Your car needs a paint job, or perhaps you just want to change the color. Should you? Here are six things to consider before you paint your car.
Painting Cost vs Car Value
If the paint job costs more than one-fourth the value of your car, it’s more expensive than your car is worth. Frankly, the car’s value won’t be improved much with the paint job, and a flashy color won’t increase its road life. For that matter, an old car may suddenly die. You are better off saving your money toward a new-to-you car to replace your old ride.
Multiple Quotes and Online Reviews
You should get multiple quotes on painting your car before you decide to do it. This may result in a wide range of prices. Make sure to ask if changing the paint color is more expensive than restoring the current shade. You’d be surprised at how companies edge up pricing. Get the whole picture before you commit.
Then you will need to turn to online reviews to see if the lowest prices also indicate a poor paint job. Do some research on why a paint job may be cheaper. What kind of paint do they use? What are the results? Can you see some before and after rides on their website? What about in person?
Ask the Tough Questions
Let’s say you love your car, you want to paint it, and nothing else matters. Don’t let your excitement get in the way of asking the hard questions.
You need to be sure that the paint job is done well. Definitely ask how the car is prepped and how parts are protected during the paint process. It’s been said that prep time is so important that it often takes ten hours while the paint job only takes one.
Why? The surface needs sanding. Parts need to be removed or tightly covered. It’s a long process to get a car ready to receive a new coat of paint.
How does the new paint adhere to the old paint? Is there a warranty? What are the terms of the warranty and what could cause the warranty to be voided?
Paint Your Car or Get a New-to-You One
Perhaps your real problem is that you want a different car. In that case, you don’t want to waste money painting your car, especially with estimates around $1500 for an effective job.
Instead, you can sell your old car. If it looks good, try to sell it to a dealership. If it doesn’t look good, then a private buyer is your best bet. You are sure to find someone who wants a car that runs and doesn’t care if it isn’t attractive.
Then you use that money to leverage a new-to-you ride from a reputable used car dealer. If you add that $1500 you didn’t spend on a paint job and the money you get from selling your old car, that is surely enough to get you started.
How Will You Protect the New Paint Job
If you are still considering painting your car, you need to think about what happens after it is painted. If you expect it to last, you need a garage to park it in. Do you have one? Can you get one? At work, is there a parking garage?
Frankly, wIthout shelter, a paint job can go bad very fast. Sun may damage it. A tree branch may fall on it. Hail may ding the car body. Suddenly that money you spent to make your car look better just goes down the drain, leaving you back where you started only a bit poorer.
Painting a car is a big expense, especially for those on a tight budget. Hopefully these guidelines will help you decide the best course of action/