How D.I.Y. Saved Me $200 – Fixing the Scratch on My Car

Back in December, some jerkface decided it would be fun to scratch a line down the whole length of my car while parked outside of my apartment.  Thankfully they only got my passenger side; my neighbours weren’t as lucky. Although I know it could have been a lot worse, it made me cry. I work my ass off to afford that car, and 30 seconds of needless vandalism was all it took to steal the pride I had for my first “grown up purchase”.


I was quoted a minimum of $200 to get it fixed. Yikes. My limited budget just didn’t have room for that, especially because it was all superficial. I had looked into fixing it myself, but I couldn’t find the matching paint anywhere, and was so frustrated by the whole thing that I knew I’d just make it worse. So I was stuck driving around with this white line down the side of my red car.

Enter dad.

My dad (and mom, for that matter) both live some 1,500 km away from me, so I’m lucky to see them twice a year. But my dad’s side of the family lives near me, so since he’s off work, he decided to hop on his Harley one day and drive up here. We ended up spening father’s day together fixing the scratch in my car! (And by we I of course mean mostly him.)


Almost 4 hours later, with some really fine sandpaper, a rubbing compound, car wax, my uncle’s buffer, and a whole lot of elbow grease, the scratch is nearly gone! Voila!


Doesn’t it look so much better? Dirt and dust tends to get stuck where the scratch was the deepest, which can make it visible, but it’s easy enough to wipe off if it starts to bug me.

Total cost to me? $10. (Look at me being all frugal!)

What DIY have you done to save some money?

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

17 thoughts on “How D.I.Y. Saved Me $200 – Fixing the Scratch on My Car”

  1. Your dad is too cute! That’s awesome. That happened to me and a few of our neighbors when I lived in a really bad part of town. I got one side taken care of but there is still a scratch on my other side. Oh well. Glad you got it taken care of on the cheap.

  2. My dad is super handy too! Brian…eh… not so much. 🙂 Sorry to hear that your car got keyed though, that’s a really crappy thing for someone to do. Bleh.

  3. Man, finding dings and scratches on my car makes me livid enough as it is so I can’t imagine how infuriating it would be to come out to that. What a jerk!

    Awesome that your dad could fix it though. Any kind of car repair is way too expensive so this is pretty awesome!

    • I didn’t notice it til I got to work, so for all I know it could have been there for days! My landlord said he was going to install security cameras, but that’s yet to happen…

  4. Aww aren’t Dads great! I have a similar scratch on my car although not nearly as bad as yours and I think mine was most likely self-inflicted with my car keys.

    I’m thinking I should also get my Dad to fix mine since my DIY projects don’t always turn out so well (just ask my step dad who laughed at my attempt to re-plaster a hole in my wall and then cut it out so he could re-do it himself).

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