Know these 4 things and master the basics of car paint

Updated Sep 16, 2021 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Identifying the different types of car paint finishes, the cost of car colors and the things you need to know to avoid unexpected costs.

When buying a car, most car buyers are used to having to pay for useful features like cruise control, air-conditioning, and sat-nav. Those who have more money to spare would spend extra for mainly extravagant luxuries such as privacy glass, heated steering, and swiveling tow bars.

However, it has also become more common for car manufacturers to charge additional fees for specific car colors, which used to be a standard, no-cost option in cars.

This article from will help you understand why car paint can be expensive, and give some tips on how to avoid unexpected costs of car paint.

1. Cost of car colors

Before, car manufacturers didn't charge car buyers for primary “flat" colors. They only ask extra for more exuberant colors like matte, pearlescent, and metallic hues.

However, today, this has become less and less common. If a car buyer wants to upgrade the car’s paint to a more attention-grabbing color, for example, he or she will need to prepare around P30,000 or more.

Different car paint color

Most carmakers charge car buyers for special colors

>>> Related: Which car colors are easiest to clean and maintain?

If the car buyer wants a more upmarket model, he or she will end up spending thousands more. One example is the Peugeot 308 hatchback that comes in Hurricane Grey as standard car paint. If you opt for a solid white color, you will need to add P18,000. Choosing other colors will either cost you an additional P36,000 or P45,000.

car painting

If the car buyer wants a more upmarket model, he or she will end up spending thousands more

Take note that this practice is not only limited to Peugeot. For car buyers that are looking at the Nissan Juke, Flame Red is the only no-cost color available. If you want other hues, you need to add at least P16,000 for white. The most expensive shade will cost P49,000. 

If you want to be in trend and opt for a contrasting roof (which is in fashion again), you will have to spend thousands of pesos for a two-tone look.

But do note that, if you are living in the Philippines, besides the price you need to pay the auto repair shop, you will also need to pay the car change color LTO fee. 

2. Different types of car paint finishes

As mentioned above, the total cost of the paint job depends on the color and car paint finish. There are various car paint finishes you can opt for your car, they are the following:

Solid paint

The least expensive and most common paint option is the solid paint. It is inexpensive and easier to repair since colors are easy to match, and scratches can be hidden seamlessly.

Grey solid car color

The least expensive and most common paint option is solid paint

>>> A hot car-care technology: Ceramic Coating in the Philippines

Metallic paint

Metallic paint gives cars an eye-catching, subtle sparkle. This paint has an aluminum powder that can reflect sunlight, giving the car paint a dazzling shine. This type of car paint is pretty expensive because the color is hard to match, and dings and scratches are difficult to repair. Metallic paint also has limited color options.

car with metallic car paint

Metallic paint gives cars an eye-catching, subtle sparkle

Pearlescent paint

This type of paint is like metallic paint, but instead of aluminum powder, it has ceramic (mica) crystals. They don't just reflect light; they refract it too. That's why it can appear to be any of the rainbow's colors. If you’re into a dazzling, subtly color paint that seems different from each angle, then the pearlescent is the best fit for you.

But just like metallic paint, this type of car paint finish is also hard to repair and hard to match. It is significantly more expensive compared to a solid color.

car with pearlescent paint

Pearlescent paint is like metallic paint, but instead of aluminum powder, it has ceramic (mica) crystals

Matte paint

This type of paint job is extremely expensive. The maintenance is also a bit difficult as well. Most paint maintenance and repair tools available in the market are meant for glossy paint finishes. Using those types of buff could leave your car paint with a bright spot in the sea of matte.

car with matte paint

The matte paint job is extremely expensive

>>> Read more: How to easily maintain your car's matte finish

3. The reason behind expensive car paint today

An industry spokesman explained why the cost of paint now is so expensive. According to him, there are several factors why carmakers are suddenly charging more for it. He said the increasing popularity of white color means fewer consumers will spend money on metallic other color shades.

“Obviously, paint is something manufacturers have to purchase. And with fewer buyers choosing metallic as a cost option, they have to plug the financial gap by charging a nominal fee,” he said.

car paint

An industry spokesman explained why the cost of paint now is so expensive

According to Paul Normyle, boss of car paint repair company Shine, “There was an EU directive back in 2006-07 that all paints should be water-based rather than oil-based. The R&D for all colors to be created in this way becomes expensive. This, of course, has a knock-on effect – and somebody has to pay for it.”

>>> Check out:

4. What you can do about it

In any situation, the crucial thing to do is proper research. Before buying the car of your choice with your preferred paint, make sure you know its total cost.

Avoid situations where you’re already in the showroom and about to sign all the paperwork, and just to find out that the cost of the paint job is over P30,000, which will put you over budget – and you can’t do anything but to pay for it.

man painting car

In any situation, the crucial thing to do is proper research

Do your research before deciding to buy a car that is not in a standard color. Good thing, most car manufacturers allow consumers to configure their ideal vehicle on their websites.

With this, you will be able to see the total cost of the paintwork or any additional equipment you want to add to your vehicle. Don't forget to check the paint options and then factor it into your budget.

Also, you can use paint jobs as a haggling tool. If the dealer won't give you a discount or budge on the car's price, then you can ask them to provide you with a desirable premium paint job for free. All you need is to know how to negotiate the cost of the car you want to buy.

>>> You might want to know:

car painting service

Also, you can use paint jobs as a haggling tool

We also suggest you check the vehicles that the dealer has in stock because, more often, they have metallic paint to attract car buyers. If you buy a pre-registered or in-stock car, you can save a lot of money, and there's no need to pay additional charges for metallic paint.

Additionally, dealers will try to convince you to buy paint protection, which is also a bit costly. So, you need to figure out if you really need to paint protection or not.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

View more