I defy anyone to have a car and not have to deal with that perennial car maintenance and car repair problem: car scratches.
Sometimes, your insurance coverage might actually cover the cost of repair (usually if it’s fully comprehensive). A lot of times, it won’t though.
I’ve made this guide to give you a rough idea of how much it actually costs to repair a car scratch.
How much does it cost to repair a car scratch?
In reality, how much it costs to repair a car scratch will depend on a few things:
- The type of scratch that you’re dealing with
- If you plan on doing it yourself or getting a professional to do it
Scratches obviously come in different shapes and sizes. How severe they are will directly affect how much they cost to repair.
There are usually four main layers to your car’s finish. First of all, you’ve got the bare metal of the car, then you’ve got the undercoat/primer layer. Next is the actual layer of paint. Finally, you’ve got several layers of clear coat to protect everything.
You may be thinking to yourself, "I've got enough car maintenance costs as it is. Does one scratch really matter?" It may not bother you on a cosmetic level, but you may face higher costs down the line. If you decide to sell it on, the scratch will devalue the car, forcing you to advertise a lower sale price. If it's a contract hire car, you face lease car return charges in line with BVRLA guidelines when you return the lease car.
How the type of scratch affects the cost of your repair
No two scratches are the same and they’re likely to cost different amounts based on how serious they are.
Clear coat scratches
These are the least serious scratches and probably the easiest to repair yourself. A clear coat scratch will have only scratched the initial surface layers of the car, not damaging the main paint layer underneath it.
You’ll be able to remove it with a basic scratch remover kit yourself, which you can pick up in any good auto shop for around £10 to £20 pounds. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, there’s nothing stopping you getting a bodyshop to take care of it, but bear in mind that will significantly push the price up.
Cost to repair: £10 to £20, if you do it yourself. £50 to £100 if you get a professional on the case.
Paint layer scratches
If you’ve penetrated the paint layer of your car but you can’t see the bare metal of it, you’ve been lucky. These scratches are a little bit more serious than a clear coat scratch, but not as bad as a base layer scratch to be honest. All you need to fix it is a top-up car paint pen, some clear coat and a buffing tool.
If the scratch is pretty shallow, it should be relatively easy to fix yourself as long as you’ve got the right equipment and you know what you’re doing.
A deep paint layer scratch will probably require the special attention of a professional though.
Cost to repair: Around £30 to £50, for all of the kit to do it yourself. £100 to £150 if you get a professional to do it.
Base layer scratches
Scratches that are so deep you can see the naked metal of your car are the most serious ones. There isn’t really any other option when it comes to repairing these, apart from running to your local bodyshop or garage as fast as possible and getting them to repair it. It will usually cost you around £150 to £250.
Cost to repair: Around £150 to £250 to do it professional.