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How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Scratch On A Car?

Scratches on your freshly painted car or a shiny brand new car can be concerning. The scratch can take the attention of your attractive vehicle if it is a noticeable spot. Instead of people commenting on your dream investment, they will ask about what happened to the car. If it is frustrating to answer the same question repeatedly, it is time you fix the scratch. Thankfully, it is not difficult to repair scratches, and it can take anywhere from a few minutes to hours, depending on the severity of the scratch. How much does it cost to fix a scratch on a car will depend on the location and size of the damage.

Although you cannot entirely avoid scratches, you can minimize their occurrence by undertaking preventative measures like installing vinyl car wrap. You should also avoid things that can scratch your car’s paint, from accidents to chips and rocks and aggressive scrubbing. We will help you understand the different types of scratches and how much does it cost to fix a scratch on a car in this article.

Different Types Of Car Scratches And How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Scratch On A Car

Car scratches are not similar, and thus, you will need to determine the type of the scratch and the size of the damage to determine how it will cost to fix the issue. You can easily fix the minor scratches at home as long as you have the necessary tools. The common types of car scratches include:

1. Scuffs

Scruffs are the easiest and cheapest scratches to repair. They occur on the top layer of your car coat and do not cause any color change. The top layer of your car paint is a clear coat that helps to improve the durability and gloss of the paint. Minor scratches will only affect the top layer, which makes it possible to repair them with hand buffing and polishing. How much does it cost to fix a scratch on your car will depend on the size of the scuff, but most repair shops will charge you less than $100 to fix scuffs.  

2. Clear-coat scratches

Clear-coat scratches are more deeply scratched than scuffs but do not affect the paint’s undercoats. They do not create any color change, which means that you will not need any touch-up paint to fix the scratch. The clear-coat scratches are easier to fix as you can polish them until they are almost invisible. How much it will cost to fix a clear-coat scratch will depend on the size, but most repair shops will not charge more than $100.

3. Paint scratches

Paint scratches are more difficult to repair as they involve fixing the primer layer. The paint scratches appear white as they penetrate through the clear coat to the primer layer. Fixing a paint scratch is more tasking as it requires sanding, buffing, and repainting, which means repairing a minor scratch can be costly. How much does it cost to fix a scratch on a car will depend on the size of the damage, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,000.

4. Deep paint scratches

Deep paint scratches are severe damages to your car paint. They occur after a severe impact like hitting an object as you reverse or a scratch by another car. Deep paint scratches go down to the metal frame and should be fixed immediately to protect your vehicle from rust. The deep scratches are expensive to repair and may cost between $1 000 and $2,500, depending on the size of the damage.

Is It Possible To Fix Car Scratches At Home By Yourself?

You fix car scratches by yourself at home, but that is possible with minor scratches that do not require much work. We recommend that you leave the extensive scratch repairs to professionals who will ensure quality work. That said, you can fix the minor scratches by yourself by applying toothpaste to scuff the marks or a commercial scratch removal product.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Scratch On A Car

Using Toothpaste To Scuff Off Scratch Marks

Although this method is effective in masking the scratches, you should not use it for severe scratches. You can tell if this method will be effective by running your fingernail over the scratch. You should not use the method if the nail is caught; otherwise, you can use it. We only recommend this method for surface scratches. You should use the following steps to scuff off scratch marks with toothpaste:

  1. Clean and dry the affected spot
  2. Place toothpaste on a clean microfiber towel and apply over the scratch in a circular motion
  3. Remove any excess toothpaste
  4. Repeat the procedure until the scratch is no longer visible

Fixing Scratches With A Commercial Scratch Removal Product

We advise that you use a commercial agent to fix minor scratches. It is effective for scuffs and clear-coat scratches. Do not use this method for deep scratches. The steps that you should follow to repair your car scratches with a store-bought scratch removal agent include:

  1. Clean the affected area
  2. Put the solution on a microfiber pad and apply over the scratches in a circular motion
  3. Wipe the excess agent with a clean towel
  4. Repeat the process until the scratch is no longer visible

Can You Fix Deep Paint Scratches At Home?

Although we do not recommend that you undertake the procedure unless you are an expert, it is possible to fix deep paint scratches at home. The process is a bit tasking and requires greater attention to avoid messing with your car paint. If you are not careful, you may end up with a visible patch that does not resemble the rest of your car paint. If you are confident enough that you can do a professional-like job, you can use the following steps:

  1. Clean the entire car thoroughly and then rewash the scratched area
  2. Use 2000 grit sandpaper to sand away the top layers of your car’s paint
  3. Clean and wipe the area dry
  4. Apply multiple layers of primer to the area and wait for it to dry
  5. Apply several coats of paint. Make sure the paint is VIN matched to your car’s color to ensure uniformity.
  6. Wait for the paint to dry and then wax the car to seal in the paint.

What Affects The Cost Of Fixing A Scratch On A Car?

How much does it cost to fix a scratch on a car depends on several factors that range from the quality of paint to workmanship. Nonetheless, the main factors that will determine how much you will pay to fix scratches on your car include:  

  • Car – The cost of fixing a scratch on a Toyota will not be the same as that of a Ferrari. The cost of repainting a high-end car like a Ferrari will be higher than that of a normal car due to the quality of workmanship and paint. A bigger car will also cost more than a compact vehicle due to the large service area requiring repainting.
  • Color – The color of your car will determine the overall cost of repainting. Some colors come with metallic flakes and a pearl finish, which makes it costly to produce and more difficult to apply. Furthermore, cars with specialized paint that you can only source from the manufacturer will likely cost more to repair.
  • Size of the damage – A minor scratch will be cheaper to fix than a paint scratch or a deep paint scratch. A minor scratch will only require a commercial scratch remover and take less time to fix, which translates to cheaper labor and tools. A severe paint scratch will require sanding and the application of several layers of paint and primer, which will add to the cost.

Tips On How To Prevent Scratches On Your Car Paint

Paying repair costs to fix scratches now and then can be costly and unpleasant. You can avoid the costs by taking measures that prevent scratches from ruining your paint. The effective preventative measures that can help you protect your car paint include:

  • Apply a ceramic coat – Applying nano-ceramic coating can keep your car paint shining and attractive for longer. Ceramic coating will protect your car paint against UV rays, corrosion, and scratches for up to five years.
  • Wax the car – Waxing your car can help to prevent scratches and keep your paint shiny. Wax smoothens the paint surface, reducing the friction between your car’s paintwork and road debris.
  • Apply vinyl – Applying vinyl to your car’s paint is an effective way to avoid annoying minor scratches. Vinyl acts as a barrier between road debris and your car’s paint, which reduces paint damage as you drive.
  • Carefully wash your car – Incorrectly washing and drying your vehicle can cause scratches on your paint. Car washers with abrasive brushes can cause minor scratches on your paint. Furthermore, scratches can occur as you hand wash if dirt gets trapped in the sponge.
  • Drive carefully – Avoid driving at high speeds on rough roads to avoid gravel scratching your vehicle. You should also avoid roads with hanging trees as they can cause paint scratches.


Car paint scratches are stubborn, unwelcome unsightly damages that will capture people’s attention as you drive. You should drive carefully, apply wax, and use sealants to protect your car’s paint from scratches. However, you should fix them as soon as possible if they occur to avoid further damage to your vehicle.

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