On average, professional headlight restoration services can cost from $50 to $150 per headlight pair. However, choosing a DIY route can minimize the overall cost significantly. Typically, a DIY headlight restoration will cost anywhere from $20 to $40.
But before you go for a DIY headlight restoration, remember that a professional headlight restoration is always more precise and well-served than a DIY service. However, some of the high-end professional upward headlight restorations can cost over $200 per headlight pair.
When do you need a headlight restoration service?
If you notice your car’s headlights are becoming cloudy, yellowed, or scratched, you will have to think about headlight restoration. Over time, the plastic, acrylic, or other materials used to make your car’s headlight can damage due to overexposure to UV rays, contaminants, or other factors. These damages can make the lens of the headlight discolored or hazy. As a result, your car’s light loses its effectiveness causing decreased visibility than before.
Why headlight restoration?
Your car’s headlight is one of the most important safety features. These tools help you to find out what is ahead of you when you drive. At the same time, other drivers also notice you when your car’s high beams are on. However, a dull, hazy, and yellowed high beam not only makes your car vulnerable but also makes it unattractive. To avoid this, many car owners opt for headlight restoration, a process that involves removing the surface layer of the headlights, polishing them, and applying a protective coating to restore their clarity and brightness.
If you are also on a mission to restore your car’s headlamps, we are to make the process clearer to you by suggesting what you should do and what you should not! Let’s get started-
How much does it cost to restore headlights?
Type of restoration
$20-$40 per pair
$50-$200 per pair
There are two possible options when it comes to restoring your car’s high beams. Yes, I am talking about Do It Yourself (DIY) and Professional restoration.
A DIY installation involves purchasing the light kit from any local shop or online and installing the kit on your own. On the contrary, a professional installation means doing the installation by someone professional or from a community that does the job for money. While DIY installation is cheaper, it may not be all the time precise. A professional installation, on the other hand, is somewhat costly but ensures that you get the best of the service.
DIY headlight restoration cost
If your car’s high beams are mildly damaged and you also are on a tight budget, you may want to try a DIY kit. A DIY headlight restoration kit will usually include a polishing compound, sandpaper, and a protective coating layer that you apply on yourself.
In general, a headlight DIY restoration kit costs around $20 to $40. And that is the only cost you will have to pay for the service as you will do it on your own. You can get a headlamp kit from any auto local store or online retailer. While DIY kits are the cheapest option, they require more effort and may not be as effective as professional services. Additionally, if you're not careful, you can accidentally damage your headlights further.
Pros and cons of DIY restoration
- DIY service is cost-effective as you tend to do all the things on your own.
- Such restoration is also convenient as you do not have to go anywhere and you can do the job in the comfort of your home.
- DIY restoration kits are also widely available and you can anytime find them in any local auto parts store or purchase them from any online retailer.
- DIY restoration is good for minor damages.
- Doing a minor DIY servicing on your car’s headlamps will keep you safe on the road.
- As a DIY restoration requires multiple steps to complete, it can be a time-consuming process.
- DIY restoration demands real effort and skill to get a better result from the installation
- If the damage is severe, DIY restoration won’t work. You will have to think about a professional option.
- You may not get a longer lifespan when you do DIY servicing.
- Last but not the least; there is no guarantee of quality.
Professional headlight restoration cost
If your car’s high beams are severely damaged, and you want a long-lasting solution, professional restoration is always the best option. Though professional installation costs more, we always encourage doing so as it minimizes the overall risk. Professional services typically involve wet sanding, polishing, and applying a protective coating to your headlights.
In general, the cost of professional service can range from $50 to $150 per pair of headlights. Depending on your location and the level of service you want, the cost of a professional restoration can go over $200 as well in some cases. While professional services are more expensive than DIY kits, they can restore your headlights to like-new condition and last for years.
Pros and Cons of professional headlight restoration
- Professional restoration brings high-quality results.
- It saves your time dramatically.
- Restoring your car’s high beams from a professional service will ensure longevity.
- Professional headlight restoration can increase the resale value of your vehicle by making it look newer and well-maintained.
- It carries less risks to the headlights compared to DIY.
- Such a service is expensive compared to DIY installation.
- You will have to take your vehicle to a local shop for installation, which may create inconvenience for some users.
- The quality of the service may vary depending on the provider.
- Professional restoration services may not be available in every place you live.
- It may not be effective for headlights with severe damage, such as deep scratches or cracks, which may require replacement instead.
What are the factors that influence the cost of headlight restoration?
Several factors come into play when you are considering the fact of headlight restoration. Here are the top five factors that will influence the total cost of headlight restoration-
Severity of Damage
A minor fixation for minor damage can be solved within $50. But when the level of damage is severe, the cost to restore will automatically rise above $100. Deep scratches or crack usually cost higher than light scratches or hazy buildup.
Type of Headlight
Older headlights are usually harder to restore than newer headlights made of plastic. Headlights with complex shapes or designs may require more time and effort to restore, which can increase the cost.
Quality of materials
The material that will be used to complete the process will also affect the total cost of restoration. High-quality materials naturally will increase the total cost more than low-quality materials. It is expected that high-quality materials will provide longer service than low-quality materials.
Professional vs. DIY restoration
You can guess which one will be costly as I have discussed it broadly in the previous section. Professional headlight restoration will be two times costlier than a DIY restoration. At the same time, professional servicing will also bring more long-lasting support than DIY repairing.
The location of the restoration service can also influence the cost. Prices may vary depending on the region or city you are in. In some areas, the cost of living may be higher, which can lead to higher prices for restoration services.
When should I think about a headlight replacement instead?
While headlight restoration can be an effective solution for restoring cloudy or hazy headlights, there are certain cases where replacement may be a better option. Here are some signs that indicate you may need a headlight replacement instead of restoration:
- Severe Damage: If the headlight lenses are severely damaged, such as deep scratches, cracks, or large chunks missing, it may not be possible to restore them. In such cases, replacement may be the only option.
- Moisture Buildup: If you notice moisture buildup inside the headlight assembly, it could be a sign of a crack or seal failure. In such cases, replacing the headlight assembly may be the best solution.
- Yellowing or Fading: If the headlight lenses have yellowed or faded to the point where restoration is not effective, it may be time to consider a replacement. Yellowing or fading is often a sign of UV damage, which can cause the plastic to become brittle and more susceptible to damage.
- Age: Over time, headlight lenses can become worn and damaged due to exposure to the elements. If your headlights are several years old and showing signs of wear, it may be time to replace them to ensure optimal visibility and safety.
- Electrical Issues: If the headlight assembly is not functioning correctly, such as if the bulbs are frequently burning out or the wiring is faulty, it may be necessary to replace the entire assembly to fix the problem.
How much does it cost to replace headlights?
The cost of replacing a headlight can vary depending on several factors, such as the make and model of the vehicle, the type of headlight assembly being replaced, and the location where the service is being performed. Replacing a standard Halogen headlight assembly will cost from $50 to $200 per headlight. The cost to replace a LED OR HID headlight tends to be significantly higher. On average, the cost to replace a LED headlight is from $100 to $250. The make and build model of your vehicle will also influence the total cost of replacement. In addition to the cost of the headlight assembly itself, you may also need to factor in the cost of professional labor to install the new headlight. Labor costs can vary depending on the service provider, but typically range from $50 to $200 per headlight.
Headlight replacement vs headlight restoration
Headlight restoration involves using a special polishing compound to remove the outer layer of the headlight lens, revealing a clear, smooth surface underneath. This process can be effective in removing minor scratches, haze, and discoloration, and is generally less expensive than replacement. However, it may not be effective in more severe cases of damage or wear and tear, and the results may not be as long-lasting as a replacement. On the contrary, headlight replacement involves removing the old, damaged headlight assembly and installing a new one. This can be a more expensive option than restoration, but it is often necessary in cases of severe damage, moisture buildup, or electrical issues. Replacement can also be a good option for older vehicles that may benefit from a more modern headlight assembly with improved technology and performance.
the decision between headlight replacement and restoration depends on the specific situation and the severity of the damage. In some cases, restoration may be a cost-effective solution that can improve visibility and safety. In other cases, replacement may be necessary to ensure optimal performance and longevity. It's always best to consult with a professional to determine the best course of action based on your individual needs and budget.
Headlight restoration can be a cost-effective solution for improving the appearance and function of cloudy, hazy, or discolored headlights. The cost of restoration can vary depending on the extent of damage and the method used. DIY kits can cost as low as $10, while professional restoration services can cost up to $150 per headlight. In comparison to headlight replacement, restoration is generally less expensive, with replacement costs ranging from $50 to $1,000 per headlight depending on the type and make of the vehicle. Overall, headlight restoration can be a cost-effective solution that can extend the life of your headlights and improve your visibility while driving.