Suffering a scratch on your car can be heartbreaking. Perfect paintwork, spoiled in an instant. They’re all too easy to pick up, be it from careless pedestrians, clumsy kids or simply scrapes from roadside branches on a narrow country road. But help is at hand.
A scratched body panel needn’t cost you hundreds for a body shop to repair – there are some innovative car scratch repair kits on the market that can work miracles and revive your car’s showroom shine. Let our experts take you through their top choices below.
Meguiar's Scratch Removal Kit
Erase fine scratches with ease
The Meguiaru2019s Quik Scratch Eraser Kit removes light paint defects with minimal effort. It does so by using a standard household drill, to which a custom Scratch Eraser Pad is fitted. This generates enough friction to remove light scratches but without creating further swirl marks or other damage.
Meguiar’s ScratchX 2.0 solution is applied to the pad. This contains microscopic abrasives that not only remove blemishes, but also restore clarity and provide a gloss finish. Meguiar’s says that defects are permanently removed rather than simply hidden. Use the included microfibre towel to remove residue and clean the surface to a perfect showroom finish.
Drill activated for minimal effort
Proprietary Scratch Eraser Pad tech
Solution removes defects rather than hiding them
You need an electric drill
Using a drill can be intimidating for beginners
Autoglym Scratch Removal Kit
Best for small scratches
This kit contains everything required to remove minor scratches and restore an as-new look. To use, apply two pea-sized amounts of scratch remover paste to the white side of the waffle-shaped foam applicator. Autoglym advises only using up-and-down or side-to-side motions u2013 and to check progress after 30 seconds.
The scratch will either be removed entirely, or significantly improved if it’s a deeper blemish. A red microfibre cloth is included to safely remove the scratch remover paste – and the final stage is polishing the area with the included Super Resin Polish. This protects the paint and gives the renovated area a smart gloss finish.
Everything is included
Clever scratch remover paste tool
Won't remove deep scratches
Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew Car Paintwork Restorer
Turtle Wax Scratch Repair and Renew is an effective product sold for a cost-effective price. It helps remove light to heavy scratches, paint transfer, swirl marks, water marks, and other types of paintwork contamination. Itu2019s quick and easy to use, removing years of damage in just one application.
This high-tech product features polish platelet technology that Turtle Wax calls ‘Heal and Seal’. The polish ingredients ‘self-align’ to remove paintwork damage and contamination – and as the platelets permanently remove scratches, they won’t reappear after a wash. It can also be used in the home, restoring vinyl tops, wood, decals or flat paint.
Features 'Heal and Seal' technology
Also works on home appliances
No other tools included
T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover
A stalwart of scratch removal, T-Cut has been removing small scratches since before the Citroen DS was even launched. Not as high-tech as other products here, T-Cut is a simple but effective way for even a total novice to remove small paint blemishes.
It is effective on all modern paints and colours and can be used to remove swirls, scratches, and small marks. It can even be used as preparation for polishing and even repainting. It's also silicone-free and doesn't leave behind any harmful residues.
Simple to use
Not the most sophisticated formula
You'll need to bring your own applicators
G3 Pro Professional Scratch Remover Paste
Best for home detailing
This specialist product by G3 Pro offers a tailored approach to dealing with scratches. It offers a permanent restoration that eliminates light scratches and helps diminish the appearance of deeper scars. A professional-grade product, it is used by body repairers in the automotive trade.
This scratch remover works by using so-called ‘Engineered Diminishing Abrasives’. These break down and reduce in size as you remove the blemish, turning from a scratch remover into a smooth wax polish. G3 Pro says this means it won’t damage bodywork. It is a highly rated product for a surprisingly affordable price.
Minimises risk of paintwork damage
Best used with a waffle-style applicator, which is not supplied
3M Scratch Removal Kit
The professional's choice
3M is a well-known manufacturer of automotive paint and other professional products used by body shops. Its Scratch Removal System is the same grade used by experts for a complete repair of clear coat scratches and other paintwork damage.
The fine P3000 Trizact abrasives are used in body shops. The kit is best used with a drill, and 3M advises users to carefully follow the instructions to get best results from the combination of compound and polish in the kit. It gives a professional finish, but requires a professional approach to use properly.
Effective at giving a flawless finish
Rewards careful use
What to look for in a scratch repair kit
When searching for the best scratch repair kit for your car, consider the following points:
1. How deep is the scratch?
If the scratch is really deep – for example, through to the primer – it is unlikely a scratch repair kit will make it disappear entirely. The tools here help remove lighter scratches. Deeper damage will still require new paintwork.
2. What is included?
Is the kit a complete system, with applicator pads, microfibre towels and protective polish, or is it simply a scratch removal solution? If you already have the tools, the latter is a smart way to save money.
3. Will it remove or conceal the scratch?
Some scratch removal kits simply conceal the blemish rather than removing it entirely – so it can reappear when, for example, you wash the vehicle. All the kits in our guide here promise to remove the scratch rather than just concealing it.
4. How detailed are the instructions?
The best products have comprehensive instructions to help you get a professional grade finish without damaging the paintwork. Look for an easy, step-by-step process.
5. Do you need to use a drill?
Some scratch removal kit products are best used with a drill. This means less work for you, but it can be intimidating to take a high-speed applicator pad to your paintwork. If you’re uncertain, try a product that doesn’t involve a drill.
Our selection of scratch repair kits shows just how comprehensive some of the solutions on the market are. Assess the scale and type of scratch damage on your car and use the guide to find the perfect product for you. All are effective, but our top tip is the Meguiar’s Quik Scratch Eraser Kit. It offers comprehensive tools, a proprietary applicator and the ScratchX 2.0 scratch and blemish remover. Customers also rate it very highly. It carries a premium price, but we reckon it’s worth it.