“Keying a car” is an act of intentionally scratching or damaging a car’s exterior using a key or any sharp object. It is an act of vandalism and is illegal in most countries.  The motive behind this is often linked to revenge or anger.

When a vehicle is keyed, visible scratches and dents are on the car’s exterior. The car’s appearance diminishes and requires repairs. Many car owners have described it as one of the most distressing experiences ever.

If you are a victim of car keying, you should report it to the police and your insurance company. Documenting the damage is necessary for this. Although in Nigeria, this does not yield useful results as soon as desired so car owners usually have to fix the damage by themselves.


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It is possible to repair the damage with the right approach. Here are DIY steps to fix a keyed vehicle:

Evaluate the Extent of the Damage

The severity of the scratch will determine the best course of action. If the scratch is shallow and only affects the clear coat or paint layer, you can fix it yourself. If the scratch is more profound and has reached the metal or primer layer, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Clean the Affected Area

Use gentle car soap and water to clean the scratched area thoroughly. This will remove any dirt or debris that could interfere with the repair process.

Scratch Remover

Use a reputable scratch remover product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the product to a microfiber cloth and gently rub it onto the scratched area in circular motions. Wipe off any excess product and inspect the result. You may need to repeat the process if the scratch is still visible.


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Touch-Up Paint

Purchase a touch-up paint pen or bottle that matches your car’s color code. Apply the paint carefully to the scratch using the provided applicator or a fine brush. Allow the paint to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
After it has dried, use a polishing compound to blend the repaired area with the surrounding paint.

Seek Professional Repair

If the scratch is deep or the DIY methods didn’t yield satisfactory results, it’s best to take the car to a professional auto body shop. They have the expertise and equipment to properly repair and repaint the affected area, ensuring a seamless finish.

How to prevent your vehicle from being keyed

To protect your car from future damage, consider parking in well-lit areas, installing a security camera near your parking space, or using a car cover when the vehicle is not in use.

Prioritize safe driving and report road happenings that you witness on Lagos roads on Whistle.

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