A simple car paint scratch can cause a lot of havoc, rendering an otherwise-flawless paint job imperfect. A lot of car owners will not let even the smallest of scratches stand as it's an ugly reminder that one's vehicle is in less that perfect condition. Besides being ugly to look at, paint scratches can lead to more significant problems if they allow rust (i.e. corrosion) to take hold on your car's bodywork. This is why it's a good idea to get scratches taken care of as quickly as possible.
As with any bit of repair and maintenance work, cost is likely to be an important factor in deciding how you want to handle a car scratch. Read on to learn more about your options and their likely costs:
Professional Scratch Repair
Taking your vehicle to a professional is usually a good idea when you're dealing with large scratches. Scratches caused by intentional vandalism or slow-moving encounters with a sharp object are perfect examples, and any decent car paint shop can handle scratch repairs for you.
When a scratch needs touching up, the professional solution is to order paint through a dealer. This is obviously how dealerships themselves handle scratches, and most paint shops will follow the same procedure. You may be asked to supply your vehicle's VIN number so that touch up paint that precisely matches the manufacturer's original specifications can be ordered.
As you'd expect, the size and severity of damage to your car will play a large role in determining the final cost of the fix. Top quality touch-up paint can be surprisingly expensive. On a job that requires just two ounces of touch up paint, the paint alone can cost anywhere from £40 to £250 depending on the type of paint required and the make and model of your vehicle.
This is one of the main reasons why major scratch repair at a paint shop or car accident repair centre can get very pricey. Big jobs may end up costing £500 or more, and even the smallest of scratch repair jobs is likely to cost between £150 and £200. Prices may be even higher at a manufacturer-aligned dealership.
Do-It-Yourself Scratch Repair
It's worth considering taking on scratch repair work yourself when you're dealing with minor scratches. The process is usually not too complicated for minor paint scratches, and the costs of a do-it-yourself fix are a lot more bearable than a professional repair. A basic touch up paint pen will probably cost somewhere between £15 and £25. The only extra materials you need beyond this are a little bit of sandpaper, a bucket of soapy water, some towels, and some car wax.
The internet will deliver a wealth of detailed information on how to repair minor vehicle paint scratches on your own, or you can check out our article: How To Get Rid Of Scratches On A Car Yourself At Home.
As a general rule of thumb, all that's required is a light sanding of the affected area, application of touch up paint, and (after you've given it time to dry thoroughly) a basic waxing.
This usually only requires one or two hours of your time, not including the time involved in waxing. Note that you'll want to give the touch-up paint a day or two to dry before finishing the job. This whole process costs you a few hours of your time and about £20 to £40.
If it's only a small scratch then give it a go yourself, otherwise contact is at Car Repair UK