Hail Damaged Car – Is It Worth Fixing?


May 08th, 2020

Hail Damaged Car – Is It Worth Fixing?

Mother Nature is not always predictable, and when she unleashes hailstorms, properties such as buildings and cars often suffer the worst. Australia has experienced some of the worst hailstorms in the recent past. The latest of these is the January storm that pelted golf-sized balls wreaking havoc in Canberra and Melbourne.

Seeing as these storms are seasonal in our country, the best thing to do is learn how to handle its effects. Knowing how to go about its effects, such as hail damage, will save you a lot of worry and sleepless nights. For instance, you have to know what to do when your car is hail damaged. Is your hail-damaged car worth repairing? And how do you go about fixing the damage?

If you are looking for answers to these and other related questions, you came to the right place. First, we’ll start by looking at the basics.

What is hail?

Hail is a form of solid precipitation that occurs when water freezes in the upper storm clouds. The frozen water takes the form of irregular lumps that look like small-sized balls, each called hailstone. These stone-like ice balls typically measure between 0.5 – 2.0 cm, but they can sometimes be as big as sweet oranges.

When they drop, hailstones cause a lot of damage to property. The size of these hailstones determines the type and extent of the damage they cause. Cars aren’t made of titanium (at least the standard cars on our roads), so they are susceptible to hail damage. Hail damage to vehicles can be so extreme in some cases that it results to the vehicle being written off. 

Hail damage car repairs - what do you do?

If your car is caught in a hailstorm, better hope your insurance is comprehensive enough to cover the damage. 

Insurance companies don’t offer a separate or distinct hail damage car insurance. This is why you need comprehensive coverage in the unfortunate event you leave your car out in a hailstorm. 

Most car owners often ask, "How much hail damage can make a car be written off?" Sadly, there is no clear-cut answer to this question, as hail damages cases always vary. That said, considerable damage, especially one which will cost more to repair than the current value of a car, qualifies the car for writing off. 

The best way to determine if your hail-damaged car can be written off is by consulting an assessor. Your vehicle may only have a few dents that look minor, but the cost of repair is so high. An assessor will estimate the repair cost and present it to the insurer for comparison against the car's value. From here, you can move to its repair. Some insurers might even recommend you to hail repairers. 

 You can still repair your car even if you lack comprehensive car insurance, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. The most known hail damage repair method PDR (paintless dent repair) could set you back tens of thousands of dollars if your car suffered extensive damage.

Avoid hailstorms if you can

Prevention, they say, is better than cure. By the same token, avoidance is better than repair. Avoiding hail damage to your car is the best way to ensure you don’t cough up thousands of dollars in repair costs. 

Build a garage near your house to shelter your car against harsh weather conditions, such as hailstorms. If a garage is out of your budget, you can go for a simple but robust carport. Alternatively, you can choose to invest in a quality car cover made to withstand and protect against hail damage. 

How do I know if hail damage repair is worth it for my car?

To know if it is worth fixing your hail-damaged car, first start by self-evaluating. Ask yourself what matters, your plans, and how much you need the vehicle. Your answers here will determine whether the repair is worth it.

If you have no problem driving a hail-damaged car and initially planned to drive it to the ground, then getting it repaired won’t be worth it. On the other hand, if you care about the condition of your car or have plans to sell the car, then getting the damaged repair is definitely worth it. 

How to go about repairing hail damage yourself – It doesn’t hurt to try, right?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to fix or repair hail damage. You can find quite a few DIYs on the internet to help you do it. Here a few ways to go about hail-damage DIY repairs:

Dry ice method

Applying ice on the affected area causes a temperature change that can pop out minor dents. Just move the dry ice in small circles around the affected areas. Note that this method doesn’t always guarantee results. When trying this approach, wear gloves to avoid irritating your skin. 

Park your car in a sunny place

Although it sounds unconventional, this method works as the heat from the sun causes the metal surface to expand. Try this method, but if it doesn’t work out after a few days, then the damage is likely significant.

Hair Dryer

If you reside in an area that doesn’t get enough sunlight, you can try the hairdryer method. Hold the dryer about 3 inches from the dent and move it around the damage. Be careful when using this method to avoid damaging your car further. Stop heating if the dented area starts becoming discoloured. 

Hail Damage Repair Kit

A hail damage repair kit can help clear out small and medium-sized dents. You can get the kit from online stores or auto part shops.

If these DIYs don’t work, consult with an automotive professional. Getting your car to its original shape will likely cost you a lot as it involves a lot of repairs, including glass repair and panel beating.

Sell Your Car Instead

If you can’t afford to carry out the repairs, you can consider another option – selling the car. There are several car wreckers in Australia that can buy the vehicle from you for parts. You can also sell it to other interested buyers that are ready to repair it and get it back on the road. The most effective way to sell a car would be via CarPart or through wreckers. 

Sell the Parts or the Whole Car through CarPart

If you opt to sell the car or its parts, advertising it through a website with established traffic to widen your market reach. You may also mine the parts and sell each part in the used car part market. Whichever method you use, CarPart can help you. 

You can advertise on our classifieds for a minimal fee. But if you do it now, with the COVID-19 crisis going on, you're in time for our free offer! We've waived the fees as a show of comradeship during this difficult time. That means, if you advertise now, it won't cost you a cent. 

You can email me at hello@carpart.com.au so you can start advertising. Certified sellers too may register here to receive parts requests from customers. A registered seller may then send quotes directly, gain access to various tools in our website, and sell car parts or whole cars online faster and easier. 

In short, there's a market for your car, and it's right at your fingertips. Start now!

By Sam O.