We parked my 2009 Toyota Camry hybrid with
valet (at a “fancy” hotel I’ll name if anyone
would like). 16 hrs later noticed a 24 inch
scratch in passenger door. Scratch is fully
through the paint, but with no dent, and
about the width of a key end, of course.
Question: How can I mend the scratch, and
what should it cost?
Question 2: There are only two other
possible locations the scratch occurred
other than the valet, and both are very
unlikely. Is there anythng I can do
relative to the valet, about them reimbursing?
Question 3: I hate valet parking and never
do it. But that time my girlfriend was
with me, and paying, should I be angry at
Let’s Address Question #3 First.
"But that time my girlfriend was with me, and paying, should I be angry at her too?"
If you are considering being angry with her because your car was scratched while she was with you, she should dump you.
Question #1 Other than putting ugly touch-up paint on the scratch (It would probably look worse and not hold up well), the door needs to be professionally refinished and probably the adjacent panels will need to be blended at a cost of several hundred dollars. Your own comprehensive insurance coverage will probably pay.
Question #2 It never hurts to ask. I don’t know their policy, but I doubt they could make a habit of repairing any damage anybody complains about. “There are only two other
possible locations the scratch occurred other than the valet”, You’d probably have to sue them and you’d probably lose. I think you’ll have to suck it up.
P.S. Just curious. You didn’t make any threatening remarks to the valet like, "There better not be any marks on this car when I get it back . . . ", did you ?
I don’t think you can hold the valet responsible. They parked your car, someone came along and keyed it. Could have happened if you parked the car yourself. Had they driven into something, different matter entirely.
I can echo CSA’s advice.
Relative to question #2:
How would the OP go about proving where the scratch originated?
Unless he takes time-dated photographs of every panel of his car several times each day, it is almost impossible to prove when and where any kind of body damage occurred.
This is a type of situation that is very unfortunate, but just as unfortunate is the almost total inability to prove how, when, and where the damage took place.
Try Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax. It’s pretty good at removing scratches on clearcoat paint. At worst, it will make the scratch less noticeable.
Its vandalism so check with your insurance to see if they will help. I’ve had keying damage before and the only way to fix it is to have it repainted. If it were not down to the metal, you may have a shot otherwise, but it really needs to be sanded to a feather edge, primed, color coat, and clear coat, and polished. That’ll be in the several hundred or more bracket because they will need to blend it to each of the adjoining panels.
#1 this would be comprehensive, turn it into your insurance and let them handle it. Don’t use touch up, it will only look worse.
#2 it’s not crashed, it’s keyed and you cannot prove they did it but maybe they have cameras. Ask them.
#3 I cannot believe you asked that. She did not force you, it’s not her fault.