Autocar product test: What is the best scratch remover?


Scratches happen for many reasons, and they can be hard to miss. So which product is best to restore your vehicle?

Whether it’s suffered at the hands of a careless person in your supermarket car park, a coat zip has scraped down the side of the door, or you’ve had to tuck in a bit tight on a narrow country road, scratches happen.

It doesn’t make the fact any less annoying, of course. You may only notice the scratches after cleaning, or unfortunately they may be a little more obvious than that. You don’t have to run straight to the body shop, though. There are plenty of products available on the market to use at home that are simple to use, and effective. 

We’ve been looking at the best car scratch removers on the market. Some are specific scratch removers, while others are polishes that are also claimed to remove scratches. After testing the products on a range of issues, from tiny, almost unnoticeable (but not to us!) marks, to some larger and deeper scratches courtesy of a tree branch in Devon, we evaluated how well they had performed, and considered price as a factor.

BEST BUY: Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound Color & Clarity Restorer

Price £13.99

What’s included 450ml

Buy from Amazon

Although Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound product is a polish rather than specifically a scratch remover, it did a great job on our scratches, swirls and blemishes. We had quite a noticeable tree branch scratch but the Ultimate Compound has all but completely removed it. On smaller or medium scratches, it also works very well. It’s in the middle in terms of price, so is great value for money. It’s also a great polish: it goes on easily, can be buffed to a lovely finish, and lasted a few weeks. Versatile and useful for more than one thing, it’s an excellent product. 

Autocar says 5 stars

RECOMMENDED: AutoGlym Scratch Removal Complete Kit

Price £20.98

What’s included 100ml Scratch Remover, 100ml Super Resin Polish, Hi-Tech finishing cloth, scratch removal applicator

Buy from Amazon

AutoGlym’s Scratch Removal Complete Kit does what it says on the tin, coming with everything you need to remove pesky scratches, while not having to buy anything else. The box contains: 100ml Scratch Remover, 100ml Super Resin Polish, a Hi-Tech finishing cloth and a scratch removal applicator. We reckon it would make a good present for friends or family, although they may not appreciate the sentiment behind it. We found it helped to reduce how visible larger scuffs were, but due to the size of the products, wouldn’t be suitable for massive scratches. Used to spot-treat smaller scratches, it worked very well. After using, finish with the Super Resin Polish for a great shine. 

Autocar says 4.5 stars

TurtleWax Scratch Repair & Renew

Price £7.79

What’s included 207ml

Buy from Amazon

This is a very effective product, eliminating minor scratches and swirls from our paintwork. It didn’t eliminate big scratches completely, but we found a substantial improvement in how visible they were, and on some medium scratches you really had to strain to find the issue. The price of this product is very reasonable, and it’s easy to use. Just apply with a microfibre, rub it gently around the scratches and buff with a clean microfibre. 

Autocar says 4 stars

Liqui Moly Scratch Stop

Price £12.67

What’s included 200ml

Buy from ML Performance

This product can be used on paint, plastic windows and polycarbonate headlamp lenses. However, Liqui Moly warns you to be careful and avoid applying it to chassis joints as it’s very abrasive. To tackle scratches, apply the lilac-coloured cream to the problem areas, smoosh in using a circular motion, work it in gently for two minutes, then buff it off with a clean cloth. It helped to reduce the visibility of larger scratches, although didn’t remove them completely, and worked well on smaller scratches.

Autocar says 4 stars

AutoGlym Super Resin Polish

Price £12.29

What’s included 325ml

Buy from Amazon

We applied AutoGlym’s Super Resin Polish with the recommended Perfect Polish Applicator foam pad. As a contoured pad, this helped get into the more intricate areas of bodywork. To use, apply it to paintwork, rub it in gently with a circular motion and finish with a final straight-line swipe to remove residue. If you want to mask small scratches, improve colour clarity or achieve a smooth finish, this is a great all-round product most people already have a bottle of. However, it doesn’t work particularly well on larger, deeper scratches.  

Autocar says 3.5 stars

Sonax Xtreme Polish + Wax 3

Price £11.95

What’s included 250ml

Buy from Amazon

Sonax Xtreme Polish + Wax 3 did a very effective job removing lighter scratches from our car. They buffed right out and we really struggled to notice them from any angle. Having said that, it wasn’t quite as good on larger scratches. We were pleased with how much better our paintwork looked afterwards, with swirls and those bigger scratches still appearing considerably reduced. 

Autocar says 3.5 stars

T-Cut Rapid Scratch Remover

Price £9.99

What’s included 500ml

Buy from Amazon

Everyone has heard of T-Cut, whether they’re into cars or not. It’s synonymous with scratch removal. This is a specially formulated scratch removal product, compared with some of the other products on this list which are polishes. That does, however, mean you will need to use a polish after T-Cutting your scratches. Target the specific damaged areas, apply it to scratches and scuffs, work in a circular motion. It can also be used on metal, enamel, glass and most plastics. It worked very well for light scratches but struggled on larger and deeper scratches. 

Autocar says 3 stars 

Car Gods Pure Compound

Price £19.99

What’s included 500ml

Buy from Amazon

This is a good product that worked well on light scratches and helped to minimise the appearance of larger ones. It’s also useful to help clean and restore faded paintwork. However, it’s one of the most expensive products we tested and doesn’t come with any additional extras like the Scratch Removal Kit does. To use, pour the product onto a clean, damp microfibre before applying to one panel at a time in circular, overlapping motions. Give it a couple of minutes to go hazy, then buff off to a clean finish. It’s a good product to use before wax. 

Autocar says 3 stars

How we test products

Disclaimer: The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a commission, but this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

Rachael Hogg

Source: Autocar

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