Body repairs explained

You would be surprized how many vehicles, need body repairs and at some point, in the vehicles life, it will need some kind of cosmetic repair, unless the vehicle is never driven and kept it’s whole life in a heated garage.

Now I’m not saying that that every car needs a cosmetic repair, due to being involved in a major accident, I’m just saying that every day use and parking the vehicle in public car parks, will eventually lead to some kind of minor damage.

On this page I am going to explain, how to repair certain types of damage, for as little money as possible, whilst still having quality craftsmanship.

Stone Chips

Stone chips, also known as road rash. If you think you can drive your car and never get one, you must also think world peace will one day happen, in other words stone chips are like fate, you can’t avoid it.

The most common area where you will find them, is the front bumpers and your bonnet. The reason why they will always appear there is simple, they are caused by stones and gravel being flicked up by the car in front, on to your front bumper and bonnet.

How do I repair these and get rid of them? It all really depends on how many of them you have on an arear of the panel.

So, for example if you have dozens of them and your bonnet looks like, it has a really bad acne break out, it’s probably best to get it resprayed as using a touch up pen just won’t cut it.

Unfortunately, due to the size and the curves of the bonnet, it is one of the most expensive panels to paint. For a decent painter to respray your bonnet, you could expect to pay around £200 – £300. If it’s the front bumper that needs a respray, the whole bumper should cost around £150, but if it’s only on one side, either left or right ,you should expect to pay around £70 a side.

If you only have a few stone chips your lucky, you can now go back to your school days and pick up a paint brush.

This is easy so do not panic. The first thing to do is get a touch up stick / pen that matches your paint work. There are two very easy ways to do this.

  1. The main dealer will sell one that matches your paint code, simply call them up ask for the parts department, ask them for a touch up pen, they will ask you for your registration, so they can match it to your car, then they will order it in for you. They will usually have it for the next day. You should expect to pay around £7 – £18 for one.
  2. Halfords they will have them in stock, over the years I have bought hundreds of them from there. They have ones for specific paint codes, or just generic black, white, sliver etc. If you don’t know your paint code, ask the manufacture for it and they will tell you over the phone. If you’re only doing a few stone chips, to be perfectly honest if your car is black or white just, buy a generic one as you wouldn’t notice the difference. You should expect to pay around £5 – £8 from Halfords.

Now you got your pen, the other thing you will need is a fine paint brush, as the ones you get with the pens are a little bit to thick.

Wipe the area where the chips are clean, put a tiny amount of paint on your brush and simply drop the paint into the chip, make sure you don’t put too much in, so it does not cause a blob. Leave it to dry, repeat this process on the other chips, go have a cup of tea, come back an hour later and I bet you can’t even see where they were.


stone chips


Curbed wheels / scuffed alloys

Wheels can make or break the look of a car and curbed wheels break the look. It’s easy to do and I have done it to many wheels, curbs are the natural arch enemy to wheels.

The only way to get rid of these horrible battle scars, form war with the pavement is a refurb.

How much it will cost depends of the size and style of your wheels.

If you have single colour alloy wheels on average it costs around £40 to £50 per wheel.




Diamond cut alloys

These cost a lot more to repair, due to they are made from aluminium, with a clear lacquer over the top, when you curb the wheel it takes to lacquer off and scuffs the bare aluminium.

To repair these you need specialist tools, which not all refurb companies have. To get these repaired they can cost around £80 – £120 per wheel.

There is a way to do it cheaper though. You can get the marks polished out, there are a few companies that do this and it costs around £30 – £40 so it’s a lot cheaper.

The only downside to this is, as they can’t put the lacquer back on your wheels, they will tarnish over time. When you take the car to a car wash, they spray acid on the wheels, that will leave cloudy water marks, on the areas with no lacquer. To remove these marks you, just simply buy metal polish rub it onto the effected area and it will remove the marks.

Doing the cheaper way would be beneficial if your thinking of part exchanging the car / selling to a car buyer, as both will knock you down a lot because of damaged diamond cut wheels. When I used to get part exchanges in, I would knock £100 of the value, for each damaged diamond cut alloy, due to the cost of repairing them correctly.



There are two types of starches, which I will explain on this page, surface scratches and deep scratches.

To determine the difference between the two it’s simple.

Run your finger nail over the scratch and if your nail runs smoothly over, without catching it’s a surface scratch. If your nail catches on the edges of the scratch it a deep one, which means it’s gone through the paint.

Surface Scratches, we have all tried rubbing them and cleaning them thinking they will go, but never any luck. These are very easy and simple to get rid of.

You don’t need to be a professional painter / body worker, to remove these. There is a magic product that will remove these with ease.

It’s called G3 compound and you can buy it from Halfords for about £8 per tube and it will last you for years.




  1. Apply a small amount to a micro fiber cloth and rub the scratch in a circular motion with a fair amount of pressure, not to soft but not to hard. Wipe the excess paste away and like magic the scratch should have disappeared.
  2. If the scratch, is still there, try again but with slightly more force. If that still hasn’t worked there are still more options, it will eventually go.
  3. Try again, but this time, try with a buffer / polishing machine, you can buy a good one for around £30 online. This method will require more skill and personally speaking I don’t do this, as the last time I tried, I took the paint off a car, causing more damage. Apply a small amount of G3 to the soft pad (almost like cotton), make sure the buffer is on a low power setting (too high a setting you risk taking the paint off), then polish over the scratch. This should have removed it, but if still there, try again on a slight higher power setting and repeat until it’s gone.
  4. I’m not a fan of number 3, as I can’t even change a light bulb in my house. What I usually do is, get my body shop to do it for me and I can get pretty much the whole car polished like this for £40. Car washes also offer this service, but they are no way as good as a body shop and charge around the same amount.

Deep Scratches / Through the paint Unfortunately, there is no amount of polishing in the world that will get rid of this. This requires paint.

If the scratches are only up to a couple of centimetres and your car is a couple of years old or older, honestly just leave it, as all used cars will have some form of imperfections.

If you really do want to try and get rid of it, try with the same method as stone chips above on this page. If the result, is not up to standard and it still bothers you, it will require a professional painter. I will explain this below with longer starches.

Longer starches, these are horrible to look at and quite often caused by some pr@>k, that has either keyed your car, or scraped their car into yours, or you have reversed into a wheel barrow, this has happened to me twice with the same car.

These require paint. How much it costs depends where the scratch is and how many panels need paint. For example, if the damage is on the bonnet, you can’t just paint part of it, it requires the whole bonnet. The only exception to this are bumpers, as you can get away with painting one side, as they are easier to blend in. The average price per panel for a decent painter is around £70 – £90.

  • Bonnet £200 – £300
  • Doors £100 – £150
  • Quarter panels £70 – £100
  • Boot £150 – £200
  • Bumpers per side £50 – £90
  • Whole bumper £100 -£150

The reason why the price varies, depends on the type of paint, Non-metallic, metallic, pearlescent, matte and the shape, size and curves of the panel, each model of car is different and so are the panels.


scratch through paint.jpg



These are essentially the same as scratches, you have two types surface and deep, how you remove them is the exact same process as scratches as written above.

Scuffs can look worse than scratches, but you may be surprized by the magical power of G3 compound. There has been many of scuffs, that I thought would need to be painted and I have tried with G3 and it has completely removed them. Have ago with G3 before you pay out to have them painted.

The good thing about scuffs, as they are usually located on bumpers, they are cheap to repair, for example as stated in Scratches above you can get a side of a bumper painted from £50 – £90.




Dents occur, when something has knocked into a panel, for example someone has knocked their door into yours in a car park. There are two main types of dent. Dents with paint damage and dents without.

Dents without paint damage, can be removed by very skilful, paintless dent removers / panel beaters. What they do is get behind the dent and very carefully knock the dent out, with a combination of bars and hammers.

I have used these people many times and I’m always amazed, by how they can make a huge dent disappear. The trade price is around £25 – £30 per dent and the retail price is around £50 – £70.

Most of these people are mobile, which means they can do this at your home or office.




Dents with pain damage, these can also be removed as above, but they can’t get rid of the paint damage. So, if the paint damage is the size of a stone chip, repair it with the same method as above in Stone chips. If the paint damage is big, them you should take it to the painters, as they are the only people who can repair this.

The average price per panel for a decent painter is around £70 – £90.

  • Bonnet £200 – £300
  • Doors £100 – £150
  • Quarter panels £70 – £100
  • Boot £150 – £200
  • Bumpers per side £50 – £90
  • Whole bumper £100 -£150

The reason why the price varies, depends on the type of paint, Non-metallic, metallic, pearlescent, matte and the shape, size and curves of the panel, each model of car is different and so are the panels.

dent with paint damage.jpg