There’s something really nice about new cars; their shiny bodies and that new car smell. Unfortunately as hard as you try, some of that newness is eventually going to disappear.
There are of course ways to retain some of the prestige of new cars with regular washes, waxes, carpet cleaning and car fresheners, but if your car gets scratched, it’ll need more than a little TLC.
Mechanics and car body repairs shops often have bad reputations for inflating prices, but what might have cost Bob down the road £120 may end up costing you more because of the extent of the damage. The truth is, not every repair is the same.
Some scratches, like those that appear near the car door lock, are usually from wear and tear and have most likely only scratched the clear coat. These scratches can usually be easily removed. Other scratches like ones that occur from intentional keying remove the paint and will need to be sanded down. Whilst other scratches are actually transfer marks or paint onto the car body from minor fender benders.
Whatever type of scratch it is, leaving a scratch unattended is certainly not the answer. Your car is an expensive investment and whilst it will naturally decrease in value (unless it is a vintage car), there is no reason to speed up the process. Scratches if left alone can further damage the surrounding paint and cause rust to set in which will end up costing you more in the long run.
Discerning what type of scratch your car has been inflicted with will help you to work out what treatment is needed and how much it is likely to cost.
For the handy man or woman removing a stubborn mark that has been transferred on to the car body can be relatively straight forward. First you need to discover if it really is just a transferred mark. Run your finger nail across the car panel at a 90 degree angle to the scratch. Is there a groove or is the mark sitting on top of the clear coat? If it is the latter try rubbing it off with a clean polishing cloth. If it is a little bit more stubborn try rubbing it off with a car adhesive remover. If however your fingernail does in fact run over a groove, it is a scratch. .
When you are touching the paint everything else gets a little bit trickier. An ambitious person may be able to repair the damage to the clear coat at home, but there is the danger of damaging the coat and the colour below. There are three coats protecting the metal car body; the clear top coat, the paint and the primer. If the scratch has penetrated the primer or scratched the actual metal panel, you’ll need to take your car to a reputable car body shop.