Do Dealerships Fix Paint Chips? [Cost & Insurance Coverage]

Ollie Barker

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Do Dealerships Fix Paint Chips?

Do Dealerships Fix Paint Chips?

Do dealerships fix paint chips? You purchased a car from a dealership, and after you got home, you discovered it had chips! We have the answer to your question on whether auto dealerships patch dings and paint chips, so let’s look.

Depending on the auto dealer. The dealership will probably refuse to make any repairs if paint chips appear after you drive off the lot. However, the dealership might be responsible for making repairs if you purchased it with chipped paint. They will hire a qualified detailer to handle the repair in this situation. 

What is a Paint Chip?

A paint chip is a minor nick or blemish on a car’s paint. Paint chips are frequently the result of foreign objects like sand or gravel striking the car.

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How far a paint chip penetrates the clear coat layer of the car’s paint determines how bad it is. Larger paint chips will need expert attention from a dealership, but smaller ones can be fixed at home with touch-up paint and an applicator.

A dealership might be unable to remedy a paint chip if it is small and not located in a place that needs painting (like the hood). Your dealer will probably be able to fix the chip if it is in a place that needs painting.

Do Dealerships Fix Paint Chips?

There are two scenarios which you might consider before visiting a car dealership for maintenance.

The first scenario is that you picked up several marks and paint chips after you left the dealership while running some errands. The dealership is not obligated to make repairs in this situation. You are in charge of the case.

The other situation is discovering the damages while you’re at the dealership. They may be responsible for paying for repairs in this situation.

But making the argument is challenging. If you want the dealership to pay for your repairs, you must demonstrate that the vehicle wasn’t in perfect condition before you drove it off.

Considerations Before Choosing Dealership Repair

Before deciding to have your car’s paint chips fixed at a dealership, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Firstly, dealership repairs can be more expensive compared to DIY solutions. The cost may vary depending on the extent of the damage, the specific repair technique employed, and the dealership’s pricing policies. Obtaining a cost estimate from the dealership beforehand is advisable to assess whether it fits within your budget.

Besides, scheduling an appointment at a dealership for paint chip repairs may require some time. Depending on the dealership’s workload and availability, you might need to wait for an opening in their service schedule. It’s recommended to contact the dealership in advance and inquire about the estimated time required for the repair process.

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Lastly, while dealerships strive for customer satisfaction, it’s essential to communicate your expectations. Discuss the desired outcome with the dealership’s representative and ensure that they understand your requirements. This clarity will help them deliver the best possible results.

Fix Paint Chips: DIY or Expert Repair?

Depending on the extent of the damage and your level of competence, you can decide whether to attempt the repairs yourself or hire a professional. However, hiring a professional is best if you’re unsure about your repair ability.

They will also restore the paint chips and scratches and look for any underlying metal damage. The best part is that they’ll make sure your car appears brand new.

Finding matching paint can be challenging at times. Therefore, a DIY remedy may result in the repair protruding like an eyesore.

DIY Solutions for Paint Chip Repairs

Some car owners opt for do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions for minor paint chips. These solutions typically involve using touch-up paint or paint pens to fill in the damaged areas. DIY repairs can be cost-effective and convenient, especially for small paint chips.

How to use touch up paint pen

Using a touch-up paint pen is another method to fix minor paint chips on your car. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a touch-up paint pen:

Gather the necessary materials

You will need a touch-up paint pen in the exact color of your car’s paint, rubbing alcohol or a mild cleaner, fine-grit sandpaper, and a clean cloth.

Prepare the damaged area

Clean the chipped area using rubbing alcohol or a mild cleaner to remove any dirt, wax, or debris. Ensure that the surface is dry and free from any contaminants before proceeding.

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Shake the paint pen

Shake the touch-up paint pen thoroughly to mix the paint inside. This will help achieve a consistent color and texture for the repair.

Prime the paint pen (if required)

Some touch-up paint pens may have a priming mechanism. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prime the pen if necessary.

Apply the touch-up paint

Press the paint pen’s tip gently onto the chipped area to release the paint. Use light and controlled strokes to apply the paint, filling in the chipped area. Start with a small amount of paint and gradually build up the layers until the chip is adequately covered. Take your time and be precise to achieve the best results.

Let the paint dry

Allow the touch-up paint to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes a few hours or overnight. Avoid touching or disturbing the painted area during drying to prevent smudging or smearing.

Blend the repaired area (optional)

You can use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly buff the repaired area once the paint is dry. This step helps smooth out imperfections and blend the touch-up paint with the surrounding paint. Be careful and gentle to avoid damaging the surrounding paint.

Clean and polish

Once the touch-up paint is fully dry and blended, clean the area again using a mild cleaner or rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. Polish the repaired area with a clean cloth to restore its shine and ensure a seamless finish.

A touch-up paint pen can be a convenient and effective method to address minor paint chips on your car. However, it’s important to note that the color match may not be perfect, especially for older or faded paint jobs.

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How Much Will It Cost to Fix a Car’s Chipped Paint?

The cost varies depending on the paint damage type. The most important one is how much damage you’re dealing with. Additionally, if a specific paint or sealant is required to match your car’s color, you will spend more. The cost of the repair decreases with chip size. How much does it cost to repair a car’s chipped paint? Here is what you should budget for.

Minor harm: $70-$150

Expect to pay a lower range in price if your car’s paint has little chips, which are no larger than a pencil eraser. To have a flawlessly polished exterior cleaned up without showing any chipping, you will need to select a specialist skilled at painting and color matching.

You can use a touch-up pen to fix little chips on your own. The pen is available at the majority of auto parts retailers. It comes in several different colors and has a brush connected to one end.

The pen’s applicator tip on the other end enables you to use it like a marker to apply paint where it is needed. The entire process takes a few minutes, and each pen only costs $10.

Moderate damages: $150-$400

The price increases with the size of the paint chips. You could be charged up to $400 if you have moderate damage several inches long and require more paint and work to fix.

Damages Are Serious: $450+

The most expensive and time-consuming repairs are those with severe damage evident in the surrounding paint, such as peeling and cracking. Depending on your region, your paint, and the typical labor rates, you might anticipate paying $450 and up when your automobile has substantial paint damage.

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Does Insurance Cover Paint Chips?

Dealing with expenses can be difficult. What happens if we attempt to obtain insurance to pay for the paint damage? Is that a potential answer?

The reply is variable. Has vandalism caused the paint damage? The expenses will be covered by complete insurance. Your comprehensive coverage deductible will still be your responsibility to pay.

In general, your comprehensive insurance should cover the costs if the damage resulted from an unforeseen event. Theft, vandalism, natural calamities, falling objects, and hitting an animal are all examples of unexpected happenings.

It is typically not a good idea to have insurance pay the expenses. Instead, it is preferable to take care of the issue on your own or hire an expert unless the harm is severe.

Maintaining a Paint Chip-Free Car

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to paint chips. While it’s impossible to completely avoid all potential causes of paint damage, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk.

Applying a clear protective film or using a car bra on the front end of your vehicle can act as a barrier against road debris and minimize the chances of paint chips. Also, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and avoiding rough or gravelly surfaces can help protect your car’s paint.

Regular washing and waxing can also contribute to the longevity of your paint job by providing a protective layer. Keeping your car clean reduces the likelihood of dirt, dust, and other particles causing abrasions and potential paint chips.


Can I fix paint chips on my own?

Yes, you can attempt to fix minor paint chips with DIY solutions such as touch-up paint or paint pens. However, achieving professional results may be challenging without experience and expertise.

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Are dealership repairs more expensive than DIY solutions?

Dealership repairs may be more expensive compared to DIY solutions. The cost can vary depending on the extent of the damage and the specific repair technique employed.

Do dealerships offer warranty coverage for paint chip repairs?

Some dealerships may offer warranty coverage for paint chip repairs. It’s advisable to review your warranty terms or contact the dealership directly to understand the extent of coverage.

Are there alternatives to dealership repairs for fixing paint chips?

Independent auto body shops and mobile paint repair specialists offer alternative options for paint chip repairs. These options can provide satisfactory results at competitive prices.

How can I prevent paint chips on my car?

Applying a transparent protective film, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and regular washing and waxing can help prevent paint chips and keep your car’s appearance.


Dealerships struggle with paint chipping. The best method to handle them is to make sure they are discovered and then dealt with as soon as possible when they happen. If you are unable to do that, it is advisable to be proactive and offer to have the chip fixed before you sell the vehicle.

Further Reading:

4 Ways to Repair Car Paint Chips