Estimating the Paintless Dent Repair Cost: 4 Factors That Affect the Price

You're in the midst of opening an auto body repair shop. While you're planning to offer a number of services, one of your most prominent will be paintless dent repair. Your only question now is: how much does paintless dent repair cost? In truth, the cost can vary based on a number of factors. Curious as to the most prominent of these factors? We're going to get into them below, helping you to become the best cost estimator possible.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Paintless Dent Repair

The factors that affect the cost of paintless dent repair are many. These factors include the following.

1. The Size of the Dent

One of the biggest factors in deciding the cost of paintless dent repair is the size of the dent that's being repaired. Simply put, the bigger the dent is, the more money its repair will cost. So, while a 2-inch-in-diameter ding will be on the low end of the spectrum, a 12-inch-in-diameter dent will be on the high end of the spectrum. Often times, auto body dents are compared to coin sizes. So, while a dime-sized dent will cost fairly little to repair, a half-dollar-sized dent will cost quite a bit to repair.

2. The Depth of the Dent

Another factor to take into consideration is the depth of the dent. In most cases, the deeper the dent, the more expensive it will be to repair. Why? Because deeper dents take longer to repair and, as they say, time is money. So, whereas the repair for a dent caused by a thrown stone will be toward the bottom of the cost totem pole, the repair for a dent caused by another automobile will be toward the top of the cost totem pole.

3. The Location of the Dent

The location of the dent can also have a large effect on the cost of repair. As far as location is concerned, there are two sub-factors to take into consideration: the ease with which the dent can be accessed and the positioning of the dent on the damaged panel. The harder the dent is to access, the more time the repair will take to complete, and the more the cost of labor will increase. So, if a number of components must be removed in order to access the dent, the repair is going to be fairly costly. When it comes to the positioning of the dent on the damaged panel, you must only differentiate between an edge dent and a non-edge dent. Dents located on the edges of panels require greater precision in their repair, as so are generally more costly than dents that aren't located on the edges.

4. Dent Quantity

As you might expect, the quantity of dents present has an effect on the cost of repair as well. This is true whether the dents are close to each other or spread apart. For instance, if your vehicle suffers hail damage resulting in several large dents taking shape within a panel, the repair of those several large dents will cost more together than will the repair of one moderately-sized dent. This is because they require more precision in order to be repaired.

5. The Positional Relatedness Between Two Dents

Just as a single dent can be cheaper to repair than is a cluster of closely positioned dents, a cluster of closely positioned dents can cheaper to repair than are a number of dents spread widely apart. In other words, the positional relatedness of dents makes a difference in terms of repair costs. The reason for this? The ease with which the dents can be accessed. When dents are positioned closely together, they can be accessed in the same manner. But when dents are spread far apart, several different methods of access must be facilitated. This takes more time and effort, and thus results in a costlier repair.

Average Cost of Paintless Dent Removal

Depending on the severity of the hail damage, paintless dent repair can run anywhere from $75 to as high as $15,000 and more. As such, when assessing dents, you must do your due diligence. Small, dime-sized dings generally come in at between $75 and $125 apiece. Medium and large-sized dents usually cost between $150 and $350 and up to repair. You don't want to charge so little that you're not making money. However, you don't want to charge so much that you're losing customers either. So, assess every situation on an individual basis and make sure that you're getting the estimate correct.

Is Paintless Dent Removal Always Viable?

Now, you might be wondering: is paintless dent removal always viable? Simply put, no. If there is paint damage along with the dent, paintless dent removal will not work to rectify the entire problem; while it will remove the dent, it will not fix the paint. So, what is the alternative? The alternative is traditional dent removal, a method of removal in which the dent is hammered out and then painted over. While it's extremely effective, it's also expensive . . . not to mention strenuous and time-consuming. As such, when possible, you should be making use of paintless dent removal. It's quick, easy, and cost-effective, both for the auto body specialist and the customer.

Get Paintless Dent Repair Cost Right With Our PDR Cost Estimator

And there they are, the factors that determine paintless dent repair cost. As you can see, the cost of dent repairs can vary dramatically from one dent to the next. So, to ensure that your shop is getting its fair due, you need to assess each dent carefully. In need of a little help with the estimations? The Sullivan PDR Cost Estimator is the tool to use. It takes all of the dent's characteristics into account, providing a fair and accurate money value for both the shop owner and the customer. Try it free now for 30 days!
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Car experiencing damage from a hail storm.

Stuck in the Storm: What Hail Damage Can Do to Your Car

According to meteorology, the official first day of spring is March 1st. However, this can vary from year to year.

For many parts of the country, this means the end of snowstorms and cold weather. Unfortunately, a new threat may be moving in — hailstorms. Unfortunately, hail storms can cause a lot of issues, including car hail damage.

There are some parts of the US that are affected more than others, such as the “Hail Belt.” This includes people in the Great Plains and Midwest. The five states that are hit most by hailstorms include Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri.

While this is true, hail doesn’t discriminate, and when it hits, serious damage can occur. Keep reading to learn about the damage that may occur to your vehicle here.

How Big Must Hail Be to Damage a Car?

To be considered hail, the pieces of ice have to be bigger than or equal to 0.2 inches. For a hailstorm to be considered “severe,” it must be at least one inch, or larger, and falling at a consistent rate.

Large and small hail can cause significant damage to vehicles, and impact the integrity of a vehicle.

Factors That May Impact the Severity of Hail Damage

One of the best ways to determine if hail damage is likely to occur is to consider a few factors. These factors are listed below.

Wind Speed

The speed the wind is blowing at can impact the damage caused by hail to your vehicle. For example, if hail is falling among 5 mph winds, it'll probably not do as much damage as hail falling with 70 mph winds.

When you add the wind speed to the hail size, this can cause some serious cosmetic damage to your vehicle if you have not taken the proper steps to prevent damage.

The Length of the Storm

The duration of a hailstorm will also determine the damage that occurs. A storm that is just passing through will move quickly and not cause as much damage. However, if the storm lasts for 15 minutes or more it's going to cause even more damage.

Types of Car Hail Damage

You've probably seen auto hail damage that was made up of round dents that covered a vehicle’s surface. However, what you may not realize is this isn’t the only type of damage that can occur. Hail comes in many forms. and so can the damage it causes.

It's important for you to know about the types of damage that may occur. Not only will this help you prepare, but it'll also help you find the right repair option.

Some of the most common types of car hail damage that may occur include:

Severe Damage With Cracked Paint

This is considered the most extreme type of damage that can occur. As a result, it’s going to cost you more to repair.

Dents with cracked paint are unable to be repaired using just paintless dent repair. This means you have to seek other means of repair such as body panel replacements and painting.

Severe Damage With Intact Paint

Cases of severe damage can affect the external features of your vehicle. If this happens, more extensive repairs may be necessary.

It is possible that when the hail is so severe that the panels can’t be totally repaired to 100% with PDR then PTP (Push To Paint) may be a viable solution. The panels can be pushed up to such a degree that replacement of the panel isn’t necessary but only painting will need to be done. This PTP process works extremely well on roofs.

Cosmetic Damage With No Paint Issues

The most common type of hail damage (which is cosmetic damage with no paint issues) usually consists of small, round dents on the metal panels of your vehicle. This damage doesn’t impact your paint or finish.

In most cases, cosmetic damage will only impact the surface of your vehicle. This damage is repairable 100% with PDR and no body filler and painting is necessary.

Making a Claim for Damages After a Hailstorm

If hail has caused damage to your vehicle, be sure to take photos of the damage. Let your insurance company know about the damages as soon as possible to make a claim. You'll also need to have your vehicle appraised for the problem to be fixed.

Your insurance company may have a specific service provider they prefer. However, you don’t have to use it. You can typically choose where you want to have your car repaired.

The amount of time it takes for your vehicle to be repaired after hail damage depends on the severity of the damages. Speak with the service technician to find out more.

Don’t Wait to Seek Hail Damage Repairs

If your vehicle's been damaged by hail, don’t wait to seek repairs. Most repairs can be done in 1 - 3 days unless really severe where painting is involved. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to get scheduled in for repairs.

To learn more about paintless dent repair, hail damage services, and how to find the best service provider in your area, contact us today. Our team can help ensure the damages present are fixed and that your vehicle is restored to pre-damage condition.

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PDR Repair App

Why Your Insurance Company Needs to Start Using the PDR App

Car accidents happen every day without warning. The damage done to a vehicle is often costly, no matter how small and insignificant it seems.

Cost isn't always about money; it's also about time. The amount of time a car is out of commission depends first on how long the adjustor takes to receive an estimate.

In the age of information, we have all that we would ever need at our fingertips. So, PDR app developers created a way to cut out the middle man and streamline the auto claims process.

For every car that is on the road, for every individual that reaches into their pockets to pay their car insurance each month, a fair and accurate estimate should be the goal of every insurance company.

How Is Auto Damage Calculated

For ages, insurance companies have had their methods of calculating auto repair damage. This process entails the client taking their vehicle to an approved auto body repair shop for an estimate. In some cases, the client may need estimates from many repair facilities.

As you can imagine, this process could take days, thus delaying the vehicle repair and extending the process for the client.

With the invention of the PDR application software, adjusters can cut out the middle man. Thus, making the claims process more efficient.

What Are PDR Apps

A new development in the world of automotive repair, PDR app is a Paintless Dent Repair estimating software that was developed specifically for the auto repair and insurance industries.

PDR apps take the needed information concerning damage to the body of a vehicle and estimates how much it will cost and how long the repair will take.

By using technology based on logical analysis, technicians can access up-to-date pricing for repairs.

The PDR app began exclusively as an online software but is now an easy-to-use application available to those who work in the auto body and insurance industry.

How PDR APPs Work

The developers of the PDR application software made the estimation process seamless and straightforward. Once you collect all of the vehicle information into the app, add in the VIN, the app pulls up a schematic of the vehicle. Then you can start noting the damage.

The estimating software includes a matrix that categorizes damage based on several key factors. From the location of the damage to the number of dents, PDR software considers every part of the process.

Once all of the vehicle damage information is entered into the program, the software then goes to work. based on the size and difficulty factors of the damage. Prices will also take into account the region the repairs are being performed. In other words you will need to input the amount and or cost of labor based on your area of the country you live.

Benefits For Insurance Companies

When first designed, this software was created with the auto body industry exclusively in mind, however over time; it was discovered that many benefits could be applied for claims adjusters in the insurance industry as well.

Mobility

There's no way to control where an accident happens. Whether you are in the middle of a freeway or the middle of nowhere, accidents happen, and (thankfully), not all accidents result in the total loss of a vehicle.

Claims adjusters are always on the go. From one inspection to the next, insurance adjustors process several auto collision claims each day, so finding a way to make the process more efficient is at the top of the list when it comes to systems and procedures, and any improvement is a win.

The ability of the PDR app to be utilized on a mobile device is one of it's most significant features that have cut down on wasted time and needless spending.

Real-Time Price Points

With the labor cost matrix added in, the overall invoice is being adapted as the options are continuously changed.

Should you need a supplement for additional repair missed during initial estimate then the labor costs and components can be adjusted in the invoice, and the overall price to the insurance company is adjusted in real-time.

Paperwork Integration

From your device, you can create work authorizations, invoices, receipts, supplements, and other necessary documents that are all required for the claims process. These documents are stored on the app's servers; therefore, you can access them whenever and wherever you need.

As a native mobile application, the PDR app can be downloaded to your mobile device and used without access to any cell service or wi-fi networks, making it ideal for remote areas.

Operational Efficiencies

During a claims process, clients are often upset and frustrated. Having to rearrange their lives to accommodate their vehicle being out of service is a major inconvenience.

The PDR app has taken what was once a multi-day process and streamlined it down to a few clicks of the button.

Working Together for Client Satisfaction

The purpose of PDR apps is to help bridge the gap between what needs to be done, and the best result possible. With the ability to access accurate quotes based on repair prices from around the region, you cut down the time it takes to get vehicles back on the road.

For more information on PDR app software, or how your company can benefit from our services, contact us directly for more information.

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A technician performing paintless dent repair to a vehicle.

How Paintless Dent Repair Can Save Your Body Shop Time and Money

With the average American spending more than $2,000 a year on car repairs, much of that is in auto body work. That's one of the major reasons that people who love cars will consider opening up their own auto body shop. However, with the advent of paintless dent repair, you can offer some of the great services of an auto body shop with less hassle.

With the help of dent repair estimation software and a knowledge of how to perform paintless dent repair, you could have a lean body shop with massive profits.

Understanding Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless dent repair is a low-cost way to manage repairs to a vehicle and an alternative to the intensive body repairs that can change the way a car looks. Paintless repairs can be just as high-quality as more serious body repairs but can quickly and effectively deal with dings and dents or replacing body panels.

By taking them on from the underside of the panel that's dented, none of the original paint is harmed. With glue pulling tools, it's even possible to manage dents and dings from the outside.

Drivers who have suffered dents and dings may be turned off by the cost and time-consuming needs for body shops. If they're just dealing with small or large-sized dents, PDR is a good choice over standard auto bodywork. Dents and dings can be managed for less and with less of an intense effort.

How It's Done

Paintless dent repair is a way to mitigate the constant damage that a car can suffer. While careless drivers might accidentally nudge something in a parking lot, the most careful driver's car is susceptible to damage and blemishes. A bad hail storm or a stray baseball from the neighbor's yard can leave unfortunate dents on a vehicle.

Usually, you have to use a filler or replacement panels and then paint to match the color of the vehicle. Paintless repair eches this filler and paint approach. Using tools to push or pull the dent from the body, it can be restored to normal without having to leave a car for days at a time.

The most common effort for dent repair includes specialized tools. Gently pushing the dent from the back of the panel can slowly and carefully return it to like-new condition.

Technicians will carefully repair panels with the PDR technique that need to be fixed and then replacement or body work is not necessary. Once technicians learn this process, implementing it is a breeze. Your customers will appreciate the time and money savings.

It can also save the same for you.

Save Time

PDR has become so popular in recent years because it saves a lot of time. The number of cars you constantly see outside the average body shop should be an indication of the slow speed of repair. You might even have the issue at your own shop.

Most auto shops that implement this process can get a car back to the customers on the same day. Rather than the standard week-long turnaround for a traditional repair and painting process, skipping the painting means that time is cut down significantly. Using PDR to save panels from being replaced also makes for a quicker repair because parts don’t have to be ordered and wait days or weeks to receive. You can quickly estimate with paintless dent repair estimation software and come up with a fair cost quickly.

Your shop will also be able to cut down on the rental vehicle time as your customers won't be without a vehicle for days on end.

Improved Resale Value

While it might seem like this is a benefit just for your customers, it's a great sales point. If you never have to do anything to the car's original paint job, you won't have to match strange paint. You also won't have to risk any mistakes.

When trying to match strange or obscure colors, those costs can end up hitting your shop's bottom line. Also, when a car is damaged in an accident or by hail it is reported to Carfax as a permanent record. Using PDR as a repair helps keep the value of the vehicle higher which keeps the resale value higher. This helps the customer and automotive dealerships sell their vehicles in original condition as far as the exterior cosmetics of the vehicle are concerned.

Tell your customers that the history and the condition of the car are preserved with paintless repairs. With fewer accidents and less damage listed, the resale value of the car floats much higher.

Some customers might bristle at the fact that their repairs end up on a permanent record for their vehicle. When you offer them paintless repair, watch their eyes light up.

Paintless Repair is Non-Toxic

One of the major benefits of paintless repair is that it's a non-toxic process. This is a benefit that your customers will appreciate and your staff as you won't be filling the air with noxious chemicals. This keeps everyone safe and happy during the workday.

This helps to save time and money that you'd otherwise spend on paying for the paint and also paying for disposal. You can't just dump toxic solvents, chemicals, and primers wherever you want. Often it's a forgotten expense of running a body shop.

While your customers will have to turn somewhere else for a peeling paint job, they'll be able to come to you to avoid taking the toxic leap. You'll also save masks, ventilation, and other systems required by OSHA. Installing a ventilation system can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so with PDR, you're saving in a major way.

Paintless Dent Repair Will Make Your Shop Even Better

By adding paintless dent repair to your shop, you could tidy up your current auto body shop. If you're considering adding a body man to your shop, adding paintless dent repair is a cheap and easy way to serve your customers better.

Quicker repairs by saving panel replacements and complete repairs without painting would be a much better way of making your shop better.

Take a test drive of our large dent repair tool to see how you could save time and money at your shop.

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