Long-term update: Our Jaguar XK got a "smart repair" makeover

Long-term update: Our Jaguar XK got a “smart repair” makeover

The first thing we did after buying our used Jaguar XK last summer was to take it in for “smart” repair. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, then read on.

A recent phenomenon to the UAE, “smart” repair is simply the specialised process of repairing paint chips and scratches without having to repaint the entire body panel and without horrendously touching up with a nail-polish brush, like most dealerships and body-shops do. The smart-repair people mix new paint to match the colour code of the car, and then paint over the scratch, making sure to blend it in with the surrounding paint. They generally prefer to paint on small sections and corners rather than big flat panels like roofs and boot-lids, so it helps if your car has a lot of character lines by design.


The benefit is that we got to retain most of the original paint. But not all body shops can do it, and certainly none of the ghetto garages can manage it. Even the dealerships that offer it generally outsource it to one of the established outfits. We used a place called Automotive Repair Systems in Dubai, which also did our Honda S2000 in that same month.

It got rid of the numerous scratches on the doors, fenders and bonnet, although they skipped a couple of them because we didn’t point them out. You get charged anywhere from Dhs 400 to Dhs 700 per section (this apparently being with some sort of Ramadan discount), and our bill came up to Dhs 2250. We elected not to repair the existing chips on our alloys at Dhs 500 apiece, since it would involve repainting the whole wheel. The shop had initially goofed up and returned the car to us without polishing the new painted bits, requiring a second trip there to get that rectified.

We’re satisfied with the results, as only the most trained eye would notice the newly-painted sections. Now we try to park in corner spaces and isolated spots as much as we can, even if it means a few extra minutes of walking.

In other news, the XK otherwise drives fine, and we’ve gotten the fuel consumption down to 13.6 litres/100 km with a judicious use of the right foot. Our car had developed an a/c issue again, taking 30 seconds before it gets going, somewhat similar to the one we had repaired at the dealership several months ago. We took the car in during a “free health check” offer and got some valve tightened to fix the problem. That offer also landed us an automatic invite to a Jaguar customer ride-along event at the Dubai Autodrome, which was a great drift-filled shindig for noobs even without any actual drive-time, but we went there for the excellent food. Wagyu burgers, wasabi prawn, truffles, it was all there on the buffet.


The smart-repair cost will not be added to the expense tally below, since it is entirely optional, depending on how much you want to pamper your car.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 101,850 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 13.6 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 13604

Read all Jaguar XK long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. Can you tell us what all costs you include in “non running fuel cost”? For example insurance, salik, a can of octane boost, ect? What exactly do you define this as for us readers.

  2. Always look to park in between expensive cars…you can afford to have some piece of mind…from door scratches and paint chip offs

    • Author

      You are right. Problem is the neighbouring cars eventually move away. Constant issue. At least the car gets VIP treatment at hotel valets.

  3. any suggestions for reliable make-over providers in abu dhabi?


  4. Always park parallel or park far away from the crowd.

    Been doing that for almost a year now and so far no door dings on my car.

    • Author

      Our other car got door dings while it was parallel-parked, from taxis opening their doors on it. There’s no escape!

    • The other day I had parked in a parking lot and a police car pulled up besides me and the policeman flung open the door and I got a scratch on my door handle… now whom do I go and complain??

  5. can you please post more before and after pics..

  6. What’s the annual insurance cost for on one of these?

  7. What’s the annual insurance cost on one of these?

    • Author

      About 4% of whatever price you make up for it, if you’re over 30. I expect it to be even lower next year, if I avoid any claims.

    • Is that with or without agency repair? Also wouldn’t you save a lot by putting an older family member as the driver?

    • Author

      You don’t get agency repair on these older cars. And the lower rates kick in for anyone over 30, or sometimes even 25 with ghetto insurance outfits. Depends on who’s name the car is under.

  8. Mash, XK production coming to an end

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