Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

Scratch-Be-Gone: How Much Does It Cost to Buff Out a Scratch?

  • Car Care Tips
  • Sara Sam
  • 5 minutes

Spread the love

If you own a car, then you must have experienced the frustration of discovering a scratch on your car. It is always an unpleasant surprise, sure to catch your eye right when you just think, “What a peaceful drive I just had”! Luckily, most of it can be buffed out. However, the cost of scratch removal can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the type of scratch, the size of the affected area, and whether you opt for a DIY solution or professional services. Here, we scratch the surface and a bit more about the factors that affect the cost of buffing out a scratch, the different options available for scratch removal, and how to choose the right solution for your needs and budget.  

Types of Scratches and How Much Does It Cost to Buff Out a Scratch? 

When you want to dismiss it as just a scratch, you might be surprised at the different kinds of scratches that you might see on your car. The three main factors that affect the scratch removal costs are the type of scratch, its size, and the location of the scratch. For example, a scratch on a visible part of the car, such as the hood or doors, will cost more to repair than a scratch on an area like the wheels.  

Clear-coat Scratch 

This calls for a sigh of relief. Scratches on the clear coat are the easiest to remove. If the scratch is on the clear coat, then worry not; you won’t break the bank. The cost will, however, depend on the amount of area in which the clear coat has been damaged. In other words, while professional repair can cost you up to $300, if you are skilled and patient enough, you can get the job done for $30.  

Primer Scratch 

When the substance that gives it shine and smoothness suffers a scratch, assume that the wounds run deep. In other words, the scratches have crossed the clear coat and reached the primer. In addition to the loss of evenness on the surface, the body might also face a rust attack. Therefore, fix it at the earliest. $70 or $500 is the choice of price you get for a primer from scratch if you are planning on a DIY or seeking professional help for repair. 

Paint Scratch 

The metal completely surfaces as the paint is long gone. Sometimes a touch-up paint can do the trick. However, professional treatment can cost you anywhere between $400 and $1000.  

 Sign up with Way.com, your Auto Super App and save up to $3000 on your yearly car expenses.

Wheel and Glass Scratch 

These two might not pop up immediately when we think of scratches, but these too are frequently occurring scratches. Stones or rocks on the road often scratch wheels when they come in close contact with them. However, windscreen scratches are quite common in places that are sandy. The sand can get trapped on the windscreen wipers and viola! There are brand-new scratches on the glass! 

For glass and wheels, it is better if you seek professional help. While large scratches on the windshield glass can cost you up to $500, small scratches can be fixed for $50.  

Plastic Trim Scratches 

Not all of your car is metal and glass. There are plastic parts that can suffer a scratch. However, most professionals will suggest a replacement of the part and not a repair. Meanwhile, if you want to try your hand at buffing out the scratches, you can get the necessary items for less than $50.

Find out how to fix scratches on a plastic bumper.

DIY vs. Professional Buffing: Which option is best for buffing out a scratch? 

The choice not only depends on you but also on the severity of the scratch. Here are a few DIY items that might be of help if you are looking for a small scratch and a pocket-friendly solution.

  • Whitening toothpaste is a softer sandpaper. It can do the trick if the scratch is just skin-deep.
  • Auto paints that cost less than $30 can be bought based on the VIN numbers. These can certainly be used for paint scratches. 
  • Wax can break the ice when it comes to scratches on your car. They are mild in nature, filling in and preventing further damage. 
  • Polishing will give the surface a shine and remove surface scratches.
  • Repair kits can also be used if you are sure you can work it out on your own. These kits have the necessary items for scratch correction.    


If you don’t want to make a mess out of the situation or if the scratches are severe, then professional help would be advised. Your car dealership, an auto repair shop, or a mechanic can be an easy solution to the issue.  

Does car insurance cover scratches? 

Car insurance will certainly cover scratches, but you need comprehensive coverage for that. Therefore, if you have comprehensive coverage, you are covered for the cost of scratch repairs that occur due to vandalism, fire, theft, natural disasters, accidents, and falling objects. However, filing a claim can increase your premiums. Therefore, it is better to use your insurance based on how severe the scratches are.

Save up to $971 with  Way.com! Our rates are so affordable that there are no scratches on your purse!

Are you planning to ignore those scratches? You could pay a price! 

There are hidden costs for ignoring scratches on your car. Therefore, it is important to maintain your car regularly to prevent scratches. This is because leaving them on for a long time might invite unwanted issues like rust, which can further aggravate the problem. In addition, it can also affect the resale value of your car. Therefore, buffing out scratches is necessary.


Related Posts


Press ESC to close