How much does car scratch repair cost?
Car scratches happen often—be it due to keys, car parks, garages, or a collision—and can be incredibly benign or quite severe. In some cases you might not need to repair them at all, or can do a simple DIY job; in others, it could not only have a negative impact on the external aesthetic of your vehicle, but pose the threat of internal damage too. We’ve collated data from across the country to give you an overview and price breakdown of car scratch repairs, including:
- Different types of car scratches, and the repairs they will require
- How much car scratches cost to fix?
What are the different types of car scratches, and what repairs will they need?
Car scratch repairs are measured by the length and depth of the scratch. In our “Car paint repair” article we recommended a personal assessment of running your finger across the place of impact. A deep scratch will feel like a ridge; here, the paint has been cut into, possibly exposing the metal beneath it. A superficial scratch, where only the top layer of paint has been affected, will feel thin like a piece of paper*.
When your scratch is surface-level, it might be able to be easily buffed out. S.M.A.R.T, or Small and Medium Area Repair Technologies, can also be used in simple cases. Here, the scratch can be efficiently repaired without having to resort to panel beating.
If it’s a deeper scratch your vehicle will likely require extensive panel beating, which includes painting and clear-coat application. It’s easy enough to source a standard paint colour, but many vehicles these days are metallic. This means more coats of paint are needed, as well as a more complex paint repair, including paint blending to ensure surrounding panels match the newly painted area.
Although it may seem tempting to cut costs by getting a simple touch-up, we usually advise against it. Even the best of car repair specialists will leave the distinct place of repair visible because the paint hasn’t been blended to match surrounding panels. They also don’t do well in extreme weather, so it’s not an ideal choice for any Australian-based vehicle.
How much should a car scratch cost to repair?
A standard car scratch repair job should cost you somewhere between $250 and $500 for each damaged panel, and each surrounding panel that requires paint blending. Use our quick quotes service to find the best scratch repair technician for the job.
The price can increase significantly, however, if the repair job is more complex; if the scratch is deep, for example, or your vehicle is painted a specific and hard-to-locate colour. Depending on these factors, your car could be off-road from anywhere between a few hours to a few days.
While car scratches are certainly an inconvenience, they are more often than not surface-level and a relatively easy fix. We still recommend you deal with it sooner rather than later to avoid internal problems down the road.
Refer to our “Car paint repair” article for a thorough breakdown of the many variations of paint repair—including superficial and deep scratches—and what they will cost to fix.