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Have you ever asked yourself, “how much does it cost to repair car scratches?” “Will it force me to break the bank?”

Well, the amount you’ll pay to fix the scratches on your car will depend on the extent and depth of the damage. 

For minor surface scratches, you can expect to spend as little as $100, but if the scratch has penetrated the paint, it can set you back over $2,500. 

The cost of a complete car scratch repair, on average, is approximately $3,500.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair Car Scratches?

how much to fix scratch on side of car


Calculating the cost of repairing car scratches is not a straightforward task, as it depends on various factors, the primary one being the type of damage to the paint. Each scratch is unique and requires different techniques to repair.

1. Clear-Coat Scratches

Repairing a deep scratch on your car’s clear coat may seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you think. 

If the scratch hasn’t penetrated the color coat, the underlying metal and primer should be unaffected, and no touch-up paint is necessary. 

These scratches are usually polished out until they become nearly invisible, although you can never eliminate them. 

Fortunately, professional repair at an auto body shop is typically affordable, costing less than $100.

2. Deep Paint Scratches

When a scratch is severe, it can cause damage to the metal frame of your car. This type of scratch is more expensive to repair and should be taken care of immediately to avoid rusting

If the scratch exposes the metal and appears silver, it has gone through the clear coat, paint, and primer layers. 

On average, professional repair for these scratches can cost from $800 to $1,500 at auto body shops. 

It’s important to note that the repair cost will depend on the scratch’s severity and the car’s specific model.

3. Paint Scratches

In car scratches, there’s another level beyond the clear coat and paint layers: the primer layer. 

You must break out the touch-up paint if your scratch has gone this deep. The scratch will appear white if it has penetrated through the clear coat and paint down to the primer layer underneath. 

A simple buffing won’t cut it; the area must be sanded and repainted entirely, which can be pricey. 

For this type of scratch, you should look at a repair cost of $400 to $1,000 or more.

4. Scuffs

car paint repair cost


To protect the paint job, car manufacturers apply a clear coat that adds shine and durability to the vehicle. 

Fortunately, scratches that only lightly damage the clear coat are the easiest and cheapest to repair. It may be challenging to detect a scuff, as there is no difference in color from the scratch. 

However, you can often repair this type of scratch through hand buffing or polishing. Auto body shops charge an average of less than $100 to fix these types of scratches.

Factors Affecting Car Scratch Repair Cost

1. Kind of Scratch

The severity of a scratch on your car plays a significant role in determining the repair cost. You can fix a superficial scuff or scratch on the clear coat relatively quickly and inexpensively, often resulting from debris or rocks on the road. 

If the scratch reaches the primer layer, the repair will be more involved and cost more. Thankfully, these scratches rarely reach the metal frame of the car. 

Tree branches or collisions can cause these types of scratches, requiring sanding and painting to be fixed. 

The most severe scratches are deep paint scratches caused by significant collisions or vandalism. 

These scratches require all the paint layers to be repaired since metal shines through them, making it a more complicated and expensive repair. 

2. Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional

In just a few simple steps, minor scratches on your car can be fixed with DIY products, saving you money. 

However, you risk worsening the damage if you’re unsure of your skills. Alternatively, you could take your car to a professional repair shop. 

While dealerships are typically more expensive, a local auto body shop could be more affordable. 

Choosing a reputable establishment is crucial to ensure your vehicle receives the best treatment possible, so consider investing a little more for peace of mind.

3. The Car Model 

When it comes to repairing car scratches, the cost isn’t just determined by the type of scratch but also by the type of car you drive. 

Technicians may not be trained to work on every car make, particularly with German luxury brands or high-end sports cars, so you may need to pay more for specialized auto body shops. 

In addition, parts needed for specific car models can be more expensive, and paint matching may be more challenging for rare models. 

If you drive a standard vehicle, you have a higher chance of keeping the cost down. However, if you drive a luxury or rare car, you may need to spend more to ensure your vehicle is repaired correctly. 

Finding a reputable repair shop with experience working on your specific car model is crucial to avoid further damage and costly mistakes.

4. Location

how much does it cost to repair a deep scratch on a car


When opting for professional car repair services, it’s essential to factor in the location where you live. Car repair labor rates can vary significantly depending on the region. 

If you reside in a bustling metropolitan area, you might have to pay double the amount compared to rural areas. 

Therefore, traveling to a remote location could be worth saving a few bucks. But before you make that decision, consider the distance and the additional expenses you might incur. 

If the location is too far from your residence, it could cost you more gas money and time. Additionally, make sure to research the repair shop’s reputation before making the trip.

Final Word

Whether you have a small scratch or a more extensive area of damage, getting your car scratches repaired can improve the look and value of your vehicle. 

By considering the various repair options and associated costs, you can make an informed decision and keep your car looking its best.

You can also sign up for driving lessons to reduce the chances of scratching your car.