Scratch removers

9 Aug, 2006 1:00am Dave Pollard

Minor scrapes on you car's bodywork can soon be rubbed out. But which remover is best?

Key scratches around door locks, shoe scrapes on the sills and those fine marks left by careless washing. They may not look much, but they can still seriously knock your motor’s resale value. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your car, they should be removed. If money was no object, you could respray the panel or call a mobile chip-repair service – but you can make scrapes look a lot better with a little time and effort.

For less than £10, scratch repair kits remove the kinds of marks that can be seen, but not felt with a fingernail. Essentially, they are abrasive pastes which are a bit more aggressive than paint restorers, but less so than rubbing compound.

The trick is being able to draw the line between the two – polishing out the marks without remo­ving any paint in the process. So which products are up to scratch? We took five top sellers to the workshop to find out.


For this kind of light restoration work, Autoglym and Meguiar’s achieved the best balance of iron fist and velvet glove when removing minor scrapes from our test panel’s tired paintwork. In practice, there was little to choose between them. However, the Autoglym was much cheaper than its American competitor, giving it the win.