My Car Was Keyed. How Can I Fix It?

Keyed Car Repair A long scrape mark on the side of your vehicle from some evil-minded person keying your vehicle can cause you to scream some vulgarities. It is a tacky look and you probably will want to fix it right away. If your car was keyed with a simple key mark, you may consider cleaning and repairing it yourself. To do this you have to see how deep the key mark is. If you can see steel then you may have to repaint the entire panel, but if you see color in all or part of the scratch you can attempt to repair it yourself, avoiding the need to file a claim to your insurance company. Should you file a claim and receive an unsatisfactory settlement or what you consider to be an unjust denial of coverage, there are steps you can take.

5 Easy Steps to Keyed Car Repair

If it is a simple scratch, that hasn’t penetrated down to the metal, there are a number of products on the market that are used for scratches and keyed car repair.

List of products and tools needed for the keyed car repair;

  1. Bucket of soapy water
  2. Shoe Polish
  3. 2000/3000 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
  4. Rubbing Compound
  5. Car Wax
  6. Microfiber Cloth

Keyed Car Repair Process

1. Wash the entire panel with soapy water and then dry it completely.

2. Next, you want to rub a substance that is a different color from your vehicle into the scratch so when you sand it you don’t sand too far. Shoe polish works great.

3. Then you can use sandpaper dipped into a solution of water and dish detergent to sand the mark using light, short strokes at alternating 60-degree angles to the scratch. (use 2000- to 3000-grit wet/dry sandpaper) The goal is to slowly see the scratch disappear. 

4. Then apply a rubbing compound on the scratch mark and either hand buff or use an electric polishing wheel to completely buff out the scratch.

5. And finally polish and seal the paint with car wax and a microfiber cloth.

Filing a Claim

If the key mark is not fixable on your own, then you may have to look at your auto insurance policy to see what kind of coverage you have against vandalism. A keyed vehicle is considered vandalism and is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy. If your auto insurance has comprehensive coverage there should be an amount listed under comprehensive or other-than-collision coverage. If you do not have your insurance declaration page, call your local insurance agent to check your coverage.

If you do have coverage then you can begin the process of filing a claim for your keyed car. The first step is to get a police report. Most insurance companies require police reports when it comes to a vandalism claim. Intentional damage to your vehicle by another individual needs to be properly documented by police officials. If the culprit is caught the individual may have to cover the cost of the damages.

If the culprit is not caught then you need to call your local auto insurance agent to file a claim. The claim needs to be called in directly to your insurance carrier. The agent will be able to help file the claim. The agent will ask a range of questions including the date of the incident, where the damage is located, where the car was parked, what is the police report number, where do you want to car to be repaired and so on.

With a keyed car, it may require an insurance adjuster to look at the damage for him or herself. The insurance adjuster is there to make sure there is no fraud in the claim. Then you can repair the vehicle. Find out if your insurance carrier offers guaranteed work through any specific body shops. Then you will just have to pay your deductible to the body shop at the time of the repair. You can ask your insurance agent to remind you what your deductible is. When dealing with a keyed car, do not hesitate to start the process by getting a police report. This makes the whole claim process much easier to deal with.

Should you want to file a claim you might want to check this article on estimates. Or you could read about leveling the playing field with your insurance company. Another article you might want to read will help you be proactive in a claim situation.

Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to Auto Care:

How can I fix scratch on my car

How can I fix a dent on my car

Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.

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Jim operates an insurance agent network called Insurance Partners, aggregating agents in the Midwest for over 25 years. He was National Agent of the Year for Metropolitan in 1993 and Midwest Agent of the Year for Travelers in 2011. He served as a founding board member of the Surplus Lines Association of Minnesota.

One comment on “My Car Was Keyed. How Can I Fix It?

  1. I just had 2000 dollars repair on my truck by my insurance because lady backed into my truck in the target parkiNg lot same side some jerk keyed my paint

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