FAQ Frequently Asked Questions for Mobile Cosmetic Vehicle Repairs | Smart Finish

FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Click on the Questions to Reveal the Answers

1. General Questions

For ALL quotes, please send us photos of the damaged area on your vehicle so we can evalute whether or not we can do the job and how much it will cost. Without seeing the damage we cannot quote you properly.

Photos should NOT be too close-up. Photos should clearly show the size and location of the damage in relation to your vehicle.

Send your photos using your phone (SMS to 0423 667 851) OR email (andrew@smartfinish.com.au) OR click here to use our contact form to upload your photos.

Although we are not registered with any insurance companies for claims, you may still be able to have repairs reimbursed by your insurance company. Please contact your own insurance company to double-check. Please note: most Smart Finish repairs will cost less than the average person's excess, meaning you should be able to avoid making a claim altogether - that's our aim anyway!

NO. We are fully mobile. WE COME TO YOU!

That depends where you work. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. We require proper ventilation and lighting. If you're not sure, ask us and we will evaluate whether we can or not.

Generally speaking, a typical repair takes around 3hrs.

Yes. Please note that paint repairs will be completely touch-dry when we drive away, although the repaired area will take longer to cure and may scratch easily for up to 24 hours. For this reason, we recommend a proper curing time of 24hrs before you wash your vehicle. But, yes, you can drive it straight away.

Yes, however please wait 24 hours before washing your car. Please also refrain from using a drive-through or automated car wash. These are harmful to paint. Even the "touchless" ones are harmful, because their detergent is corrosive and removes wax and protective barriers from your car's paintwork.

We accept visa, master cards, eftpos and cash. We don't typically accept Online Banking transactions without prior arrangement. Payment is due on the day.

We need:

  • access to a power supply
  • parking space - it's best if we can get our van next to your vehicle
  • shade if it's available (not essential).
  • covered area for rainy days

In most cases, no. Sometimes, yes. We hate missed appointments as much as you hate cancellation fees. We cannot take another person’s booking during your allocated time - so a cancellation fee represents a small fraction of missed revenue and incurred expenses including driving time and materials. To help avoid fees, we will send you a courtesy SMS or call you to confirm your booking. We always keep your booking unless you tell us otherwise – so even if you are unable to respond to our SMS, we will still arrive at the designated time. To avoid a fee, simply let us know when you need to cancel, with fair notice. It’s that easy. We appreciate your courtesy. For on-the-day cancellations, please call us – don’t email us. We are on the road and often don’t see your emails until late in the evening. For more information - please read our cancellation policy.

No. Smart Finish does not offer a warranty on cosmetic vehicle repairs.

When it comes to a car's paintwork, bodywork or paint protection, it is our opinion that a warranty is not worth the paper it's written on! That's because there are so many terms and conditions, such as how often you should polish your paint, how you store your vehicle and even where you can/cannot drive (for example, bush bashing voids most paintwork warranties!)

As a result, because we cannot control the way in which you drive and store your vehicle, we cannot judge how the paintwork and/or other cosmetic vehicle repairs will be affected; therefore, we do not offer a warranty.

2. Can You Fix This?

NO. Unfortunately, once your car has rust it's never really gone. Also, rust is often a lot worse than it looks. Although it might look like a small rust spot, it could be much larger underneath.

Generally no, however, it depends on the type of impact. If you are talking about a typical car crash, then NO. We do NOT do major repairs or any job where the safety of your vehicle may have been compromised. We a purely cosmetic repairers and refinishers; so if your letter box decided to ''jump out'' at you while you where traveling out of your driveway... then typically we can fix it, although we can't fix your letterbox! 😉

This is a touchy subject! In most "key" cases, we recommended you take the vandalised vehicle to a panel shop. This is because the whole side of your car may need respraying. Even if the key-scratch is short, there is a lot of work involved to "blend" the repair in, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. If the key scratch crosses over more than one panel (for example, door-to-door), you will definitely need to see a panel beater or body shop. (Even though, yes we have repaired ''key'' scratches before and you can see them in our photo gallery, it is a BIG job and one that we'd prefer not to do.

Bumpers are our specialty! In most cases, YES we can fix it for you. In fact, we love fixing bumpers. Please note that sometimes the damage is so bad that we can't fix it... or we may "give it a go" but won't be able to guarantee 100%.

In most cases, YES. It really depends on the extent of the damage, so we still need to see the damage to give you a quote. Not surprisingly, a lot of our work is fixing car park damage caused by ''other drivers''.

3. Paint Repairs and Touch Ups

Yes! Our computerised colour database uses a powerful colour matching system. Not only can it match the colour of your make and model, the system contains well over 4000 variant colour chips. We can match your colour very accurately - just the same as a panel beater or body shop.

Important Note: If your existing paint colour is very faded (compared to the original) or in bad condition, then you might notice a very slight difference between the new paint repair and the existing paint work. These cases are rare and in all these cases, the minor colour difference is not typically detectable upon first glance. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid these colour match problems is to take your car to a panel shop for painting in a spray booth - where they will paint and/or replace the entire panel (instead of a spot repair like we do). If you are extremely fussy and anxious about the colour, we recommend you go to a panel shop. If, like most of our customers, you're happy to have the damage gone with minimal fuss and save hundreds, even thousands of dollars, give us a call today!

Absolutely! In fact, we often leave a bottle of paint for our customer's car after we do the repairs. If you wish to buy just the paint (and no repair service), we can mix it and sell it to you at cost-effective prices.

It depends on the type of repair:

  • Respray - Typically, after we respray, you will not see the repair. We put a considerable amount of careful preparation before we even begin to respray. This is the secret to our often flawless finish.
  • Brush Touch - If you choose to go for a cheaper option, such as ''brush touching'', you will see the repair. The look of your car will still be dramatically improved, but brush touching is easily detectable, especially if you look closely.
Important Note: From time to time, there are minor errors in our finished paintwork - for example, specs of dust or very slight overspray. This is the unavoidable risk of being a mobile service, working at your location. These cases are rare and in all these cases, the minor imperfections are not typically detectable upon first glance. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid these environmental problems is to take your car to a panel shop for painting in a spray booth. If you are extremely fussy, we recommend you go to a panel shop. If, like most of our customers, you are happy to risk a small dust spec and still save hundreds of dollars, give us a call today!

No. Our specialised HVLP (high volume, low pressure) spray guns are specifically designed to paint small areas at low pressure. The spray guns give the same quality finish as bodyshop spray guns, but are easily controlled. We turn them right down, allowing us to paint as if we're using an airbrush with fine finesse - and use much less paint while getting better than an aerosol can.

Yes our paints don't contain any lead or Isocyanates.

4. Wheel Repairs

There are 4 different types of finishes on wheels.

  1. Standard Alloys. 1st is the most common, typical ''standard'' painted alloy. These look silver and we can easily repair the scratches to them.
  2. Polished Alloys. The 2nd type is the ''polished'' alloy. Polished alloys look shiny like the ''kitchen sink''. We can still remove the scratches, but we cannot replicate the machined (grooved) finish on the wheel. If you don't care about the restoring/maintaining the machined/grooved look, we will happliy do the repair for you. If you DO care about keeping the machined look, your wheels will need to go to a specialist for repair.
  3. Shadow Chrome. The 3rd type of wheel is Shadow Chrome. Shadow chrome is a touchy subject for repairers because it requires artistic skill to achieve the Shadow Chrome finish. It is NOT a matter of merely painting the wheel with this type of paint, but rather a special technique. Smart Finish have had great result achieving the shadow chrome finish and we'd be happy to give you a quote (see Shadow Chrome photos here).
  4. Chrome. The 4th type is Chrome. Obviously, these are NOT alloy but rather steel wheels that have been chrome-bathed. We do NOT repair Chrome wheels... and (just in case you're wondering), because Chrome is not painted, there's no such thing as real "chrome paint". If you do find a product called "chrome paint", don't be fooled... you'll also need the expensive equipment that comes with it!

No. Heavily damage wheels must be taken to a specialist for major repair. They will remove the wheels from your vehicle, repair and refit them. They may also re-balance and ensure wheels are structurally sound before you drive away. Ask us for a recommended repairer.

5. Headlight Repairs

Hard to say. There are too many variables that can influence the longevity of the sealant. Generally speaking though you should get 2-3 years out of it.

This problem is caused by the old sealant breaking down after exposure to harsh sun, wind, rain (and UV light). Today's motor cars all have polycarbonate lenses, instead of the old glass style. This contributes to the problem.

Once the headlights have been treated, the sealant must be "cured" using UV light (Sunlight is perfect!). Approximately 1 hr curing time on a medium-cloudy day is needed before you can drive the car. Please wait 24-48hrs before washing your car.

Typically 1 to 1hr and 30 min

6. Dent Repairs and Paintless Dent Removal (PDR)

Bumpers are our specialty! In most cases, YES we can fix it for you. In fact, we love fixing bumpers. Please note that sometimes the damage is so bad that we can't fix it... or we may "give it a go" but won't be able to guarantee 100%.

Smart Finish has partnered with a top Perth PDR (paintless dent removal) technician for removing such dents. Sometimes our technician can remove dents without any damage to your paint. Other times, he can remove the dent, but Smart Finish paint repairs will also be required. That's how we work together. If your car has car park or hail dents, speak to us and we'll get our PDR technician to give you a call.

Yes and NO. Dent removal isn't easy; there are many variables. If you have a dent on an edge (e.g. wheel arch, or door edge), it may not come out using traditional dent-pulling tools for PDR (Paintless Dent Removal). In these cases, the only solution is to ''fill'' the area with body filler and re-paint it. If you're not sure, ask us. Once we have seen a photo (or seen the dent in person) we can make an evaluation for the best solution.

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