If both make the car look like it was never dented, then the choice is down to other factors. The most important of these is speed. You don't want to be stuck without your car for long.
Paintless dent removal involves correcting the dents from the inside. This requires specialized tools and experts with the experience to use them effectively and safely. That equals a much faster turnaround, anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending on the extent of the damage. Often, though, we get your car back on the road the same day you bring it to us.
Body shops replace entire parts and/or panels, and that's a much longer process. They need to record damage, find stock, order, and then wait for the part to get there. Waiting for the part alone can take days or, in rare circumstances, weeks.
Bottom Line: Paintless dent removal is faster.
Speed is the most important concern for most, but that doesn't mean it's the only element you're worried about. The next is the resale value of your vehicle.
Paintless dent removal restores the original look of the car without creating new damage. Even the paint itself is kept in original condition – hence the “paintless” part of the process.
A body shop will have to replace entire body panels. That involves drilling, sanding, and matching at a precise level. Doubtless, you've seen the occasional car that comes back from a body shop with a panel just out of alignment. That can severely knock the resale and trade-in values of a car.
A body shop essentially creates a bit of new damage to fix the old damage. It's necessary for what they do, and certainly the best option for collisions and extensive damage. For damage such as hail, golf balls, tree branches, and similar issues, it's often overkill.
Bottom Line: Paintless dent removal is better for maintaining resale value.
Cost can make or break your day, your week, your month. It can mean the difference between saving what you expected and feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. It's important to know that your cost is taken care of.
With paintless dent removal, cost is often covered. That includes deductible. This has to do with how the insurance works for the kind of repairs being done. This means you'll very often walk out with zero cost to the repair, and you'll pay nothing out-of-pocket.
At a body shop, the cost is negotiated between the shop and your insurance. You'll typically owe the deductible. Insurance will cover the bulk of the cost, but that deductible can still be hundreds of dollars.
Bottom Lie: Paintless dent removal is better for your bottom line. You’ll typically pay much less.
What Else Should You Know?
Paintless dent removal is a fairly easy and straightforward process. It's ideal for minimizing the cost and time of the repair while keeping your resale value intact.
A body shop is great at what it does: major accidents. For hail or other minor damage, it's just not ideal. It will cost more, take far longer to repair, and your resale value will likely take a hit.
If a hail storm really takes it out of your vehicle, it's still preferable to bring it to DentFX for paintless dent removal first. Even if there is more extensive damage or paint that's been chipped, paintless dent removal can handle the sections where the dents can be fixed quickly, cleanly, and inexpensively. Then DentFX can coordinate with a body shop for sections that need replacement.
This ensures that even if the damage is severe, the places where the damage is minor won't be as costly. It also means your resale value won't be impacted quite as much as it would be if the body shop simply replaced everything.
Rely on paintless dent removal as the tool you have to restore your car without breaking the bank or taking forever to get done. A body shop is another tool, but it's suited for a different purpose. You wouldn't take a jackhammer to a nail, and neither should you take a vehicle with hail damage to a body shop. Rely on the most appropriate solution for the problem at hand. For hail and other dent-related damage, that's going to be paintless dent removal.