This is your step-by-step guide to fixing a scratch on your car

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DeBord Prius

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

When it was new - before scratches.

You can live with scratches on your car - but you shouldn't.

Scratches are like the old torture of death by a thousand cuts. Eventually, they'll destroy your car's finish by allowing rust to develop. And like the great Canadian poet said, rust never sleeps.

Neil Young references aside, I recently suggested two ways to repair scratches. While I was dispensing this basic advice, it occurred to me that I had a scratch (or two or three or 12) on my own car, a 2011 Toyota Prius, that needed attending to, certainly before winter in the Northeast, where I live.

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I kind of split the difference between my two earlier scratch repair techniques: I didn't use tape; and I didn't go for a perfect fix.

Read on: