Paintless dent repair works by pressing the dented metal back into its normal shape by working from the unfinished side of the metal while applying a second tool to the outside of the car. The process requires specialized tools and a skilled individual to do the work. Typically, companies offer this service at about one-third of the cost of a painted repair.
Paintless dent repair has some limitations. It works best on small dents. Damage that involves the car frame or that causes holes or tears in the metal is not a candidate for this type of service. The results vary, even when the same repairperson does the work.
Most repairs take only a few minutes, resulting in a lower cost. While repairs are cosmetically perfect, repairing a dent in this method does not restore the strength lost when the dent occurs. A subsequent accident in the same area often results in more damage than if the owner had had a traditional body shop do the repair work.
Although kits are available for the vehicle owner to handle the repair, most of the tools involved are inferior to those a professional uses. Even if the owner buys a set of professional tools, success in the project requires a skill that most laymen do not have.