When to use this tool

This tool is designed to allow anyone to estimate repair costs for minor collision repairs including body work and paint work. When used accurately it gives a good approximation of what a bodyshop would charge to repair the damages indicated. However, it does not take into account damages that may have occurred under the visible panels on your vehicle. Structural damages can significantly increase the cost of the estimate and this tool does not take into account those possibilities. This tool is only designed to estimate "cosmetic damages", those that require fillers and paint to repair. This tool also does not support regional labor rate differences that exist at this time. If you are in San Francisco the labor costs will be much higher than if you are in Arizona.

Online Estimating vs. Bodyshop Esimates

We have developed our online estimating pricing model from the thousands of repairs we had done for our commercial customers and their service drive customers (Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Mini Cooper, Porsche North, Toyota, Carmax and others). Dealers never file claims to repair the thousands of used and new (damaged) cars they buy and sell. From that experience this tool was born, and is now available to anyone. Like those in the know, it is designed to optimize cost while ensuring that quality is not compromised. If you take your vehicle to a bodyshop for an estimate it will look much different than the estimate this tool provides. The estimating systems bodyshops use are used in conjunction with insurance companies to pay out claims for accident repairs. These estimates will itemize in great detail each of the parts involved in the accident, the labor hours to either repair or replace the parts, parts prices for parts purchased and paint hours and materials if the parts need to be painted. These labor hours will be multiplied by the going labor rates for the market the shop is in which can be determined by reviewing the posted "door rates" for the bodyshop which will be shown at the bottom of the estimate.

Although the methodologies used between our online bodyshop estimating tool and those produced by a bodyshop are quite different we have found that our estimates give a reasonable approximation to the estimate you would receive from your local bodyshop if you take into consideration the issues described around hidden damage that is not accounted for with this tool the and variable labor rates applicable in local markets.

Insurance Estimating

If your damage is significant, with mechanical or structural damage (fenders, bumpers, hoods are NOT structural) you will almost certainly want to file a claim. The costs and methods for estimating these types of damage are much more extensive requiring mechanical, frame and electrical repairs not just cosmetic paint/body work. The estimating systems bodyshops use for these major repairs also link into the insurers claims processing systems. Contact your preferred local bodyshop or insurer to write your insurance estimate onsite, with the added benefit of having your insurer as an advocate with the bodyshop that is repairing your vehicle to ensure you get the safe, quality repair you deserve.

Tool Usage Overview

Choose Vehicle Type

Use the drop-down list above to choose the vehicle type that most resembles your vehicle. The characteristics of those vehicle types help to determining the repair options and paint costs required to repair your damages.

Select/Unselect Areas

Simply click areas on the image that represent where the damage on your vehicle is. When you click the area, it will appear below the image indicating that the area will be estimated for painting (scratches, scrapes, peeling, etc.). To remove an area from the list below, just click the image area again and it will be removed.

Damage-Holes/Tears

If your damage includes breaks, tears or holes on the surface that would need to be welded to rejoin it, you can select the size of the opening from the drop-down list. If your hole or tear is larger than the largest listed item, it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. You may should contact your preferred local bodyshop so they can provide an estimate for this repair.

Damage-Dents/Creases

If your damage includes dents, creases or other indentations on the surface, you can select the size of the indentation from the drop-down list. If your indentation is larger than the largest listed item, it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. You should contact your preferred local bodyshop so they can provide an estimate for this repair.

Repair versus Replace

Because this tool is simply an aid in your decision process, there may be times when it is more cost effective to replace a part rather than repair it, which we won't know until we see your vehicle. Bodyshops should offer the most economical option that ensures the quality you are expecting to be sure you get the right option for your situation.

Paintless Dent Repair

In situations where the damage you indicated may be a candidate for paintless dent repair (a method where narrow tools are used to push the dent out from behind the panel), it will be automatically included on your estimate. This can dramatically reduce the repair costs, it will need to be confirmed when you bring your vehicle to your local bodyshop for repair. Typically bodyshops subcontract PDR services and the rates from their provider may vary.

Other Areas Near Damage

Check boxes will appear to the right of areas listed below for estimating, use these to indicate if the damaged area is within 12" of other areas of the vehicle. These boxes allow the tool to determine whether the adjacent area will need to have the color blended into it so it will match. This prevents the common examples you see of cars where the door doesn't match the fender.

Create Your Estimate

Check Box If Your Vehicle has Pearl Paint

Use this checkbox to indicate if your vehicle has a pearl coat. These include multiple layers of a pearlescent coating applied to the base color to give it a special effect. It is more expensive to replicate as it requires more layers of paint. Metallic does not mean pearl coat was applied. Common vehicles for pearl are Lexus, Nissan, Toyota especially in white.

Click "Create Estimate" Button

After you have made your selections, just click the Create Estimate Button on top-right of screen to view your estimate. Read and click the disclaimer checkbox to indicate that you understand the limitations of online estimating and your estimate will be shown.