Should I Buy a Car That Has Hail Damage?


One of the destructive forces of nature that can damage everything in its path is a hail storm. It can be as small as a pea or as large as a baseball. This means that cars parked outdoors with no protection are at risk of becoming damaged during a hail storm. It can turn a beautiful and sleek car into a dented mess in just a few minutes.

Most of the time, new cars that are in a dealership’s lot suffer from hail damage. But it also presents consumers with an opportunity to take advantage of the damage. People who are looking to buy a new car can get a great deal on hail-damaged vehicles because dealers surely want to get them off their lot fast. However, before you commit, there are important things that you need to know about buying one. Read on to know more if it’s worth it to buy a car that has hail damage.

Why Do Dealers Sell Cars with Hail Damage?

Before dealers sell cars, they prefer to fix any damage that they can fixso that each vehicle will more likely find a buyer. Cars with hail damage are often fixed by paintless damage repair specialists at wholesale rates, which is good for a dealer who has numerous vehicles that were damaged by a hail storm.

However, sometimes the cost of repairs exceeds the expected profit from selling cars with hail damage. With this, the dealer chooses not to fix the vehicles. Also, hail-damaged cars can’t always be fixed paintless, especially when the paint is stretched or cracked. In fact, if the damage is worse, it can even extend to the functionality of the car.

Dealerships have insurance, but they still need to pay deductibles on claims, just like any ordinary car owner. If their bottom line suffers, they may not find these worth the cost. This is why some dealers sell hail-damaged cars as they are.

Things to Consider When Buying a Car with Hail Damage

If you are thinking of buying a hail-damaged car, there are important things that you need to look into first. Here are some of them:

Know the extent of the damage caused by the hail storm on the car

When people buy a car, they are always careful, and they check a lot of things. There should not be any difference when deciding to buy a car that has been damaged by hail. It’s essential that before you buy a car, you fully understand the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to repair.

Along with the inevitable dents, you also need to see if the hail storm broke a window and if there’s water damage to the interior.It’s good if you can get a few rough quotes on any work that is needed before you buy the car. This way, you will see if it’s cheaper to buy an undamaged one after those costs are taken into account. These can also help you reduce the price further if you really want the car.

Know the insurance costs

Dealerships have insurance to cover damaged cars, just like any other car owner. Therefore, ask for an insurance estimate. Know the figure the insurance company gave the dealer when determining the cost to repair the car. If the dealer does not tell you, it might mean they are trying to keep some of the insurance money and offer you a bad buy.

Consult with a mechanic

If you are looking forward to having the hail damage repaired, it’s better to find a trusted repair shop first and have a mechanic look at the car before you buy it. You also need to keep their repair estimate in mind when you make a dealto make sure that you are getting the car at a fair price. Also, when you speak to a mechanic, ensure that he knows it’s hail-damaged as they will check for specific damage and faults common in such cars.

If you are checking the car yourself and do not want to consult with a mechanic, some of the things you need to look into are rust and water damage inside and outside the car, if the electrical components are working, and as well as the warranty. Some parts of the car may be voided due to hail damage. Therefore, it is also better to talk to the manufacturer.

Get the car insured

After getting the car checked by a mechanic, it is also a good idea to speak to your insurer. If the damage to the car is severe, they may refuse to cover or increase your premiums to cover themselves against the risk. But if your mechanic has given the car a thumbs-up and you’ve talked to your insurance company, it should not be a problem.

It’s also great if you could ask your insurance agent if the hail damage puts your comprehensive insurance at risk. Your insurer might give you coverage for the current damagebut not for the future damage from hail. Therefore, you might need to take extra care to protect the car moving forward. And if the hail damage remains undocumented, your insurance may deduct the hail damage from any future accident claim.

Reach out to your bank or lender

If you are thinking of purchasing the car via an auto loan, remember that many banks and loan companies do not offer loans for a car with hail damage. Banks do not want to lend money for something already damaged, and the depreciation on cars is high.


Before you spend your hard-earned money on a hail-damaged car, ask yourself first who is getting the most out of the deal, you or the dealer? Hail-damaged cars can be a good option for a first car. If you are only looking for basic transportation, having a car with a series of dents does not matter. It can be great for students and people who don’t drive that much. People on a tight budget can also benefit from it. However, it is still important that you know what you are signing up for, especially if you cannot afford to buy another car anytime soon. Also, keep in mind that hail-damaged cars can be costly to repair.

We hope the information we shared in this article helped you know more about hail-damaged cars and if it’s worth it to buy one.

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