How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Car Door?

Last Updated on May 20, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

During a vehicle’s lifetime, car doors inevitably take punishment from collision damage, general wear and tear, and exposure to the elements. So what exactly does it cost to fully replace a worn out or crunched exterior door?

This guide examines common reasons for replacement, price breakdowns for parts and labor by vehicle make, DIY feasibility considerations, supplemental costs beyond the door itself like assessments, rentals, and deductibles, tips for controlling expenses, and how to budget for this major but inevitable repair.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Car Door?

On average, expect to spend $700 to $1,500 on replacement door shells/panels plus $400 to $1,000 for professional installation labor and paint work.

Add $200 to $700 more if electrical repairs are needed, with costs varying based on vehicle make, model, and shop rates. Parts availability, paint complexity, and electrical repairs are major cost drivers.

Replacement Door Shells/Panels

  • OEM Parts: $700 to $1,800 on average
  • Aftermarket Parts: $400 to $900 on average

Installation Labor and Paint Prices

  • Dealerships: $900 to $1,800
  • Local Body Shops: $400 to $1,000

Electrical Part Repairs

  • Window motors, switches, actuators: $200 to $500
  • Wiring harnesses, locks: $150 to $700

Prices understandably vary based on vehicle, shop, and parts variables. Domestic trucks often cost slightly less than imported sedans.

The Insurance Navy Brokers website states that the car door shell itself can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500. The lowest possible cost to have a car door replaced is around $500, but for higher-end or complex vehicles, the cost could be as high as $2,500. The article emphasizes that replacing a car door will always be more expensive than repairing it, so it’s important to consult with a mechanic before deciding on a course of action.

According to J.D. Power, a full-on door replacement may set you back anywhere from $300 to $3,000. The price will depend on whether you choose a secondary market or a new door shell and pricing at the auto shop.

The scope of work can also affect the final cost. The article mentions that going to an auto shop for replacement is always a safe bet, but the price will be 25-30% higher than doing it yourself. However, the benefits include a quality job and OEM parts, ensuring a long service life for all the components and the vehicle itself.

Yahoo Autos provides a car door replacement cost estimator. Most dealerships will not give an average price for a car door because it depends on too many variables, such as the cost of the paint, make and model of the vehicle, and power options.

However, the list price on a rear door shell for a 2016 Toyota Highlander is $766. Depending on the number of parts that need to be changed over, this will likely include three to five hours in labor as well, bringing the total price of the job to well over $1,000.

Status Automotive & Collision states that on average, the cost of replacing a car door can range from $500 to $2,500 or more. Luxury or high-end vehicles, as well as doors with complex mechanisms, can cost even more.

The article also mentions that it is possible to replace a car door with a used one, provided it is in good condition and compatible with your car’s make and model. However, the used door may require repainting to match the color of the car.

Reasons Car Doors Must Be Replaced

Typical causes of complete door replacements include:

  • Major collision damage that crushes or splits the door shell well beyond repair. This accounts for most replacements.
  • External rust slowly eating away the metal over years when rainwater drainage seals fail.
  • Internal electrical issues like malfunctioning window, lock, or sideview mirror motors requiring extensive wiring repairs.
  • Accumulated wear on latching mechanisms, handles, locks, and hinge joints from everyday use over 100K+ miles.

When damage is too extensive for panel repairs or part swaps, full replacement provides the most complete and lasting solution.

Factors Influencing Replacement Costs

Vehicle Make, Model, and Year

  • More expensive luxury and newer vehicles have pricier OEM door shells.
  • Availability and affordability of new, used, or aftermarket door parts greatly sways pricing.
  • Rarer models mean fewer junkyard parts available.

Auto Body Shop Hourly Labor Rates

  • Dealerships charge $100 to $150 per hour versus local garages around $70 to $90 per hour.

Type of Paint Required and Degree of Blending

  • Single stage paint is cheaper but may not match adjacent panels enough.
  • Clearcoat or tri-coat paint with blending is optimal but costs more in materials and labor.

Condition of Electrical Components

  • Faulty window or lock motors, switches, and wiring cost extra to source and install properly.

Now beyond just the door itself, let’s examine other common costs that arise surrounding the repair.

Other Car Door Replacement Costs

Damage Inspection and Estimate Fees – $50 to $150 for a certified shop to assess damage and provide a detailed parts/labor quote.

Rental Car Expenses – Approximately $30 to $50 per day for a rental while the repair is completed.

Supplementary Body, Glass, or Interior Repairs – Adjacent body damage, cracked glass, ruined interior door panels or handles add more to the total bill.

Insurance Claim Deductible – Out-of-pocket deductible payments average $500 to $1,000 for insured repairs.

Sales Tax on Parts and Labor – Sales tax adds 8-10% in most states.

While door shell replacement itself remains the largest cost, many additional expenses surround the major service. Now let’s look at a few examples.

Sample Scenarios

Replacing Car DoorsToyota Camry Front Door Replacement

  • Replacement door shell: $725
  • Installation and color match paint: $650
  • Sales tax: $105
  • Total Cost: $1,480

Ford F-150 Double Cab Rear Door Replacement

  • Aftermarket door shell: $850
  • Labor and clearcoat blend paint: $975
  • Window regulator motor: $265
  • Insurance deductible: $500
  • Total Cost: $2,590

Mercedes C-Class Driver Side Door Replacement

  • OEM Mercedes door: $1,850
  • Labor and paint blend charges: $1,100
  • Diagnostic and estimate fees: $125
  • Total Cost: $3,075

Many factors influence final costs, but door replacement remains one of the pricier auto body repairs. Now let’s examine potential DIY cost savings.

Is DIY Car Door Replacement Feasible?

You might also like our articles on the cost of car door unlocking, car door repair, or interior car detailing.

Potential DIY Cost Savings

  • Avoid $400 to $1,000 in professional labor fees.
  • Source a used door for 50% savings.
  • Use lower cost paint options like single stage.

DIY Challenges

  • Requires advanced body work expertise for proper alignment and paint blending.
  • Specialized tools needed for dent repair and paint matching.
  • Reconnecting damaged electricals like window motors can be tricky.
  • Little recourse if project goes awry.

Except for those highly skilled in autobody work, paying a professional ensures repairs are done right. Now let’s look at budgeting strategies.

Door Replacements Over a Car’s Lifetime

To accommodate future door repairs, some drivers:

  • Add $500 to annual maintenance accounts for older vehicles over 8 years old.
  • Save repair estimates secured early on to provide cost visibility later when repairs become necessary.
  • Consider slightly higher insurance premiums or lower deductibles to reduce out-of-pocket costs.
  • Ask body shops about warranty periods for added peace of mind – 1-3 years is common.
  • Solicit paint and electrical repair quotes from dealers to include probable add-on costs.

Proactively planning reduces payment shock when big repairs come due.

Seeking Multiple Estimates and Maintenance

To minimize costs, always:

  • Seek written estimates from multiple shops – prices can vary greatly.
  • Consider sourcing a used door to save if paintable.
  • Review warranty coverage for possible discounts or reimbursements.
  • Ask about combos, new customer specials, and seasonal sales.
  • Keep door drainage sealed and maintain paint to extend door life.
  • Straighten minor dents promptly to avoid worse rust if caught early.

With some savvy preparation, cars retain their safety and value.

Budgeting Major Door Repairs

In closing, keep this advice in mind when saving for or coordinating major door replacements:

  • Obtain 2-3 quotes from highly-rated body shops and compare pricing details carefully. Lower hourly rates can provide big savings on labor fees.
  • Inquire about warranty coverage through insurance policies or your vehicle’s original manufacturer warranty – some repairs may have pro-rated reimbursement.
  • Rentals and assessments are unavoidable add-ons so include them in your repair budget.
  • For older vehicles, used doors make more economic sense if paintable and aligned properly.
  • For newer cars, paying extra for OEM shells and clearcoat paint retains value better long-term.

Getting the right advice early makes your dollars go further.

Final Words

While certainly one of the costlier collision repairs, replacing severely worn or damaged car doors using quality components pays dividends for years by restoring structural integrity, appearance, and safety equipment functionality.

With prices averaging approximately $1,500 to $3,000 for most vehicles when done right the first time, door replacements prove a wise investment in any car’s long-term health. Just be sure to apply any insurance coverage and get multiple estimates. Your ride will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to buy a new or a used car door?

Used doors found at junkyards or salvage yards cost approximately 50% less than new panels on average. However, their condition may be uncertain until sandblasted and inspected.

OEM or quality aftermarket shells ensure an ideal fit, seal, and finish but run $700 to $1,500 for most models. If the used part proves straight and dent-free, used doors make sense for older vehicles whereas new shells better retain value on late models.

How much time does car door replacement take?

With proper preparation, most body shops can complete a door replacement in 3-5 business days depending on workload. The timeline includes assessing damage, ordering parts, tearing out the old shell, installing and aligning the new door, metal finishing, electrical reconnection, paint, and thorough quality checks. Provide a rental car budget for this standard shop timeline when planning the repair.

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