The best panel beaters & smash repairers in Canberra

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Canberra is a city that has come to rely heavily on cars – according to a survey of household travel in the ACT and Queanbeyan region, around 95% of households have at least one car, and each day just under a million car journeys are made across our city. With the roads full of traffic and more and more cars appearing all the time, plus the new traffic conditions imposed by the light rails, accidents are likely to occur – and in the event that your car is damaged, you’ll want to think about taking it to a panel beater or smash repair service ASAP.

A panel beater or smash repairer repairs vehicle bodies after they have been damaged by the impact, and many also offer painting services. If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you’ll want to take your car to a service who you can trust completely, not only to get you your car back in fine shape in a timely manner, but also to make this aspect of a potentially distressing event easy and comfortable for you. So, how can you decide which smash repair company is best for you?

In this article, we’ll run through some of the most important qualities to look for in a smash repair business, as well as a helpful guide to some of Canberra’s top businesses who can help get your car back to its factory state.

What makes a great panel beater & smash repairer?

If you’re unsure of what to look for in the best panel beater in Canberra, we suggest starting with the following traits:

  • Experienced. The best smash repair services are conducted by experienced panel beaters that know the ins and outs of the process. They have all the right knowledge and equipment to return your car to its factory state.
  • Expertise. If possible, you may want to send your vehicle to a panel beater that is certified by the brand of your car. That means they have specialist expertise in the various makes and models of that particular brand, often resulting in superior results.
  • Prompt. You probably need your car returned as soon as possible. With that in mind, seek out a panel beater that can guarantee a fast turnaround.
  • Fairly priced. You don’t want to be ripped off. The best in the business charge a fair price for the services they offer, and are transparent with you about it throughout the process.

The best panel beaters & smash repairers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

Menzies Autocraft

Menzies Autocraft, established in 2008, is a smash repair facility located in Fyshwick, whose team strongly believes in keeping up to date with current vehicle technology and investing heavily in the necessary training and equipment required to repair all makes of late model vehicles. As the authorised repairer for all insurance companies and offering a 24-hour towing service if you’re in an accident, your car is in safe and capable hands with Menzies Autocraft.

Happy customer Clinton Sheehan wrote the following review for Menzies Autocraft on Facebook, “Highly recommend this place so much I’ve had a few of my cars repaired here every time the job is perfect, and the staff are wonderful.”

David Hand Smash Repairs

Family-owned and operated, David Hand Smash Repairs has delivered high-quality vehicle body repairs to the Canberra region for almost 40 years. Committed to outstanding workmanship, innovation, and good old-fashioned customer service, the team at DHS offer both panel beating and painting services. Your vehicle will look good as new!

‘Local Guide’ Brendan Clark wrote the following review for DHS on Google, “Josh Hand and his team went to great lengths to make sure that work done to my car was of the highest standard. I would definitely use these guys again.”

Marko Smash Repairs Canberra

Marko Smash Repairs Canberra is a family-owned and run business with three generations of panel beating experience. Passionate about all things cars, the team behind Marko Smash Repairs offer a fast turn around and an affordable yet effective service. You can rest easy knowing your vehicle is in safe and capable hands.

As Facebook user Pat Maiuto writes in their review, “Highly recommend Marko Body Repairs, I just took my 1987 Holden VL commodore in for some repairs and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Their customer service is amazing made me feel really welcomed as well.”

Tony Farrugia Bodyworks

Established in 1983, Tony Farrugia Bodyworks is the only Mercedes-Benz authorised body repairer in the ACT and Southern regions. Their team of European car specialists work with a number of additional brands. The experienced panel beaters at Tony Farrugia Bodyworks aim to deliver exceptional customer service and unbeatable results. They are committed to continued learning and keep up with the latest repair technologies.

As Google reviewer and ‘Local Guide’ Chris Banham writes, “Great team to deal with so far. Explained the process and the outcomes. Very professional team, hope the end result is as good.”

AutoCo

AutoCo has been servicing Canberra’s cars for over 30 years, and now boasts three locations across town. Among the wide range of services offered by their team of highly skilled mechanics across 3 locations in Canberra, AutoCo’s qualified panel beaters and painters can repair your car to the manufacturers’ standards, as well as arrange a tow and hire car if you need. With a workshop fitted out with the latest in painting, welding and frame adjustment equipment, and the capacity to repair up to 60 vehicles a week, not only will you not have to wait long for your car to be returned, you can rest assured that it will be returned to you in perfect, factory-standard condition.

Facebook user Jacqui Myers highly recommends AutoCo, writing this their review, “Professional, friendly service. Was able to book at short notice & had confidence in the expertise of the team.”

Are you in need of assistance with your vehicle? Check out our articles on the best car servicing, the best car detailers, and the best mechanics in Canberra for some useful information. Or if you’re looking for insurance cover for your car, our article on the best insurance brokers in Canberra may be of help to you.

Your experience with panel beaters & smash repairers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you worked with a panel beater in the Canberra region? Did they do a good job? How was the service? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between smash repair and panel beating?
There is no major difference between smash repairers and panel beaters. Both services are concerned with repairing your car's body after an accident and getting it back to a sound, roadworthy and factory-standard condition.
What does a panel beater do?
Panel beaters repair body work using skills such as metalworking techniques, welding and other skills. Some panel beaters also work exclusively on vehicle restorations, and do not repair smash work at all.
Do panel beaters match paint?
Car body repairers work closely with car manufacturers and are provided with paint samples for each model in each colour. This way, a professional repairer can accurately match the colour of your vehicle, no matter how old or weather-affected.
Does my insurance cover smash repairs?
You'll have to check with your provider. Usually, if you call your insurance provider about the damage, they will conduct an assessment and appoint one of their insured smash repair services. Additionally, some insurance providers allow you to nominate your own repair service - just make sure that your policy covers this!
How long does smash repair take?
This depends entirely on the extent of the damage. It can take days, it can take weeks - a good smash repair service will keep you regularly up to date on how the process is going, as well as keep you informed of any costs you may incur as they repair your car.

What's Your Opinion?


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87 Responses to The best panel beaters & smash repairers in Canberra
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fred4 fred4 1:01 am 15 Apr 21

Do not use Fuller Bros Bodyworks in Belconnen

Hi.Quality Hi.Quality 6:06 pm 03 Feb 20

Fuller Brothers Bodyworks in Belconnen – very impressed.

Excellent workmanship – very fair pricing and responsive customer service to the point you feel comfortable and happy dealing with this team.

Maree Guthrie Maree Guthrie 6:53 pm 25 Mar 19

I had amazing experience wi Hume body works act. They were so professional and their price was a quarter of price from a large company in Phillip. Just look around especially if you are a women

Margaret Makeham-Kirchner Margaret Makeham-Kirchner 11:37 am 13 Jan 18

I just had a great experience with ACT Auto Body Works in Mitchell. Mick arranged to quote within days, booked it in to be fixed within days, and his quote was cheaper than several others I went to. The job was done perfectly and cost me less than he had quoted (how often does that happen!!!!) A practical, fast, no upsell experience, unlike my experience with several of those recommended here that I went to. Highly recommended!

Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Faisal 9:02 am 05 Jun 17

Don’t consider Fuller Brothers, my car came back with a new dent and the boys were not taking any responsibility. I am 100% certain that it occurred while my car was under repair at their workshop.

Eddy99 Eddy99 12:13 pm 01 Jul 15

Never Ever use Fuller bros in Belconnen

_Nick_ _Nick_ 4:49 pm 20 Feb 14

I highly recommend Tony Farrugia Bodyworks in Fyshwick. I have had two jobs done by them and both came back perfect and unable to fault. Sometimes it takes a little time to get in there but it’s worth the wait.

A place not to go to? Hume Smash repairs, I tried getting them to do a respray on a car for me, lets just say 18 months went by and long story short I took my car back from them and have never been able to get my deposit back. They didn’t do any work to it and left it out for long periods in the open weather with no protection even though I asked them on several occasions to cover it up. Thankfully when I got it back the electrics were still ok and no rust. I have also seen other peoples cars who have had work done there and the paint match was not very good and overspray on adjacent areas.

Padoof Padoof 1:52 pm 30 Jan 14

So in less than two days my daughter’s car was repaired by Kelley Body Works (full front bumper replacement with a new supporting bracket). The price came in at $1500 (what was quoted) and the car was given a clean inside and out.

I can highly recommend seeing Greg and his team there, he’s not one of these ‘preferred repairer’ places and cares about the quality of the work. I found them professional and reasonable priced.

rhino rhino 9:44 am 29 Jan 14

cranky said :

Geez, I hope the ATO have never heard of this site.:-)

It’s not cheaper for cash because they aren’t declaring it to the ATO. I mean that might happen but it’s certainly not the only reason. Using the card machine costs them money. Isn’t it sometimes 3% of the sale? Plus they then don’t receive the cash for several days at times. So I’d definitely prefer cash. Even at The Good Guys and other large chains they give you cheaper prices for cash for this reason. It’s not that they aren’t declaring it to the ATO.

cranky cranky 8:40 pm 28 Jan 14

Geez, I hope the ATO have never heard of this site.:-)

rhino rhino 5:10 pm 28 Jan 14

If you aren’t going through insurance, go to the smaller shops and ask for quotes and tell them it’s not through insurance and that you can pay cash to get the best price. In terms of lowest prices, I’ve found Hume Smash Repairs to be very good. Sometimes they can get busy and be a bit disorganised and end up taking a while to get your car back, but Cris is the owner and he will look after you for price, especially if you don’t need the car back in a hurry.

shirty_bear shirty_bear 2:31 pm 28 Jan 14

The only panel-beater factoid I have is that as soon as they know it’s an insurance job, the price doubles. Maybe triples.

Unlike generic retailer catch-cries, with these guys you can pay cash and save.
(this is not based on direct personal experience; rather, first-hand reports from colleagues. So I’m no help recommending who to use coz I don’t remember and said colleagues are long gone. Sorry.)

Zeital Zeital 2:12 pm 28 Jan 14

I would give hume body works a call.

Typsy McStaggers Typsy McStaggers 1:51 pm 28 Jan 14

I’ve always found Fuller Bros. in Belconnen to be very fair and do good work.

Padoof Padoof 1:29 pm 28 Jan 14

My 17yo dropped her car off today to Kelley Body Works in Mitchell (disclaimer, the owner is the brother of a friend of mine, but I don’t know him).

My daughter got two quotes, the first was a bit of a look and a ‘about $2000’. Kelley Body Works did a thorough check, took photos, researched and came back with a written quote of just under $1500.

Can let you know the final verdict when the car is finished.

Oh, and we’ve travelled from Tuggeranong to go there.

Richard Bender Richard Bender 6:56 pm 04 Oct 13

Rach_13 said :

Thanks for your help everyone! Tony was suggested to me so ill give there a try.

My only worry is if they can match the paint. Its only silver but there are plenty of silvers out there!

Your compliance plate would normally have a paint code on it. The body shop’s computer will spit out a formula to tint the paint, much like buying house paint at a hardware shop. The difficult part is if your car’s paint has faded and they have to match the silver that’s actually on the car now rather than when it left the factory.

Rach_13 Rach_13 11:06 am 04 Oct 13

Thanks for your help everyone! Tony was suggested to me so ill give there a try.

My only worry is if they can match the paint. Its only silver but there are plenty of silvers out there!

Rangi Rangi 4:00 pm 03 Oct 13

I used A & A on a recomendation from a friend, when my wife was rear ended, (only minor damage), they were excellent, it was fixed on time, and the whole car was cleaned inside and out, it looked like it was new again.

Zeital Zeital 1:27 pm 03 Oct 13

FYI the number plate would be from Canberra Connect, and will more than likely cost you money for a new one.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:39 pm 03 Oct 13

Tony Farrugia Bodyworks, Fyshwick. For a minor repair you can probably pencil in a 4-8 week wait.

Unfortunately they’ve seen my car three times. Twice for minor repairs and once after a decent shunt thanks to an inattentive driver crossing across three lanes of traffic.

Happily though all the repairs have been carried out with great success.

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