Bumper Repair & Replacement Costs: Here’s What to Expect
All About Bumpers
Front and rear bumpers are some of the most practical parts of a vehicle. From minor bumps to major collisions, bumpers are designed to absorb impact and protect the rest of the vehicle from extensive damage.
With this great responsibility comes great consequences, as bumpers are one of the most commonly damaged parts of a vehicle — especially in collisions with other vehicles. Behind the bumpers are components that can also become damaged:
- Lights: Fog lights, license plate lights, headlights and turn signals.
- Warning Signals and Sensors: Car cameras, parking sensors, airbag sensors, backup sensors, vehicle lane changing sensors, collision warning sensors and weather sensors.
- Trim and Molding: Decorative attachments to the front and/or rear bumper.
Just like you would get a medical evaluation after being in a car crash, it’s always the safest bet to get your car checked out too. Even if you only notice a few minor dents and scratches on the bumper, there could be more extensive damage that isn’t visible until it is checked out by a technician. In serious accidents, there may also be damage to the wheels, grille, frame and structural support.
Bumper Repair vs. Bumper Replacement
If your bumper is damaged, you have several options. Minor issues can usually be repaired, but more serious damage could require a new replacement bumper. The choice between bumper repair or replacement will come down to the extent of the damage.
Typically minor scratches, dents and chips can be easily repaired using specialized tools found in an auto body shop. The shop will also repaint or blend any repaired areas on the bumper to make sure it is an exact color match to the rest of the vehicle.
Bumper replacement is often recommended if there is severe damage, like deep cracks and holes or if the bumper is falling off the vehicle. However, new technologies have made more repairs possible. To know what’s possible with your bumper, schedule an appointment to have your bumper (and any underlying damage) evaluated.
How Much Does it Cost to Repair or Replace a Bumper?
Bumper repair and replacement costs will vary based on where you live, the extent of the damage, the type of vehicle and many other factors. Here’s a look at how much it costs to both fix and replace a bumper.
Bumper Repair Costs
Bumper repair costs will depend on
- The extent of the damage
- The make, model and year of the vehicle
- The bumper material (most are plastic with an aluminum or steel reinforcement bar)
There are several different types of repairs that can solve bumper damage:
Traditional Dent Repair
According to Insurify, the cost to repair a rear bumper dent can range from $150 to $600.
Paintless Dent Repair
Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a method of using specialized tools to pull out dents without damaging the paint. This option is often less expensive and quicker than traditional dent repair, but it isn’t the best choice for damage that has ruined the surface and paint. It’s also not available for plastic bumpers that require more than simple buffing.
Cracks, Holes and Punctures
These repairs involve filling cracks, sanding down the area and using adhesives to patch holes. Cash Cars Buyer reports the average costs to be between $325 and $425.
Light scratches are typically quick fixes while deep scratches may result in severe paint chips that reveal the metal or plastic of the bumper. Cash Cars Buyer lists the range of scratch repairs as $50 to $600.
Bumper Replacement Costs
The costs to replace a bumper on a passenger vehicle will depend on:
- The make, model and year of the vehicle
- If it is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket bumper
According to Cost Helper, a new bumper for a passenger car can cost anywhere between $100 and $1,000. Installation and painting the new bumper can cost between $200 and $600. Bumpers for pickup trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles will have higher costs.
Hourly labor rates at dealerships and auto body repair shops vary all across the country. In some instances, you may even find a range of rates throughout the same city.
AAA reports that auto body repair shops in their Approved Auto Repair network charge between $48 and $215 per hour. Repair shops use several factors to establish labor rates:
- The skill levels and certifications of the technicians
- The makes and models of vehicles that are serviced (luxury vehicles have higher costs)
- The type of repair shop (independent vs. dealership)
- Business and facility overhead
Using Insurance vs. Paying Out of Pocket
Should you use insurance or pay out of pocket for your bumper repair or replacement? To answer this question, you need to determine:
What is Your Deductible?
If your bumper has minor damage, the repair costs may be lower than your insurance deductible. In this instance, you may choose to pay out of pocket to fix the damage, which will also help you avoid an insurance claim that could possibly raise your rates.
Were You At Fault?
In most scenarios, high bumper repair or replacement costs are the result of a collision with another vehicle. If you were at fault for the accident, you will need to check your insurance coverage to weigh your options. Collision coverage will pay for damage to your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. If you don’t have collision coverage, you are responsible for paying for all repairs.
If you were not at fault, you can contact the other driver’s insurance company to claim the bumper repair or replacement costs. When you bring your vehicle to an auto body shop for repairs, they can coordinate the repairs with the necessary parties to ensure that your damage is taken care of in the most stress-free manner possible.
The Bumper Replacement & Repair Process
To give you an idea of what to expect, here is how Key Collision Centers handles the bumper repair and replacement processes:
- Our technicians perform a free estimate on a part-by-part basis to determine if repair or replacement is the best option for you and your vehicle.
- After coordinating the work with your insurance company, we order all necessary parts. Whether we use OEM or aftermarket parts will be dictated by your insurance policy.
- When you bring your vehicle in to be fixed, the bumper is removed and disconnected from all components (lights, warning systems, sensors, etc.).
- If the bumper is being repaired, a technician uses specialized tools to fix any scratches, dents, cracks and holes. The bumper is painted using an exact color match to make it look as good as new.
- If the bumper is being replaced, we attach the new one (after making sure there is an exact paint match) and connect it to all of the necessary components.
- After our thorough inspection, your vehicle is ready to go home!
How to Save Money on Bumper Repairs & Replacement
It’s important to go to an auto body repair shop that you trust for your bumper repairs or replacement. You do not have to use the repair shop that your insurance suggests — you have a right to choose where you get your car repaired.
You can also get estimates from a few repair shops. It may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, but keep in mind that the lowest price doesn’t always equal the highest quality service.
If you need a new replacement bumper, you may consider an aftermarket part instead of an OEM part. These can be more affordable, but they run the risk of being lower quality.
Disclaimer: All example pricing in this blog post is for baseline and contextual purposes only. Every vehicle is different, and every type of damage is different. The only way to determine the actual cost of repairs is for an expert to perform an evaluation of your vehicle’s damage.