Cars damaged in hailstorms are tempting to buy, as they often come with deep discounts. Plus, hail damage tends to be superficial, affecting only the body panels and glass, leaving the vehicle’s key functions intact. If you just need a way to get to work every day, a dimpled roof, trunk and hood may not matter. Before you seek out hail damaged cars for sale, though, you should take the following risks and drawbacks into account.
Why Dealerships Sell Hail-Damaged Cars
This is a great place to search for a new car. Dealers opt for fixing any damage they can. Fixing the damage helps the car find a new home. Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) specialists often fix hail damage at wholesale rates for dealers. Sometimes the figure to buy a car the salespeople may give you can be exaggeratedly low since they want you to buy the vehicle. This number should tip you off as to how bad the damage really is. Make repairing the car a condition to buying it. This is generally a good idea. Dealers may have a PDR specialist on site to make the repairs but these specialists don’t always have the necessary experience to fix dozens of hail dents.
Does it come with a Warranty
A warranty or money back guarantee should be given. If there is no warranty it may suggest the damage is worse than it looks. Additionally if you get a vehicle with a salvage title be sure that is has a “hail” designation to distinguish it from more severe damage such as floods or accidents.
What’s the Likely Resale Value
Resale value will be impacted if you buy a hail-damaged car. Buying a low cost damaged car initially may cost you the same as buying an undamaged new car. Make sure lenders cover hail-damaged cars if you plan to finance your purchase.
Inspect the car carefully before making a purchase. Taking care to avoid unwanted surprises. Get a background check to look for undisclosed damage as well. Sometimes a car may be already repaired before you see it, hiding the extend of the original damage. Using the vehicle identification number, plug it into Carfax, AutoCheck or similar site.
How Will Affect Your Insurance
Ask your insurance agent if the hail damage puts your comprehensive insurance at risk. If you don’t have the initial damage repaired, you won’t get the future damages covered or your insurance my deduct the damage from any claims. For example, you have a fender bender. It results in a $1000 claim, you might only receive $500 if you have $1500 in unreported damage.
Before Buying, Ask Yourself…
Never drop hard-earned money for a hail-damaged car before asking yourself: Who does this benefit the most, the dealer or you? Once a dealership suffers a hailstorm they have little or no choice but to sell their inventory at deeply reduced rates. Now you’re in a position to haggle more than ever. By the same token, could you sell that damaged car to someone in the future? Try to see through sales techniques to get the real value of the car.
A Good Option for Your First Car
For your first car, a hail-damaged one may be a good option. Basic transportation, students, folks who don’t drive much and tight budgets might benefit from hail sales.
Whats the Actual Cost of Fixing The Car
The average cost to repair hail-damage to a car is $2500. This cost can vary widely from shop to shop. Take the car to an independent shop for an estimate before you purchase. But remember, with every dealership discount there is usually a trade off. And that trade is…dealers are able to get their inventory repaired cheap because they have so many cars to repair. Often times it’s around 1/4 of the actual repair cost. And when you have someone who is repairing cars for 1/4 of the normal repair cost you will get a job that it reflects.
You can never do to much research when buying a hail-damaged car whether is new or used. If you don’t fix it you’ll probably always be upside down in it. Never sign on the dotted line before you thoroughly inspect it yourself and maybe by another PDR expert. An expert will spot missed dents. Check for “broken paint” along the edges. How they will repair the paint? Will they use a traditional body-shop or a “paint touch up vendor”? The difference is huge. So leave no stone turned. Your due diligence is mandatory.