Scientists have invented a coating that can heal its own scratches in sunlight, which might one day mean scratch-free motoring.

The polyurethane coating is being developed by researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

"We developed a polymeric material that is able to repair itself by exposure to the sun", said researcher Marek Urban.

The coating contains "chitosan", described as a substance found in the shells of crabs and shrimp, that is combined with traditional polymer materials.

When the surface is scratched the chitosan responds to ultraviolet light by forming chemical chains that begin bonding with other materials in the substance, eventually smoothing the scratch.

The process can take less than an hour but will not work in the same spot twice, meaning that you might want to hang on to your T-Cut for now.