Buying a car with hail damage, is it really a good deal?


Hail damaged cars being offered for thousands below book value. Steep discounts. Our loss is your gain.
Could buying a hail damaged car really be a good deal for you?
Maybe.
But there’s a few things you need to know before you drive away. This article could save you thousands and much heartache down the road.
You’re getting the inside scoop here, because car salesman say stuff to me, the paintless dent tech, they would never say to you or in public.
“I love a hail sale!”
This I heard 20 years ago from a salesman at an auto dealership.
I asked him why.
“Because people think they’re getting a good deal, so I sell more cars. There is more commission on each unit, so I knock ‘em dead!”
Does this mean there are no good deals at a hail sale? Not necessarily.
But you do need to be aware why that car is being sold with hail on it in the first place. Let’s cover the reasons, then dig a little deeper.

Why dealers sell damaged cars

  • Car could not be repaired paintless
  • Price of repair was too high
  • Car needed combination repair, or painting along with PDR

First, the car could not be repaired using paintless dent repair. This was the case with a lot of cars from Oklahoma City and Edmond area, and the two big storms to hit the Dallas Metroplex in 2012.
After 20 years in the business, I can guarantee you this, every car that can be fixed with Paintless or PDR before sale, will be fixed.
There are companies which do nothing but travel the country and repair these hail damaged units. Sometimes as many as 20 technicians will swarm in and fix them in rapid fashion.
The fact that you are now looking at a hail damaged car that was not fixed should give you serious pause.
It still has damage for one of the three reasons listed above.
Dents can be fixed by paintless up to a certain point of damage. Too large, too deep, too severely stretched or worse yet, cracked paint, all are reasons paintless repair was not used.
PDR works excellent for dents within the range of what is repairable, after that the only right repair is with conventional auto body shop and paint.
Paint damage and conventional repairs are expensive and time-consuming. Car dealers know it is better to sell a car as is than let it go to the paint shop.
The last reason for dealer not to fix a hail car pre-sale is the price was too high. The cars perhaps could have been fixed using PDR or paintless repair, but they did not want to pay what it took to get it done.
For example, the PDR company told the manager all the cars could be fixed for $1500. Dealerships have deductibles on claims just like you do. They decided to cut their losses and sell the cars as is.
Now you are standing in front of the car and the salesman is telling you he knows you can get it fixed for $500. Maybe he wasn’t in on the negotiations with the PDR company or maybe he just wants to make a sale. This happens all the time. I see it when it’s too late, the car is already bought.
If a car is not fixed and is being sold with hail on it, caveat emptor, or buyer beware.

Hidden dangers

After considering the above and you still feel it’s a good deal and are ok with purchasing a damaged car, I support you 100 percent.
You know the vehicle’s value is affected and are fine with it. After all, you bought it at a discount, right?
Here’s a few more gotchas that could sneak up on you later.

  • Insurance coverage
  • Car vehicle damage reports
  • Future accident coverage

First, if your insurance agent is good, he’ll want to see the car when you call for coverage. He’s going to spot the hail and will give you coverage, but exclude future hail damage.
But lets say you get away with something, and he covers you without looking. After all car is brand new, right?
You’ve heard of Carfax car vehicle reports, I’m sure. They get their information from a database that is like a credit report for cars. Every car has a VIN and when an insurance company pays a claim, that damage is attached to the car from now on.
While it is used today by careful used car buyers, its real purpose is for insurance companies to keep from getting stung by fraudulent clams.
Tied to this, are future accident claims. If your car is damaged in an accident somewhere down the road, the hail damage will be deducted from the cost of that claim. Huh?
Car’s hood and fenders have $1000 worth of hail. New accident in front end is $3000 claim. Since the damage was not fixed prior, the money is subtracted off the top. Pay now, pay later.
This can be avoided if you document the repairs you make on the vehicle after purchase.

How can you keep from getting burned on a hail damaged car purchase?

  • Get an estimate up front from a reputable PDR company*
  • Remember pictures don’t tell the true story of hail damage. Only the most severe dents will show up. If you see it in a photo, its much worse in person.
  • Be ready to walk away if you smell a rat. If your tummy is tingling, probably not a good deal.
  • If you still want the car, make sure you have the cash on hand to fix it.
  • Oh, and take what the salesman told you the repairs would cost and multiply it by 4.

*Caution: often the salesman will flip you a business card and say, “This guy said he would fix for $X.” You want to check the dent company’s credentials. BBB, website, years of experience, customer reviews, etc. Finally, you want to call them to verify the price, then ask to see a repair on a car with similar damage.

Is buying a hail damaged car a good deal?

http://www.tulsahailrepair.com/buying-a-car-with-hail-damage-is-it-really-a-good-deal/
Some cars with hail damage cannot be fixed with paintless dent repair. These are often sold at a discount by car dealers.
Good deal?
Maybe.
There are 3 things you must consider into the real cost of a hail damaged car.
http://youtu.be/9r1mL9HeNxI

75 Responses to “Buying a car with hail damage, is it really a good deal?”

  1. Lee September 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Might be buying a 2010 suv that had hail damage that was repaired under 40,000 miles the dealership(shop) is getting an inspection this week. It is a good price that the car dealership that sells part as well as repairs cars got from an auction.. Think they are trying to get new vin number for vehicle. It seem to be a good deal but if my insurance won’t cover it that has me thinking…..is it really a good deal?

    • Tim Olson September 8, 2014 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Lee,
      if your state uses tag agencies, might be good to visit with an agent there. Especially someone with lost title experience.
      The VIN stays with the car for life and can’t be changed. Perhaps they meant new title? Salvage title, perhaps.
      Don’t forget the extended test drive to have it inspected. Then its just math.
      Book value minus repair cost equals today’s true value.

      • sai September 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

        Hi Tim,

        We found a few hail affected BMW cars on sale in Reading, PA in the last couple of months, found the prices really attractive. Is it better to buy a hail affected car with no mileage or a used car with mileage. What are the possible complications we could expect in future, is it a fair deal..Could you please guide us.

        • Tim Olson October 7, 2014 at 10:13 am #

          Hello Sai,
          a new car with hail vs. a used car with hail is going to be the same issues listed in the article.
          To know if you have a good deal or not requires math and some legwork.
          Take the car to a PDR shop and get a real estimate.
          Deduct this from the blue book value and you will arrive at a fair asking price.
          Anything above this and you are losing money.
          Tim

  2. Tiese rocillo August 19, 2014 at 4:22 am #

    Please help me Tim, I meet an elderly lady that is ready to sell her car since her husband has passed away. It is a 2004 Chrysler 300m special. It has 48000 miles or a little under that. After I meet her today and drove it to my home my husband and I noticed small hail dents on hood and roof and such, not bad but clearly hail. She is not willing to negotiate one dollar under 6000 with is book price. Even after I said no one told me it has hail damage. So hard to walk away givin the rest of the car and the miles on it. My stomach is in nots as to what to do. My stepdad is also loaning the money to me that I will have to repay. Any solid advice is grealy approciated. Thank you for your time as well

    • Tim Olson August 19, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      HI Tiese,
      wow, you found a really low mileage car there.
      But she does have it priced at excellent condition value according to Kelly Blue Book.
      I cannot tell you what to do here, but I do empathize with the feeling you have. Those knots in your tummy are natural and it comes from fear of loss. You are afraid if you don’t snatch it up, someone else will.
      Truthfully, they might.
      Perhaps you could detach for a moment and pretend you are a friend offering someone else advice about buying this car.
      After looking at all the facts, would you still advise them to buy?
      Getting a real estimate on the damage is the only true way to know what it would cost to fix, and I always recommend this.
      But lets plug in a number, say $1000 damage. This car has an aluminum trunk and hood so this might be in the ball park.
      Math says: Blue book price 6000 minus damage of 1000 equals 5000 dollars.
      What advice would you give your friend if you knew the above?
      In negotiation the most powerful thing you have is walk away power. When a seller with a clear mind sees they might lose you, then they will budge even when they say at first they won’t.
      The seller in this case is emotional about the car, because it reminds of her dear loved one. You may not be able to break through this emotional barrier, but the length of time trying to sell often does.
      The kindest thing you can do is, get a real appraisal for paintless dent repair, then make her an offer and hand her the keys.
      “It is a really nice car. I can offer you x because of the hail damage. Here is my number, please keep it. If you still want to sell, please give me a call. I am looking at other cars, but I really like yours. Hope to hear from you soon.”

      • Tiese rocillo August 20, 2014 at 5:03 am #

        You are a doll! And I so thank you for your truthful honesty. A few years ago I gave her my number just meeting her in a parking lot and said if you ever want to sell it please keep me in your thoughts. Well I got that call a few weeks ago. She even had several other phone numbers her son in law told me but all were lost except mine. The car is beautiful. I did see it without hail damage so I was taken back by it and I know it was a resent storm. I also was taken back by her unwillingness to budge even 500 dollars.

        • Tiese rocillo August 20, 2014 at 5:17 am #

          Her son in law runs a car dealer mechanic work and has offered to at any point if I wanted to get the hail repaired. I really was set back by her not coming down and so I did have a set ballpark in mind prier to meeting her I guess. I figured 5000. Really because I had put the wrong info in the kbb as I didn’t realize it was the special edition. I would tell a friend they got a good deal but I would also notice the tiny dings lol the miles are hard to ignore and has only had them as the owners bought new 10 yrs ago. I always thought about that little old lady and that beautiful black car but never thought she would remember me. I keep my cars till they die so a low mile car that I can afford is hard to find. I have a 2000 300 and has 192000 and our also every day driver 1987 f150 with over 35000.00 miles on the original chassis so we clearly keep our cars for life! That is a blessing and a curse lol

  3. crystal August 12, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Hi Tim,

    Im glad to have stumbled on your video and blog. This is really very informative. I saw a good deal on cars.com for a 2008 mazda3i and we went to look at it. Turns out it is a hail damaged car. The dents are not very noticable though. It is is being offered for $7995 with 51k miles. We put a refundable reservation fee on it but have not purchased it yet. Do you think you’d be able to assess if it is a good deal or not and if it is repairable with PDR? Pictures are here: http://imgur.com/a/B9OmZ

    Thanks again!

    • Tim Olson August 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Hi Crystal,
      looks like they are offering right at the fair condition price. The photos are pretty good, but photos are also good at masking hail damage. I see some dents in hood, but this car has a roof that is easily damaged and will often look worse than rest of the car. Without a real estimate, you are at a disadvantage.
      If it is an individual seller, he or she should have an idea what the damage is if they filed a claim. I would ask.
      Beyond this, I can’t help much.
      Tim

      • crystal August 13, 2014 at 2:22 am #

        thanks for the response Tim!

  4. bridgett white August 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    and I need a car because I a because I am disabled and thank you for all the information and thank you for all the information I received receive than thank you

  5. Cindy G. August 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    No I haven’t made up my mind. I just don’t care about if it looks perfect or how resell is, I was asking if I missed any other issues.

    • Tim Olson August 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      Cindy,
      the question you want to ask yourself is this:
      If I leave the lot in this hail damaged car and someone runs into me, do I have the cash in the bank to make up for what the insurance company deducts from the claim for previous hail damage?
      As long as you know the risk and have the cash to cover it, then it can be a good deal for you.

  6. Cindy G. August 5, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Guess what, I don’t care if the hail damage is repairable or not. As long as their are no cracks in the paint. I don’t care what the resell value is because I plan to drive it till it is dead or close to it. If I am in a wreck I only want insurance to pay for what was damaged in the accident. So any thing else I need to be concerned about?

    • Tim Olson August 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      Hi Cindy,
      sounds like you have made up your mind and I applaud your diligence.
      Thank you for commenting.
      Tim

  7. Joseph Kim August 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Hi~Tim.

    Thank you for giving me very useful information. I also need some helps.
    Actually I bought a 2011 Hyundai Elantra GLS, 28,629 mi. hail dented from Copart auto auction. It’s $5,100 and has the own certification of salvage as the state of Pennsylvania. It can be driven, but the back window needs to be repaired. It will be delivered next Thursday to me. As a individual buyer for personal use, this is first time to use a junk or salvage titled car. When I check auto vin number through Car-fax, it is reported as a junk and salvage titled car. How do you think about my auction? And there are many hail dents.. Can them be repairable? As final, after I fix my all dents and some can I get the inspection to transfer the title to another salvage title like rebuilt title or reconstructed to drive it if there is no any problem? Is it available to transfer the title or change the title to another salvage title to drive. I am confused about whether I am fine to deal with this work as a individual, but not a dealer. Please help me…

    • Tim Olson August 5, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Hi Joseph,
      I cannot comment on your purchase being a good deal or not.
      Each state deals with salvage titles in a different way. If you have tag agencies in your state, I would call one and ask for help.
      It is likely you can accomplish much yourself without being a dealer.

  8. To buy or not to buy.... July 28, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Hey Tim,

    I’m hoping you can help me judge whether I’m getting a good deal or not. I recently found a 2013 Audi A6 for sale for ~$31,000. It has hail damage on the hood, trunk, and roof and small chipped paint at 2 places (door frame and some where else–I forgot). It has 15k miles and seems mechanically sound from my test drive. The interior is in practically brand new condition. The car was a lease and was turned in after a year (due to the hail damage). The carfax doesn’t show hail damage however.

    I did a search of used 2013 A6’s within 75 miles of where I live and found that the only ones priced as low as this had over 90k miles. At face value this seems like a good deal (orig MSRP was $51,000), but I’m not sure if I should be negotiating for less or passing on it altogether. The sales manager “guesstimated” the cost of repair at $4000-$5000 by a PDR shop and $10000 if I went through a body shop. Thoughts?

    • Tim Olson July 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      Hi Jonathan,
      thanks for your question and comments.
      The only way to know for sure is to take the car on an extended test drive during which you need to go around to some PDR shops and body shops to get a real estimate.
      The 2 different prices from the salesman tells me its pretty bad damage.
      Tim

  9. Mann July 24, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Thanks a lot for the information!

  10. sharon smith July 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    Tim, have questions re hail damage cars..would it be more feasible to buy a “new” no mileage hail damaged car or “used” with mileage and hail damaged car? if I am looking at this correctly and see trade in value would be say 33,000 dollars and car has 10,000 dollars damage, would a fair price be 25,000 dollars to offer, taking into consideration the cost to repair…that said, the same scenario for new and used cars, which would make more sense….I am leaning towards the used car, only because it would be even less money. also, if car dealership has received the cost for the hail damage, wouldn’t you think, the dealership should sell the car for their cost less the cost of insurance received on the car.
    I know of a Mercedes benz ml 350, 35,000 miles on it, trade in would have been $26,000…now hail damage on everyside except passenger side, the dealer also has same vehicle for sale “no damage” for $33,000…yet they are wanting at least $25,000 for the damage vehicle…I am saying I would offer $19,000 (trade in 26,000 minus 10,000 damage and 3,000 profit)…am I wrong to think this? thank you for your help.

    • Tim Olson July 12, 2014 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Sharon,
      whether you buy a new or used hail damaged car, you will have same issues down the road. Harder to sell, won’t receive full compensation in a collision, etc., as stated in article.
      Why doesn’t dealership give full amount off for damage? They still have to make a profit. We don’t know if they bought car with damage or it happened on the lot.
      A better question is $10,000 in damage an accurate number? You must take the extended test drive to either a dent shop or body shop to get accurate numbers. Even if you never plan on fixing it.
      Once you know this you can negotiate with confidence.
      Tim

      • Sharon Smith July 15, 2014 at 1:58 am #

        Thank you Tom for your quick response. The car is from a Mercedes Benz dealership lot, we had a hail storm and hundreds of cars were damaged. I believe dealership said 450 cars. Looking over the cars which were moved to another area, I found several brand new ones which I would be interested in. However, the dealership will not tell me what the damage estimate was. They are going to have them all inspected with new inspection sticker, then slowly list them.

        I spoke with my insurance company and they are questioning why they would not be upfront with providing the insurance estimate. They feel the dealership is not being honest. This is a dealership that has been in our area for probably 30 or 40 years, now the son is running it. So I felt it is a reputable dealership. Also my insurance company said I could not get comprehensive or collision coverage on it. The car 2014 ml350 was new at 53,000 b4 the hail. The dealership is selling this car for 35,000. Since I will be financing this car, I may not get the finance due to the comprehensive/collision coverage, and I would not want to drive a car without such coverage. I felt I would get the hood fixed and eventually the other sides, all but one side has damage. Since it is a new car, I feel I would hold onto it for probably 15 years. I am just trying to see if this is something I should still pursue or if at the end of 15 years, this car will not be worth anything, or such a small amount, that buying this damaged car is truly a loss. I never owned a Mercedes, but felt this might be good deal. Your thoughts please. Thank you for you time.
        Sharon

        • Tim Olson July 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

          Hi Sharon,
          I can’t decide for you of course. I do wonder if the pool of buyers for a hail damaged Mercedes might be even smaller than any other car.
          I prepared a video for you above, which will help you to know what you face when buying a hail damaged car.

  11. Linda July 6, 2014 at 2:47 am #

    Tim,

    My 2003 automatic Toyota Echo with 140,000 was totaled in a hail storm. The insurance company will give me $4800 for it or they will subtract $1600 if I want to keep it and fix it. To replace the glass will be approximately $900. I won’t fix the hail dents. At this point, I just finished graduate school and am looking for work–so, I need to either keep mine or find something under that price until I get a job. I have friends who also had their car totaled and they are offering to sell it to me. It’s a 2006 5-speed Toyota Corolla with only 65,000 miles on it. They’ve already fixed the glass and will let me have it for $2400 + it will cost around $500 for tax, title, and license. I’m looking at this as a car to last me a year or so until I can upgrade. Any thoughts on which car would have more value? Maybe neither?

    Thanks! Linda

    • Tim Olson July 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Hi Linda,
      tough choices there, but all good outcomes.
      You could be in a newer car with less miles and have some cash left over, but it is a standard trans.
      Or, keep what you got, fix the glass and still pocket (less) cash.
      Your question is about value and I bet you can see the insurance company is telling you the Echo is worth 1600 while your friends want 2400 for a less mileage, newer car.
      Either one is going to be tough to sell with the damage, since the pool of buyers is smaller.
      Also since you have broken glass, you may also have cracked paint near edges. These will start rusting soon, making it less desirable to next buyer. Go ahead and put clear nail polish on these cracks to delay the rust.
      One other point to consider is the marked title. In Oklahoma a car that has been “totaled” is given a salvage title. Check the regs in your state.
      You could avoid this by keeping your car (in some cases), but the Corolla will be re-titled so it could be marked. (Please consult a local tag agent or specialist as I am not expert in these areas.)

  12. CIndy Newendyke June 28, 2014 at 3:41 am #

    My husband I were about to sign papers to purchase a new car today. I noticed two dents in the chrome and mentioned them to the sales manager. He said they would fix that no problem. I asked if the car had been hail damaged. He went and got the file and showed the H on the front of the envelop and said yes it had. They had repaired it. We negotiated a price on the car thinking it was new, I took it home for a test visit in the evening. The next day in the sunlight, I noticed the dents just before signing. My husband is upset that they did not disclose the information. They said they would have before we signed. I highly doubt it unless it was to sigh a hail waiver form that it had been fixed. Are wrong to feel misled??? Should they have offered a discount up front on this car. They did search their inventory for another car identical to the one we were going to purchase that came in after the hail storm and showed me the invoice date etc. We left without purchasing for now. They lost my husband’s trust. What are your thoughts. Do they need to disclose the damage on a new car if they fix it prior to sale???

    • Tim Olson June 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Cindy,
      you have a good eye! This was very discerning of you to catch the damage and look even closer at the car.
      I can appreciate how you guys feel misled, as well you should.
      There may well have been a hail waiver for you to sign at some point, but presenting it at the end is not good practice.
      Hail damage on some makes of brand new cars voids the paint warranty. If this were the case, a disclosure would be required.
      But if the factory doesn’t know about the hail damage, disclosure may not be given.
      I’ll give my own disclosure here and remind all I am not an attorney and it is best to consult one when needed.
      Damage disclosure laws will vary state to state as well, so where you live matters.
      Trust is everything and if a salesman is worth his salt, he would tell you up front. Really, he would have gained a higher level of trust from you guys right away had he done so.
      It is possible he didn’t know, but if the paperwork was marked, likely the car was too.
      Your post is appreciated and is a good cautionary tale for those buying new cars.
      Thanks,
      Tim

  13. pck June 24, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Looking at a 2011 Sienna for my wife. 20K miles, very nicely kept car. Salesman tells me that the vehicle had hail damage and most of it was repaired. When I looked at the van, I could find no evidence of prior hail issues. However, when I asked them to install the roof rack crossbars, I was told that the hail damage which occurred from the sunroof toward the rear of the vehicle (essentially the roof space between the roof rails) was not repaired. Went and looked at it again. With the light just right, I could see the damage. The vast majority of the dents on the roof I could not even feel with my fingertips.

    In your opinion, does this type of ‘minor’ hail damage affect the durability and longevity of the paint on the roof?

    • Tim Olson June 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi pck,
      your question ‘does this type of hail damage affect the durability and longevity of the paint’ is a good one.
      Ultimately, I would recommend an extended test drive during which you run it by a PDR shop or auto body shop. We offer this free of charge here in Tulsa, and I hope folks in your area would too.
      Second best is for you to make this inspection yourself inside a garage or shop. Look for areas of damage near edges or on the ribs of the roof. Any dents closest to these areas can crack paint on impact. This will show up as lines which can sometimes catch a fingernail when rubbed across. But not always. Sometimes they are so small they only show as tiny white lines.
      If no paint cracking has occurred, the paint should hold up fine for years.
      But again, please don’t skip the inspection.
      Tim

  14. RamK June 9, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi,

    Is it a good idea to buy a used car that has a dime sized hail damage. Thinking of buying one. hence the question.

    Thanks.

    • Tim Olson June 10, 2014 at 1:46 am #

      Hi RamK,
      if you like the car and can live with the hail, it could be a good deal for you.
      Just be aware the previous owner was likely paid for it by insurance. So you should be able to get it at a discount.
      How much of a discount depends on the damage.
      Tell the owner you want to have the car checked out and find a good local PDR company to give a true price for repair.
      Then you will know what the discount should be.
      Tim

  15. Michelle June 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    My car was in a recent hail storm. The damage was assessed at $15-17K. Insurance company left it up to me if I want to fix it or have them deem it a total loss, as the numbers are close enough to do so. Its a 2013 toyota highlander with 14K miles. How do I assess the loss in value if I decide to fix the car? Is it a bad idea to keep the car? I love the car but it may not economically make sense.

    • Tim Olson June 10, 2014 at 1:41 am #

      Hi Michelle,
      lots of things to consider here.
      There will be a measure of diminished value once the car is fixed, but you should also be compensated for this by your insurance company. They don’t want you to know this, so you need to be ready. To figure the DV take a look at this diminished value calculator.
      Keeping the car should be fine if the shop you choose is reputable and offers a lifetime warranty.
      Once fixed properly, and you are compensated properly, there should be no downside to keeping the car.
      Tim

  16. Susan Vance June 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    I’m trying to get some prices on F150 or 250 pickups damaged at Woodhouse, but haven’t been able to find anything. Is there a site or blog or even comments from someone who’s been there?

    • Larry Bell June 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      I went up there Friday….There were so many people shopping the police had 1 lane of the road blocked off due to the backup of just trying to get into their parking lot. I left and will try this coming week during the weekday

    • Carlos June 22, 2014 at 4:35 am #

      I had the same trouble getting prices too and no salesman really felt that anxious to help either. They told me go look at what I want and come back to them with a car number and they’ll ask the manager. I think they’re playing with people and they know what they’re marked down to but really want you to make an offer first. I’m going back Monday to get better answers. I hope that this is a good investment. I’m not worried about the dents and would just pay to replace the broken windshields and mirrors and lights. The rest i can live with. I think for being a brand new vehicle for lower price with hail damage it wouldn’t be bad.

      • Larry Bell June 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        I went up there the week after….sat there for 3 hours…..CASH BUYER….Still walked out and could N EVERY get them to give me a price….not even a HIGH Price….NO Price at all…..It is like they don’t want to sell any of the cars.

        • Carlos June 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

          I’m going as a cash buyer too but I hope that I have some better luck this coming week. The guy was really pushing me to go the financing way because then they can get paid better commission. What an idiot. I will take cash in hand to she them I’m serious.

  17. chuck petterson June 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Big time hail damage at Woodhouse in Blair, Nebraska earlier this week. Looks like everything on the lot (one of the largest dealerships in the country) was wiped out. A point not mentioned here is that vehicles with extreme damage lost most, if not all of the glass and the interiors were soaked with hail melt and follow on rain. Can you spell “electrical gremlins” for all of the seat controls, interlocks, etc., etc.?

    The wife could use a new Town and Country, but I have re-thought the prospect of getting a “marked-down” dimple baby.

    • Tim Olson June 7, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      Good point Chuck!
      In addition, when a car is damaged this severely, you will see lots of areas near or right at edges of panels where paint has cracked and will soon corrode.
      Tim

  18. Larry June 5, 2014 at 3:18 am #

    I am thinking of buying a new one. I stormchase, and get hail hit all the time….so the dent/dings don’t bother me. My current vehicle is 3 yrs old and has 102,000 miles on it.

    I am looking at it as the motor is still brand new….the interior is brand new….and the first storm I chase with it, is going to look on the outside like it does now…..

    Now the question for me to ask to ya’ll……….what kind of discount pricing do dealers really offer for hail damaged new cars?

    I live in Omaha and one of our dealers had 4500 vehicles hit by baseball sized hail.

    • Tim Olson June 7, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Larry, a pre-damaged car sounds perfect for a storm chaser!
      I don’t know the discount levels, but the dealer has a deductible either per car or a blanket level for the lot.
      They still need to make a profit, plus incentivize the salesman to push the damaged cars instead.
      Still could be a good deal for someone like yourself.
      Just watch for areas of broken paint. Lightning bolts will love the exposed metal.
      Tim

  19. Courtney H May 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Hi Tim
    I’m looking at buying a 2014 Subaru Forester with 28k miles on it that has hail damage. It’s not visible at all in photos, and I plan on going in to look at it at least. They are asking $17991 which is about $6k under what it would be worth blue book for the model. It’s really tempting because I would never be able to afford one new (even the 2010 listed at 68k miles is $22k). I really like this car because of it’s top safety rating. Is there ever a time you WOULD recommend buying one with hail damage? Are there any other cons other than the cost to repair the damage and the deducted cost of future damage?

    • Tim Olson May 30, 2014 at 2:22 am #

      Hi Courtney,
      the only time I would recommend buying hail damaged car is when its me and I fix it. I really love Subaru’s, can you get me that phone number?
      Seriously, if you have weighed the risk, can live with the damage and its worth it to you, then go for it.
      This article is only to emphasize that the discount you get is always out there, taking some value away.
      Your last question covers it, with the obvious lower value if you decide not to fix it.
      Tim

  20. DOctor May 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Thanks a million.

    I live in South Africa and I was about to buy a hail damage car but after reading this article, I now know better and I don’t think buying a hail damage car is an option for me. Thanks again!!!

  21. Kushal Thapa March 29, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi,

    I am in process of buying a new car that is hail damaged on the hood. I don’t know if this is in the carfax report or not. Are you saying that if its not, I should notify the insurance company while getting insurance?

    • Tim Olson March 30, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      Hi Kushal,
      thank you for this question. You are not obligated to disclose the damage so use your own discretion here. Just know the risks going in.
      If you’re never in a collision, it might not ever come up. If you file a claim in the future, it can be a problem whether the damage was reported on Carfax or not.
      As played out in the scenario in the post.
      Tim

  22. Mark February 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    Tim, first, thank you for the great information. Second, I am currently looking at a used car in OKC and recent;y got wind that this particular dealership has in fact sold cars that have been repaired of hail damage. The problem is this type of work is usually not reflected on a Carfax report. Can you give me some tips on how to see if any body work has ben performed to fix hail damage?

    Thank you

    • Tim Olson February 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Mark, great question.
      To find bodywork, run your hand along the back edge of the hood. It should be smooth and glossy feeling. If you feel a line or any roughness, its been repainted. Same will work for the trunk.
      Other panels are tougher, but the door jambs will also tell you. Again, should be smooth inside to out. Any lines or texture differences are a tell tale sign.
      This happens as the paint is sprayed, and does not occur on factory finishes, since they bake it to flow out.

  23. Linda January 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Thank your for being honest, this does answer several of my question and a great way to approach the sales man abou the car.

    • Tim Olson January 13, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      Hi Linda,
      you are most welcome

  24. andrew December 20, 2013 at 2:41 am #

    Just an additional comment.
    I have the car in my possession and live in a cold cold city in Canada.
    It would be 12 thousand Canadian $.

    • Tim Olson December 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Hi Andrew,
      I can’t answer this for you, but since you have the car, you can do a couple smart things.
      1. Get an appraisal for repairs
      2. Find the cars value without hail damage today.
      3. Subtract the repair cost from the value and determine if its still a good deal.
      You may be under estimating the cost of repairs and a true appraisal will help.
      If you still feel its a good deal, review the 4 points listed in this hail damage repair advice listed above.

  25. andrew December 20, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    I have the opportunity of buying a 2011 Mitsubishi eclips with only 3000 miles on it for 12,000.00.
    The vehicle was written off in Phoenix for hail damage and it is pretty severe.
    Aside from the hail damage the car is showroom.
    What do you think I should do??
    Thanks

  26. Suzy Q October 1, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I found a 2001 Z3 3.0i that I’m looking at buying from a private owner. Spoke to the owner today and he said the car was bought by him at auction after the vehicle was deemed totaled by insurance because of hail damage. The damage has been repaired. Now I’m wary of buying it. I’ve scheduled it for a used car inspection at the local BMW dealer. What are economic repercussions of buying a hail damaged totaled car? Thanks.

    • Tim Olson October 2, 2013 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Suzy Q,
      you are wise to get it looked at before purchase.
      When a car is considered a total loss, this means the damage cost exceeded the value of the car. Some insurance companies use a lower threshold, even as low as 60% of value.
      For example, a car worth $10,000 gets $6000 damage, the car could be considered a total loss.
      The biggest concern would be the state you live in and how they treat the title of a totaled car.
      In Oklahoma, the title is “marked” and is even a different color from a regular title. This is meant to protect consumers from buying cars with less value. They even call it a salvage title, since thats what someone did, bought it at a salvage auction (usually) and fixed it for resell.
      A marked title will affect the cars value by 20 – 40% or more.
      Check the laws in your state before making the leap.
      Tim

  27. Mk September 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    It makes me think harder on the point that Car is damaged from outside and not inside . So buying a hailed car is better than buying a used car . I am getting an offer to save about 3k on new 2013 camry that has some quite visible hails but the price is really 3k less than most of the dealers so it makes me believe its still a good deal.

    • Tim Olson September 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      I see your point. Having a new car with a warranty is appealing. Especially with a $3000 discount.
      Since you are about to make a 20k purchase and possibly pay for years, why not spend the time to get a paintless dent repair tech to look at it and tell you the real price?
      We have seen many occasions where the discount did not cover the real cost of damage.
      Just for giggles, lets say it does have $3000 in damage.
      1. The car will always be worth less than similar models.
      2. Will be harder to sell
      3. If in a collision, the insurance will not pay full value due to previous damage.
      4. Will not have a paint warranty
      The discount seems nice, but is a cost factor that never goes away. Pay now, pay later.

  28. Marty August 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Im a 10 yr PDR tech in Baton Rouge. This is sooo true! I’m glad to hear other techs putting the word out!

    PDR techs vary greatly. Do some research before dropping $$$$!!!

  29. Ant G July 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    I was just offered this vehicle at 16K less than MSRP. This is a tough decision.

  30. Thomas July 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    I was about to go to Edmond Hyundai and look at some Velosters that they have $3k under MSRP…. Now I’m rethinking it :/

    The salesman wont send pictures of the damage because they aren’t going to be visible by a camera (huh?).. claiming that the damage isn’t that bad.

    I live almost two hours from the dealer.. not like I can just pop in, take one look and say nope.

  31. Mike McDonnor July 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Buying a used car is really a risk. But in some cases you can be a winner; if you are well acquainted of the first user and if it slightly used.

  32. car service July 1, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    This article just have some good points! Buying a car with damage is just too risky. Wouldn’t go for it personally.

  33. Donn Ovshak June 18, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    I got stung, too much of a hurry and the boys at Big Red (auto sales) got me big time!

    • Tim Olson June 18, 2013 at 11:22 am #

      Sorry to hear this Donn, lots of hail in Norman and OKC this year.

      • eric July 13, 2013 at 11:34 am #

        Good day all,am so glad I read this article.
        I live outside the united states a friend just offered to help me buy rx 330 for 9500 dollars.
        I saw the pictures the car looked good but on googling the vin number I found out it was hail damaged.
        So I got to this site to find out more.

      • Karen kennedy July 21, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

        My husband just bought a Nissan from hudiburg last night. They said it was not hail damaged but when he was signing the papers, they wanted him to sign a hail damage paper. He refused to sign it and told the lady it was not supposed to have been hail damaged. She called the salesman in to verify and she asked if the truck was in the lot during the hail storm and he said no. They got it in after that but the way he said it led us to believ he was lying. Is there a way to find out for sure? He never signed the hail damage paper.

        • Karen kennedy July 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

          Hudiburg Nissan in okc that is.

        • Lester T. Grif May 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

          Well, hail damage is one of those things that really cannot be hidden. Is the car full of circular dents that are about 1 inch in diameter? If you can’t see the hail damage, the car was either not damaged or was repairable which shouldn’t effect it’s value.

  34. Kenneth Ng. June 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Wow! Im glad I read this article.
    The Saleman told me that this is not on the report. so Insurance won’t know it!
    HUH HUH????

    • Tim Olson June 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Not to mention no paint warranty…
      Thanks Kenneth

      • dickson christopher October 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        what is hail damage

Leave a Reply