Common Causes of Car Scratches, and How to Avoid Them

Were you aware that your new car will depreciate 15 to 25% for the first five years you own it?

Knowing that math is working against you at a rapid pace, it’s important to do everything you can to preserve your car’s value. Even if you don’t plan on selling your car within those five years, it’s still nice to have a beautiful set of wheels you can always rely on. One of the most common issues that people face is car scratches.

A tiny scratch may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it tarnishes your car’s appearance and is a pain to fix. What causes car scratches, and can people do anything to reduce their risk? Read on to get the scoop on car scratches and learn how to keep your vehicle safe.

Parking Too Close to Someone or Something Else

It’s always best to keep your car parked in a garage or other enclosed space overnight when you’re at home to protect it from the elements. However, when you’re using your car to get around town, you’ll have to park in parking lots that could be busy. In some cases, you may feel like there’s a battle going on just to find one space.

If you have the choice between multiple spaces, you should keep your eyes peeled for spots that don’t look too cramped. Leaving distance between the cars on either side of your will reduce your chances of someone else swinging their door open and whacking your vehicle. Some people can be careless when it comes to other people’s property, so you can’t rely on them to leave a note with contact information so their insurance can repair your car paint.

Sometimes giving your car enough room to breathe means parking far away from entrances. If you’re okay with some exercise, you can go about your day carefree because your car isn’t in jeopardy. If you’re lucky, no one will even have to park on either side of you.

Kids Getting Rowdy

If you’re a parent, you already know kids seem to have unlimited energy and always know how to make mischief. Even the most well-behaved kids can also have accidents that damage your belongings. From hitting your car with a toy to scraping the paint by rubbing against the car with a sharp object and beyond, the possibilities are endless.

Your car could still be at risk in a child-free home if you park it outside in a neighborhood with kids. Kids could collide with your car with their bikes, and so on. Even though the situation may seem hopeless since kids can be hard to manage, you have options.

In addition to teaching your own children rules that can keep your car safe, you can invest in upgrades like car film to add another layer of protection. This car paint protection will be durable, so your vehicle can withstand much more damage before it shows signs of wear and tear. You should learn more about paint protection film here so your car can reach its greatest potential.

Getting Into a Car Accident

A scary truth about driving is that a car accident could happen any time you’re on the road due to someone else’s recklessness. It’s a relief to know that most car accidents are fatal, but they can still cause a ton of damage to vehicles and the people in them. Leaving a car accident with only some scratches is lucky, but it’s still a bad situation.

One of the most common ways people get into minor accidents that cause scratches is by colliding at a slow speed. This could occur when two people back up at the same time and bump vehicles. Another car could try to squeeze into a space that’s too tight, and their side mirrors could scrape against the car next to them.

You can never cut your risk of getting into a car accident, but being as cautious as possible will significantly reduce your odds. Always pay attention to how other drivers act near you so you can adjust your actions accordingly.

Hitting an Object by Mistake

Car accidents are scary when they involve other people, but sometimes we can also hit objects by mistake. Hitting a curb, scraping against a tree or shrub, and backing into a pole are just a few examples.

Depending on how fast you hit an object and how tough the materials are, you could leave with big scratches on your car. This experience can also be embarrassing if others are around to witness your mistake.

This is why you should always be cautious when you’re behind the wheel. Take some time to assess your surroundings to reduce your blind spots. If you ever feel like a specific maneuver is too tight, don’t risk it.

Getting Struck by Debris While Driving

Cars can withstand all kinds of challenging driving conditions, but things can be a bit unpredictable when you’re moving at fast speeds. Driving on paved roads is the safest path, but that doesn’t stop rocks and other small objects from finding their way onto the road.

If a car in front of you kicks up a rock, it could fly in your direction and hit your vehicle. Your windshield is the most likely target, but any part of your car could get damaged due to flying debris.

It’s also treacherous driving through construction zones. Most people’s top concern is getting a flat tire from a stray nail, but road work can also send all kinds of debris up into the air. The only thing you can do is stay alert and try to maintain space between vehicles.

Poor Weather Conditions

If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow in the winter, then you’re no stranger to salted roads. Salt is excellent for making the streets safer, but it’s a corrosive material that can wear down your car. Dry, windy climates with a lot of sand can pose a similar threat to your vehicle.

You may not be able to control the weather, but you can control how long those corrosive materials are in contact with your car. Do your best to wash your car regularly. Pay attention to the undercarriage, too.

As long as you’re mindful of how the weather can impact your car’s paint job, you can find ways to minimize your risk of damage.

Cleaning Your Car the Wrong Way

People who clean their cars always have the best intentions, but they can approach this chore incorrectly. Sometimes, letting a vehicle stay dirty is safer than cleaning it with the wrong tools. If you’re serious about protecting your car’s paint job, you should equip yourself with high-quality supplies.

You need to be gentle with your car to keep the surface free from scratches. This is why car experts recommend washing vehicles with soft microfiber cloths that aren’t abrasive. If you use a harsh rag, tiny scratches can build over time, making the entire exterior look old and worn.

You’re not alone if washing your car by hand is too big of a pain. If you decide to take your vehicle through the car wash, check out some reviews before driving in. Older car wash businesses may not be diligent about replacing their brushes, which could cause trouble for your paint.


No one should ever have to experience their personal belongings getting vandalized in their lifetime, but these crimes occur. A common tactic that people use to damage others’ vehicles is by scratching their keys against the paint. Vandals can create random scratches or leave behind foul words or images.

If you live in an area that may not be the safest, try to park your car in an enclosed space. A private garage attached to your house is ideal, but public garages are still better than leaving your car out in the street.

Adding home security cameras to your property or parking in places with cameras installed will keep your risks low. Vandals don’t want to get caught, so they’ll go for easier targets instead.

Car Scratches Are Common But Easy to Prevent

Car scratches happen all the time, but they don’t need to be your problem. Now that you’ve learned about how cars get scratched and some car scratch prevention tips, you can keep your vehicle in top condition for many years.

Are you interested in checking out more auto articles? Then, dig deeper into our blog!

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