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Best car scratch removers – Which?

7 min read

Looking for the best car scratch remover to quickly buff away scratch marks from branches or where someone has scraped past you?

We’ve put in hours of elbow grease testing the most popular car scratch removers from Autobrite, Autoglym, T-Cut and more on a pristine car bonnet we scratched up. 

The best car scratch remover we found combined excellent scratch removal and durability with ease of application. 

Another impressed us at a much cheaper price. 

The best car scratch removers

Only logged-in Which? members can view the car scratch remover test results below. 

Join Which? now to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendation.

Date tested: March 2023. Pricing and availability last checked: 6 December 2023. We are not able to show every retailer and cheaper prices may be available.

The car scratch removers we tested 

All the car scratch removers we tested are listed in alphabetical order below. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view the best car scratch removers from our tests.

Join Which? to get instant access to our test results and Best Buy recommendation below.

Angelwax Enigma AIO

Anglewax Enigma AIO

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Cons Log in or join Which? to instantly reveal 

Need to know Can be used with a car polishing machine

Autobrite Direct Scratch Out

Autobrite Direct Scratch-Out

Available from Amazon (currently unavailable)

Pros Log in or join Which? to instantly reveal 

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Need to know Can be used with a car polishing machine

Autoglym Scratch Removal Kit 

Autoglym Scratch Removal Kit

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Need to know Kit contains 100ml Scratch Remover, 100ml Super Resin Polish, 1x Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth, 1x Scratch Removal Applicator


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Auto Finesse Eliminator

Available from Auto Finesse (£12.95), Euro Car Parts (£12.99)

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Farécla G3 Professional Scratch Remover Paste

G3 Professional Scratch Remover Paste

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Meguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 Car Paint Scratch Remover

Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 Car Paint Scratch Remover

Available from Halfords (£13.49), Meguiar’s (£16) 

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T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover 

T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover

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Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew

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Need to know Can be used with a car polishing machine



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How we test car scratch removers

We test the most popular car scratch removers that can be applied by hand. We buy all the products we test.

Then we set about applying a set of scratches of a measured, even depth to a new car door using a specialist piece of scratch equipment.

Applications needed

  • We give each car scratch remover four chances to remove shallow scratches. 
  • The car scratch remover is applied with a microfibre cloth following the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • After each application, the scratches are examined to see what difference, if any, has been made. The fewer applications needed, the higher the car scratch remover scores. 

We also apply a medium and deep scratch to each section to see if the car scratch removers make a difference to these. However, most of the products we test don’t claim to remove these types of scratches.

Washing after scratches are gone

  • We then wash where each set of scratches are with car shampoo and warm water, either until the scratches reappear or a maximum of five times. 
  • The more washes a car scratch remover survives, the higher it scores. 

Ease of application

  • Each car scratch remover is rated on how easy it is to buff in. 

WD40 on car paint scratches – does it remove them?

WD-40

We also pitted WD40 against the same rigorous set of tests to see how it did as a car scratch remover. 

WD40 is a multi-use product that stops squeaks, loosens rusted parts, frees sticky mechanisms and drives out moisture – but did it remove the scratches?

Yes it did. However, it took four applications of WD40 to make a noticeable difference and it washed away during the first clean, so you could see the scratches just as clearly again. 

This makes WD40 a useful fix to temporarily hide a shallow car scratch until you have time to get one of the best dedicated car scratch removers or visit a garage. 

You can buy WD40 from a number of retailers. The cheapest we spotted it available at the time of writing was £1.50 for 80ml at the Poundshop. But you can also buy the 100ml bottle for upwards of around £2.20 from Amazon, Halfords and Euro Car Parts

Types of car scratches – what’s the difference?

Scractches across a red car door

There are three types of scratches that can affect a car panel: shallow or surface scratches, medium or basecoat scratches and deep scratches. 

  • Shallow scratch: a scratch to the clear coat
  • Medium scratch: a scratch through the clear coat and into the basecoat
  • Deep scratch: a scratch into the primer or to the metal of the car panel

To understand the different types of scratches, you also need to know about the layers that make up a car panel on most cars:

  • Metal: the car panel beneath all the paint 
  • Primer: primers are the most common undercoats used when refinishing car bodies. They’re used to build up and level areas or rough surfaces and to provide a smooth surface for paint
  • Basecoat: the paint that gives the car its colour
  • Clearcoat: a layer of paint with no pigment, which acts as a protective layer to the undercoats

How to identify your scratch

A man and woman checking a scratch on a white car

Most shallow and medium scratches can be quite hard to tell apart. If you spot a scratch on your car, pass your fingernail over the mark. If your fingernail gets caught, this is a medium scratch at the very least. 

With most deep scratches, you’ll see a line that’s a different colour to your car. That’s the primer or metal showing through, depending on the depth of the scratch. 


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How to remove shallow scratches from your car

If you’ve identified a shallow scratch on your car and want to use one of our recommended car scratch removers. Here’s what you need to do.

Protect your hands with rubber gloves Many of these products contain strong chemicals that can be an irritant to bare skin. If any of the car scratch remover does get on your bare skin, wash it off with soap and rigorous scrubbing.

Prep the area Make sure you’ve cleaned the area you’re going to apply the car scratch remover to with a decent car shampoo. Bear in mind some of these products need to be applied out of direct sunlight or in a cool place, so check the instructions. 

Grab a clean cloth or pad We used a fresh microfibre cloth for each of the car scratch removers we tested. Some kits come with a foam applicator pad or you can buy these yourself separately. While not essential, they do make application easier.

Prepare for more than one application Even on shallow scratches we tested on, we found that many car scratch removers needed more than one application to get rid of the scratch.

Polish the whole body Once you’ve finished and the scratch is invisible, you might notice the area you worked on has a slightly different finish to the rest of the car. It could be shinier, dull or just have a bit of haze across it. At this point, we recommend you give your car some TLC and polish the whole body. 

Does a car polisher do a better job at removing car scratches?

You might be considering investing in an electric car polisher if your scratches look really terrible.

We tested the Halfords 110W Polisher on medium and deep scratches with three compatible car scratch removers. 

We found that using a polisher didn’t do a significantly better job at removing these types of scratches compared to applying the products by hand with a microfibre cloth. 

If you have scratches that get into your paintwork, we’d recommend taking your car to a garage for a better result.  

How to remove a deep scratch from your car

A man using a machine appilcator to remove a scratch from a car

Even the most careful and responsible drivers can end up with deep scratches on their car from time to time.  

If you identify a deep scratch on your car it may be time to turn to the professionals. Depending on the depth of the scratch, a bodywork repair shop will either be able to smooth it out or, if need be, replace the car panel. 

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