What Are the Stages of Grief for a Scratch on a New Car? (+5 Coping Tips)

In this blog-post, we will explain the 7 stages of grief one goes through after they get a scratch on a new car and how to deal with it.

Whenever we get a new car we feel extremely proud of our accomplishment, especially if it is our first car and we bought it with our own hard earned money. The satisfaction one derives from it can not be explained in words. 

But what happens if there is a scratch on your new car within the first week of you buying it? Or even worse in the first few hours of you buying it? How do you deal with the sadness and disappointment that comes with having a scratch on a new car? 

It may be tough on you at first, but remember that it is just a car and that it was bound to get a scratch on it. Scratches can be fixed. IT IS OKAY. 

Stages of grief when you have a scratch on a new car

Here are the stages of grief one goes through when they get a scratch on a new car:

  • Denial and shock
  • Pain and guilt
  • Anger and Bargaining
  • Depression and reflection
  • The upward turn
  • Reconstruction and working through
  • Acceptance

Denial and shock

Typically, the initial phase of sorrow, shock, and denial is the phase when feelings are most profound. The moment you realize that there is a scratch on a new car can be quite troubling and shocking for you. You might try to convince yourself it is just a pencil mark and will be removed with an eraser.

It may be clear that you’ve suffered a loss, but you may also have underlying feelings of shock or disbelief. Many people experience physical symptoms during this time, such as nausea or vomiting, trouble sleeping, reduced appetite, or palpitations in the heart. It is also prevalent to feel mentally “numb.” This stage can be interpreted by some people as feeling as if they are watching the life of someone else on a movie screen or as if they are disconnected from the truth of what has happened.

Pain and guilt

You will feel the discomfort until your shock begins to fade. You feel the pain of having your new car scratched and feel guilty for not being more careful. You feel like you have let yourself down and that you do not deserve good things in life.

This is when it begins to strike you for the first time that your loss is genuine. It may be incredibly hard to tolerate the pain, and it may feel both physical and emotional. You might also begin to feel bad about something (even if it’s illogical) that you might or should have done for the person. It is natural to wonder at this point whether you should have done something that would have stopped the loss or feel guilt. Although these emotions may feel overwhelming, they are normal emotions linked to remorse, and as part of the healing process, it is necessary to remember these feelings.

Anger and Bargaining

For someone who is mourning, it is not unusual to encounter feelings of rage or frustration. Some individuals, such as a drunk driver, might feel angry at an individual who caused a loss. 

Others may have emotions of rage aimed at God or a greater force not to avoid the loss. Some people who are mourning may try to negotiate for a chance to make things end with a different result during this time. You feel angry at the person who scratched your car and at yourself.

Depression and reflection

In case the scratch on a new car is quite big, you might need to get it repainted. That will cost you a lot. This can make a person really sad as they just spent so much on their car and now have to get it repainted.

A grieving person normally starts to focus on the loss they suffered and how it has impacted their life during this period of grief. During this process, the reality of the loss can be more felt, as attempts to negotiate for more time are not realized. During this process, isolation from others to cope with feelings of grief alone is a common occurrence. While personal time is important, during this stage of mourning, it is also important to have a support circle of people to rely on. Research suggests that medication can aid in relieving depressive symptoms.

The upward turn

Finally, just when you think that nothing positive will ever come back, you’ll start feeling a little better every day. It could be so tiny that at first, you don’t even know it, and you’re not going to feel good all at once. A little less pain, a little less sorrow, and more of being okay are what you may experience. 

You begin to accept that it was just a scratch and that everybody was okay and no lives were lost.

Reconstruction and working through

Once you are able to process the loss you start to think as to what can be done and try to figure out the easiest way to get the car repaired.

Grief is a pathway. However, the process isn’t all about feeling anxious or overwhelmed. A grieving person continues to work through the aftermath of loss during the rehabilitation and work through the process of grief. This stage is as much an aspect as all the others in the grieving process. However, it seems to take a different turn, as, during this point, you will begin to feel a sense of control over your life.


In the end, you accept that what has happened has happened and now nothing can be done about it anymore.

The final stage of the grieving process is acceptance and hope. Accepting a loss does not mean you must “get over it.” Rather, it is the part of the phase in which you can recognize the loss and feel okay with your life going forward and what the new normal is for you.

How to deal with a scratch on a new car

Here are possible techniques one can use to deal with getting a scratch on a new car:

  • It is okay, just a scratch
  • No lives were hurt
  • You do not need to get it repainted
  • See if insurance covers it
  • Ask your mechanic for the cheapest way 

It is okay, just a scratch

Getting a scratch on a new car was bound to happen one day or another. There was no way of getting around it unless you had planned on never getting it out on the road. Your car no matter how dear to it may be is still an object that can get damaged and will get damaged. You need to accept the fact that it is okay to get a scratch and every car in the world has thousands of them. 

No lives were hurt

Realize that no one got hurt due to the scratch, sometimes accidents can lead to loss of life, which was successfully avoided here. Your car can be replaced with a newer better model but life is precious and we only get one. Your car may be very dear to you but you won’t be able to drive it if something happened to you.

You do not need to get it repainted

If it is a small scratch that is not very clearly visible you do not need to get it repainted. You can leave it as it is. It is just a scratch at the end of the day and you will be getting more of them if you continue driving it.

See if insurance covers it

Check if insurance covers the cost of repainting the car as it is still a new one and should be within the warranty period. You can check in with your car dealer if they have any discounts that you can avail of or the service that they provide in such cases.

Ask your mechanic for the cheapest way 

In case your insurance does not cover repainting and the scratch is quite visible, ask your local mechanic what is the cheapest method to remove a scratch. Sometimes you do not need to go to a mechanic and just follow the steps on how to remove a scratch on the internet or youtube. 

In this blog-post, we will explain the 7 stages of grief one goes through after they get a scratch on a new car and how to deal with it.

FAQs: Scratch on a new car

How do you get scratches out of a new car?

Although scratches detract from your car’s appearance, it can be expensive to pay for a fresh coat of paint or even a minor touch-up from a body shop. If the scratch is deep, you can try to buff out surface scratches with toothpaste, use a scratch removal product for small scratches, or sand and repaint the area.

How do you tell if a scratch on a car is new?

Usually, the fresh scratch would have a “sharper” sound to it. Painting of a different color would be a very fresh scratch (the object that scratched it – thinking it’s another car, a shopping cart, etc.). If it is a deep scratch, a very old scratch on steel or most alloy metals would have rust build-up.

How much does it cost to fix scratches on a car?

Scratch Wizard, an online company that sells DIY touch up kits, reports that the cost of fixing a clear coat scratch is normally between $150 and $300. Schwartz claims that the cost of repairing a deep paint scratch will vary from $300 to $900.

Can car dealerships fix scratches?

Dealerships will charge as much as $50-$300 for a VIN-matched paint of just 2 ounces, and another $500 or more to actually patch a big scratch. Usually, even a small scratch would cost no less than $150-$200. Sometimes, a body shop will do the job cheaper than a dealer.

Do scratch repair pens work?

All car scratch repair pens for clear coat scratches are advertised as an accurate, simple, and inexpensive remedy. They can even, supposedly, work on all shades of car paint. The professional results given by these pens, they claim, at an auto body shop, will save you from a very expensive bill.

Does wd40 remove car scratches?

WD40 is oil, so the oil fills in the scratches and leaves a smooth, glossy finish when you spray it over scratches (especially the very light ones that are only in the top coat of paint). The clear coat over the paint looks like that. WD40 is able to vacuum, too.





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