Paintless Dent Repair vs. Traditional Bodyshop Work

image of white car

Dings and dents are unavoidable no matter how much careful of a driver you are. Sometimes, it’s not even you who causes your car to have a flaw, but it’s the external factors which are to blame. And if you are someone who just wants to have their own car be perpetually brand new-looking all the time, there are two options: a paintless dent auto repair (PDR) or a body shop work.

Considering the Factors

Basically, a paintless dent repair is so much more convenient compared to the traditional body shop work. However, not all types of dents can be repaired with PDR. So it is important to evaluate your car first whether it needs to have a paintless dent repair or a traditional body shop work. If your car qualifies for paintless dent repair, then the process will be so much easier. Otherwise, body shop work will do the trick for you. Here are some of the factors you might want to consider in choosing the right type of repair for your car.

The Paint

The first question to ask whenever choosing between paintless dent repair and body shop work is the paint. Is the vehicle paint damaged, cracked or chipped? If yes, then body shop work is the remaining option you have. With paintless dent repair, you can maintain your car’s original factory paint. On the other hand, a body shop work will have to remove the original paint from the area that has to be repaired. Although a professionally-trained and highly-skilled body shop painter can try to match the original paint on your car, it will never get the same, best quality of paint than the original paint it came from the factory with.

The Cost

Paintless dent repair is less expensive as it only requires fewer steps compared to the traditional body shop work. Fewer steps would mean few parts or materials to use and less time to disassemble and reassemble. Thus, less hours and materials are billed. It is a quicker repair method and could also mean fewer days of rental instead of weeks.

The Process and Timeframe

Traditional body shop repair is more invasive compared to the paintless dent repair. As mentioned above, it has to remove the original paint in the damaged area to start the task. They then apply a body filler which has to dry and harden. Afterwards, the filler is sanded, and a coat of primer is applied, followed by another round of drying. Lastly, they repaint it to finish and apply a clear coat to complete the whole process.
However, it doesn’t mean that paintless dent repair doesn’t disassemble your car at all. But it works by removing the panels behind the dent and uses specials tools from the inside out to push away the dent and return the metal to its original form without having to go through all the steps of a traditional body shop work.

Vehicle Report

A traditional body shop work may sometimes show up on your car’s CARFAX report. They are easily detectable when it is time to sell or trade cars. And buyers might assume that the damage was worse than it really was. On the other hand, paintless dent repair can preserve your car’s resale value.


Unlike a traditional body shop work, paintless dent repair is environmentally safe as there are no harmful paint dust or harsh chemicals and solvents used. Also, there are no scrap materials wasted as PDR doesn’t replace entire panels. Thus, not adding to landfill sites.

The Bottom Line

It all comes down to how bad the dent is. Paintless dent repair works great with small dents and dings, but may also work with bigger ones as long as the paint is not damaged. On the other hand, traditional body shop work may also come handy if the dent is more serious and will need a more meticulous effort. Each one has their own pros and cons. It’s up to you which one you think will be more helpful to you and your car to get rid of that unsightly dent.