2005 Toyota Prius - how hard/expensive would it be to replace the bumper?

I have a 2005 Toyota Prius that is mostly in great shape. The exception is the rear bumper – 6 years of parallel parking in cities have left it in poor shape. It’s not dented, but there are a lot of scratches and scrapes that have gone through the paint to reveal whatever substance lies below. I’ve contemplated covering the scratches with bumper stickers (perhaps getting some custom made that read: “Bumper stickers: probably cheaper than a new bumper”) but my husband says he still has some shame left. What’s the best way to go about replacing the bumper? I assume going through a Toyota dealership is the most expensive option – is this something I could do myself, provided I obtained the right part in the right color? I’m fairly hand/foolhardy that way. Thanks, Jen T.

Since your bumper is just has scratches and scrapes, I would get an estimate from a couple of body shops to repaint the bumper. If you purchase a new bumper, it will have to be painted anyway since replacement bumpers come unpainted. I had someone run into my 2011 Toyota Sienna a couple of months after I purchased it and left a scratch in the bumper. The body shop removed and refinished the bumper for $250.

I’d start by getting an estimate from a local body shop, which is usually free. They can probably paint the one you have now.

If you really do need to replace it, I’m guessing that a new bumper cover (the name of the part you really need) comes unpainted, so you might as well have the body shop do the installation as well as the painting.

You could consider trying to find a good one at a junkyard and putting it on yourself, but there’s no guarantee the color will match well.

Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful comments – they’re very much appreciated! Best, Jen T.

The substance that lies below is simply plastic. Any body shop an overspray this so that it looks brand new for perhaps less than $200.

You could also stop at the part store and find an attractive trim strip to put across the bumper to prevent the scratches in the future. It might be a wise investment.