Auto Body Collision And Repair: How To Fix Minor Scratches On Your Car

Getting an auto body collision and repair shop to fix minor scratches on your car may cost as much as $500. Most professional auto shops won't charge anything less than $150 to $200; however, you can easily attempt to repair the minor scratches yourself with some auto paint that cost $40 at most and several hours of time. By repairing minor scratches, you can restore your car back to its original beauty, and also increase its market value. It really is worth the time and effort.

Determining Whether The Scratch Is Minor Enough for a DIY Job

To determine whether the scratch is minor enough to be repaired without professional assistance, run your finger down the scratch at a 90 degree angle. If you can successfully run your fingernails down the scratch without getting your fingernails stuck on any of the grooves, then the damage is relatively minor, and repairing the scratch at home will typically be successful. 

If the scratch marks are raised, then it means that your car hit a material that is softer than the paint. The material was then deposited onto the surface of the vehicle. A different type of DIY job will need to be performed to repair these scratches. However, if your fingernails do get caught on any of the scratch marks, then the scratch is considered as a deep scratch. In this situation, it is generally best to bring your car in to a professional auto body collision and repair shop for the best results possible. 

Repairing the Minor Scratches 

Repairing the minor scratches is a lot easier than what you may have anticipated. The instructions are fairly simple to follow. To repair the minor scratches you need to:

  • wash the area that has been damaged in order to get a better look at the extent and severity of the scratch. Get all of the dirt and dust that has accumulated on the surface off with mild soap and water.
  • apply rubbing compound to the car with a buffing pad or a lint free cloth. Use only a dime sized amount of rubbing compound. Depending on the severity of the scratch, you may have to apply rubbing compound several times in order to efficiently cover the scratch marks. You want to let the rubbing compound sit for several minutes in order for it to work its magic. 
  • finish off by rubbing swirl mark remover onto the area in a circular motion or using sandpaper to polish the area. Make sure that you purchase the right sandpaper. You want to find something that is at least 1,200 grit although you will have to finish off with sandpaper that has at least 2,000 grit. Some experts recommend wetting the sandpaper, so that it is saturated, for the best results.
  • apply car wax or polish overtop for a stunning shine. This is a crucial step because acetone, rubbing compound and even sandpaper will end up removing the protective wax and sealant that was applied onto the paint previously.
  • wipe the area to remove any dirt or dust that accumulated on the surface, and you're done.


Repairing minor scratches on your car generally takes only several hours of time although you may take longer if you are inexperienced; however, you won't even be able to tell that there were minor scratches there to begin with. If there are more damages than just minor scratches, then you should highly consider bringing your car into a professional auto paint shop to get all of the damages repaired at once. You may end up saving time as a result.