Automotive

Do dealers routinely respray trade ins?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 16th, 2020 9:39 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 11, 2015
4 posts
Toronto, ON

Do dealers routinely respray trade ins?

I’ve been shopping for a prepreowned car the past several days and I’ve been noticing that many cars with 50k+ km have bumpers and hoods that look pretty much brand new with zero stone chips. I’m not sure how this is possible without a ppf, as my current car with 20k km already has several chips. Touchups are also never 100% and are visible if you look close enough. So this leads me to believe that these cars may have had their bumper and hoods resprayed by the dealer prior to putting them on the showroom floor. Does anyone know if this is common practice? I personally would prefer a hood with chips and the original paint vs. a hood that has been resprayed (although many would disagree).
8 replies
Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
28570 posts
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Toronto
it may depend on the age and value of the car in question. If it's a high priced luxury segment vehicle, they may want to do that and in turn it has a better opportunity to get that cost back by selling it at premium price. Of course, it would be done as close to orig. factory finishes as possible.
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Jul 24, 2009
834 posts
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kitchener
sup8899 wrote: I’ve been shopping for a prepreowned car the past several days and I’ve been noticing that many cars with 50k+ km have bumpers and hoods that look pretty much brand new with zero stone chips. I’m not sure how this is possible without a ppf, as my current car with 20k km already has several chips. Touchups are also never 100% and are visible if you look close enough. So this leads me to believe that these cars may have had their bumper and hoods resprayed by the dealer prior to putting them on the showroom floor. Does anyone know if this is common practice? I personally would prefer a hood with chips and the original paint vs. a hood that has been resprayed (although many would disagree).
Depends on the type of vehicle and it's value.
They will deffinitelly try to "dress up" the ones that can bring in more $.
Member
Jan 4, 2019
458 posts
465 upvotes
sup8899 wrote: I’ve been shopping for a prepreowned car the past several days and I’ve been noticing that many cars with 50k+ km have bumpers and hoods that look pretty much brand new with zero stone chips. I’m not sure how this is possible without a ppf, as my current car with 20k km already has several chips. Touchups are also never 100% and are visible if you look close enough. So this leads me to believe that these cars may have had their bumper and hoods resprayed by the dealer prior to putting them on the showroom floor. Does anyone know if this is common practice? I personally would prefer a hood with chips and the original paint vs. a hood that has been resprayed (although many would disagree).
Depends on the car and previous owner. Not everyone rides others butts and avoids many chips ;)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
11455 posts
3719 upvotes
Toronto
If OP want a used car that's not re-spray, just buy private.
I doubt many individual sellers will bring their car to body shop to re spray the whole bumper before selling it because of the stone chips.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
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Jul 5, 2011
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All the time.

Most pre-owned units on the lot will have some sort of bodywork.

They need to be presentable at the time of sale and fully reconditioned, otherwise customers will expect to pay less.
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Member
Feb 4, 2017
262 posts
175 upvotes
Toronto
This,

Many franchised dealers and even small used lots will partner with a mobile body man that will come ones a week to touch up stone chips, repair scratches and pop out dents.

Normally used cars from dealers are reconditioned to a standard that their customers come to expect. It's also why dealers are able to charge more then private sale.
xjesterxx wrote: All the time.

Most pre-owned units on the lot will have some sort of bodywork.

They need to be presentable at the time of sale and fully reconditioned, otherwise customers will expect to pay less.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16644 posts
6897 upvotes
Keep in mind fixing chips on a hood is not as simply as just mixing the paint and loading up your spray gun. You have to fill in all the low spots first so that your surface is level, otherwise it will look like a simple / poor touch up job. This is why they would likely be used a touch-up process to fill the spots individually.

Dealers will of course do their best to make a car look presentable in order to sell. But it would likely involve touching up spots, which leaves the vast majority of the factory paint still on the part so that shouldn't be a concern for you.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
28321 posts
8779 upvotes
I always hated the term "re-spray" it makes it sound like it's some cheap and easy operation to just "respray" anything and that's all you gotta do. There's other methods of removing paint chips, and some cars might have had clear-bras/PPF on them prior to trade-in as well.

Also keep in mind it's cars that are often highway driven that have more stone chips as slower speed driving will result in far less chips. Believe it or not there are many cars out there that rarely go for long/extended highway runs and many that don't travel on the highway very often.

The times I've been used-car shopping the paint I've seen is clearly not "resprayed" as there is often not that many stone chips per se, but the paint is just in awful condition and it's not something that would have been re-painted recently. Mind you I haven't gone used car shopping in a long time.

Anyway it's not so much the hoods you want to be worried about but the bumpers. Repainted front bumpers are the worst. Rear bumper no problem, but front bumpers are basically never the same once repainted and since they take the brunt of stone chips, they will cheap quickly and easily after being refinished, which is why PPF is a good idea ASAP (once the paint has about a month) if you've had one repainted due to collision, etc.

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