auto hail repair

How Long Does Paintless Dent Repair Take?

There are between 800,000 and one million hail storm damage claims made every year in the United States. This amounts to billions of dollars in repairs and restoration.

Dent repair is a very involved and meticulous process. Depending on the severity of the damage and the restoration methods you use, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days to complete.

One of the biggest advantages of paintless dent repair is the speed at which technicians can restore vehicles. Below is an explanation of a typical paintless dent repair timeline and what you can expect from the service. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Paintless Dent Repair?

Paintless dent repair involves removing a dent from the panel of a vehicle. Technicians first remove the panel (if possible), then use specialized tools, including bars and body picks, to massage the dented surface. With a little time and precision, they can restore the surface to its original state.

This is distinct from traditional methods of dent repair that use body filler in dented areas. This involves letting the filler dry and set, then sanding, priming, and repainting the surface.

Traditional methods are still used whenever paintless dent repair is not achievable. These situations include ones where dents are too severe or sharply angled.

It also includes circumstances where the surface paint is already damaged or when technicians have difficulty accessing the opposite side of the panel. (Although, these two situations alone do not necessarily mean paintless dent repair cannot be done).

What Are the Advantages of Paintless Dent Repair?

There are many major advantages to using paintless dent repair. This includes the ability to restore your vehicle's surface to its original condition. This both increases the value of your vehicle and retains the durability of the damaged surface.

Traditional dent repair methods, on the other hand, are less sturdy. Fillers can fade much quicker and will not last nearly as long as metal paneling. It can become brittle and prone to cracking over time.

Paintless dent repair is much more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. The latter uses toxic substances, including primer, paint, and plastic resins, which are made from petroleum products.

Painless dent repair is much more convenient as well. You can expect a cleaner finish, and you do not have to worry about paint-matching, as with traditional restoration methods.

You can expect paintless dent repair to cost much less than traditional repair methods. It's much faster, so that helps keep labor costs down. Also, technicians do not have to wait for the filler to set or spend time sanding, priming, and adding (sometimes several) coats of paint.

The final advantage of paintless dent repair is time. Regardless of the extent of the damage, you can expect this method to be much faster than traditional dent repair.

How Long Does Paintless Dent Repair Take?

In general, for each dent, the paintless dent repair process will take between 30 minutes and one hour. This means that, in most situations, restoration can be completed in under a day.

There are several factors that can impact this though. Here are the main ones to consider.

Extent of the Damage

One of the biggest factors impacting how long paintless dent repair takes is the severity of the damage. One or two small dents can be repaired in just a few minutes. More severe damage could take more manipulation by repair personnel, which takes longer.

The extent of the damage across various parts of the vehicle can also impact repair times. If the damage is isolated to one or two panels, the repairs could go much quicker. That is because technicians' time spent removing and reassembling car parts is kept to a minimum.

While paintless dent repair is possible for 90 percent of dents, in some cases the damage is too severe. This includes situations where the dent has become creased or is exceedingly deep. In these cases, technicians would resort to traditional repair methods.


Being able to properly access the reverse side of the body's panel has a lot to do with how long paintless dent repair can be achieved. In general, your car's hood, roof, side panels, and bumpers can easily be repaired using paintless dent repair. Big dents along body lines or any corners, for instance, can take much longer to access and repair.

For more difficult-to-reach areas, technicians may not be able to use the ideal tools. That is not to say that paintless repair is not possible, but that it could take much longer to massage the metal back into its original state.

Insurance Claims

Most comprehensive insurance policies cover hail damage. In general, insurance companies like paintless dent repair. That's because it's cheaper and helps retain the value of your car.

Regardless of the repair shop, if you're using insurance coverage for the restoration, they will need final approval for work to begin. The good news is that most reputable repair companies are used to dealing with companies. They can usually help expedite matters or even work directly with your insurance company to get the ball rolling.

Find Paintless Dent Repair Near You

Now that you understand how paintless dent repair works and how long you can expect it to take, you can better plan for repairs. If there are factors other than the ones discussed above that influence the timeline, a reputable technician will alert you to those.

Express Auto Hail Repair provides fast, cost-effective hail storm damage repairs, using the most innovative technologies. Our services come with a lifetime warranty and we will work with your insurance agency and pay your deductible up to $1,000. Reach out to us today to learn more or for a free custom estimate.


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Team member using specialized tools to work on dent repair on a bright orange 4-door sedan