Debadging refers simply to the process of removing a car's badges, logos,
manufacturer's markings, and other identifying marks that aren't related to
the vehicle license plate.
The badge removal process is fairly common, as most people don't like the
aesthetic markings that the manufacturer has chosen. But is this vehicle
modification process legal?
Although at first glance this may seem like an illicit practice,
debadging your vehicle is completely legal and can even be a way for a
car owner to customize the car's appearance to their personal
Vehicle owners also remove badges to keep the specification of their
vehicle model on the down-low, especially if it is a luxury model that
is of high value and vulnerable to theft. You can debadge a car on your
own or rely on a dealer to debadge a car for you.
In today's guide, we'll discuss the legality of debadging a car, the
possible negative outcomes of doing so, and positive reasons in favor of
We'll also discuss ways that you can debadge a car on your own, as well as
how much you can expect to pay to have it done professionally.
Can I debadge my car?
There is no real law against the debadging process, and people debadge
their vehicles all the time for aesthetic purposes, among others.
Some dealerships will even do the job for their customers for a fee and
As long as you aren't removing the legal identifying information from your
car (i.e. the license plate), you won't be getting pulled over for a
missing Lexus badge, for example.
What are the risks of debadging a car?
Although removing emblems from cars isn't illegal, there are potential
lowering the vehicle value
affecting the vehicle warranty
damaging cars and leaving behind adhesive residue on the paint where
the badges were
affecting the car insurance policy
Can debadging a car devalue it?
Unfortunately, one likely downside to debadging a car is that it will lose
some resale value, especially if it's a luxury brand.
However, it's not likely to lower the resale value that much, especially if
you make sure to repair any scuffs or paint problems that result from the
Can a debadged car still maintain vehicle's warranty?
This is a common concern, alongside wondering whether debadging can affect
Fortunately, though, your car's warranty should not void when you debadge
it, as long as you don't make other extreme modifications.
Can debadging a car damage the vehicle?
One thing you do have to seriously worry about with debadging - especially
if it's a DIY process - is affecting the paint job as you remove hood
ornaments and emblems.
This is why it's important to use the proper adhesive remover products and
work gently if you can't get a professional to do the job for you.
At the end of the day, though, you may have to accept that you'll need to
fix paint scuffs and other damages that arise from debadging.
Can debadging your car affect insurance?
Because certain car modifications require insurance modifications and
custom policies, some people wonder,can debadging a car affect insurance rates and premiums? or Will my car insurance company care if I remove the badges?
You can generally rest assured knowing that, just as the police aren't
going to care much whether or not you remove car badges, your insurance
company probably won't either.
In most cases, the car insurance company is only going to care about
modifications that increase the value of the car, like expensive parts
upgrades or improvements to the performance of the car.
Or, the car insurance provider is going to be concerned with changes like
steep drops in value that are the result of car accidents and other
Where is it illegal to debadge a car?
Luckily, debadging a vehicle in the United States is not an illegal
activity, so you don't have to worry about it, regardless of the state you
And fortunately, it's not illegal in most other countries, either.
In fact, in many European countries, debadging cars is the norm, especially
for luxury models.
Why do car owners debadge their cars?
There are many reasons that a car owner might want to get rid of the logos
Most commonly, it has to do with being annoyed by the appearance of a logo
or wanting to remove the logo so that the car isn't a target for car
Maybe you have a new Mercedes Benz but don't want to risk the flashiness of
this luxury car and the value that its badges reveal.
To avoid the possibility of getting their cars stolen, some owners will
attempt to hide the value by removing these obvious signs of advertising.
Improve the Visual Appeal
Although emblems work as free advertising for the car manufacturer, you
don't have to leave them in place if they don't suit your aesthetic tastes.
Many people want to show off their vehicle model, shape, and paint job
without the distraction of flashy logos.
Removing badges can also help to make a car appear more sleek and
streamlined, rather than bulky or obtrusive.
You may also opt to have the badges removed from a vehicle in order to make
maintenance and cleaning easier.
For example, many badges, especially metal ones, can be sources of rust
formation, the trapping of dirt and sap, and other harmful buildup.
Without the badges in place, car owners can easily clean, wax, and polish
every desired inch of their vehicles without anything getting in the way.
Making Other Modifications
And finally, some car owners rely on debadging to make it easier to modify
other parts of the car in the future.
For example, if the grill is inhibited by a metal manufacturer badge,
removing it can make room for grill upgrades and other changes at a body
Can a dealership debadge your car for you?
Many dealerships can and will debadge vehicles for their customers.
However, they may not want to or may advise customers against it because of
how it will affect the car resale value.
If you get a really good deal, they may be willing to even do it for free,
but in most cases, they will charge money because they're losing out on
How much does it cost to debadge a car at the dealership?
Having a dealer remove badges or emblems from vehicles can be anywhere
between $100 to several hundred dollars.
In most cases with badges and emblems that are set with adhesive, you're
paying less to get the dealer to debadge the car.
But when it comes to emblems and badges set on the car with metal joinings,
the prices can greatly increase.
How much does it cost to debadge a car at the body shop?
In most cases at a body shop, you may get away with a cheaper bill (closer
to $80-$200) when it comes to removing adhesive and other badges and
emblems from vehicles.
However, if they end up damaging the paint job in the process, you may have
to cough up more money to repair the superficial part of your car.
Again, at dealerships, removing adhesive emblems and badges will be on the
cheaper side of the scale than removing metal badges and logos.
How do you get the dealer logo off your car?
Debadging a car and removing its manufacturer emblems, badges, and side
markings is more simple than it might seem.
You can use basically the same method at home for the debadging process
that a body shop or dealership might use to remove emblems and badges from
Some simple methods include:
using a hair dryer or heat gun to loosen the badge adhesive and remove
using fishing line or dental floss to slide under an adhesive badge and
remove it without damaging the paint or lowering the value more
using gentle automotive adhesive removers like Goo Gone or 3M to remove
the adhesive left behind from badges