How much does it cost to change the color of your car?

Lets face it; every car looks its best when its clean, polished, and painted to perfection. In addition to the esthetic, paint also protects your vehicle by preventing the steel underneath from corroding over time or suffering wear and tear damage caused by everyday driving.

However, new paint jobs aren't cheap.

Let's break down how much it costs to paint a car, the factors that affect that cost, and when you should consider painting your vehicle. Whether you have a ten-year-old sedan or a new truck you want to show off to your friends, this guide should provide you with vital information that will help you budget for your paint job. So lets get started!

Factors Affecting Cost

The cost of paint alone is not the only factor to consider when calculating paint job costs. Several elements impact the overall cost of the project.

Overall Quality

Naturally, the quality of the paint job you are seeking will affect the asking price, sometimes dramatically. For example, when contracting a professional paint service, you can expect the best of the best in terms of quality of the paint as well as the painters themselves. The finished project should look nothing short of amazing. On the flip side, if you get a bargain-priced paint service, you should expect bargain-level results.

Vehicle Size

The size of your vehicle will also affect the cost of a paint job. For instance, a compact coupe would cost far less to paint than a full-size truck or SUV. The latter vehicles are much larger, so theres more surface area that needs painting.

Simply put, the larger the vehicle, the higher the cost of the paint job. Period.

Chosen Color And Paint Quality

Though a white shirt and a yellow shirt may carry the same price tag in a department store, paint color does not work in the same fashion. Color affects the price, and standard colors like black, gray, and white are much cheaper than specialized colors. Furthermore, you should expect to pay more if you choose rare colors used by premium automakers.

The paint quality will determine the cost of the overall paint job, as well. Higher-quality and long-lasting paint are more expensive than the industry standard. But its usually well worth it since youll have to repaint your car far less often - if ever again.

For example, one coat of synthetic enamel paint might cost between $300-$700 for an average-sized sedan. On the flip side, multiple coats of high-quality paint can run several thousands dollars or more. Youll also have to consider any additional paint art or stylistic touches you may want. Looking to add racing stripes? In many cases, youll need to pay a few hundred dollars extra.

All in all, the more elaborate the project and the higher the quality of paint, the more expensive it will be.

Any Needed Repairs

If your vehicle has several surface imperfections, like deep scratches, a new paint job will probably cost you more than it normally would. Some paint services will offer to repair any imperfections, but even those who dont may charge extra for the project since theyll have to paint around the issue or cover it up.

Some businesses may even refuse to paint a car that has a lot of surface damage because painting these areas without protection can lead to long-term damage.


Don't forget about finishes! Many car painting services will offer to wax or seal your car's paint job at the conclusion of the project. A regular wax finish won't run you too much, but will probably add another $100 to $200 to the final price tag. If you want the auto body service to use a ceramic coating or other, more specialized finishes, you can expect to pay even more.

But while they may be a bit expensive, those extra coatings or specialized materials can significantly boost the longevity of your cars paint job. Its not a bad idea to get a coating or finish if you have the cash to spare and want to avoid having to repaint your car in the near future.

When Should You Consider Painting Your Car?

There is no clear standard for when to paint your car. Most people get their vehicles repainted once every few years or so, especially when its being used more for recreation or personal enjoyment than simply commuting to work.

However, paint does more than just give your car a distinctive look; it protects the body of your vehicle from wear and tear and helps prevent corrosive damage. Therefore, you should paint your car every five years at minimum, especially if you arent waxing it regularly. If your cars paint gets scratched or damaged from a minor accident or inclement weather, consider getting a partial paint job to take care of the trouble spots.

So, How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

Bottom line: painting your car can cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to up to $10,000 or more, depending on the many factors listed above.

A basic paint job for a sedan-sized vehicle that doesn't include any additional features, like racing stripes or high-quality wax, can be purchased for around $500 depending on the auto body shops in your area. A more complete paint job, which includes multiple coats of paint and basic wax, will probably cost $1000 or so for a similar car. If you want a truck painted with high-quality, manufacturer-exclusive paint and a ceramic coating, don't be surprised if the price tag reaches $5000 or higher.

Painting your car is no small task, and its not always easy on your wallet either. But nothing compares to the sleek, sheen finish of a freshly painted car.