Bmw headlamp

i have a 2001 bmw 325i and the headlamp covers have some sort of film on them that is reducing the illumination of the lights. the cover does not appear to be glass, so i’m reluctant to just scrub or scrap the film off for fear of creating scatches and more problems.

Do you mean it has a hazy look to the outside cover? Most modern headlamps are behind a plastic cover (an example of style over function). In time they get that haze due to many small scratches. You can replace them $$$$$ or try one of the repair kits offered at the auto parts store. It does not take any special talent. Just buy the kit (not expensive) and follow the instructions. It will come back in time, but it will take a while. You can also have it professionally polished, but that will be a little more expensive and you get the exact same result.

It might be an aftermarket protective film. 3M makes a clear sticker that goes over the headlights and more commonly on the front of the hood and fenders to protect from stone chips. It can be removed if you use a good chemical and a scraper carefully.