There is nothing more frustrating and worrying than spending thousands of dollars on car repairs only to have your car look scratched. Even small scratches can ruin the look of an otherwise beautiful paint job, especially if it’s in a very prominent location or the rest of the vehicle is pristine. The good news is that no scratches are too difficult to repair; the bad news is that, depending on the location and size of the damage, scratch repairs can be quite expensive. The cost of repairing scratches on a vehicle depends on the number and depth of the scratches. Surface scratches can cost as little as $150, but deep paint scratches can cost as much as $2,500. The average cost of a complete car scratch repair is about $3,500.
Common Causes of Car Scratches
Car owners should know how scratches happen in the first place. Some culprits are obvious, while others may be more surprising. Regardless, it’s a good idea to start our discussion with the most common causes of car scratches.
- Car accidents are one of the most common causes of scratched car paint. Even a minor bump from another driver can be enough to scrape unsightly marks onto your vehicle.
- Debris and rocks flying off the road or from large vehicles can also cause scratches when you are driving. These scratches are probably the hardest to prevent because the rocks or debris are so small that you may not notice you’ve been hit until you notice a new scratch on your car’s paint.
- While it’s important to keep your car clean, overwashing or scrubbing the exterior of your car too hard can cause scratches and swirls when sanding off excess dirt on your car’s exterior. Also, make sure to use a microfiber cloth or chamois when drying your car to prevent scratches.
Different Types Of Car Scratches
Scratches on a car can come from anywhere. Your vehicle faces many dangers every day. If your car gets scratched, it can be one of three types. These types are defined by how deeply they penetrate the vehicle’s paint. The deeper the scratch, the higher the repair cost. A simple buff is much less expensive than a Bondo and paint job.
- Abrasion and clear coating scratches
The top layer of the lacquer has abrasion and clear coating scratches. They are easy to fix as it only requires one layer to be fixed. The difference between clear-cost scratches and scuffs is that scuffs don’t last as long as clear-coating scratches. Rocks and other debris kicked up from the road are the main cause of these phenomena.
- Primer scratches
Primer scratches are scratches that reach the paint or primer layer without revealing the metal. These are more expensive than the wear and tear of the extra layers that need to be repaired. Car accidents and tree branches often cause these scratches.
- Deep paint scratches
Deep paint scratches are the deepest and most expensive scratches. These scratches exposed the metal of the car. Unlike the other two types of scratches, every coat of paint needs to be repaired. These scratches usually occur in car accidents or other violent collisions.
Should You Fix A Car Scratch?
You might feel like you can ignore a small scratch on the car, especially when it’s barely noticeable. However, if you care about your car and want to keep it looking good for a long time, repairing it is a must.
Left unrepaired, when rust, chips, and other unwanted particles get into the scratch, it can eventually cause further damage, causing even more damage.
As we explained in our guide, the cost of a paint job is more important than simple aesthetics; it also protects the car.
To avoid rust and other damage to your frame, it’s best to repair scratches in a proper way as soon as possible.
How Much Are Scratch Repairs?
Repair costs depend on the severity of the scratches. The deeper the scratch, the more time and material it will take to repair. When you’re looking for professional repairs, here’s the price per scratch:
- Scratches or clear coat scratches – These surface scratches can cost as little as $150 to $300 after painting and labor.
- Primer Scratches – These can cost between $500-$1000.
- Deep paint scratches – Depending on the age of your car, deep paint scratches can cost as much as $2500.
Depending on how many scratches your car has and how severe it is, your full repair cost may vary. After parts and labor, repair costs can reach upwards of $7,500.
Protect Your Car from Future Scratches
The best defense is a good offense. Taking steps to reduce the risk of scratching your car is a good idea for all car owners. These steps can save your vehicle and wallet from massive damage.
- Park away from other vehicles or movable objects.
- Clean with microfiber only.
- Use paint protection film.
- Do not park near the cart return.
Can I Fix Scratch Myself?
You can repair the easiest scratches yourself. The deeper or longer the scratch, the more likely you will need a professional. Not fixing serious scratches at home is good for your wallet and your car.
Method 1: Apply toothpaste to wear marks
- Rub your nails over the scratches. If your nails aren’t scratching, it’s a superficial scratch, and you can use this method.
- Wash and dry the affected area.
- Place a quarter-sized amount of toothpaste on a clean microfiber towel or pad.
- Work the toothpaste in circular motions over the scratch.
- Rinse off excess toothpaste.
- Repeat the above steps until the surface scratches disappear.
Method 2: Use a store-bought scratch removal product
- If you see metal, don’t use this method. This only works for minor paint scratches.
- Apply the solution from the kit in a circular motion on the microfiber pad using a quarter-sized pad.
- Wipe off excess product with a clean towel.
- Repeat the above steps until the scratches disappear.
Method 3: Paint on Deep Scratches
- Make sure the metal is visible. If not, this method is not recommended.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the car, then re-dry the scratches.
- Sand the top layer of paint over the scratched area. Use 2000 grit sandpaper and check every 10 seconds to make sure you haven’t removed too much paint.
- Rinse debris from the spot and dry the area.
- Apply a few coats of primer to the scratched area. Let the primer dry.
- Apply a few coats of paint that match the color of the car.
- After the paint dries, wax the car to seal in the paint.
There are a few things you can do to keep your car from getting scratched away from the trunk, don’t park too close to other cars, and use a microfiber cloth or chamois when drying your car, but the best precautions you can take Are to install paint protection film.
While paint protection film isn’t the cheapest option for preventing scratches, it’s the most reliable long-term solution. The paint protection film is essentially the plastic wrap for the car. It is suitable for surfaces facing the front or bottom of the car, which are most likely to be scratched, and provides a clear layer of protection to the paint underneath. The paint protector will withstand the dings and scratches that would otherwise damage the car paint.
Applying a paint protector can save time and money on repairing scratches on your car, and it can also help protect your car from the rust that develops when deep scratches go unrepaired. All of these protections help maintain your car’s resale value and keep your car looking sexy and pristine for years to come.