Car Scratch Repair : How to Remove Scratches From Your Car?

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 25th April, 2024 IST

Car Scratch Repair _ How to Remove Scratches From Your Car

Whether you’re a first-time driver or a seasoned motorist, we’ve all been there — that treacherous moment when you see a scratch on your beloved vehicle. It’s just as painful as a heartbreak, isn't it? Today we'll explore the different types of car scratches, levels of damage, and costs associated with repairs.

Car scratches come in all shapes and sizes. Some are like a mere graze, while others are deep and need the expertise and services of a professional. Think of the different types of scratches like the different levels of spicy food; some scratches are like mild salsa, barely noticeable, while others are like scorching hot sauce that burns through the paint. Knowing what type of scratch you have is the first step towards a successful repair.

From small scratches on your car door to deep scratches on your bumper, we cover it all. We’ll also explore how to repair scratches on car paint, how to fix scratches on car bodywork, and the different car scratch repair kits available. Finally, we'll also cover the cost to remove scratches from a car.

So get comfortable and join us as we go on a journey to discover the various types of car scratches, and how to fix them. From the dreaded deep scratches on your car's clear coat to minor scratches on your bumper, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

Types of Car Scratches

Types of Car ScratchesPaint scratch on car. Insurance company checking car damage

A car's paint typically comprises three distinct layers: the primer, the basecoat, and the clear coat.

Firstly, the primer is the initial layer of paint that is applied to the surface of the car. Its purpose is to provide a smooth and even surface for the basecoat to adhere to. Additionally, the primer safeguards the metal surface of the car against rust and corrosion.

Secondly, the basecoat is the layer of paint that endows the car with its colour. It is applied over the primer and usually comprises multiple layers to achieve the desired hue and finish. The base coat can be either solvent-based or water-based paint.

Lastly, the clear coat is the final layer of paint that is applied to the car's surface. It is a transparent layer that shields the base coat from environmental factors like UV rays and weathering. Moreover, the clear coat gives the car's paint a glossy and smooth finish.

Now, as we explore the different types of car scratches, let's start by examining the three primary types of scratches that can occur on your car. These are Clear-Coat Scratches, Paint Scratches, and Primer Scratches. Each type of scratch can vary in severity and requires a specific method of repair. Let's take a closer look at the types of scratches:

1. Clear-Coat Scratches

clear coat scratch

These scratches occur when the clear coat layer on top of the paintwork is damaged. They are typically shallow and don't penetrate the paint layer and can range from minor, almost unnoticeable blemishes, to more visible and pronounced scratches. The good news is that most Clear-Coat Scratches can be fixed using a mild abrasive compound and a microfiber cloth. However, more severe scratches may require a professional to fix them.

2. Paint Scratches

Paint scratch

These occur when the paint layer is damaged, exposing the metal underneath. Paint scratches can be a bit more challenging to fix than Clear-Coat Scratches. The severity can range from minor surface scratches to deep scratches that go down to the metal. Minor surface scratches can be fixed with a paint correction compound, while deeper scratches may require a touch-up paint job.

3. Primer Scratches

primer scratch

These scratches are the most severe of the three types, as they occur when the metal is exposed, and the primer layer is damaged. Primer Scratches require professional intervention, as they are typically too deep to be fixed with a simple touch-up job.

Read More : Use Toothpaste to Remove Car Scratches

How Do I Fix the Scratches on My Car?

How Do I Fix the Scratches on My Car?mechanic worker repairman fixing by sanding polishing car body and preparing for painting at station service

Different scratches need different approaches to fix them. While superficial scratches can be buffed out and repaired in your garage, others are more severe and need professional attention. Here are some of the ways to fix Clear-Coat, Paint, and Primer Scratches:

1. Use a mild abrasive compound

Start by washing the scratched area with soap and water. Once dry, apply a rubbing compound like the Motomax 2K Rubbing Compound or the Waxpol Rubbing compound to the affected area and gently rub it with a microfiber cloth. This will help remove the scratch without damaging the surrounding paintwork.

2. Apply touch-up paint

If the scratch is deeper than a surface scratch, you may need to apply a touch-up paint job. Start by cleaning the area with soap and water, then use a fine brush to apply the touch-up paint to the affected area. Let the paint dry completely before applying a clear coat of sealant.

3. Use a clear coat scratch repair kit

If the scratch is minor, you can use a clear coat scratch repair kit to fix the scratch. These kits typically come with an abrasive compound and clear coat sealant to help repair the scratch.

4. Use a polishing compound

If the scratch is shallow, you can use a polishing compound to remove the scratch. Apply the polishing compound to a microfiber cloth and gently rub the affected area until the scratch is removed.

Read More : What is the Difference Between Car Wax and Polish? Explained

5. Use a clay bar

If the paint surface is rough due to contaminants, a clay bar can be used to smooth the surface before repairing the scratch. Simply rub the clay bar over the affected area to remove any contaminants, then proceed with the paint correction or touch-up paint job.

6. Use a primer and paint pen

If the scratch is shallow, you can use a primer and paint pen to fix the scratch. Start by cleaning the area with soap and water, then apply the primer and paint to the affected area. Let the paint dry completely before applying a clear coat of sealant.

7. Seek professional help

If the scratch is too deep or covers a large area, it's best to seek professional help. A professional can help fix the scratch without causing any further damage to the paintwork.

How much does it cost to get the scratch out of your car?

The cost to get scratches out of your car depends on various factors, including the severity of the scratch, the location of the scratch, and the method used to repair the scratch. Here are some common methods and their associated costs:

1. DIY scratch repair kits

If you're on a tight budget and the scratches on your car are minor, you can try using a DIY scratch repair kit. These kits are readily available in the market and can cost anywhere between ₹200–₹2,000 depending on the brand and quality. However, keep in mind that these kits may not work for deeper scratches or scratches on certain parts of the car such as the bumper or hood.

2. Professional detailing services

If the scratches on your car are severe or you want a more polished and professional finish, it's best to take your car to a detailing service. They use specialised equipment and techniques to remove scratches, and the cost varies depending on the extent of the damage. A minor scratch removal job can cost around ₹1,000–₹3,000, while a complete detailing package can cost upwards of ₹5,000.

3. Body shop services

If the scratch is deep and has severely damaged the car's paint, you may need to take your car to a body shop for repair. This can be expensive, with costs ranging from ₹5,000–₹15,000 or more depending on the extent of the damage and the location of the scratch.

Do scratch removers work?

Scratch removers can be a hit or miss depending on the type and severity of the scratch. If the scratch is too deep and has reached the paint layer, a scratch remover might not be able to do much to fix it. However, if the scratch is only on the clear coat layer, a scratch remover can work wonders. Scratch removers are designed to eliminate minor scratches, scuffs, and paint defects. They are also an excellent way to remove surface-level imperfections from your car's clear coat.

In the market, many scratch removers claim to be effective in repairing car scratches. However, it's important to note that not all of them are equally effective. Some scratch removers might cause more harm than good by making the scratch more noticeable or damaging the paint. Therefore, it's essential to consult your body shop and carefully choose a scratch remover that is appropriate for the type and severity of the scratch.

Can you paint over a car scratch?

Yes, you can paint over a car scratch, but it's essential to fix the scratch before applying the paint. If you paint over a scratch without fixing it, the scratch will still be visible and might even worsen over time. Therefore, it's crucial to prepare the surface by cleaning, sanding, and filling the scratch before painting it.

If the scratch is deep and has reached the paint layer, it's important to use touch-up paint that matches your car's original colour. Touch-up paints come in a small bottle or pen, and they can be easily applied to the scratch with a brush or applicator. However, if the scratch is only on the clear coat layer, it's possible to use a clear coat scratch repair pen or spray to fix it.

What kind of scratches can be buffed out?

Car scratches are a common problem for car owners, and it can be quite frustrating to see your once-pristine car with nasty scratches. While some scratches require professional help, others can be easily buffed out at home. Now, we'll explore the different types of car scratches and understand which ones can be buffed out.

First, it's important to understand that not all scratches are created equal. Some are more superficial than others and can be easily repaired with a little elbow grease. Other scratches, however, can be more severe and require professional help.

The type of scratches that can be buffed out are typically surface-level scratches that have not penetrated the clear coat of the paint. These scratches are usually caused by things like keys, bumps, or other small objects that have made contact with the car's surface.

To buff out these scratches, you'll need a few tools — a microfiber towel, a buffing compound, and a polishing compound. Start by washing the car and drying it completely. Then, apply a small amount of buffing compound to the microfiber towel and rub it onto the scratch in a circular motion. Continue rubbing until the scratch begins to disappear. Once the scratch is no longer visible, switch to the polishing compound and repeat the process until the area is smooth and shiny.

It's important to note that while these scratches can be buffed out, it's best to take preventative measures to avoid them in the first place. For example, parking in a protected area or using a car cover can prevent scratches caused by environmental factors like birds and trees.

Are car scratches covered by insurance?

Car scratches are a common problem which leads many car owners to wonder if their insurance policy covers these scratches. The answer is, it depends. Car insurance policies vary in terms of what they cover, so it's important to check with your insurance provider to see what is covered under your specific policy.

If you have comprehensive coverage, which is an optional coverage that includes damages to your car that are not caused by a collision, then car scratches may be covered. However, you'll need to pay your deductible before the insurance kicks in, and the coverage may only apply if the scratch is deemed a significant damage that affects the car's value or functionality.

If you only have liability coverage, which is mandatory coverage that covers damages to others caused by your car, then car scratches are not typically covered.

It's also important to note that even if car scratches are covered by your insurance policy, filing a claim can affect your insurance premiums. If the cost of repairing the scratch is less than your deductible, it may be more cost-effective to pay for the repairs out of pocket to avoid a potential increase in your premiums.

Read More : Car Insurance Policy – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

At the end of the day, maintaining your car's appearance is not just about aesthetics, it's also about protecting its value and functionality. By being aware of the different types of car scratches and taking the necessary steps to prevent and repair them, you can help ensure your car stays in top shape for years to come.

So next time you see a scratch on your car, don't panic. Just remember that it's a reminder of your car's journey and the memories it has created. And if all else fails, there's always the option to give your car a fresh coat of paint and start anew!


Q. What are the different types of car scratches?

There are three different types of car scratches. Clear coat scratch, paint scratch, and primer scratch.

Q. How to identify the kind of scratch on your car?

Scratches on the clear coat appear as circles and whorls upon close inspection. Paint scratches can be seen and felt. Primer scratches expose the metal.

Q. How do you tell if a scratch is deep?

A deep scratch can be felt through touch or a fingernail test. If your nail gets stuck in the scratch, it is considered a deep scratch.

Q. What kind of car scratches can be buffed out?

Clear coat scratches are the easiest to buff out and can be removed through washing, waxing and buffing.

Q. How do you tell if a scratch is through the clear coat?

A scratch through the clear coat affects the paint surface. This type of scratch can easily be seen and felt upon touch.

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