Are there light scratches? Some cut only through the outer layer of paint called the clear coat. A thorough detailing can sometimes eliminate these scratches. If a scratch is deeper, and you are pretty sure the manufacturer will charge you for it, buy a small bottle of touch-up paint from the manufacturer’s parts department. However, the experts suggest using a thin-bristle brush from an art store, not the thicker brush that comes in the touch-up paint bottle.
There also are a number of independent paint-product companies, such as Dr. ColorChip and Langka, whose products can match original manufacturer colors. If you carefully follow the directions, you can get good results.
If your automobile has multiple small dents that haven’t broken the paint, you can call a paintless dent remover. Sean McMullan of dent remover Crayford Coachworks in Los Angeles says he does a lot of pre-lease-return business. Owners who are about to wrap up a lease come to him to remove all manner of dents and dings. He estimates that his fees are about a third of what a body shop would charge for the same repair.