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Should I Buy a Car with Hail Damage?

The allure of purchasing a car with hail damage is clear: hail-damaged cars usually come with a great discount. But, when you factor in repair costs, car reliability, and resale value, is that discount worth it?


From repair costs to insurance coverage and dealer warranties, there’s a lot to review before buying a hail-damaged car. So, let’s discuss the factors to consider before purchasing a car with hail damage. 

What To Consider Before Buying a Hail-Damaged Car

Will The Dealer Repair the Damage?

If you’re looking into purchasing a car from a dealer, and that car has hail damage, there’s a chance the dealer will cover the repair costs. Ask the dealer if this is the case as soon as possible. If the dealer won’t repair the damage, you can factor repair costs from an auto glass repair expert into the car’s price for more accurate budgeting.

Will The Dealer Offer a Warranty?

Some dealers will warranty a car with hail damage. This protects your purchase by ensuring that the dealer will cover certain repairs within the duration of the warranty. A warranty from your dealer can provide much-needed peace of mind when you buy a hail-damaged car. 

Will You Be Able to Resell The Car in The Future?

Resale value is a big deciding factor for many car shoppers. Depending on its extent, hail damage could severely (and negatively) impact the resale value of your car. When you file a claim with your insurance agency for hail damage, it will appear on your car’s history report. That history report will be reviewed by potential buyers in the future. 

What’s The Price of The Car Normally?

Before you purchase a hail-damaged car, look up the regular cost of the same make and model. After finding out the regular price of the car without damage, factor in a repair estimate to see whether you’re saving or losing money. This can quickly let you know whether or not the deal is a good one. 

Buying Tips For Hail-Damaged Cars

When you’re purchasing a hail-damaged car, there are a few steps to take to ensure that the car is a smart buy. The steps listed below will assure that future repair expenses for the car won’t fall squarely on your shoulders. 

Talk To Your Insurance Company.

If you buy a car with hail damage, it’s important to talk with your insurance company. Purchasing a damaged car could impact your ability to qualify for comprehensive coverage. Without comprehensive coverage, you could end up paying for future car repair claims entirely out-of-pocket. For example, if the hood of your car gets damaged in an accident, you would likely have to pay the entire cost yourself. This is because the insurance company already provided compensation for hail damage on the hood. 

Inquire About The Open Lot Insurance Coverage.

Car dealerships also have floor plan or open lot insurance coverage for their on-lot cars. If the cars on their lot are damaged in a hailstorm, the insurance company will inspect the resulting damage to determine the compensation sent to the dealership. You can inquire about this insurance estimate to get an accurate number for the necessary repair costs. 

Get A Repair Estimate.

Rather than asking for the insurance estimate, you can also turn to an auto repair shop for a hail repair estimate. Once the repair shop provides you with an estimate for dent repairs, you can bring it to the car dealership with you. With the estimated repair costs in hand, you can often negotiate a lower price on a hail-damaged car. 

Check For Glass Replacements.

Hail damage to cars often involves punctured, cracked, or entirely shattered glass. Whether it’s found at the windshield, side windows, or sunroof, damaged glass on your car can quickly become a nightmare. Imagine that you purchase a hail-damaged car with a window that hasn’t been fully replaced. If that window has a crack, even a minuscule one, another hailstorm could make the glass shatter. Then, you’d need to organize and pay for the auto glass replacement yourself. 


To avoid this type of situation, ask your dealer if the car’s glass has been replaced. You may even be able to tell just by looking at it. A hail-damaged car with newly-replaced glass is both a better deal and more reliable than one without replaced glass.