If your car has recently been damaged from hail or a collision, you may be considering paintless dent repair (PDR). PDR is a type of auto body repair that removes minor dents, dings, and creases from your vehicle’s surface without sanding, painting, or other traditional invasive dent repair methods. When done correctly, it’s more effective, affordable, and quicker then traditional dent repair.
However, since it’s such a specialized technique, you may have some questions about how the process works. Questions like: How much does paintless dent repair cost? How is it done? How do I ensure I’m going to a reputable technician?
If you want to get the best PDR done for your car, keep reading to learn four questions you absolutely need to ask yourself when deciding which repair shop to go to.
#1. How Long Have They Been in the Business?
Like all businesses, an easy way to validate an auto repair shop’s reputability is by seeing how long they’ve been in business. If a shop has been able to survive and keep a steady stream of customers for 10 years, it’s a lot easier to trust them with your car than a new business that’s only been around for less than a year.
That being said, paintless dent repair is a relatively new technique, so it’s not very likely you’ll find a shop that’s been at it for 10 years. In this case, instead of focusing on shops or technicians that have many years of general car repair experience, you should focus on those that have at least a couple years of PDR experience specifically. This way, you can be sure they know what they’re doing and have had time to perfect their craft.
#2. Is the Paintless Dent Repair Shop Certified and Insured?
Even if a paintless dent repair shop has been around for awhile, that doesn’t always mean they’re qualified to do the job. Any reputable and trustworthy PDR shop should be certified from reliable organizations like Vale, The National Alliance of Paintless Dent Repair Technicians (NAPDRT), or ARC. Keep in mind that there is no universal system of PDR certification, so different shops may have certification from different organizations.
In addition to being certified, a reputable paintless dent repair shop will also be insured. This protects you in case any damage is done to your car during the repair process. Make sure to ask about this upfront and get confirmation before moving forward with any repair work.
#3. What Is Their Repair Process?
Once you’ve established that a paintless dent repair shop is certified and insured, you should ask about their specific repair process. This will help give you a better understanding of what to expect during the repair as well as how long it will take.
It can also serve as a sign of whether the shop is reputable. A good shop that has in-depth knowledge of the PDR process will share it with you freely so you understand what happens to your car. If the shop seems secretive, vague, or dodges your questions, that may be a sign that things aren’t quite as they seem.
A typical PDR process will involve these steps:
- Assessing the damage and formulating a repair plan
- Gaining access to the back of the dent
- Applying pressure with specialized equipment to gently massage the dent out from behind
- Inspecting the area for any remaining damage
- Doing any remaining touch-up work like painting or polishing
#4. How Much Does Their Service Cost?
Finally, you’ll need to ask about the paintless dent repair shop’s rates. This will obviously be a major factor in deciding whether or not to move forward with a particular shop.
In general, paintless dent repair is more affordable than traditional methods like sanding and painting. The average cost for PDR varies depending on the size, number, and intensity of dents, which is calculated using a PDR pricing matrix. In general, the total cost for a body panel can range anywhere from $100 to $600 or more.
This is another area where a reputable repair shop should be able to provide full transparency. If they can’t give you a detailed breakdown of their pricing, that may be a sign that they’re trying to hide something.
A damaged car is always a hassle to deal with, but a good auto repair shop can make the process as painless as possible. With these four questions in mind, you should be able to find a reputable, high-quality PDR technician that will get your car back on the road in no time.