3 things you should consider when buying a car with hail damage
Buying a damaged car can be a great way to save money. But, it comes with a cost: it can be tricky to resell, and you can never be 100% sure if there’s invisible internal damage you’ve missed.
If you see a car for sale with hail damage and are interested in purchasing it, here are some things to keep in mind before you take the plunge.
Why Car Dealers Sell Hail-Damaged Cars
Hail-damaged cars usually end up for sale because a dealership got struck with a particularly bad hailstorm.
Dealerships often have special agreements with hail damage car repair companies and will make an attempt to repair their cars through their chosen company. The most common method of hail damage repair is paintless dent repair, or PDR. This method is cost-effective and efficient, and removes dents by using metal rods to reshape them. It is preferred because it maintains the original paint job and value of the vehicle.
Car dealerships will send their cars in to get PDR, but in rare cases, a car might require a special treatment that no longer makes it cost-effective to repair. It may have too many dents, dents in awkward places, cracked paint, or a number of other unique damages. In this scenario, dealers may choose to sell the car with the damage intact, as it is more profitable than repairing it.
What Should You Ask Yourself Before Buying a Hail Damaged Car?
The good news about hail damage is that it’s almost always cosmetic, so the engine and essentials to keep the car functioning are usually unaffected. This means that nothing too terrible will happen if you end up choosing to buy a hail damaged car, in terms of functionality.
Nevertheless, there are some things you should still consider.
Who Will Get the Most out of the Deal, You or the Dealer?
Dealers rarely sell cars unless it is profitable to them. If a damaged car is being sold as-is, that might be a sign that the repairs are more costly than you think.
Even though a damaged car will always cost less than an undamaged one, you still have to think about the car’s worth compared to it’s price. How much would it cost to repair it? How much would you get if you decided to sell it?
Weigh the pros and cons: if you’re on a budget or just need a car for transportation, a few dents won’t matter, and a hail damaged car will do the job. But, if you’re planning on repairing or reselling it at all, you might want to do some more calculations.
How Can You Resell the Car in the Future?
Even if you have no intention of reselling your car anytime soon, things may pop up that will make it necessary. Maybe your financial situation will suddenly change, or maybe you’ll have to make a move where bringing your car isn’t cost-effective.
If you purchase a hail damaged car, you’ll either have to resell it as is, or you’ll have to repair it. In the first scenario, you’ll sell it at a below-market price, and will have a harder time convincing prospective buyers. In the second, you may end up breaking even or losing money.
Are You Willing to Have the Car Fixed at a Repair Shop?
Many think that hail damage repair isn’t very costly, since it could just be a few dents on an otherwise regularly functioning car. But, the reality is, PDR can be more expensive than you think, especially if there are special measures that have to be taken for unique damages.
You also have to find a repair shop that specializes in hail damage and PDR, which may be difficult depending on the area you’re in. Since you bought the car damaged, insurance will likely not pay for it. When you take into consideration the fact that dealerships sell damaged cars when they have unique, hard to fix damage, this may end up costing a pretty penny.
Decide whether you’re willing to go through all this when you’re buying a hail damaged car. Even if you don’t intend to fix it, you may need to in the future, and it’s important to run the numbers just in case.
Entrust Your Car’s Hail Damage Repair to a Trusted Auto Hail Repair Shop
Whether you’re buying a hail damaged car or are looking for someone to fix hail damage on your current car, it’s important to use a trusted hail damage repair shop to fix it. Hail damage requires professional expertise to handle correctly, and it is not something you want to leave in the hands of a repair shop that’s never dealt with it before.
Do your research and find a good auto hail repair shop that can give your car the proper treatment it needs.
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