How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Keyed Car?

Having a car keyed is, sadly, an act of vandalism that will leave permanent marks if it is not fixed.  Leaving a key mark on a car for too long without getting it fixed can develop rust, making the situation even worse.

While car insurance policies can cover an event such as this, the price of fixing key marks on a car are going to depend upon the size of the mark, the amount of damage that was done and the professional fixing the car.

Key scratch/dent on boot by janetmck, on Flickr
Key scratch/dent on boot” (CC BY 2.0) by janetmck

How much is it?

Types of car scratches

  1. Clear coat scratches:  The clear coat is the thin layer on the top of the car’s surface, protecting the car’s paint job from environmental elements such as the sun, rain and snow.  If the clear coat were to become scratched, the paint won’t be ruined, which means the area won’t have to be repainted, saving you a few bucks.  These types of scratches will be the cheapest and can often be repaired by simply washing away with some soapy water.
  2. Primer scratches:  If the scratch goes through the clear coat, it will expose the primer, and while this may sound scary, it shouldn’t be devastating since the paint hasn’t be exposed yet.  This type of scratch means the car is still protected from rust and the keyed scratch can still be repaired without painting it.
  3. Paint scratches:  These are the worse type of scratches your car can get, exposing the metal underneath the paint.  If this type of scratch isn’t taken care of, rust can quickly form, spreading throughout.  As noted above, this type of scratch will be the most expensive type since the area will have to be repainted.

What are the extra costs?

Tips to know

Popular DIY options

How can I save money?

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