I found your blog very useful... I bought a new car last week and unfortunately scratched it on a pole in the apt parking garage. The scratch, some a little deep, are just above the rear right wheel. A little bit, 1/4 inch, extends into the door/bumber. I went to several auto body shops and their estimate range from about $300 to $1000. The one that I've been recommended is about $750 and I'm leaning towards that since they seem to do good job. Am I being over charged? I feel if I go to the $300 one I'll get a crappy job. The mgr explained the big job is the painting and blending it into the rest of the car. When they paint it, would it be noticeable after several yrs when the color starts fading?
Since the car is fairly new, the paints should age about the same, so years from now when the paint starts fading, you should not see a difference. I would go with the shop you trust, it is not an easy job matching the paint. While computers make it easier to match the paint, there is still a human making the final judgement. Even the weather conditions can effect the final color, so going with someone you trust is very important. Without seeing the damage, I can not say if you are being overcharged, but it sounds about right for a scratch that big.