If you’re not lucky enough to own a garage or something to park your car under, you could fall victim to hail damage.
Unfortunately, if you’ve found this out the hard way, you could have a massive repair bill on your hands.
With hail damage, you’ll still be able to drive your car around with no added risk. The main negative of a hail damaged car is that It’s very unpleasant to look at.
Depending on the damage, It’s not uncommon for hail-damaged cars to be considered an insurance write off. This is because the cost to repair hail damage is more than the value of the car.
With that being said, I’m going to help you decide how to proceed with your damaged car and whether it’s worth it to get the damaged repaired.
Where To Get Hail Damage Fixed
When getting hail damage repaired, there are 2 options you can choose from.
1.) A Traditional Body Shop
2.) Paintless Dent Removal Shop
A traditional body shop – To repair, they will gain access to the back of the dent, hammer it up, remove the paint and then fill the area with body filler.
If the paint has been scuffed or cracked by the damage, you will have to use a body shop anyway to paint the damaged area.
Using a body shop will normally result in your car being off the road for longer than you would like. They may give you a courtesy car, but that could cost you even more money.
Paintless Dent Removal – Choosing PDR is normally your best option for hail damage repair. Especially if you’re paying out of your own pocket.
Paintless Dent Repair is the act of repairing dents without the need for any refinishing techniques. This means much less material cost and shorter repair times.
Unfortunately, Paintless Dent Removal does have its limits. If the metal has already been stretched beyond repair or the paint has been damaged, the repair will not be 100%.
Remember! Unexpected damage can occur during PDR, such as paint cracking. So there’s also a risk that you will have to use a body shop anyway.
Estimating Hail Damage Repair Cost
Repair Method – A Traditional repair will need the most hours of labor, various materials and maybe even new pieces of trim. Thanks to this, the price of going through a traditional body shop will cost the most.
Paintless Dent Repair will be considerably cheaper if the job is done correctly. PDR Techs will only need to gain access to the back of a dent to push it out.
If you’re confident enough, you may be able to pull minor hail damage out yourself using a DIY Dent Pulling Kit. It could significantly decrease the cost of repair.
Panel Replacement – If a panel is damaged so badly its integrity is put into question, it will need to be replaced.
Depending on the panel, you may be able to buy one from a breakers yard and replace it yourself. Panels such as the roof and rear quarter are often welded on and need professional repairs.
If a panel does need to be replaced, you’ll have to pay for the new part as well as the labor to fit it.
When you have many panels that need to be replaced, the costs will quickly add up, showing how easy it is to write off a vehicle with hail damage.
Access to Dents – The price of dent repair will also vary based on the steps required to access a dent. Removing panels to access a dent may need multiple people and hours of work.
For Example: It’s easy to work on a hood, even if you need to take it off, it’s normally just 4x bolts.
If you’re working on an awkward front wing, the labor requirements quickly add up. You will need to jack the car up, remove the wheel and potentially even take off the bumper.
While it’s definitely not the biggest cost factor, removing and refitting panels could add another $1-200 in labor costs.
Average Cost For Hail Damage Repair
A true estimate cannot be given until the damage assessor has seen the car in person.
You will be able to get ballpark figures by taking photos and emailing them to local businesses but they are likely to change on closer inspection.
Below is a general idea of what to expect to pay for Hail Damage Repairs.
– At a body shop, you will pay $100-$250 per dent.
– With Paintless Dent Repair you will pay $30-$150 per dent.
The pricing structure will vary shop by shop, it will also vary based on the factors listed above. You should always shop around before making your final decision.
You may find that shops will give you better rates if you’re willing to give them a number of repairs.
Why Choose PDR for Hail Damage Repair?
Paintless Dent Repair is the quickest and cheapest method of repair, but there are also many other benefits.
Quick & Convenient
Paintless Dent Repair is by far the quickest and most convenient way to repair hail damage. Depending on how busy your local PDR Techs are, you could have it fixed in a matter of days.
A lot of the time they will also have mobile repair services. These services will allow you to get the vehicle fixed at home, or in the car park at work but they may cost a little extra.
Stay Within Manufacturers Warranty
Repairs that don’t meet the manufacturers’ specification will void the warranty on your vehicle (providing you have one). While you can tell that PDR has been done, it will not void the warranty.
You will not have to tell the lease company, dealership or car insurance about your hail damage unless you feel it will benefit you in some way.
Maintain A Professional Image
This one isn’t a benefit of PDR, but, getting your car fixed quickly will help to maintain a professional image.
For Example: If you’re a real estate agent turning up to meet clients in a car with many dents, they’re going to form a negative opinion. Even though it’s not a direct result of your behavior, they may think that you are careless and they may want to look for another realtor as a result.