How Much does Panel Beating Cost?

Price Guide

£113 - £755

low

£113

median

£400

high

£755

Airtasker’s panel beater services have a wide range of rates for different tasks. While some panel beaters are paid simply to provide assessments of projects along with quotes, it's important to have a general idea of how much repairs by a panel beater costs.

 

Smash repairs are often done by specialists known as panel beaters. Using high-tech gear and manual tools, they can do everything from removing scratches to full restorations. Damages resulting from a smash can vary widely. As such, this panel beaters price guide considers how to get a quote for repairs so you can choose the right provider for your vehicle’s needs if you’ve been in an accident.

So, if your goal is to restore a vehicle to how it looked before a road incident, let’s consider the work of panel beaters and how much they charge.


What Does a Panel Beater Do? 

The fundamental goal of panel beaters is to restore any vehicle to its original or “factory” state. It could be that a vehicle has been in an accident and now requires repair work on damaged areas. It could be that an antique vehicle has been tucked away and needs a full restoration, including making new panels or parts or a great deal of rust removal, repainting, and car body repair.

They may also do custom work on a vehicle or purely cosmetic work, such as repainting or refinishing an interior.

As you might imagine, this means they have a tremendous list of skills and can use a diversity of tools. For example, most panel beaters have experience:

  • Tearing down a vehicle and removing panels and components

  • Cutting vehicles apart after serious damage

  • Using metalworking tools, hydraulic gear, and any sort of mechanical equipment

  • Using welding tools

  • Rebuilding a vehicle, including interior and exterior

  • Employing any number of fillers, painting equipment, and so on

  • Creating parts and panels when replacement items are no longer available

  • Working on alternative vehicles including motorcycles, trucks, buses, trailers, aeroplanes, and so on

As they are specialists with such a diversity of skills, how much they charge varies. The average rate for labour provided by mechanics in the UK is £40 to £120 per hour. Specialists earn higher. You should expect to pay higher hourly rates for panel beaters, as they apply specialized skills and tools to get work done.

The typical list of tasks of a panel beater includes:

  • Removing damaged parts and panels and repairing if possible

  • Fixing dents

  • Replacing or creating new panels

  • Replacing any broken hardware or components

  • Grinding, sanding and smoothing damaged parts (either to paint them or send them to the painter)

  • Adjusting parts knocked out of alignment in an incident

Panel beater repair cost may also include paintwork and other repairs, such as fixing deep scratches, buffing up vehicles, and more.


What is the average cost for panel beating in the UK? 

Because a car’s appearance is not always a necessity, panel beaters ask premium prices. However, their work may also be essential if a car is to be restored after a major accident. The costs for work vary based on:

  • Extent of damages

  • The time it will take to do the work

  • The parts required

  • The location of the vehicle

  • The make, model and age of the vehicle

  • If there are any complications beyond body and paint damage

  • If there is insurance to cover some or all of the repair

  • The type of painting or coating needed

 

On average, panel beater cost for small dents begin at £100 for minor fixes but can easily exceed £1,000 for serious damages. A scratch or minor car dent repair usually falls beneath the £500 mark. However, no two quotes will ever be identical. Shops and independent providers have different pricing scales for car repairs.


Panel beater prices for different tasks   

Type of Repair

Price guide

Single panel (i.e. a fender bender)

£113-£755

Single door (paintless)

£120-£180

Deep scratch 

£100-£200+

Respray a vehicle

£1,200-£2,900

Single dent

£50-£150

 

What factors affect the cost of a panel beater’s work? 

As noted, some issues always influence the final price for repairs. It is impossible to say what any panel beater task is going to cost “on average” because of the many factors affecting that final amount. The extent of damage, completion time, parts and materials, and labour are what contribute to the pricing, but also the type of car itself can have a much stronger effect on final costs.

As a simple illustration, some vehicles have bumpers made to resist impact and prevent lots of damages. Some vehicles have bumpers that serve their purpose but are wrapped in protective coatings. If damaged, they are removed, re-wrapped and re-painted rather than just unbolted and replaced.

As you can see, the work of a panel beater can depend as much on the type of car as the damage and other issues.

 

Average hourly rates of panel beaters in the UK

As noted in our guide to mobile mechanics, the national minimum wage rate in the UK depends on the mechanic’s age and experience. 


 Age

Hourly full-time rate

23 years old and above

£8.91

21 - 22 years old

£8.36

18 - 20 years old

£6.56

Below 18 years old 

£4.62

Apprentice


£4.30


Panel beaters can request such rates, but as they are specialists, they typically charge higher, and usually within the £40 to £120 per hour range for labour.

 

Tips for creating an effective panel beater task 

As you put together an Airtasker listing for a panel beater, try to keep in mind that costs are not the only thing you will base your decision on. The experience is far more relevant than price. Look also at the feedback and ratings of all panel beaters who contact you. 

How does it work? Just draft your listing, post it and then wait for providers to respond with offers, compare them, and make your choice. Here’s a list of issues we recommend you include in any listing:

  • The time frame required (emergency, longer amount of time available, etc.) 

  • Budget (the amount you have for the project)

  • The make, model and age of the vehicle along with notes about other issues you feel might affect the restoration

  • The location of the vehicle and whether work is done onsite or elsewhere

  • The materials and parts you will provide (and ask for a quote on them if you want to compare your options)

  • If you require a warranty on labour (and materials if you don’t supply them)

  • Whether it is a restoration or a repair

  • If painting is part of the project and if you want your panel beater to do that job, too

The more details you offer, the easier it is for a provider to give an accurate and competitive offer. Keep in mind that most will also use your listing as a guideline for when they arrive to do the work – so accuracy and honesty are key!

 

Example panel beater listings from Airtasker task listings 

The panel beater listings on Airtasker are some of the most diverse in terms of the work required and the pricing. Consider the examples on our panel beater page to help you compose your task and get the right providers for the job:

Panel beating may be costly, but it is also essential if you wish to restore any vehicle to its best looks and fullest function.

 

FAQs about panel beater prices 

Does insurance pay for panel beaters?

This is a fairly touchy issue because of the controversy surrounding it. After all, there are panel beaters, and then there are “insurer preferred panel beaters or repairers”, and it is in this latter group that some controversy arises. Why? Because these are firms that have been caught out doing less than stellar work and netting the cash from your insurance firm.

Instead, you may simply want to work with your panel beater and ask them if they help you with any insurance claims. Some can extend their help. Even if you are left to handle it yourself, this ensures you can choose a provider and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with vetting a professional without any of the proverbial “middlemen” interfering.

Can the panel beater handle a full repaint job?

Many panel beaters are also painting experts or partner with someone capable of doing expert/professional work. Add this to an Airtasker listing if you want the entire job done by a single provider or team.

Will I always need painting after a panel has been repaired by a panel beater?

No. The need for repainting may not occur if the damage is mild enough and the panel beater has the right tools and level of experience. Ask about this before selecting a provider but be aware that they cannot give an honest answer without first seeing the damage in person.

Do panel beaters fix bent frames?

No, that is far beyond “bodywork” and is known as unibody damage. In newer vehicles, it might be repairable, but regardless of the age of a vehicle, the framework is not done by panel beaters.

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