In a minor car accident, it's common to have a few scratches and dings left on your vehicle. Deciding how (and whether) to repair them will depend on the types of blemishes you see. Here are some common cosmetic issues along with advice on your repair options.
Dents may be important to repair quickly, depending on the severity. If you've got simple dents where the paint isn't showing through, then often times it's just a matter of preference; you don't need to rush to the shop unless you're worried about the resale value of the vehicle. This type of dent is also fairly easy to repair with a paintless dent treatment, so it may be affordable to fix anyway.
When you really need to fix dents is when the paint shows through buckled metal. This becomes more of a structural issue; that chip can also cause the metal to be exposed to the elements and it may start to rust the car. You may need to replace the metal panel at an auto body shop to ensure that there is no rust damage to the car.
Scratches are another issue that will depend on severity. Where there are several prominent scratches that expose the metal underneath, a fix is necessary. If the scratches don't go down to the surface of the metal, they may be easy to fix with sandpaper on your own.
When your paint is chipped, you may want to repair it, depending on your aptitude for DIY projects. Paint scratches and chips are one of the easier things to fix on your own if you get a paint repair kit from your auto body repair shop. And there is little risk in trying to apply the paint yourself, since in the worst case scenario, you'll just take it back to the auto body shop to paint over it. Of course, starting at the auto body repair shop is also a great option if you want to save time or if you'd like to change the color of the vehicle entirely.
In short, while some repairs may be more important than others, there are often affordable ways to get each of these cosmetic issues fixed after a collision. Check with your insurer to see if they can help cover the expenses, or approach your auto body repair shop to see if they offer package deals for fixing several cosmetic issues at once.