How Much Does Undercoating Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Undercoating is one of the most effective ways to stop corrosion and rust before it starts, extending the life of the vehicle.  It can also help reduce road noise since debris won’t make contact with the metal.

The best time to undercoat your car is when you purchase it brand new since the car hasn’t been driven yet and is a reason why most dealers offer this as an add-on; however, used vehicles can have the job performed as well.

Car-Reflections-1B&W by Chris Sorge, on Flickr
Car-Reflections-1B&W” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Chris Sorge

How much does undercoating cost?

The cost will depend on the vehicle, where you live and the company performing the job.  The average cost of an undercoating job for your vehicle can be around $150 to over $500.

At Ziebart, a popular franchise that performs undercoating, charges, from we saw, was about $250 to $350, and this would include a 10-year warranty; however, in order to keep this warranty active, you would have to come back every year for about $50 per visit.

TheAutoProtectors.com, a website that deals with car maintenance and restoration, says the price usually starts around $249.  The said amount should include the labor and all the materials necessary to perform the job.  The price, however, goes up depending on the particular vehicle that is being undercoated.

Members on the F150Forum.com talked about what they had paid to undercoat their truck, and according to the thread, one member had paid $300.

On another forum thread at Stangnet.com, they had said you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $179 to $279 to have the job done at a local dealership.

Factors that influence the price:

The size of the car

The rule of the thumb is that the bigger your car, the more undercoating will be necessary; therefore, your cost will be higher than a smaller car.

Location

The price for car undercoating varies from one region or city to another. Metropolitan areas are known to offer a bit cheaper price since there is more competition.

Undercoating overview

Undercoating is important for vehicles since it stops the water, ice and salt on the roads from corroding the underside of your car.  If you want your car to be undercoated, you just need to bring it to the nearest mechanic or dealership, and they will basically perform the entire job.  The fee, with the estimates provided above, will include the undercoat products, necessary materials and the labor for the undercoat.  Other car dealerships also sell undercoating packages to their customers.

According to DoItYourSelf.com, the process usually starts by cleaning off your car, most especially the underside of it.  Degreaser, grinder and metal sandpaper will be used in cleaning and getting rid of the car’s rust spots.  Once everything is clean, the painting and priming will come next, and all of the spots being cleaned will be primed with a primer.  After it has dried, the area will be painted with black automotive paint.  Once dried, the actual car undercoating will be done.  While using a paintbrush, the undercoat will be applied liberally, and all parts exposed to the road will be covered.

The first coat dry for at least an hour and then the second thicker coat will be applied.  When done, it will be left overnight or for the next 24 hours to dry.

What are the extra costs?

Rust-proofing is another cost to consider, and although rust proofing is usually confused with undercoating, rust proofing is a different thing.  If you want to fully protect your car from early rusting, you can have it rust-proofed, which is commonly done with an underproofing job.  The price for rust proofing is similar to undercoating pricing.

Paint protection film is another way to protect your car.  When a paint protection film, which is a flexible and clear layer of urethane film is applied to your vehicle, it will act as a barrier protecting the paint from rocks, stones, sand, and bugs.

The undercoating may last for only a year.  No matter how well you take care of it, the undercoating will wear off sooner or later.  Undercoating that is worn and patchy will not do any good for your car since water, salt and other elements can be trapped under the coat which will result to eroding the metal.  With that being said, you will have to plan on having this type of job done every few years.

Tips to know:

Contrary to what majority of people believe, undercoating and rust proofing are not exactly the same.  Generally, rust-proofing products can often be more expensive when compared to undercoating.  Rust-proofing includes treating metals with a thin clear coat.

It is very important that the undercoating should be done by a professional since it is a delicate job.  If it is not done well, the water drainage holes in the vehicle might clog which will create water accumulation inside, resulting in the metal parts rusting.  To find a professional, it is advisable that you use services such as HomeAdvisor.com to get quotes in your area.

If you are planning to do the job yourself, cleaning the underside of your car is the most important part.  If it is not completely free of grease and other substances, these substances will get trapped underneath the undercoating and cause even more damage than you are trying to prevent in the first place.

How can I save money?

If you have the skill to do it on your own, you can do the undercoating of your car all by yourself.  As mentioned above, some kits found online can be found for as little as $10 to $20.

Try to get as many quotes as possible before deciding on a professional.  Consider talking with a popular franchise such as Ziebart, the local dealer and/or local mechanic.


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Average Reported Cost: $248.33

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Sharon auto inc (Syracuse,  New York) paid $565 and said:

    Done at dealership / 2& 1/2 hrs

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Pat (Cedar Rapids,  Iowa) paid $ and said:

    I haven’t had the undercoating done yet, but I believe I have been overcharged. It said in the article that it only last a couple yr. That’s crazy expensive.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Dave (Stewartsville ,  New Jersey) paid $180 and said:

    I did the job myself and paid 180$ in tools, spray paint, and rust converter. Total pain in the butt doing the job on jack stands. Looks really nice. Can’t wait to hit the road salt skiing in VT. Had a previous car that had a brake line rot due to rust. It’s a good investment

    Was it worth it? Yes

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