insurance company to consider a vehicle totaled, the repair cost estimate must exceed 70%, but up to 100% of the vehicle’s pre-repair value. Other instances, and particularly on European vehicles such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the cost of repair may seem overpriced at first glance.

You can and should research different auto body shops and compare estimates. How many you choose to compare is up to you and will likely depend on the value you put on your time (see below). Of course if you do not have insurance the type and amount of damage is by far the biggest cost (for you) associated with auto body repair.

Unanticipated Costs of a Collision

A car accident is always an inconvenience. There are legalities, injuries, repairs, possible litigation, stress, and of course, frazzled nerves. Attempting to navigate through what might seem like a maze of issues presents a real frustration whether you are the at-fault or not-at-fault party in the accident. One thing to note is that not all costs are monetary, some being purely intangible, but very significant factors to the overall cost of auto body work.

This article can serve as a starting point in your journey to understanding the true cost of auto body repair, covering many of the most common cost points.

Time Cost

Everyone’s time is valuable, and time can be one of the biggest expenses involved with auto body repair. The average human has less than 700,000 hours on this planet. Don’t waste it!

There are a lot of time factors to take note of when taking your car into a body shop. First you will need to get an auto repair estimate, make sure you get this done at a trustworthy auto body shop. Depending on how many estimates you get, the estimate process is a relatively quick compared to waiting to get the auto body repairs done. Running alongside the cost of your time is the level of happiness you can maintain throughout the entire process, this is why it’s important to keep a good attitude.

Please consider us in your auto repair estimate process. Click here to contact us.

Insurance Deductible

This is one key differentiating factor if you are the at-fault party, because you will be required to pay the auto insurance deductible out-of-pocket. Since this may present budgeting issues for you, as the at-fault party, some consideration for keeping a reserve in savings should be given. The average deductible for American drivers is $500, but some weight has been given to the benefits of raising your insurance deductible to $1,000 for long-term savings.

Auto Parts

Generally speaking, there are two types of replacement parts for any vehicle that needs auto body repair: original-equipment manufacturer auto parts (OEM), and aftermarket parts. More often than not, OEM parts will cost more than aftermarket parts, but those parts are the parts specified by the manufacturer and supplied with the vehicle when it was brand new. Aftermarket auto parts tend to vary widely in quality and expense, but can be preferred over OEM parts due to their abundance.

Rental Vehicle

If you are an at-fault party with liability-only insurance coverage, you will have to consider the cost of a rental vehicle while yours is in the shop. For obvious reasons, this price can vary based on many factors, but it is a cost consideration. If the car collision leading to your need for auto body repair was not your fault, you should have no need to worry about the cost of a rental, as the at-fault insurer will cover your rental expenses.


Many automobile owners view their vehicles as an extension of themselves, oftentimes to at least the degree of being representative of their freedom. While some may argue that the emotional impact of an auto collision is negligible compared to the monetary impact, most psychologists would give a different diagnosis. For example, stress can be a result from emotions experienced in an auto collision. Stress has many side effects, such as getting poor sleep.

With such a high degree of impact stemming from such an unexpected and consuming force, it is no wonder that the emotional impact of procuring auto collision repair is high, even though it is often overlooked.

Higher Insurance Rate

Insurance rates are influenced by numerous factors, one big one being your record of being at-fault in auto accidents. Being an at-fault party to an auto accident will almost surely raise your insurance premium. A small jump per month can equal a much larger sum of money over the period of time that your insurance is higher due to the collision.

At Collision Specialists, we do our best to help you through the entire auto body repair process as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Use the quick links below to view details on our popular services: