Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: May 9, 2022

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In a nutshell...

  • When a larger vehicle runs into a smaller car, the larger vehicle’s bumper can cause significant damage
  • The five least expensive vehicle models to repair are the Hyundai Accent, Kia Sedona, Suzuki SX4, Suzuki XL7, and Honda Pilot
  • If you or the insurance company insist on only new parts, the repair costs will be higher than if you (or your insurance company) accept after-market parts

Were you in an accident recently? Have you recently had to ask, “How much does it cost to repair a car?” As you look around for estimates, you may be anxious about the cost of repairs. 

Some repairs can cost $500 after an accident. As you may have already guessed, some car accidents produce more expensive repair costs. The answer to your frantically searched question of, “How much are car repairs?” is going to be different depending on what’s wrong with the car, where you take it, and so on. So how much are vehicle repairs? Don’t worry — we’re here to help.

Our guide explains the average repair cost for cars and which insurance coverages can help pay for damage to your car. 

What is the average cost to repair a car?

How much you’ll spend to repair a car will depend on  a number of factors, but there are generally average numbers out there. The average cost of car repairs is around $75 to $600. However, some vehicle repairs are more extensive, and you could pay more. 

Here’s a table that shows the average cost of repairs by damage type. 

Car Repair Costs
Damage TypesRepair Costs
Bumper Repair$300 to $1,800
Scratch Repair (Repainting)$500 to $1,500
Windshield Crack Repairs$30 to $150
Windshield Replacement$160 to $600
Window Replacement$100 to $400
Car Panel Repair (Exterior)$1,500 to $4,000
Frame Damage Repair$600 to $10,000
Suspension Damage Repair$1,000 to $5,000
Engine Repair$6,000 to $10,000
Restraint System Repair (i.e. seat belts)$50 to $100
Air Bag Replacement$1,000 to $1,500
A/C & Heating Repair$200 to $1,000+
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Car insurance companies cover the cost of repairs if you have the right coverage. If you were at fault in an accident, you’d need collision insurance to get coverage for damage costs. 

At-fault drivers who don’t have collision coverage have to pay these costs.

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Why are car repairs so expensive?

The vehicle repair cost depends on several factors including:

  • Vehicle make and model year. The latest car make and models have expensive car repair costs. 
  • The car’s value. The MSRP and fair market value may affect your vehicle’s repair cost.
  • Vehicle size. Heavier cars tend to have more expensive repair costs.
  • Damage. Cost depends on how bad the damage is to your vehicle.

New model year vehicles have higher values than older models, so any damage to those cars is expensive. Also, luxury and sports cars have costly repairs, especially foreign vehicles. 

How do repair shops determine repair costs?

Mechanic prices vary. The labor cost is different for each car repair shop, but the cost of parts is more stable. How much does it cost to fix a car? That’ll depend on each mechanic and what’s wrong with the vehicle. The answer to, “How much does collision repair cost?” is going to be very different than the answer to, “How much will I spend in order to rebuild my car from the frame up?”

According to Indeed.com, mechanics make $22 an hour on average. When you combine the cost of parts with the hours of labor, you’ll get the cost of repairs. Don’t forget, you need to factor in what actually happened to the car. The average cost of collision repair is going to vary the same way a repair might differ if you need other work done and whether or not something is necessary, or suggested. 

For example, if your Honda Accord’s bumper is damaged in an accident, the mechanic will likely advise you to replace it. Therefore, you’ll need a new bumper. The average cost for a Honda Accord front bumper is between $130 and $1,300.

If it takes two hours of labor, you could pay between $174 and $1,344 for repairs. This is just an example to give you an idea of how mechanics could determine cost.

But if mechanics find more significant issues, they’ll alert you and the insurance company about the damage. 

How much does it cost to repair hail damage?

Hail damage cost depends on the size of the dent. Let’s look at the average cost of hail damage based on dent size. 

Average Cost for Hail Damage Repair by Dent Size
Average Cost to Repair a Small Hail DentAverage Cost to Repair a Medium-Sized Hail DentAverage Cost to Repair a Large Hail Dent
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Your car insurance company can easily cover a few dents from hail. If your vehicle is covered in dents from hail, an insurance company may consider your vehicle a total loss. 

Should you fix a totaled car?

It depends on your situation. However, we recommend that you focus your energy on getting another vehicle. Cars that were previously totaled may not be eligible for full coverage insurance. 

And if the vehicle was totaled with engine or suspension issues, it’s a bad idea to invest your money into a car that’s prone to another breakdown. 

Which insurance coverages pay for car repair costs?

One of the best parts of car insurance is that it can provide coverage for expensive vehicle repair costs. However, only specific coverage types can cover damage costs. It’s best to know what your policy covers, especially if you have questions regarding protection for things such as repairs, flat tires, or even an oil change

Check out this list to see how auto insurance covers car repair costs:

  • Liability coverage. Your liability insurance coverage won’t pay for the damaged car, but if another driver is at fault, their liability insurance covers the cost of repairs. 
  • Collision insurance. Car insurance companies pay for the cost of vehicle damage regardless of fault in an accident. 
  • Comprehensive insurance. Your car’s damage is covered when your vehicle was in an accident that doesn’t involve a collision, such as flooding, fires, and storms. 
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Insurance companies can provide coverage when your car is damaged by a driver who doesn’t have insurance (including hit-and-run drivers).
  • Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. This insurance coverage pays for damage when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough on their coverage limits to pay for repair costs.

If another driver’s liability insurance pays for your car repairs, you won’t have a deductible. But, collision, comprehensive, UM coverage, and UIM coverage have a deductible. 

Personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (MedPay) won’t pay for damage to your car. 

Full coverage auto insurance combines liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance into one insurance policy. Other insurance coverages come with it, but full coverage ensures that your vehicle is covered by insurance. 

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How much is full coverage car insurance?

Full coverage insurance is $94 per month on average. But did you know your car insurance rates depend on your state?

Let’s examine the full coverage auto insurance cost based on the state. 

Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
StatesAverage Monthly Liability RatesAverage Monthly Collision RatesAverage Monthly Comprehensive RatesAverage Monthly Full Coverage Rates
District of Columbia$61$42$19$122
New Hampshire$35$27$10$72
New Jersey$77$34$11$121
New Mexico$46$25$16$87
New York$73$36$15$124
North Carolina$31$27$11$69
North Dakota$25$22$21$68
Rhode Island$71$38$11$121
South Carolina$53$25$16$94
South Dakota$27$19$25$72
West Virginia$43$29$18$89
*National Average$50$30$13$94
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We included liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance rates to show how much each coverage costs. 

Liability is more expensive than collision and comprehensive coverage, but full coverage is more expensive across the United States. However, full coverage auto insurance provides more. 

Is full coverage worth it?

Yes, it is. Full coverage can prevent out-of-pocket spending. You’ll have a deductible, but it’s better than paying thousands of dollars for repairs. If you want to save money on coverage, raise your deductible to secure cheap car insurance

Average Cost to Repair a Car: The Bottom Line

The average car repair cost may reach $600 or more, but your repair costs are determined by how bad the damage is and what type of car you have. Your car insurance policy can absorb vehicle repair costs, but you’ll need the right coverage. 

You can ensure that your policy can cover you by buying full coverage insurance. Without full coverage auto insurance, you risk paying out of pocket for car repairs.