Typically when we look at any damage to our vehicle’s paint work we don’t think about there being two types of damage that your vehicle could have, however knowing the difference between structural and cosmetic damage to your vehicle could save you a lot of money on repair costs.

When we refer to structural damage we are referring to damage that has occurred to areas of the vehicle that will result in replacement of metal panels or even worse that the structure of the vehicle has been misaligned to a point that special equipment and heavier force is required to realign the vehicle.

Cosmetic damage on the other hand refers to damage that has had no structural impact on the vehicle. This covers damage from the simple rock chip/scratch to bumper scrapes/dents and in some cases minor scrapes and dents in panels.

By nature cosmetic repairs are cheaper and easier to repair and structural damage is more expensive and more difficult to repair. Therefore knowing the difference will help you ascertain the best place to go for your repair. Structural repairs are better suited to a body shop where they have larger equipment to repair such damage. Cosmetic repairs are well suited to mobile service providers, like Touch Up Guys, who are well equipped to repair cosmetic damage.

So why is cosmetic damage cheaper to repair with a mobile service provider as opposed to going to a traditional body shop? Well as a mobile provider you have much lower overheads than a body shop, therefore the repairs can be offered at a lower price. Does this affect quality? No, so long as you do your research on your mobile provider and make sure you are getting a quality service and repair.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you try to determine if your vehicle has cosmetic damage or structural damage:

  • Are the panels misaligned? Look at the gaps between the panels, they should be even.
  • Are there major dents to the metal panels or is the panel creased severely?
  • Does the car handle differently? If it does make sure to cease driving it as soon as possible.
  • Do the doors, hoods and trunks shut as they used to?

Interesting fact that you may not know?

The painted panel that wraps around the front and rear of your car (below the head lamps and tail lamps) is made out of a very flexible and easily repaired plastic.