I am getting stuck finding the English word for "The person whose profession is to repair a car's body", for example removing the rust and painting the car.

  • 2
    In the US it would be "body man" or some such, I suspect.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:13
  • 5
    I like "auto body mechanic". It seems to be the most natural response (for American English).
    – user109263
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:22
  • 3
    @arbitrarystringofletters - I bet you if you take your car into an independent repair shop, for some engine repairs, and ask the guy there what it would cost to get the crumpled fender fixed, he'd reply, "I'll ask my body man to look at it."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:27
  • 1
    "Auto body mechanic" seems more formal (like something one would put on a resume), but I certainly agree with "body man" (or guy) as a colloquial alternative.
    – user109263
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 17:33

8 Answers 8


panel beater


A person whose job is to beat out the bodywork of motor vehicles.


Wikipedia suggests that the Canadian and US equivalent is an auto body mechanic.


A Google search for this type of thing also turns up lots of other titles, including:

  • Paint and Body Technician

  • Auto Body Technician

  • Paint Repair Technician

  • Automotive Body Repairer

I'm not sure you're going to get a single word/phrase that is universally accepted in the English speaking world. It would probably depend on local usage and what terminology is used for local qualifications.

  • The term in North America that is most common I believe is "Autobody" for the industry so "Autobody Technician" is accurate in that context. I like Panel Beater, though.
    – GenericJam
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 22:45
  • 1
    Panel beater would certainly not be out of place in Canada, although it's not as current as it once was. (It's also harder to find young people who call a sofa a Chesterfield these days.) Carriage maker may also be seen at the high end of the trade, particularly among those who do as much custom work as repairs.
    – bye
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:16
  • @bye, yes I suspect panel beater, like a lot of British terms, is common in NZ, Australia, Canada even if it isn't common in US. Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 6:12

In the US, according to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, the term automobile-body repairer or automobile-body worker is used

body-line finisher; body repairer, bus; dent remover; door repairer, bus; metal bumper; metal shrinker; metal worker; touch-up finisher, metal Repairs damaged bodies and body parts of automotive vehicles, such as automobiles, buses, and light trucks according to repair manuals, using handtools and power tools: Examines damaged vehicles and estimates cost of repairs [SHOP ESTIMATOR (automotive ser.) 807.267-010]. Removes upholstery, accessories, electrical and hydraulic window-and-seat-operating equipment, and trim to gain access to vehicle body and fenders. Positions dolly block against surface of dented area and beats opposite surface to remove dents, using hammer. Fills depressions with body filler, using putty knife. Removes damaged fenders, panels, and grills, using wrenches and cutting torch, and bolts or welds replacement parts in position, using wrenches or welding equipment. Straightens bent automobile frames, using pneumatic frame straightening machine. Files, grinds, and sands repaired surfaces, using power tools and handtools. Refinishes repaired surface, using paint spray gun and sander. Aims headlights, aligns wheels, and bleeds hydraulic brake system. May paint surfaces after performing body repairs and be designated Automobile-Body Repairer, Combination (automotive ser.). May repair or replace defective mechanical parts [AUTOMOBILE MECHANIC (automotive ser.) 620.261-010].

This is somewhat different from one who focuses on the mechanical aspects of car repair.

In common usage, automobile is routinely shortened to auto, and often car, so you may see auto-body repairer or car-body repairer.


Consider, body shop mechanic.

My thoughts headed fast into a cesspool, all blaming Bob, the body shop mechanic, or myself for weeks of inconvenience, expense and frustration.
The Only Little Prayer You Need: The Shortest Route to a Life of Joy, Abundance, and Peace of Mind


A coachbuilder. In the UK, I think this word applies more for custom-built body work.

A person or company who makes and fits the bodywork of vehicles such as cars, buses and railway carriages.


This London website has advertisements for panel beaters, spray painters, automotive bodyworkers and body repair technicians. But the most numerous appear to be panel beaters.

  • 1
    The English automobile industry was one of the last to switch from having men literally beat sheet metal into body parts for new automobiles, to having stamping machines form the body parts. The American automobile industry was among the first to adopt stamping machines; the Japanese were the first to figure out how to do it efficiently for low-volume production. The Machine that Changed the World has more details.
    – Jasper
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:03
  • @Jasper Your point being?
    – WS2
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:33
  • 2
    This might explain why the English still call car body repairmen "panel beaters", even if Americans do not. In England, the term "panel beating" might be associated with high-quality work, which would probably surprise most Americans. (Rolls-Royce and Bentley were among the last auto makers to switch to stamped body parts.)
    – Jasper
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 22:29
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    The Panel Shop is a Connecticut custom body shop founded by an Aston-Martin panel beater and a Rolls-Royce panel beater. It calls members of the profession "panel beaters" or "fabricators". It fabricates body panels for "Bugattis, Ferraris, Alfas," "Jaguars, Rolls Royce, Aston Martins", and other high-end or custom cars.
    – Jasper
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 22:35

Detailing describes the examples, if not the title question.

  • 3
    Where I come from, "detailing" is obsessively polishing the car.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:01

"tinker" is used in Sri Lanka - in all three languages: English, Sinhalese and Tamil


The expert that repairs the body of a car is known as panel beater because he hit, straight and smooth the affected part of body car. After which another professional person will work on the same car as per re paint of the body worked by the panel beater.

  • 1
    Please support this with some references.
    – JJJ
    Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 18:45
  • Hello, Arowolo. Duplicate answers are inappropriate. Commented Sep 18, 2019 at 18:52

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