Buyer Beware: The Downfalls of Purchasing A Vehicle With Hail Damage

Buyer Beware: The Downfalls of Purchasing A Vehicle With Hail Damage

BUYER BEWARE: The Downfalls of Purchasing A Vehicle With Hail Damage

So you purchased a new vehicle with hail damage. First off, congratulations! A newer vehicle is always an exciting time. That newer car smell. Something different to drive and more comfortable. We would like to discuss some items you should know for future reference.

Car Insurance

When you go to sign up for new insurance on this vehicle some insurance agents will want to see the vehicle in person or at least have pictures on file. If there is any indication that is has hail damage even in photos you may be denied for any future hail damage claims.

Future Accidents and Claims

We have even seen insurance companies subtract the damage amount for hail damage on a panel for a collision or accident. Lets say your hood for insurance has $500 in hail damage, please note this is NOT a lot of damage. You later get in a front end collision in your vehicle which damages the hood. Some insurance adjusters will then subtract the $500 in hail damage you have on the hood prior and not pay out that amount to have the vehicle fixed from its collision. This is rare and a complete headache for the vehicle owner and the repair shop. Even I myself cannot believe this is an issue but I have seen it myself first hand. So say it costs $1200 to have a body shop take the car apart, paint a new hood, install the new hood, blend the color into the fenders for a color match and put it all back together. The insurance company may only pay out $700.00 total because of the preexisting damages on the hood. Something to take note of.

We touched up damage disclosures and salvage titles here, Click Here To Read More!

The vehicle has a salvage title or damage disclosure is that the vehicle is now valued at a lesser amount. If the vehicle is then totaled out for damage again you will receive much less than the blue book value for the vehicle, often times using rough trade in for a value amount is in the ballpark.

CarFax History Report

Have you heard of Carfax? Its like a credit report for a vehicle. Whenever an insurance claim or accident is reported this information is then uploaded to Carfax to show the vehicle has some type of incident. Lets say this damage slips through the cracks and somehow is not recorded through Carfax. This vehicle gets to you with out any Carfax History Report. You then take the vehicle to a local body shop to have an estimate for your hail damage that you want repaired. Some body shop estimating systems and dealer computer systems report their info to Carfax. EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE A REPAIR DONE! So now your vehicle has been reported without your consent to Carfax and everyone from now on will know if they check the vehicles history, it had hail damage, or at least damage all over the vehicle. Some of these common body shop estimating systems include CCC One, Mitchell or Audatex. So be aware!


Have you NOT bought a vehicle with hail damage yet but thinking about it? Check out more information HERE BEFORE you buy a vehicle.


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Should I Buy A Vehicle With Hail Damage?

Should I Buy A Vehicle With Hail Damage?

Should I Buy A Vehicle With Hail Damage?


Often times we have people contact us asking “Should I buy a vehicle with hail damage?” They then send us photos of the damage or a web link to the vehicle on a website. Also they may have already purchased the vehicle. There are many considerations to take when purchasing a vehicle with hail damage and today we will cover those.

First off, Why Do You Want To Buy A Vehicle With Hail Damage?

People get attracted to hail damage vehicles because of the purchase price.  After all the car is just cosmetically damaged. No frame damage or inner structures are damaged on the vehicle. Typically they have low miles and a very nice clean interior. The only downfall is the outside of the vehicle is full of dents and dings.  To some buyers they are ok with the damage being there. They will drive the vehicle for years without a care in the world and not fix it. Others are looking to purchase the damaged vehicle cheaper than an equivalent vehicle without damage, then have it repaired later.

Hail Damage Removal - Sioux Falls Paintless Dent Repair

Does The Vehicle Have A Damage Disclosure or A Salvage Title?

These are very important questions that you will need to know. Even if the vehicle is fixed 100% correct a salvage title or damage disclosure may still haunt the vehicle for the rest of its life.  Each state is different so check with your local state to see the requirements.

If it does have either of those on the title, was it added to the title because of hail damage specifically? The reason we ask is cause some vehicles have been repaired because of frame or other structural damage then these vehicles get hit with sometimes even light hail. The seller may then say something like, it has a damage disclosure or salvage title because of the hail. The will say this so you think oh its super simple damage, only a few dents per panel, no big deal. Later you may then find out it has previous frame or structural damage that was actually the cause of the bad title.

Extreme hail Damage - Sioux Falls South Dakota

Extreme hail Damage – Sioux Falls South Dakota

How Does A Vehicle Get A Damage Disclosure or Salvage Title?

When a vehicle is damaged the total cost to repair the damage is assessed. The cost to repair the damage will be in excess of  60% to 80% of the total vehicles value.  Each state is different but most states range from this percentage.

Did you know that for some insurance companies will “total out” a vehicle even into the fifty percentile just because the insurance company knows that the specific vehicle manufacture and model will bring a premium when later auctioned off for sale. That’s right, a vehicle that is deemed a total loss will then be purchased by the insurance company from the vehicle owner. The insurance company then takes the vehicle to an auction to then be auctioned off to the highest bidder. This is why car lots tend to have vehicles with hail damage, they buy them at auction.

So for easy math lets say you have a vehicle that is valued at $20,000.00  In order for a vehicle to be deemed a total loss, the total amount of damage the vehicle would have to have is somewhere between $12,000-$16,000.00 range. As stated in the previous paragraph it may even be as low as $10,000.00 in damage on extreme cases.

Extreme Hail Damage - Sioux Falls Dent Repair

Extreme Hail Damage – Sioux Falls Dent Repair

How Much Are You Really Saving?

How much are you saving verses purchasing a vehicle with no damage and equal miles on it? Some save as little as a few hundred dollars and some save several thousand.


The Seller Said It Would Cost Less To Repair.

In some cases the new vehicle owner says the seller told them they had quotes for only some low amount to fix the damage. This happens with hail damage as well as collision style damage. When the vehicle is looked at by a facility like ourselves for an actual estimate we give them a through estimate on the actual repair costs. Remember this is what we specialize in specifically.

Often times moldings and trim pieces on the vehicle become damaged, if these are missed they can add several hundreds of dollars to the repair estimate. For instance lets say some of the trim around the rear quarter panel glass is missed and has damage, those windows can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars to replace and that is just one side!  The reason being is the molding is bonded to the glass, the glass must be replaced with the molding since they are all one piece.

Also remember the person selling the vehicle is trying to get rid of it. They are a salesman! We see it time and time again of people being taken advantage of when buying a damaged vehicle. Unfortunately we end up becoming the ones to deliver the bad news that the vehicle will not actually cost as low of a price to repair, it will actually cost much more. We typically tell a person expect the ACTUAL repair costs to be double at least but probably closer to four times the amount mentioned by the vehicle seller. Remember, they are TRYING to sell the vehicle, not actually repair it!


Our Actual Experiences

All of the pictures featured in this article were either taken by us or sent to us by customers. All of these photos show damage that we will not be repairing.

The silver car, the Toyota was purchased by a customer then brought to us for an estimate. The entire top side of the vehicle needs to be replaced and taken to a body shop.

In 2018 we had a customer come to us with a newer BMW 7 series with hail damage. He purchased the vehicle out of Colorado and was shocked when he found out the cost of the repairs. Here he thought he had basically stole the vehicle. He was given over $7,000.00 off of the price! When we looked at the vehicle the cost to replace just the hood, roof and trunk lid and NOT counting any other damages was over his $7,000.00 savings. Its unfortunate but we hope to combat these dilemmas for future customers by informing them before hand!


Our Final Thoughts and Input

Think of it this way, with hail damage, there is a reason we ourselves do not typically buy hail damage cars and fix them ourselves. We can do these repairs for just the cost of our time and still choose not to. It is just not cost effective.


Want to read more about future insurance claims, future repairs, Carfax history reports and more?

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What Can Sioux Falls Paintless Repair Actually Fix?

What Can Sioux Falls Paintless Repair Actually Fix?

Why Go Paintless?

When your car is struck by a stray shopping cart or nasty hail storm, you are left with a small reminder of that incident. This could be one or many dents of different shapes and sizes. Despite their humble demeanor, these small imperfections can have a serious and long lasting affect on the value of your car. However, over the last 10 years, automotive paints and metals have undergone many changes that make it very easy for technicians to work out minor dings without the need for replacing paint. Sioux Falls Paintless repair features many benefits now, such as:

  • Extremely fast turnarounds
  • No increased insurance rates
  • Affordable rates
  • No insurance claims
  • No Carfax reports

Quality Repairs for Life

With Sioux Falls paintless repair you no longer need to worry about week long wait times or shoddy repairs. Our work is guaranteed to last and we do it right. No more expensive rentals, scratched paint, or swirly finishes. Just you and your flawless finish.

We repair a variety of body damage ranging from simple dings to hail catastrophes. Our most frequently used services include:

Minor Collisions

Not all collisions require a trip to the body shop. Today, more and more drivers are switching to PDR for fender benders and bumper repair thanks to the amazingly low rates we offer. Any kind of minor vehicle damage can potentially be fixed with paintless repair. Just bring it to our Sioux Falls paintless repair shop, and we’ll give you a free estimate; or you can fill out this online form, and we will get back to you with a quote at our earliest availability.

Hail Storms

One of the worst disasters that could happen to your car is a nasty hail storm. They are relatively easy to avoid if you have a garage, but for those that aren’t so fortunate these tips might help. If you still find yourself caught in the thick of an icy downpour, then contact a paintless repair technician right away. We’ll give you a free estimate, and let you know if there is any serious threat such as exposed metal.


The most common source of minor body damage is simple accidents. This could be caused by somebody leaning on your hood, a stray shopping cart catching your bumper, or an oblivious passenger opening their door.  They are among the most unpleasant annoyances a driver could face, but worst of all they are nearly impossible to avoid, since they are completely out of your control.