Quarter Panel vs Fender: A Comparison of Two Car Parts

This quarter panel vs fender car parts comparison guide is for all car owners and enthusiasts, especially for those who are new to the car scene. There are different terms used to describe car parts, and people tend to confuse these terms a lot.

Quarter Panel vs Fender

Among these include quarter panels and fenders, which sound like the same component but are actually different, with varying functions. They are vital components for every car and it’s important to know their differences and uses, so we’ll take you through these differences in this article.

Features Quarter Panels Fenders
Purpose Quarter panels protect the undercarriage of cars from debris and dirt Fenders shield your vehicle, as well as other vehicles around
Repair cost More expensive, and the cost increases for a complete replacement Less expensive, but a complete replacement increases the cost
Materials Sheet metal, fiber-reinforced plastic, and fiberglass Plastic, aluminum, and steel
Formation Attached on the outer surface of a car, and this extends from the taillight to the window Designed to offer protection to the wheels


What Are the Differences Between a Quarter Panel and a Fender?

The main difference between a quarter panel and a fender is their location. A quarter panel provides covering to the entire rear side of the vehicle. On the other hand, the covering provided by the fender is only for the wheel well.

Basically, fenders are on the front part of the vehicle, while quarter panels are on the rear part. While the location is the most obvious difference between the two car parts, it’s important to note that there are many other differences. Let’s find out what these other differences are.

– Formation

Quarter panels are on the car’s outer surfaces, and this includes parts beginning from the taillight to the rear window. They are mostly welded to these parts of the vehicle. On the other hand, fenders are designed mainly to provide protection to the wheels.

With old-model vehicles, fenders are mostly attached using screws and bolts. That has changed with modern vehicles as they now feature welded fenders. Fenders are also present on motorbikes, and in this case, they are known as mudguards. They also serve the same function in motorbikes.

– Uses

The two car parts are similar in theirs of their uses. They both provide protection for cars but to different components of the cars. Panels are designed to protect the car’s undercarriage from debris and dirt.

They are also designed to cover panels from different hazards, including road tar. For most people, the fender is only a decorative part and doesn’t have any significant function. However, the fender acts as a shield and provides protection not only for your vehicle but also for surrounding vehicles.

Fenders serve the function of a shield by providing protection against sand, rocks, liquids, debris, and mud. Driving a vehicle without fenders can cause damage to your car and that of other vehicles. It can also be harmful to pedestrians and other road users.

– Materials

Quarter panels are mostly made from metal sheets, but the material used is mostly according to the manufacturer’s preference. Other common materials used include fiber-reinforced plastic and fiberglass. Carbon fiber is also a material that is used in making quarter panels.

Fenders are also made from a range of materials, with the most common materials being aluminum, plastic, and steel. There are also fiberglass fenders in the market today, and in most cases, the material used depends on the model of vehicle you drive.

– Repair Cost

The repair cost of the two car parts also varies, and it’s a commonly asked question among most car users. In general, the repair and replacement costs of panels are generally higher than that of fenders. For repairs, the cost generally varies, depending on the vehicle model and the severity of the damage caused.

On average, repairing panels will only cost around $1500. Fender repair cost also varies depending on the severity of the damage. This is mostly around $500 to $1500. In both cases, expect to pay more if you have more damage.

– Quarter Panels Location and Functions

A quarter panel is an outer car part that covers the rear quarter of the vehicle. This is the area from the taillight to the rear window. Its main purpose is to confer protection to the rear wheels and also to act as extra support to the trunk lid.

Functions of Quarter Panels

Quarter panels also serve as an external element for the taillights of the car, and this also includes the taillights turn signal and brake light. In many cases, quarter panels may include an opening or vent to allow exhaust fumes or hot air to leave the engine. They are made from a range of materials, but the most common you’ll find include sheet metal.

Other materials include fiberglass, carbon fiber, and fiber-reinforced plastic. Basically, the material it is made from completely depends on the manufacturer’s preference. Quarter panels are only attached to the car once the whole body is built.

– Purpose

Like other parts of the vehicle, quarter panels serve multiple functions, and these functions include the following:

  • They provide housing for all the external elements of the taillight of a vehicle. The turn signal and the brake light are also located on the panels.
  • The panels ensure that the back rear end of the car doesn’t collapse, especially after a collision.
  • They also enhance the aerodynamics of the car. In addition, the panels give the car a smooth exterior surface, which further helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce drag.
  • Another benefit of the quarter panels is that they play a key role in maintaining the safety and structure of the vehicle. During a frontal collision, they help to absorb impact and further protect passengers. Panels provide additional support to the trunk lid of the car.

– Fixing Quarter Panel Damages

Like other car parts, quarter panels are prone to damage, and when this happens, it’s important to know the right thing to do. For minor damage, all you need is a regular repair. However, more serious damages will require that you change the entire panel. The main thing to note is that repairing the panels generally costs less than changing the whole panel.

– Replacing Quarter Panels

You can replace panels, but what you should note is that the process involved is not an easy one. It involves cutting out the quarter panel and welding a new one to the vehicle. Another thing to note is that to replace quarter panels, you’ll need special skills and tools for the process, which is why the best thing is to leave it for a professional to handle.

– Fenders Location and Functions

Fenders are also an external part of the car, and they provide a covering to the entire frame wheel that houses the wheels. Their main purpose is to enhance the support to the front part of the car and also protect it from debris, dirt, and other hazards.

Fenders Location and Functions

It’s important to note that fenders are not only available on cars, but they are also present on motorbikes and even on bicycles. They also place the role of averting dirt and debris from the wheels of motorbikes and bicycles. In addition, fenders also offer protection to the rider and cyclist.

Fenders are also made from different materials, including materials like aluminum or steel. They are also some fenders that are made from fiberglass and plastic materials. Basically, the lighter the materials used for the fender, the more fuel efficiency.

– Purpose

Fenders are designed to serve different purposes, but the main thing to note is that they are designed mainly for safety, to enhance the appearance of the car, and to improve its performance. They also provide support to the front part of the car and protection to the wheels against debris, dirt, and other hazards.

Another amazing thing about fenders is that they play a vital role in improving the aerodynamics of the car. This also helps to improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and reduce the drag of the car. During motion, debris is kicked up by the wheels of the vehicle. However, fenders provide protection against this debris.

Fenders are important, and you need them in your car. The laws of many regions make it mandatory for all vehicles to have fenders because they are vital for the safety of your vehicle. They are vital for more than just providing protection to the vehicle but also for providing protection to other road users. This is because of their ability to reduce impact after a collision.

– Fixing Fender Damages

Like quarter panels, it’s also important to know how to fix fenders when they are damaged. The good thing is that you can repair fenders on your own, even though the process is not easy. The process involved in repairing fenders also depends on the type of vehicle you own.

If it’s an old vehicle that is made from metal, you can complete the repair process quickly. All you need to do is to ensure that you have the right tools to complete the repair process.

What are the Key Differences Between a Quarter Panel and a Fender?

When it comes to automotive body parts, one of the key differences lies in the structure and function of a quarter panel versus a fender. Quarter panels are usually larger and wrap around the rear of a vehicle, while fenders are located at the front. Another distinction is that fenders often accommodate full float vs semi float suspension systems, which affect the vehicle’s handling and ride.


Even though quarter panels and fenders share a lot in common, it’s important to note that they are not the same, and they serve different functions in vehicles. We have highlighted their differences in this article, and what you should always remember is that panels are located behind the car, and they are vital for the structure and safety of the car.

On the other hand, fenders are located on the back and front of the car, and they protect the wheels and provide support to the front part of the car. Both parts are made from different materials, but what you should note is that panels are made from metal sheets, while fenders can be made from fiberglass, plastic, or metals. Fenders are mostly attached with the aid of screws and bolts while attaching panels to cars can only be done by welding.

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