All You Need to Know About Hail Damaged Cars
After a strong spring storm, it’s everyone’s worse nightmare to find out that the car has been damaged by hail. Hail damage cars are not only unsightly but can also be costly to fix depending on their condition.
We will be discussing hail-damaged cars in this guide. You will learn about the types of hail damage as well as the costs involved in repairing it.
- What do you mean by hail damaged cars?
- There are many types of hail-damaged cars
- You should consider buying a hail damaged vehicle
- How much does it cost to repair hail damaged vehicles?
- How to avoid vehicle hail damage
What do you mean by hail damaged cars?
Hail, a form precipitation falling from the sky that consists of small amounts of ice crystals and snow compacts. The ice balls can cause damage to the windshield and car, causing small or large dentations. The severity of damage will depend on what type of hail is being used and how large the car is.
If the hail stones are smaller than an inch in diameter, they won’t typically travel faster than 25 mph, while one- to two-inch hail stones can hit 40 mph. The hailstones can travel at more than 100 miles per hour in severe cases.
Although hail particles can cause significant damage even in small amounts, the vast majority of problems are caused by larger chunks. Golf-ball hail will leave marks on your vehicle's sheet metal, while baseball hail may cause damage to the windshield. Water damage can occur to your car's interior if broken windows happen. When hail is large enough that it reaches the size of an average softball, it may be strong enough to penetrate the car's roof.
But even tiny hail, which can be as small as a quarter or dime in size, can damage your vehicle. A car that has many small dents could result in a costly repair.
There are many types of hail-damaged cars
1. Cosmetic damage/Intact paint
This is probably the least severe hail damage your vehicle can sustain. It shows small dents on the exterior, but the paint isn’t scratched. The body can be repaired with paintless dent repairs (PDR).
Paintless dent repairs allow the dents to be pushed out of place without any painting. To ensure that each dent is removed and repositioned correctly, the technician should be trained. PDR can be done with many different dent sizes. It is also the most affordable.
2. Cosmetic Damage/Scratched Painting
These larger hailstones can cause even smaller amounts of damage. Even though they are smaller in size, damage to the exterior of the vehicle's paint can be more severe. When this happens, there’s no way to perform paintless dent repair to fix the problem.
In the end, however, the panel of the body will need to replaced at the shop. A paint job may still be required if the damage can be repaired. This method of body repairs is traditional. It was used before PDR. With this method, however, you can expect to pay a lot more. Not only will a new body panel be installed, but the paint must match the color that’s currently on the car, which can get tricky with certain shades.
Related: What Does it Cost to Paint a Car?
3. Severe damage/Intact paint
It’s possible for hail to cause more than just cosmetic issues. Mechanical damage is possible in severe cases. What’s most odd is when there is mechanical damage to the car, but the paint hasn’t been ruined.
PDR for the car's exterior should be feasible, keeping the costs low. The bill can rise depending on how much mechanical damage occurred.
4. Severe damage/Scratched pain
If there is anything you want to avoid, it’s this problem. Like the first, mechanical repairs will be required.
Because of exterior body damage, it will be necessary to remove dents and apply new paint. This is when insurance companies will make it easy to declare your car as totaled.
You should consider buying a hail damaged vehicle
Many hail-damaged vehicles have been declared salvageable even though the vehicle is still mechanically sound and driveable. Insurance companies will only consider if it is more expensive to fix the vehicle than the value. Your car will receive a salvage title, and it will be declared a total loss.
These cars are still available for sale, as many people know. It is possible to make good money by repairing the damage or restoring the title to the original form. There’s also the possibility of selling the vehicle as-is because some people don’t care about the dents and dings. The only trouble with that is that the new owner won’t be able to get insurance for the vehicle until it is repaired.
RELATED: Car Dent Removal & Repair Cost
How much does it cost to repair hail damaged vehicles?
You can get hail damaged cars for a lot less than your average automobile. You might find an incredible deal on a vehicle that has suffered minor hail damage. Some dealerships offer incredible savings after hailstorms.
If there’s only a small dent or two, it might not be worth repairing if you aren’t worried about what it looks like. You might think about restoring the vehicle to its original glory for the price. On average, here’s what you can expect to spend on hail damage.
- Small dents: $30-$65 per repair
- Medium dents: $40-$75 per repair
- Large dents: $75-$100 or more per repair
Keep in mind that if you have five minor dents on your vehicle, it could be repaired for between $150 and $325. Looking at a bill this small, it’s not wise to get the insurance company involved, especially if your deductible is more than the repair will cost.
How to avoid vehicle hail damage
1. Stay on top of the Weather
Watching the weather forecast is the best way to ensure your car's safety. After all, you can’t take action if you don’t know what’s coming.
Get alerts for severe weather by downloading a free app to your mobile phone. You can then plan your day based on what you have learned about the weather.
2. Place Under Cover
Garages are the best places to keep a vehicle safe during storms. Although not all people have a garage there are still options to protect your car.
Even though hail and strong winds could blow your car into the carport, it can provide some protection. An extra layer of protection can be provided by a car cover. If you don’t have these options, consider covering the vehicle with a thick blanket or quilt. If you have no other option, at least use the car’s floor mats over the windshield to prevent broken auto glass and interior flooding.
READ MORE: 10 Best Car Covers For Hail, Snow & Ice Protection of 2022
3. When driving, seek shelter
If you are driving when hail hits, you want to pull over, but it’s important to think about where you will stop. You can shelter yourself in covered stations or a parking garage.
You don’t want to park under an overpass or bridge. It’s difficult to see cars parked here and it could create a traffic accident. Stop at a safe spot on the roadway until visibility improves. Your hazard lights should be on and you must park the windshield so that hail doesn't fall in your direction.
READ MORE: The 15 Most Common Car Accident Causes
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