Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Paintless dent repair is a new technique to fix auto-body damage that requires no painting or refinishing
  • Paintless dent repair is often much cheaper than traditional auto-body repairs
  • Most insurance policies will cover paintless dent repair
  • Paintless dent repair requires a body shop that specializes in this type of repair

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of needing traditional paint and body work done to your car, you know how the costs and time lost can quickly add up.

Even a relatively small dent or damaged area can quickly rack up a large bill and downtime without your vehicle. Most of this is due to the nature of automotive painting.

When a damaged area is repaired and requires painting, generally the entire panel of the car requires re-painting, not just the small damaged area. This makes even small repairs much more costly and time consuming.

So what seems like a small dent in your car’s door from a shopping cart or other car can require that the entire door be refinished and painted once the dent is repaired.

However, there is a new technique that is much faster and cost effective, it’s also much friendlier for the environment. It’s known as paintless dent repair and it can repair most dents and dings without requiring any painting.

What is paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair is a process by which the dented or deformed sheet metal that makes up your car’s body is repaired without the use of any techniques that damage the paint.

This is achieved by using a series of specialized tools to “pull” or remove the dent, leaving a totally undetectable repair. This repair is now identical to factory conditions as no paint was ever removed or applied.

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What are the benefits of paintless dent repair?

Paintless dent repair offers many benefits over traditional body work, especially for smaller dents and damaged areas.

These include:

  • lower costs compared to traditional body work
  • results return the car to factory new condition when done properly
  • Less time to complete the repairs
  • ecologically friendly. By not using any paint, those chemicals and solvents are never used or released into the environment
  • retains the resale value of the vehicle

So as you can see, paintless dent repair clearly has advantages over traditional paint and body work.

How can I know if paintless dent repair will work on my car?

If your car has been recently damaged, you’ll want to know if paintless dent repair can be used to fix it. Of course, you’ll want to consult with a body shop that specializes in this area. They’ll be able to give you the best options for quickly fixing the damage and returning your car to factory new condition.

Most dents and damage that qualify for paintless dent repair are areas where the paint is not damaged. The actual damage and deformation can be quite severe and still be repaired, but the paint must still be intact to achieve the best results with this method.

Does car insurance cover paintless dent repair?

The answer here is yes. Most every car insurance company will cover paintless dent repair if it is a viable option for your specific car and repair requirements.

But still, there are few things to consider if you want to use paintless dent repair to fix damage to your car.

First, it is cheaper than traditional paint and body work, which is great, but it may be less than your deductible depending on what insurance you have and how extensive the damage is.

This means the dent repair may not meet your deductible. In many ways this is considered a benefit as you will ultimately save money and get a better result.

If the damage was the result of another driver, your car insurance can still seek restitution from the other party to pay for the damages. But of course, this is dependent on your car insurance policy, the type of accident, and the outcome of any investigation or police reports.

Another thing to consider is the body shop you plan to use. As mentioned earlier, you will want a body shop that specializes in this sort of repair. However, your insurance company may have a list of body shops they recommend from. This is often just a trusted list of body shops they have used in the past and may or may not offer paintless dent repair as an option.

So if your insurance company offers a list of body shops to choose from, make sure to research if any of them specialize in paintless dent repair. If your insurance or policy allows you to choose your own body shop, then you should do the same in this case and find a shop that specializes in this area.

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What about mobile paintless dent repair?

Besides all the great benefits above, there is one other benefit that adds convenience to the list.

Some paintless dent repair experts provide mobile service. This means they will come to you and repair the car at your home or business. This is a huge time-saver for most people.

Since the repair does not require any specialized paint treatments or applications, you can achieve the same results in the field as you would get if the work was done in a traditional body shop.

Mobile paintless dent repair will fix your car the same day. So not only is this the fastest method, it can be done with almost no downtime as your car is repaired while it is parked at your home.

My dent is pretty severe, can paintless dent removal still work?

Surprisingly, paintless dent repair works on a wide range of damage, including extensive damage.

Assuming the point is not damaged, large dents in doors, hoods, and trunks can all be fixed. Even dents where the sheet metal appears to be folded over can often still be repaired using paintless methods.

The techniques and tools are quite advanced, so almost any amount of damage where the paint is still intact would be a candidate for paintless dent removal.

Will paintless dent repair affect my car’s warranty?

If done by a professional, licensed body shop your car’s warranty will not be impacted. Paintless dent removal is a recognized and fully approved form of auto repair when done by a qualified technician who is associated with a licensed repair facility.

You can rest easy knowing that any paintless dent repair done to your vehicle will not harm or void the warranty in any way. In fact, this type of repair is preferred as the factory paint and coatings remain unchanged. So the car is restored to factory-new condition with no additions or alterations.

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Can I perform paintless dent repair myself?

Although you could, it is not advised. The technique requires training and expertise similar to any other type of automotive repair or restoration. Also, when performed at home you may void the warranty since the repair will not have been performed by a professional.

In the case of paintless dent repair, it’s best to leave this job to the professional. The results will be better and your warranty will remain completely intact.

We all know having your car damaged can be a major hassle, both in time and in dollars spent. Nobody enjoys going through such a hassle. However, paintless dent repair can make this normally unenviable situation much more tolerable.

But by doing a little research with both your insurance company and the body shop you choose, you can minimize your time without your car and achieve superior results in the process. When it’s all done, your car will be restored to factory-new condition.

One other important bonus is how environmentally friendly this method is. This is a serious concern for those who are ecologically-minded. There is currently no method of auto dent repair that is more ecologically-friendly than paintless dent repair. No harsh chemicals or solvents are sprayed or used. The whole process is done with specialized hand tools and the application of heat where needed.

So if you need a dent or ding fixed on your car, make sure to consider paintless dent repair. The results are far better than traditional methods and your wallet and the environment will thank you.