Should You Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?
Today, we are answering one of the common questions we get asked and that is; “Should I Buy a Vehicle with Hail Damage?” We have actually had two cars come in on consecutive days where the customer purchased the vehicle with hail damage already on it.
We here at Sioux Falls Dent Repair, get calls from across the country on a regular basis with customers wanting to get an estimate of how much it would cost to get out hail damage on a vehicle they are thinking about purchasing. Also, we get calls from customers who have already purchased a hail damaged vehicle and are looking to get the damage out.
Our advice to anyone looking to buy a hail damaged car is to not do it because it doesn’t matter how big a discount you got on the car, it will never cover the cost to repair the hail damage. Out of the two cars that came in with hail damage, one was a 15-year-old Chevrolet Equinox and the customer got an $800 discount on it from the car lot where they purchased it. However, when the customer brought the car in, it turned out that there was several thousand dollars’ worth of damage. Even when the customer requested that we look at a specific part of the car, our estimates were higher than the $800 that they received as a “discount” from the car lot.
These kind of cases are deemed total losses by the insurance companies and car dealerships therefore have no other option but to sell them at a lower price. Nevertheless, the sellers never run at a loss and entice customers with “unbelievable” price cuts and discounts. We have come across cases where the cost of repair supersedes the price of vehicle. So, any hail damaged vehicle should be avoided at all costs unless you get the car for free or the damage is very minor.
This brings us to the follow-up question we get asked. “What is the vehicle has very minimal or medium amount of damage?” Again, with us being in this business for so long, we have seen a lot of hail damaged cars and generally the estimates for those vehicles end up being anywhere between $3,000 – $5,000. That number goes up with heavier damage and drops when the damage is not as severe. When it comes to $800 – $1,000 in hail damage repair, a regular car owner won’t even recognize the damage because the damage would have to be that minimal.
Another common mistake customers make is think they have a couple of dents on their car and ask for an estimate based on that and here is when we ask them to bring the car into the shop because we know that there cannot just be a few dents after the vehicle was caught in a hail storm. It is only under the PDR lights that the true extent of the damage is visible.
There is a lot of work before we can actually start getting the hail damage out and we inform the customer of that in our estimate. On a bigger job where hail damage is throughout the body of the car, without actually touching any of the damage, we first have to remove the hood, take off any kind of assemble (if there is any), remove the trunk lid, take off the headlights and taillights, both the front and/or rear bumper, and other panels. The cost only to have these panels removed and installed (R and I), is about $500 – $800. So, as you can see, buying a hail damaged car and then looking to repair it just does not make sense.
Eventually, the decision is the customer’s and it all depends on the situation. If a customer is looking to buy a cheap car just to drive it, a relatively new hail damaged one can save them a pocket full of cash. However, if the customer is buying a hail damaged car to fix it and then resell it, it is definitely not worth it.
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