How Much Does It Cost To Repair Car Scratches?

Updated October, 2020
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The cost to repair the scratches on your vehicle depends on how numerous and deep they are. A surface scratch can cost you as little as $150, but a deep paint scratch can cost upwards of $2,500. The average cost of a full car scratch repair is around $3,500.

Identifying the different types of car scratches

Scratches on a car can come from anywhere. Your vehicle faces many hazards every day. If your car gets a scratch, it can be one of 3 types. The types are defined by the depth that they go into your vehicle's paint. The deeper a scratch, the more it's going to cost to fix it. A simple buff out is much cheaper than Bondo and a paint job.

Scuffs & Clear Coat Scratches

Scuffs & clear coat scratches stay on the top layer of paint. They are simple to repair since it only requires one layer to be fixed. The difference between a clear cost scratch and a scuff is a scuff isn't as long as a clear coat scratch. Rocks and other debris kicked up from the road are a large cause of these.

Primer Scratches

Primer scratches are scratches that reach the paint layer or the primer layer but don't expose the metal. These are more costly than a scuff with the extra layers that need to be repaired. Car accidents and tree branches commonly cause these scratches.

Deep Paint Scratches

Deep paint scratches are the deepest and most expensive scratch. These scratches expose the metal of the car. Unlike the other two types of scratches, every layer of paint will need repairing. These scratches usually occur in car wrecks or other hard collisions.

How much are scratch repairs?

The cost of repairs depends on the severity of your scratch. The deeper your scratch, the more time and materials it takes to repair it. When you're looking for a professional repair here are the prices per scratch:

  • Scuff or Clear Coat Scratch- These superficial scratches can cost as little as $150 up to $300 after paint and labor.
  • Primer Scratch- These scratches can cost between $500- $1000 per scratch.
  • Deep Paint Scratch- A deep paint scratch can cost up to $2,500 depending on your car's age.

Depending on how many scratches you have on your car and their severity, your full repair cost can vary. Repair costs can reach upwards of $7,500 after parts and labor.

Can I fix the scratch myself?

You can fix most simple scratches by yourself. The deeper or longer the scratch gets, the more likely you need a professional. It's better for your wallet and for your vehicle that you don't repair major scratches at home.

Method 1: Applying toothpaste to scuff marks

  1. Run your fingernail over the scratch. If your nail doesn't get caught, it's a surface scratch, and you can use this method.
  1. Wash and dry the affected area.
  1. Put a quarter-sized amount of toothpaste on a clean microfiber towel or pad.
  1. Apply the toothpaste in a circular motion over the scratch.
  1. Rinse to remove any excess toothpaste.
  1. Repeat until the surface scratch is gone.

Method 2: Using a store-bought scratch removal product

  1. Wash your car.
  1. If you see metal don't use this method. This only works for small paint scratches.
  1. Apply the solution from the kit in a circular motion using a quarter-sized dollop on a micro-fiber pad.
  1. Wipe away the excess product with a clean towel.
  1. Repeat until the scratch is gone.

Method 3: Painting over deep scratches

  1. Make sure you have metal visible. If not, this method isn't suggested.
  1. Wash and dry your car thoroughly and then rewash the scratch.
  1. Sand away the top layers of paint in the scratched area. Use 2000 girt sandpaper and check every 10 seconds to make sure you don't remove too much paint.
  1. Rinse the debris away from the site and dry the area.
  1. Apply a couple of layers of primer to the scratched area. Allow the primer to dry.
  1. Apply a few coats of paint that is VIN matched to your car's color.
  1. After the paint is dried, wax the car to seal in the paint.

Does insurance cover car scratches?

If you have the right policy, your insurance pays for your scratch repairs, not you. If your scratch results from a collision, you or the other driver needs collision insurance depending on who is at fault. If the damage is from a tree falling near your car or driving down a road and rock hitting your vehicle, you need comprehensive coverage. Having the proper coverage can keep you from having to pay thousands of dollars in repairs.

Tips to prevent future scratches on your vehicle

The best defense is a good offense. Taking steps to reduce your risk of scratching your car is an excellent idea for all car owners. These steps can save your vehicle and your wallet from a lot of damage.

  • Park away from other vehicles or moveable objects.
  • Clean using micro-fiber only.
  • Use a paint protection film.
  • Don't park near cart returns.

When the time comes, can I rely on my insurance?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

Get instant quotes tailored to your needs - fill out our short form, today!

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