How Much Does It Cost To Fix Hail Damage On My Car?

What is the average price of fixing hail damage to your car?

I’ve lately received a lot of questions about hail damage repair costs. It is one of the most common questions that people ask regarding car maintenance.

But the fact is, it is almost impossible to say how much money it will take without seeing the car’s condition. If your car has been through a hailstorm, as I can probably guess, it is in bad condition.

Yes, the bonnet full of dents, cracked up windscreen, dents on the roof and side trims, I understand it all.

Although it’s difficult to give you exact numbers, I can surely give you an estimated cost for the repair.

The cost for repairing your dent can be around $1,000, and if the case is severe, the cost can rise higher to a figure of 8 grands.

3 Factors That Affect The Cost Of Hail Damage

Several factors come into play when estimating dent repair costs. A company has to make several considerations before they set their rates on repairing a car’s dents.

These factors are:

  • Types Of Metal: The metals used in making the body of your car. Different types of metals need different treatments.
  • Dent: The size and depth of the dent. The dent repair matrix has a size chart, and the sizes are – dime, nickel, quarter, half-dollar (half-dollar coin), and anything bigger than a half-dollar, which is considered an oversized dent.
  • Location: A car has several delicate areas. Dents in delicate areas need to be handled carefully and professionally. The deeper the damage, the more it will need, which is why it affects the rate of repairs.
  • The Removal Components To Reach Out To The Affected Area: Hailstorms are very powerful and sometimes can damage the car’s interior. So, when the car’s interior gets damaged, certain components to access the area need to be removed.

Do you want to know about how repair companies fix these dents? Well, then I am about to tell you how. The best way to get a proper estimation is to take your car and consult with a PDR specialist.

The price or cost depends on certain factors, which are discussed further down the article. I have also explained what you should do when your car gets damaged in a hailstorm.

5 Steps To Repair The Hail Damage Of Your Car/Truck

Hailstorms can damage your car’s exterior pretty badly, the roof, bonnets, lights, windscreens, and the list goes on.

People have experienced heavy hailstorms, and they have reported that heavy hailstorms can sometimes damage your vehicle’s interior.

If hailstorms damage your car, you have to get it fixed. Of course, the price matters, but still, if you have insurance, it can help you cut some slack.

Follow these steps to get your car or truck fixed from the damage caused by the hailstorm.

Step 1: Clean Your Car

The first and foremost you have got to do is to clean your car off. Hail damages can create havoc over your car exterior surface, so you need to clean that first.

Any sort of dust particles or little pieces of glass should be removed before taking it to the repair center.

Step 2: Turn On The PDR Lights

This step is a DIY, or if you wish to fix your car only by a professional, you can do it too. So, if you choose the DIY, follow the step:

Right after you clean your car, let it dry off. Then take it over to your garage or a shaded place. Then shine on some PDR lights over the surfaces.

PDR lights can be very helpful in tracing out the dents because small dents are not entirely visible to the eyes.

When you shine the lights over the surfaces, you can trace out the dent marks due to the car’s refectory surface.

Step 3: Mark The Dents With Marker

With the lights over, mark the dents using a colored marker. Make sure you use a darker and eye-catching shade of marker.

Do a complete circle around the dents or a half-moon, or an arch.

This is how the professionals do it, but if you wish, you can do it too. The only thing you need is some PDR Lights.

Step 4: Take Your Car To The Repair Shop

Now when you take your car to a repair shop, you will have to ask any professional to check if the dents are reachable or not.

If the dents have affected your car further down into its interior, the company would ask for an extra charge. And you need to see how many marks of such kind are there.

Now when you have the numbers, you can ask your professional to estimate the same. The price will be under certain conditions – body type, depth and size of dents, accessibility, etc.

The professional has to calculate it through their matrix, and you will have your estimated cost for fixing your car.

Then, after you get to know the estimation of the total cost, you will be provided with a package.

There are several packages with variant rates and other services. These packages are better to make your car look like a newly purchased car.

Step 5: Contact Your Car Insurance Provider

A person who owns any sort of vehicle has got to have insurance.

What these insurance policies do is, when you get your car damaged and if you contact them, they will provide you’re an amount of money to fix your car.

So, this saves you from spending a lump sum amount of money on fixing your car.

Now, after you receive the officially estimated cost, you should go through the insurance documents.

Look for comprehensive insurance; if you find such things, you will be happy to know that the insurance fully covers your vehicle.

Insurance is very important for vehicles because sometimes, these get damaged by nature or any other unforeseen condition on the road.

The damages are very costly to fix; it is not possible to fix just with cash or checks. However, the insurance helps you cover it, and using the insurance will never increase the premium you pay.

NOTE: Do take pictures of the mileage and the VIN plate. Generally, the insurance companies do not ask to produce these at the time of inspection, but it is better to have them.

Quick Recap: Estimating A Hail Damage Repair Cost

Like after what you have read for so long, here is a quick recap of the entire procedure in short:

  • Bring your car home or in a shaded area. However, your garage should be the best place.
  • Next, shine some (Paintless Dent Repair) PDR lights on it.
NOTE: If your car is damaged in a hailstorm, you have got to wash off your car. So that’s what you are going to do first, then bring it over to your garage and shine the lights over it.
  • With a bright color mark each dent and other car damages caused by the hailstorm.
  • Count each damage and put in that information, and calculate.
NOTE: The rate of fixing a dent depends on its diameter. The pretty dings can be repaired at a rate of $75 – $125. However, bigger dents can be repaired at $150 to $250 per dent. Every company has its set of rates, and I have just provided you with the average rate for repairing dents.
  • Take pictures of the model and VIN.

This is how you can estimate your cost.

Process Of Fixing The Dents By Professionals

You are a car enthusiast, aren’t you? This is why I decided to include this section. Some people are obsessed with cars and having a bit of knowledge about things will do no harm.

Let me enlighten you with the fact that if you have heard of some DIY method to get your dents fixed, it will probably not work for you.

This work is just meant for professionals, so it is better to leave it to them, alright?

If you have ever researched about it, if you have probably heard of using dry ice to take out the dents, heating it up using a dryer, or using some compressed cold air will help you pop out the dents back, to be honest, those will not work.

Also, I have heard people using suction cups or a plunger to pull it out. Also, I have heard something hilarious, like keeping our car out in the sun will help fix the dents.

As mentioned above, any of these procedures will not work, and if you do, you will be wasting your valuable time.

Furthermore, using the methods can entirely damage the coat of paint. Doing some strange procedures can ruin the body of your car.

Now there are two types of methods that the professionals use to repair the dents:

  1. PDR
  2. Traditional Method

So, let us take some time and understand how the professionals do it!

1. Paintless Dent Repairing Method (PDR)

Step 1: Analysis

The first thing that a professional does is analyze the dent. No way he would just jump in with his tools and gears and try to fix it, NO!

First, he needs to understand the depth, the size, and if the dent is accessible. Dents of variant sizes are treated differently, and the bigger the dent, the complicated the method gets.

Step 2: Arrange the Tools

To do the procedure correctly, he needs a PDR tool, these tools have special kinds of tips that go in the underside of the dent, and he tries to move the dent by slightly pushing the dent.

The setup is not complicated at all:

  • He needs a leverage point, PDR tools, and lights.
  • What he does, is he looks directly at the lights and gently pushes the dent upwards.
  • He makes some little, tiny pushes to push up every little spot underneath.
  • The PDR light helps in knowing where to push, and this requires proper hand-eye coordination.
  • He constantly switches the light positions to know the current status of the dent, which is how it works.
NOTE: If you try to do this, you are going to have proper hand-eye coordination. And if you think you can get it right with just one push, you might want to give it another shot.

Because if you push too hard, there are chances of the paint bursting out, marks on the paint, and the body line.

So, you have to keep it pretty gentle and nice as it makes the metal of the body line and paints pretty flexible.

This process is pretty slow, and you should have a lot of patience while doing this.

2. Traditional Method for Dent Repairs

If you head to a traditional dent repair shop, they will first see if the damaged area is worth the repair and time. I know how it sounds, but this is what it is.

If they do not see any chance of repairing it, you will be asked to replace it.

What if they find the dents repairable? Then they would repair the dents for you.

The repairing process is as follows:

Step 1: Sanding

In the first step, you will have to sand off the paint over the body line and expose the metal. Do not go harsh while sanding. Keep it gentle.

Step 2: Filling

Right after you send off the paint, you will fill up the lowered or affected areas using putty. And leave it for a few hours to dry completely.

Step 3: Sanding

When the putty dries off, take sandpaper and gently rub it over the putty until the applied filling matches the body line. This can take hours to finish.

And the moment it matches, they paint the area with the bodyline color.

In my honest view, this is a long process and can take several grands. It takes hours of work for one dent, and your car can get hundreds of dents after surviving a hailstorm.

Hence, I believe the PDR procedure is way better than this. The PDR process takes time, too but is quite easy. Therefore, the PDR process is any day better than the traditional one.

One more advantage of the PDR method is that it does not affect the paint and void your warranty.

Can A Generic Body Shop Repair The Dents?

Yes, of course, why not? But if I were in your place, I would not walk into a body shop to repair the dents in my car because I want to save my money.

If you end up in a body shop, they will replace the entire panel or unit. You probably know that replacing a whole panel is no joke.

First, when the dents can be repaired, there is no need to replace the panels, and second, replacing a panel can be pretty expensive.

Instead, if you go to a professional PDR specialist, you will get your dents fixed and save some grands.

Related Article: How Much Does Car Dent Repair Cost?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It A Good Deal To Purchase A Hail-Damaged Vehicle?

No, never. Why would it not be a good deal? Okay, I will give you three reasons below:

  • A car is a depreciating asset, meaning its value will go down when you buy a car. Now, if you are investing in a car, it will be less worth it later at some point. So why should I buy something more expensive that is going to depreciate at the same rate?
  • You can save money. Instead of buying a brand-new car with 20 grands, you can buy a car with just 13 or 14 grands.
  • Opportunity Cost: If you buy a car with thirteen grands and save seven grands, you can use this money in various other ways. Some use it on vacation or something else.

Do I Repair The Dents Or Replace The Entire Panel?

If your car is severely damaged, the last option you have is to replace the panels, but you must repair it if the car can be repaired after the hail damages. That way, you can save a bit of money.

Conclusion

Now that you are reading the last part of this article, I hope this write-up solved all your doubts regarding the cost factor.

Honestly, it is better to consult with a PDR specialist to get a verified estimation. Yes, you cannot get the figure because the professionals use a different matrix to calculate the figure.

And, I would also like to add that you should not try to fix the dents by yourself, because I have seen people trying the same, and that did not improve any of it but worsened the condition.

And, as I have said before, the cost depends on the severity of the damage caused to your car. That’s pretty much it.

Written by Yusuke Kohara

Hi there! My name is Yusuke. I write about automotive topics for Car Proper. I love cars and have a passion for writing helpful articles on tools, car accessories, and how-to to help my readers solve their problems. In my spare time, I'm either working out, reading the book, or spending time with my family. I also work for a digital consulting agency.

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