How PDR can help with unexpected dents from shopping carts, golf balls, or anything else

Everyone is familiar with regular car maintenance like rotating your tires, dealing with broken lights, and changing your oil. Most people are even familiar with typical accidents like one-on-one collisions or fender benders. Although unexpected, you generally know what to do when you get into an accident and how to proceed with getting repairs, insurance coverage, and legal help.

But what about when something even more unexpected happens to your car, like vandalism, a broken windshield from a falling branch, or hail damage? Every year, thousands of car owners have to deal with damage from unforeseen sources.

When the Unexpected Happens

I’ve experienced this myself — the other day, I was going to the grocery store to do my usual weekly shopping trip. When I came back to my car, there was a shopping cart right next to a new dent in my door.

I was shocked, to say the least. I never thought that this would happen, not because it wasn’t believable, but because you simply don’t expect things like that to happen to you. Car damage from a shopping cart feels like an extremely unlucky occurrence, especially considering this is the first time it has happened.

Regardless of how unlucky it was or what caused it, I still had to find a solution. I did some online research and talked to a few local repair shops, and I learned that the best solution for my problem was PDR.

What Is PDR?

Paintless dent repair is a specialized and minimally invasive process of removing dents from cars. It’s usually a cheaper and quicker solution for smaller damage like dents caused by a wayward shopping cart.

The key thing that separates PDR from traditional dent repair is that it doesn’t involve repainting or applying filler to dents. This means the original paint job and value of your car are retained. Small dents that don’t involve chipped paint are perfect candidates for PDR.

How Does It Work?

The process for PDR is pretty simple. A technician will assess the damage to your car and use a variety of different tools to slowly push the dent out from the inside. In most cases, this requires specialized equipment that’s designed for this purpose.

After the dent has been removed, the technician will reattach the panel and smooth out any other dings that may exist. Depending on the specifics of your dent—such as if it involves a major scratch—this may involve occasional touch-ups with paint, but it’s usually unnecessary.

How Much Does It Cost?

PDR cost varies depending on the severity and location of the dent, as well as other factors. The cost can be as low as $75 for a single small dent, but it can be upwards of a few hundred dollars for more complicated dents.

In some very complex cases, such as hail damage that involves dozens or even hundreds of tiny dents, it may cost a few thousand dollars. However, it’s a generally affordable option when compared to traditional repair methods.

Insurance Coverage

One of the best things about PDR is that it’s often covered by comprehensive insurance. In most instances, such as hail, errant golf balls, tree branches, or even rogue shopping carts, comprehensive coverage will most likely cover the entire cost of PDR. 

This is because comprehensive coverage is made to cover unusual circumstances that aren’t covered in typical insurance plans, such as weather-related events and vandalism.

I was lucky enough to have comprehensive coverage to pay for the damage, but even if you don’t have it, you can work with many PDR technicians to negotiate costs. Some of them can even work with your insurance company to try to get you some coverage.

The Bottom Line

If you’re ever in the unfortunate situation of having your car dented by a shopping cart (or anything else), don’t panic. There’s a good chance that PDR can fix it quickly, easily, and without costing you an arm and a leg.